Hey Alexa, what’s happening in Lansing?
March 25, 2022
Budget Conversations Moving
Governor Whitmer and the Legislature came to an agreement on a $4.8B supplemental, $3.9B is federal COVID-19 recovery funds and $955.4M is from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Investments include $250M for statewide broadband service grants, $100M in federal COVID-19 relief for the Unemployment Compensation Fund, over $400M for road and bridge repairs and infrastructure grants, and $171M in homeowner assistance and affordable housing.
The Legislature was laser focused on getting a water supplemental deal done before moving to any other priority items. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Administration to ensure small business is top of mind.
Michigan Reconnect Next Steps
SBAM met with Representative Ben Fredrick and other business community members to discuss ways to strengthen the Michigan Reconnect program. SBAM was an influential voice to stand up the program that is a tuition free pathway for those 25 years and older without a degree to enter community college. Next steps will be focused on how we can better strengthen accountability within the program, ensure our students are entering the program and completing a degree or certificate program, and that those degrees earned match what our employers are needing. We thank Representative Frederick for his leadership on this issue.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Panel Discussion
SBAM Director of Government Operations, Alexa Kramer, joined a panel discussion hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Conversation centered around the unique talent needs for small businesses and what economic development means to our small business community. SBAM enjoyed being a part of the discussion to elevate small businesses and looks forward to continuing our work with the MEDC team.
Advocacy on H2B Visas
H2B visas provide many of our members the ability to hire talent from outside the United States to fill their temporary and seasonal needs. In a tight labor market, our small businesses need tools like the H2B visas that allow them the flexibility to make hiring decisions to best suite their demands. This month, SBAM met with Senator Peters’ office to highlight the importance of this program for our members and push for reforms to enhance the H2B visa process.
Filing Deadline is Approaching
Within the state legislature, there has been a lot of movement this month as we near the filing deadline, April 19th. SBAM has a Political Action Committee (PAC) and its Board oversees the endorsement process of pro-small business elected officials. With new district lines and a high turnover rate, SBAM continues our work to have a good overview of the candidate field. Check out Alexa’s article in our March/April FOCUS magazine to learn more about our PAC and how we choose pro-small business candidates.
If you’re interested in contributing to our efforts to elect pro-small business voices, please visit sbam.org/small-biz-pac.
To find out more about how you can lend your voice to this conversation, please reach out to Alexa Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org.