Public Policies for a Prosperous Michigan
Prosperity Policy: Significantly expand public transit in Michigan
States are finding public transit to be a powerful economic development tool.
Across the nation, cities that have embraced public transit are generating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in new development and redevelopment. Young, college-educated people are choosing to live, learn, work and play in these places.
Not one of these cities is in Michigan—though seeds to grow transit at least in modest ways were planted in the 94th Michigan Legislature and can be found in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Livingston County, where transit projects are moving forward.
Growing numbers of influential business and government leaders agree Michigan will never prosper again without adequate support for transportation and a significant expansion of public transit, including light-rail, commuter rail, passenger rail, and buses.
Policy Action: The Get Michigan Moving coalition, of which the League is a founding member, is working hard to pass public policies that advance transit expansions in key communities across the state. Go to GetMichiganMoving.org for more information.
Prosperity Policy: Protect public safety and other essential local services
No community can prosper without adequate police and fire protection, without clean drinking water, without sound infrastructure like roads and bridges, or without recreational opportunities and culture. These are among the services essential to quality of life and critical to creating places of prosperity.
The state and its citizens expect local communities to provide these basic services. To pay for the services, the Michigan Legislature appropriates “revenue sharing” funds to local governments. Yet since 2001, the Legislature has slashed statutory revenue sharing by more than $4 billion without lifting the service requirements local governments are expected to meet.
Policy Action: The Legislature and governor must recommit to revenue sharing, give locals the flexibility to control tax dollars and costs in their own budgets, provide state resources to developed areas for services and job development, and grant locals the flexibility to offer revenue options for services demanded by citizens.