Urges state to shift from prison investment to university investment
LANSING, Mich., February 15, 2012 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today in testimony before the Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Higher Education at the State Capitol building, urged state policymakers to end the more than decade long trend of disinvesting in the state’s public universities and renew the state’s investment in one of Michigan’s greatest assets for driving job, economic, and personal income growth.
Patrick Doyle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domino’s Pizza, and a BLM Board member, described Michigan’s public universities as key drivers for talent production, innovation, and economic growth in the state, and deserving of a higher priority in the budget process. “While many factors influence where a business decides to locate or expand, the quality of a region’s university system is a significant consideration, because every company wants access to the best talent. This fiscal year, Michigan will spend 76% more general fund dollars on prisons than we will on universities. Our public universities are a major driver of Michigan’s economy yet we are spending more on prisons than we are to help a Michigan student go to college. This investment strategy is upside down if we want to attract business investment and good paying jobs.”