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Energy, environment and transportation are some hot topics at the state and national level right now and the Michigan Municipal League has the latest information about these issues. Learn more during two highly topical sessions that will be featured at the Michigan Municipal League's 2012 Capital Conference, March 20-21 in Lansing.Eye on the Environment: How Green is Our Government? Since taking office in January of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder has made sweeping changes designed to revitalize Michigan's economy. But how is Lansing supporting the burgeoning sectors of clean energy and green infrastructure? Join the conversation with some of the state's top experts including Michigan Environmental Council President Chris Kolb and Valerie Brader, Senior Policy Advisor for the Executive Office of Rick Snyder.Transportation - Taking the Inside Track: Get on the inside track of Michigan's transportation future, and learn what's ahead and how it could impact your community. You'll hear the latest updates on where transportation legislation is headed in 2012 from Senator Tom Casperson, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee; and Representative Paul Opsommer, Chair of the House Transportation Committee. Troy Chamber of Commerce President Michele Hodges will talk about what transportation means to the business community. Let's Save Michigan advocate Sarah Szurpicki will offer insights on why transportation is so vital to Michigan's future.This is just a sampling of what you'll find at the 2012 Capital Conference. Click here to see the agenda and register for the Pre-Conference Sessions.Click here to register by February 23 to save with the Early Bird discount!Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or email@example.com.
Nearly every seat was taken during this morning's League Capital Conference breakout session, "Economic Development Tools for the 21st Century," as local government leaders expressed passionate support for state tax credits for economic development. Community officials characterized brownfield and historic preservation credits as "make or break" for saving downtowns. Representative Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), Chair of the House Commerce Committee, spoke with the group about his strong support for those state incentives. He expressed concern that the Governor's proposal to replace credits with grant would not provide sufficient support for redevelopment and revitalization projects in our commerce centers, but he did express an expectation that the Legislature will make some significant changes to the programs.
Michael McGee of Miller Canfield also provided an update on the possibilities created last year by the Legislature through the Next Michigan Development Act, Public Acts 273-277. It allows certain large cities and Public Act 7 intergovernmental entities to form a Next Michigan Development Corporation. Those Corporations, which must meet a number of conditions, will have access to crucial economic development incentives like Renaissance Zones, Public 198 tax abatements and tax-increment financing to encourage job development in businesses oriented towards shipping, supply chain logistics, multi-modal transportation and light manufacturing. Wayne and Washtenaw Counties and seven local governments already have taken advantage of this act to form the Detroit Region Aerotropolis.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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