Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bollin announces plan to grow local economies, help Michigan businesses thrive
RELEASE|April 18, 2024
Contact: Ann Bollin

State Rep. Ann Bollin this week announced a comprehensive plan to boost economic development throughout Michigan.

Bollin, R-Brighton Township, said the plan will improve the approach Michigan takes to economic development – solving problems small businesses struggle with every day in addition to providing accountability, transparency and fairness in the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) program, which has been used over the past two years to fund a series of subpar investments using taxpayer dollars.

A recent study by Bridge Michigan found that 40% of economic development deals create jobs paying below-median wages, resulting in a low return on investment for the taxpayers like with Ford’s planned factory in Marshall, which was approved for $1.8 billion in state incentives that amount to a more than $1 million cost per projected job.

“We’re bringing accountability to the forefront,” Bollin said. “By implementing rigorous oversight on economic development projects and demanding more transparency and accountability, we’re ensuring a better return on investment for taxpayers and putting an end to subpar deals that fail to deliver on their promises.”

Bollin spearheaded efforts to reform corporate welfare to ensure accountability and transparency in the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) program. She introduced House Bills 5136-5138, which will require annual audits and reclaim taxpayer dollars if promises aren’t kept. The bills also require businesses to be transparent about project pauses and halt automatic payouts during pauses.

The expanded economic development plan also includes measures that cut red tape for small businesses and remove unnecessary and burdensome regulations in regard to occupational licensing.

“The maze of bureaucratic red tape and the number of unnecessary hurdles created by occupational licensing requirements is impeding our workforce’s ability to thrive,” Bollin said. “Michigan needs to undergo a thorough review of these requirements. The plan will help cut through the clutter and identify and eliminate outdated or unnecessary barriers.”

In its entirety, the House Republican economic development strategy focuses on:

  • Respecting tax dollars in economic development programs: Michigan taxpayers should have their dollars spent responsibly and our state’s economic development programs need more accountability to ensure taxpayers are getting a worthwhile return on investment. Michigan should audit payouts, reclaim funds when deals don’t deliver on their promises, increase transparency on paused projects. The state should also prioritize funds for small- and medium-sized businesses and coordinate permitting between the state and local governments to expedite projects.
  • Cutting red tape to make it easier to put people to work: Burdensome regulations and confusing bureaucracy impede workers and employers who are trying to succeed in Michigan. State government should streamline bureaucracy with a single, user-friendly portal where businesses and workers can deal with state agencies. The state should review and reevaluate regulations, paperwork, and licensing to determine what works and what only gets in the way of economic productivity and growth.
  • Reducing burdensome regulations: Michigan should also restore policies that prevent bureaucrats from imposing stricter rules than the federal government or ignoring the input of experts and employers.
  • Measuring performance of state workforce programs: Taxpayers shouldn’t fund programs that don’t work. Michigan should measure the performance of workforce programs to see whether they are successfully helping people develop skills or obtain good-paying jobs.
  • Increasing families’ paychecks: Michigan should cut the state income tax rate so people can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks in the years ahead.
  • Restoring right-to-work: For more than a decade, Michigan’s right-to-work law guaranteed workers the right to choose whether to pay dues to a union, and many businesses look for right-to-work states where they can move or expand. Michigan Democrats repealed that successful law last year, and the state should restore this crucial freedom, so workers don’t have their paychecks cut to fund union bosses.

Additional details about the economic growth plan are available here.


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