2020 Legislative Priorities Focus on Talent, Regional Transit, and More

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors recently adopted 2020 legislative priorities. These 14 priorities are focused on business and economic growth for the region. Priorities include investing in infrastructure, support for a reliable regional transit system, maintaining a pro-growth tax structure, and creating pathways to postsecondary education and careers.


  • Maintain a pro-growth tax structure that allows Michigan to compete globally for business and talent.
  • Encourage smart spending policies and long-term budgeting that prioritizes fiscal solvency.
  • Maintain a regulatory climate that is conducive to Michigan’s growing economy.
  • Support reforms for Michigan’s criminal justice system that reduce lengthy and costly sentences and provide age-appropriate rehabilitation.
  • Support policies that expand employment opportunities for chronically underemployed populations.


  • Increase dedicated infrastructure funding in the state and lead efforts to prioritize regional transit options for the Detroit region.
  • Encourage regional policies that are consistent with state and federal law and balance local needs with economic growth.
  • Promote policies that increase access to health insurance while opposing policies that drive up costs for employers and individuals.


  • Maintain rigorous K-12 standards that allow students to succeed in the global economy.
  • Create greater accountability for quality and siting in charter schools.
  • Increase postsecondary education attainment through policies such as increased dual enrollment and the Michigan Reconnect and MI Opportunity Scholarship initiatives.

Global Connectivity:

  • Create pathways to career opportunities in the automotive industry that develop high-skilled talent, including utilization of global opportunities through immigration reform and the attraction of international students.
  • Promote smart trade policy, including continued USMCA participation and resisting short-sighted trade restrictions or tariffs that inhibit growth.

Next-Generation Mobility:

  • Support policies that allow Michigan to continue to lead in research and development testing for next generation mobility solutions and other emerging industry sectors.

January 27: NAIAS Sets Attendance Records; Hotel Reservations for Mackinac Policy Conference Open Feb. 2

2015 NAIAS Reports Record-Setting Attendance, Estimated Impact of $400M

Demonstrating the renewed strength of Detroit and the automotive industry, the 2015 North American International Show drew record attendance at the newly renovated Cobo Center. Attendance at the NAIAS tallied 808,775 from Jan. 18-26, surpassing last year’s show by more than 5,000. Event organizers estimate a total economic impact of $400 million from the event, its largest since 2008.

This year’s event featured 55 vehicle debuts and 5,025 journalists, from 60 countries and 40 states, covering the event. In addition to the public show, the Charity Preview attracted 15,350 people, raising $5.3 million for children’s charities in Southeast Michigan, and 35,551 people from 2,001 companies and 25 countries attended Industry Preview.

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts and Chairman Scott LaRiche for their leadership in making the NAIAS one of the world’s most successful auto shows. For more information on the NAIAS, click here.

Discover What’s Next for Regional Transit at Detroit Policy Conference

With construction of the M-1 Rail underway in Detroit, mass transit improvement in Southeast Michigan is one step closer to becoming reality. During the 2015 Detroit Policy Conference on Thursday, Feb. 26, join transportation experts Dennis Cowan, partner at Plunkett Cooney, Michael Ford, CEO of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan, and Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United for a panel discussion titled Connecting the Region: Transit Development in the “D.”

The panel will focus on the transit challenges the city and the region are facing, and discuss the opportunities that exist for a more connected system. The panel will also explore how improved transit infrastructure can support economic development and urban revitalization, and provide increased mobility to residents and commuters.

The Conference, held at MotorCity Casino Hotel, brings together key business, community and political leaders for a day dedicated to Detroit’s success. For more information, or to view speaker and agenda updates for the Conference, click here.

Hotel Reservations for Mackinac Policy Conference Open Feb. 2

Mackinac Island hotels will begin taking room reservations on Feb. 2 for the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference. Attendees must be registered for the Conference to book a room. This year’s Conference will take place from May 26-29, and focuses on three catalysts critical to ensuring dynamic and geometric economic growth for Michigan – talent, urban revitalization and cohesion.

Accommodations are available at numerous hotels on the island including Bicycle Inn, Chippewa Hotel, Island House, Lake View Hotel, and Lilac Tree Suites and Spa, among others. Rooms book quickly, so be sure to register early. Click here to view all accommodations as well as room rates for the historic Grand Hotel.

This year’s announced keynote speakers include DreamWorks Chair Mellody Hobson, Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb, and political prognosticator Nate Silver. Click here to register for the Conference or for more information on speakers and to view the Conference agenda.

‘Yes’ Vote to Fix Roads Leads 2015 Legislative Policy Priorities

Each year, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s government relations team adopts 10 public policy priorities that are critical to economic development and growth. The Chamber advocates for these policies at the local, state and national levels to help make Southeast Michigan one of the best places to do business.

Beginning with a “yes” vote on the May 5 ballot initiative to fix Michigan’s roads, priorities for 2015 include:

• Support for the city of Detroit’s economic recovery
• Education reform for struggling schools
• Access to higher education for all students
• Doubling efforts to attract and retain a skilled workforce
• Accountability in education
• Reliable and affordable energy
• Regulatory streamlining
• Ballast water regulation
• Resisting health care coverage mandates

Click here to view a complete detailed description of the 2015 public policy priorities.