Michigan’s turnaround to date has been the result of a lot of hard work by businesses and people across our state. It’s also been facilitated by state tax, fiscal and regulatory changes that created a better business climate. But there’s a stark difference between turning the state around and being a Top Ten state – especially when being Top Ten could mean up to 120,000 more jobs and higher incomes for every Michigander.
That’s why we can’t let our recent success allow us to become complacent. We need better tools to attract business. More educated and skilled workers. A laser-like focus to ensure MI maintains its signature automotive industry as it becomes increasingly based on technologies developed across the globe.
If we want to attract more jobs and businesses, MI needs better tools to compete. We have a good business climate, but so do most of the states we compete against and they offer more incentives to locate there. That needs to change.
It will take the state getting more serious about making the investments needed to make a college and university education in our state affordable.
Finally, it will take a recognition that while recent tax and fiscal reforms stabilized our finances, we still have more than 1,800 units of government, too little service sharing across these entities and too much debt that could sidetrack our future growth. In fact, we still routinely pass legislation without knowing its potential future costs.
As we enter a new year, we should be proud of our recent progress. But looking forward, we should be mindful that our work is far from over. Let’s work together to build a New Michigan.