More money for more projects, hopefully leading to more jobs. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a massive economic development bill package Monday in Detroit.
“When the Ford Motor Company was making decisions, they were being courted by a number,” said Governor Whitmer. “They weren’t actually looking at us because I think our reputation, in terms of not having the tools. Now we do.”
It was a shock to the state. The state that was built on manufacturing and manufactured the middle class. Michigan no longer stacked up.
“Site availability and readiness have risen quickly as deciding factors for companies who are considering future investment and expansion,” said Whitmer.
A new bill package signed by Whitmer Monday puts more than a billion dollars toward developing such sites and attracting companies to use them.
“I’ve told the MEDC if they need us to move a mountain, tell them we’ll move a mountain,” said Whitmer. “If they need a mountain, tell them we will build a mountain. We are here to solve problems.”
Mountains are expensive. Many say this is just a corporate welfare check to a handful of mega companies.
“It’s not just urban but it’s rural,” said Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth. “We’re going to make sure that the money is used wisely.”
Part of the bill makes it so the legislature has the final say on where the money goes and to whom. It will target big money projects and smaller sites for rural areas.
“This is not a cash handout,” said Wentworth. “This is about recruiting and incentivizing businesses to come set up shop in Michigan.”
The two sides touted bipartisanship with this deal. One of the few compromises we have seen and maybe momentum for them to continue.
“When the legislature has a seat at the table, it means better outcomes for Michigan and the same here,” said Wentworth. “When the governor’s at the table and the legislature’s at the table, we’re going to have better outcomes for the people of Michigan.”