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Legislative Update: U.S. Senate Paves Way for Electric Infrastructure Reform

Read about the latest legislative issues, including the U.S. Senate’s recent passage of comprehensive energy reform. The Energy Policy Modernization Act addresses the need to improve the nation’s electric infrastructure, adopt energy-efficient technology and fund workforce development programs.

Senate Passes Bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act

Last week, the U.S. Senate approved the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act. If enacted into law, the legislation will increase the adoption of energy-efficient technologies in homes, schools, commercial buildings and federal buildings. Major provisions include much-needed improvements to the U.S. electric infrastructure, including transmission, distribution, and energy storage systems, as well as funding for energy workforce development programs. The legislation now heads back to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. Late last year, the House passed its version of the legislation—the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 8).

The Chamber, along with the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, continues to advocate for a national policy that supports clean, reliable and affordable energy for residents, businesses and manufacturers.

Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act

Following the successful extension of the Michigan Legislature’s Commercial Rehabilitation Act, which was set to expire in 2015, the Chamber, along with economic developers across the state, is advocating for the continuation the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (Senate Bill 673). The Act is set to expire at the end of the year. A local tax abatement program authorized by the Legislature and administered by municipal governments, this program has successfully incentivized the rehabilitation of blighted property throughout the region and state. Senate Bill 673 passed the Michigan Senate and is awaiting a vote in the Michigan House of Representatives’ Tax Policy Committee. Read more about SB 673.

2016 Election Candidates and Issues

The candidate filing deadline for the November election in Michigan has passed and the Chamber is hard at work analyzing races across the state in order to support bipartisan, pro-business candidates for elected office. Major races include two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court, and the entire Michigan House of Representatives. Look for more information, including Chamber endorsements, in upcoming editions of the eDetroiter. In addition, many local municipalities and school districts have items on the May 3 election ballot. View the list of school districts and municipalities here.