Flint & Genesee Group Policy Priorities
2023-2024 Policy Priorities
The Flint & Genesee Group aims to strengthen the local economy and create a place where people thrive, and businesses invest and grow. Our team works to accomplish this through targeted programs and services and strong partnerships. We also recognize that local, state, and federal government play a significant role in advancing these outcomes and we are committed to working with governmental entities and advocating for the shared success of our community.
The Group will take positions on several proposals at the local, state, and federal levels of government that impact economic development, education, placemaking and our economy. Our advocacy efforts support our community, our members, the job creators of our regional economy, and businesses of all sizes as we lead in creating a thriving and prosperous region for all. The Flint & Genesee Group will use its influence to support the below policy outcomes that impact our economy and quality of life to, by 2040, make Genesee County a top-five community in Michigan based on jobs, talent, livability, and equity. we believe that equity and inclusion should be embedded in all governmental policies. Guided by our organization mission and vision, local data, and member feedback, our decisions are guided by the policy committee and our board of directors.
Our key priorities break down into four categories that align with our 4 organizational divisions:
- Business – Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
- Talent – Flint & Genesee Education and Talent
- Place – Explore Flint & Genesee
- Economic Development – Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance
While the birthplace of the automotive industry, the greater Genesee County community is home to a diverse set of industries. At the Flint & Genesee Group, we are focused on ease of doing business by advocating to streamline government processes for businesses to operate and thrive, creating opportunity for new small business creation (especially BIPOC owned businesses) and eliminating barriers to employment, all while supporting an inclusive workplace for all.
Michigan has made significant improvements to its business climate and must continue to do so to stay economically competitive for jobs and investment, while ensuring the state-level administration of taxes continues to be customer-friendly and centered on compliance, as opposed to maximizing revenue collection, is vitally important.
- Support a competitive tax environment that does not unduly burden businesses.
- Oppose efforts to expand or increase Michigan’s Corporate and Personal Income taxes and oppose any expansion of Sales and Use taxes and/or local excise taxes.
- Support policies that increase health insurance access while opposing mandates that drive costs for employers and families.
- Support efforts to provide additional resources for childcare to reduce this barrier to workforce engagement and career progression
- Ensure entrepreneurs can start and grow their business in our community and across the state through legislation and policy that drive entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities while ensuring equitable access to venture capital, incubators and accelerators to improve and scale-up activities.
- Support criminal justice reforms that pave the way for returning citizens back into society and the workplace as well as expanding eligibility for citizens to petition for expungement.
- Support the expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act as well as increased protections for the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.
- Advocate in support of programs that assist in finding meaningful employment for veterans, including resources to support veteran owned businesses.
- Support the CROWN act and other legislation that create and maintain legal protections for residents who face discrimination based on their hair’s texture, color, and styling.
Attraction, Development, Retention
We believe every decision impacting public education also impacts our economy and should be based on what is best for students. Our economic success depends on a strong education and talent system. Throughout Michigan, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and hire skilled workers to fill critical jobs and grow our economy. We believe to be successful in today’s skills-driven economy, every student needs a post-secondary credential (skilled trades, apprenticeship, certificate program, college degree). The Flint & Genesee group advocates for policies that would boost student outcomes and enhance and grow our talent pool. We continue to advocate for specific policies and legislation that will bring us closer to equitable outcomes.
- Continued support for the expansion of State of Michigan Talent development programs such as Going Pro Talent Fund, Michigan Reconnect, Future for Frontliners, MCAN.
- Support local efforts such as Genesee Go, GCCAN, and Flint Promise that pave a pathway to postsecondary success.
- Advocate and support efforts for education and talent development programs and funding at the federal level through programs such as Great Start, 21st century, and free & reduced lunch programs.
- Support policies that contribute to the regional attainment goal to achieve 60% postsecondary education attainment and reduce the racial equity gap in education outcomes by half by 2030.
- Secure state support to ease the financial burden of accessing postsecondary education and accountability measures to improve college graduation rates.
