“Off the Record” with Tim Skubick Lansing’s top political pundits will take center stage April 13 at Capital Conference (April 13-14, Lansing), for a live debate inspired by the popular weekly public TV series “Off the Record.” Tim Skubick, the show’s anchor and producer, along with his capitol press corps colleagues will uncover what’s really happening in the Michigan Legislature, governor’s office and on the political campaign trail.
Wednesday, April 14
General Session: 9:00-10:00 am
Tax Reform: What Michigan Needs to Be Competitive in the New Economy
We know Michigan’s tax structure needs to be updated and a ballot proposal on the topic is very possible in 2010. The question is: What can actually float to the surface and be passed by the legislature and the voters? Come listen to some of the leading voices on what Michigan’s tax structure needs to look like in order to turn our economy back around.
Concurrent Sessions: 10:15-11:30 am
You Complete My Streets
This session will focus on Michigan's Complete Streets movement and project planning that incorporates all forms of transportation as a way to build a desirable community. It will answer the key question: How can we build new roads that positively impact motorists, bicyclists, transit systems, walkers, seniors and the handicapped without breaking the bank? It’s not impossible, learn how from initiative advocates and other communities that have already adopted this approach.
The (Public Policy) Survey Says …
In a continuing partnership designed to gather the opinions of local officials and raise the profile of local government issues, the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan will review the latest public policy survey results focusing on the federal stimulus and economic development incentive patterns. Future survey issues will also be presented.
Coming Soon to a Great Lakes Port Near You
Learn what’s being discussed in Lansing and among local leaders about our Great Lakes port communities. Hear all about the Port Communities Collaborative and its effort to improve Michigan’s many ports. This past fall, the third annual Port Collaborative Summit took place in Lansing allowing local leaders to share goals, explore a governance structure and take steps to advance public policy and funding goals. Hear from local officials about this unique initiative and the importance of port development to our state's economy.
Public Act 312: The Battle Rages On
For more than four decades Public Act 312 of 1969 has kept local communities from controlling their own costs. As communities struggle with their budgets, the League has heightened its effort to make much needed reforms to the Act. Hear from local officials and managers as well as League staff to get the latest on this effort and how you can get involved.
Noon-1:15 pm Luncheon
Let's Talk Transportation
With a new federal transportation funding bill being debated in Washington, and monies being made available for high-speed rail and other projects, opportunities are opening up for those communities that are collaborating together on transportation plans that tie together multi-modal uses over an entire region. The establishment of the "Sustainable Communities Partnership" between USDOT, HUD and EPA represents a significant shift among federal agencies as to how transportation works in concert with land use, housing, community development, and the environment. Come hear how this shift in policy will impact communities and transportation funding into the future. Speaker: John Robert Smith, CEO and President, Reconnecting America
Concurrent Sessions: 1:30-2:45 pm
What’s Up With Our Roads? And What’s Going On With All That Stimulus Money?
This session on road funding and the federal stimulus program will answer those questions and more. It includes an overview and update of work done following last year’s release of the state transportation funding task force report, called TF2, and what lies ahead. In addition, an experienced panel of experts will discuss recent activity from D.C., including the status of existing federal stimulus projects, the reauthorization of the federal road funding law called, SAFTEA-LU, the prospects of a second stimulus proposal and a proposal by the U.S. House to exempt Michigan from our federal match requirement.
Come on Baby Do the Locomotion
OK, maybe there won’t be dancing in this session, but there will be a lot of talk about the various rail and transit projects currently under way in Michigan. This session will provide attendees with a sense of the momentum behind the progress that has been made with the various rail projects, like WALLY, a proposed commuter rail line between Ann Arbor and Howell, Detroit’s M1 Rail project, the Ann Arbor to Detroit project, the Rapid project in Grand Rapids, and thestate's high-speed rail projects being funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (think stimulus funding). There will be opportunity to discuss successful rail-oriented TIGER grants, as well as commuter rail and its potential in Michigan.
How Does the State Healthcare Debate Affect You?
Health care is a hot topic in Lansing with proposals introduced by both the House and Senate. Join legislators and League staff as we dissect how these proposals effect you and your community and determine the impact on local units of government.
Legislative Issues Primer
Are you sometimes confused by what goes on in Lansing, or aren't completely sure how the issues affect your community? Come listen to the League staff explain the basics of our most common battles. Learn what revenue sharing really is - where it comes from, how we got here. Also - what are all these different economic development tools and what roles do the locals and state play? This session is geared for members who are just diving in to the Lansing arena...or for veterans who want a refresher.
Student Session: 1:30-2:45 pm
The Center for 21st Century Communities and Young Professional Panel
You are encouraged to bring students ages 15 to 19 from your communities for this day-long session geared specifically for students. It’ll give our future generation a better understanding of how local and state government work and the tools they need to make a difference in their community.
State & Federal Affairs Update: 3:15-4:30 pm
Capital Conference starts the day lawmakers return to Lansing from spring recess. Before the break, the House of Reps. passed a 1-percent boost in revenue sharing for communities in the General Government Budget and lawmakers started work on a handful of other issues. But what will lawmakers hear from constituents while on recess and how will they act when they return in April? When we know, you’ll know - join us for the State and Federal Affairs Update!
Legislative Reception: 4:30-6:30 pm
State Lawmakers Join Local Officials
The Reception is an annual tradition and the perfect opportunity for local leaders to mingle with their state lawmakers.