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SBAM and Other Business Groups Applaud Leadership By Senate Republicans on Reform

January 20, 2010

SBAM, along with other business and trade organizations from around the state, today applauded the leadership displayed by Senate Republicans in their announcement of 10 bold reforms that could trim state spending by more than $2 billion. Taxpayers are demanding that elected officials be good stewards of their money and Senate Republicans are living up to that expectation by putting forth a comprehensive plan that can facilitate passage of a balanced budget without increasing taxes.
Rob Fowler, President and CEO of SBAM said, “Business owners large and small are making tough decisions to remain competitive in a down economy, so we are glad to see Senate Republicans are stepping up to the plate to force the state to live within their means.”

“Michigan is facing unprecedented economic challenges and enacting these reforms is exactly what Michigan needs to reduce cost barriers and be competitive in the global economy”, said Mike Johnston Vice-President of Government Affairs for the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

In September, statewide business and trade organizations released a list of 19 suggested reforms that the Legislature should undertake in an effort to combat chronic structural budget deficits. “We have been meeting regularly with Legislators in both chambers and both parties to urge them to reform and revitalize Michigan, these are exactly the kind of reforms we support and Legislators have indicated they would like to see enacted,” said Bill Martin, CEO of the Michigan Association of Realtors.

“The Senate’s bold agenda of reform demonstrates that tax increases are not necessary and the best path to job creation and a revitalized economy is by making government smaller and more efficient,” said Jim Holcomb, Vice-President of Business Advocacy and Associate General Counsel of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Members of the coalition (which also includes the Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Lansing Regional Chamber, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Association of Home Builders, Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Association of Insurance Agents, Michigan Business & Professional Association, NFIB, Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association, Michigan Grocers Association, Michigan Soft Drinks Association and the Michigan Restaurant Association) look forward to working the Legislators on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol to enact cost-saving reforms that will move Michigan forward.

The 10 Senate Republican initiatives cover six key reform areas for an estimated total savings of $2.24-2.6 billion:

    * Public employee health care ($615 million in savings);
    * Local police and fire ($70-118 million);
    * K-12 school spending ($363-663 million);
    * Medicaid spending ($160-500 million);
    * Government efficiency (indeterminate); and
    * Public employee compensation ($1.2 billion).

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