The Governor’s 2012 Budget Recommendations were released today. The Community Revitalization Program and Business Development Program, which are the programs that were created to replace the Brownfield and Historic and MEGA credits, are funded in the business attraction and economic development line item in the Department of Treasury’s budget. This fund was recommended as a one-time $50 million item last year by the Governor, and ended up with $100 million in it. The 2012 budget recommendation from the Governor proposed to convert this to an on-going source of funding in order to continue to grow Michigan’s economy. The budget specifies that “a total permanent budget of $100 million in this program will help create jobs by attracting, supporting, an strengthening businesses in the state.”
The Michigan Municipal League is thankful that this program has not been recommended for less funding than last year. We are disappointed that the Governor has not chosen to put more money in this fund, especially as it replaces much more than that from the eliminated credits, but we agree that a year of experience with this program makes in order to look at the results of the $100 million in FY 2011-12 and FY 2012-13.
Additionally, the Governor recommended an additional $15 million general fund to support economic development in Michigan’s distressed cities. They create the Talent Fund for Job Training and Skills Development, which will target communities with populations that have a history of chronic unemployment and invest in initiatives that assist citizens in accessing education, training, and employment opportunities. We have very little information about this program, who qualifies, and how it will be implemented at this time, but will be gathering more information as the budget makes its way through the Legislature.