VanderWall sponsors Senate’s ‘Make it in Michigan Plan’ to help state attract more manufacturing jobs

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Curt VanderWall on Thursday joined Sens. Kim LaSata, R-Coloma, and Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, in sponsoring a legislative package that looks to strengthen the future of manufacturing in Michigan and bring more jobs to the state.

“The Make it in Michigan Plan will open a new chapter for our state in regard to its manufacturing legacy,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “If we want to be the home of the next generation of cars and high-tech manufacturing and more, we cannot continue sitting on the sidelines watching as historic Michigan-based companies and other global industry leaders choose locations in other states to build new facilities and invest in their futures. Michigan cannot afford another Lost Decade.”

Senate Bill 769, sponsored by LaSata, would create the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), which would be funded through a legislative appropriation. Funds from SOAR would be transferred into the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Fund (MSSRF) or Critical Industry Fund (CIF).

VanderWall’s bill, SB 770, would establish the MSSRF to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance for eligible applicants throughout the state. Money in the fund would be used to create investment-ready sites for future development.

SB 771, sponsored Victory, would create the CIF to provide funds for qualified investments to qualified businesses for deal-closing, gap financing, or other economic assistance that create new qualified jobs and/or make capital investments (not for administrative purposes).

Included in the bills are several protections built-in to protect the state when making investments. The bills include language to ensure transparency on spending projects and require businesses to follow through on commitments that create long-term, high-quality jobs before they receive any assistance. Businesses that fail to meet their end of the bargain would be held accountable and subject to strict repayment provisions.

“The Make it in Michigan Plan is responsible, transparent and holds lawmakers and business leaders accountable to constituents,” VanderWall said. “This legislation will require businesses to make real commitments to create long-term, high-quality jobs in our state before they receive a dime of assistance from these funds.”

Under the bill package, LEO must transmit reports on each of the three funds to each legislator, the governor, the clerk of the House, the secretary of the Senate, and the Senate and House fiscal agencies by March 15 of each year. If the report is not transmitted by March 15, no dollars from the unreported fund may be disbursed until the report has been transmitted.