HB 4487, a bill to allow Downtown Development Authority funds to be used for creating and operating a marketing program for local agricultural (think local farmer’s markets), passed out of the House Commerce committee. The DDA act does not currently prohibit this type of activity but the sponsor (Rep. Stacey Erwin Oakes, D-Saginaw ) wanted to make it clear that it is allowable. An additional hope of the bill sponsor is that this legislation would bring to light the ability of DDAs to do this and thus they would begin partnering (or create) with their local farmer’s market in an effort to make it more vibrant. The MEDC is supportive of this effort to create strong farmer’s markets.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues. She can be reached at email@example.com or 517-908-0305.