- Advocate for increased funding for after-school programs in our k-12 schools that provide consistent additional before/after school support and summer learning programs.
- Lead efforts to narrow the skills gap, promote workforce development and increase skilled trade opportunities for students and displaced workers.
- Work with partners to raise 3rd grade reading proficiency.
- Advocate for improved health, safety, and wellness programming for students.
To be successful in economic growth, we need to make sure our community is an attractive place to live, play and raise a family. For Genesee County to thrive we must ensure that we are a welcoming community that is accessible to all. With challenges, such as housing availability and affordability, access to clean drinking water, and limited recreational resources, it is just as important that we advocate for policies that support placemaking as it is advocating for pro-business policies.
- Support efforts to expand quality, affordable, and accessible housing options in our community, including legislation that create tools for local governments to partner with non- and for-profit developers and builders to create affordability and drive investment in housing while creating conditions that support a healthier housing market and increase the supply of attainable housing in Michigan.
- Support legislation and other efforts to reduce the impact of climate change and move our communities toward energy sustainability.
- As part of the policy discussions around climate change, support efforts that ensure that energy transition associated with these policies address the state’s energy needs and economic competitiveness, be effective, transparent, market-driven, and support economic development efforts.
- Advocate for the creation of an equitable application process for the use of County Accommodation tax dollars.
- Advocate for increased budget allocation from Genesee County Accommodation tax, while decreasing the overhead administrative fee retained by the county.
- Support the continued funding of the Pure Michigan Travel Program.
- Support public safety initiatives, policies, and funding opportunities that will help Flint & Genesee County address crime.
- Advocate for and partner with external organizations to expand access to affordable and reliable transportation systems (including mass transit) and reduce costs to motorists through infrastructure investments.
- Encourage strategic placemaking projects to attract and retain people and jobs.
- Support legislation that acknowledges and addresses health disparities, especially those worsened by the pandemic.
- Support sound budgeting practices at the municipal and county level that address long-term unfunded liabilities, while encouraging efficient, cost-effective local government, including the sharing of best practices and smart sharing of services across jurisdictions.
- Advocate for resources and policies that provide protections for the great lakes and our local environment, waterways, including policies that hold bad actors accountable.
For Genesee County to be a leader in job creation and economic growth we must create an environment that makes development easy, while supplying the necessary support and resources for industry growth. Businesses, the economy, and our community all stand to fare better when equity is at the forefront of all decisions.
- Support State and federal policies that promote efficient and cost- effective manufacturing and a robust and resilient supply chain.
- Encourage sustainable and continuous investment into 21st century infrastructure focused on long-term competitiveness.
- Support Tax, regulatory, and economic development policies at all levels of government that ensure Michigan’s long-term global competitiveness, especially in key industry sectors and the small business segment.
- Advocate for energy policies that ensure affordable and reliable power while modernizing energy infrastructure and improving Michigan’s renewable portfolio.
- Advocate for the reasonable development and implementation of policies that streamline the permitting process for construction and new development.
- Work with local units of government to ensure the permitting process is efficient and transparent, while holding a high standard for environmental quality and worksite safety.
- Support the creation and expansion of incentive programs at all levels of government that support new development and will push us ahead of the competition with innovative incentive packages for business retention and attraction.
- Push for creation and expansion of R&D that will position Genesee County and Michigan as a destination for research and development investment in existing and emerging sectors.
- Encourage local units of government to support and invest in site readiness.
- Advocate for the adoption of policies, such as the earned income tax credit and education access programs, that achieve a rising income for all and a reduction in the ALICE rate.
- Encourage effective spending of ARPA dollars with prioritization of regional road, bridge, utility, and broadband infrastructure in our communities.
- Encourage every Genesee County municipality to sign on and adopt the Genesee County Forward Together Vision for Economic Success.
- Advocate for investment and expansion of local infrastructure and enterprise utilities. (roads, airports, sewer, broadband)