Detroit Regional Chamber > Business Resources > COVID-19 > 3 Conversations From Lansing Businesses Need to Know About

3 Conversations From Lansing Businesses Need to Know About

May 15, 2020
The Detroit Regional Chamber is having the essential conversations with government officials and entities behind the scenes to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the health of businesses in the Detroit region coming out of the crisis. The Chamber’s Government Relations team is dedicated to advising the state on how to best accommodate the needs of businesses and communities through this difficult time.

A busy week in Lansing brings key information that business leaders need to know. Highlights include:

1. Property Tax Appeals Deadline Extended 60 Days

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued Executive Order 2020-87 to extend the May 31 deadline to appeal commercial and industrial personal property assessments another 60 days. This comes after the House Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance also unanimously approved HB 5766 that would push back the deadline, earlier this week.

The Chamber has been actively advocating for the deadline extensions on behalf of members. The Chamber will continue to remain in close contact with key policymakers in order to ensure needed reforms and extensions like this become law.

2. Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Announces $3.2B Revenue Shortfall for FY 2019-20

Today’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference in Lansing provided the first substantive glimpse into the state’s fiscal outlook as the economy reopens in phases, setting the backdrop for budget negotiations amid historic unemployment.

The State Treasurer and the heads of the nonpartisan Senate and House Fiscal Agencies determined a 12% decrease in combined revenues for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Officials projected 3.5% growth in the 2020-21 fiscal year — more than $3 billion less than January consensus numbers. Despite this historic revenue shortfall, Michigan’s Constitution requires a balanced budget be approved before Oct. 1, annually. Read the executive summary.

In advance of the Conference, the House Fiscal Agency and Senate Fiscal Agency both released Economic Outlook and Revenue Estimates for Michigan, which contributed to the agreed to revenue estimate above. Read more about the analysis.

3. Chamber Continues to Advocate for Responsible Work Share Program

The Chamber is continuing to advocate for responsible Work Share program guidelines to allow more businesses to participate. As a result of Executive Order 2020-57, most Work Share program eligibility requirements have been expanded.

  • If business demand is down, employers participating in Work Share can preserve their workforce while reducing hours and wages by 10 – 60%.
  • Waived the length of time required that employers must be in business.
  • Waived the requirement that employers NOT have a previous history of layoffs.
  • Waived the requirement that employers have a current or positive balance with UIA.

Employers must meet and maintain the following requirements in order to participate in the Work Share program:

  • Employers are given flexibility to organize which employees are in a Work Share plan.
  • A plan must include a minimum of two employees.
  • Plans may be approved for a period of up to 52 consecutive weeks.
  • Employee hours/wages may be reduced by a minimum of 10% up to a maximum of 60%.
  • Part-time employees are eligible, but Work Share does not apply to seasonal, temporary, or intermittent employment.
  • Employees must be eligible to receive state unemployment benefits.
  • Employer must obtain approval of any applicable collective bargaining unit representative.
  • Employers participating in Work Share cannot modify employees fringe benefits.

Learn more about the program and updates under the new Executive Order.

Learn What Else the Chamber Has Been Working On: