League Supports Legislation Creating Ten Year Economic Development Strategy

Posted on June 14, 2024 by Jennifer Rigterink

House bills 5768, 5769, and 5770, along with Senate bills 559 and 562, would create a ten-year economic development strategy for the State of Michigan by overhauling the current Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund. Over the duration of the investment, the fund would provide $6 billion for housing, community revitalization, transit, and business attraction activities collectively. This is a longer-term and more holistic approach to economic development than the state has proposed or enacted in the past.

The House Committee on Economic Development and Small Business took testimony on the bills over the last two weeks before voting them to the House floor. The League publicly supported the bills, and the League’s Executive Director and CEO, Dan Gilmartin, testified. His testimony highlighted the importance of this investment going beyond just business attraction incentives but also strategically connecting that to housing, placemaking, and transit in a way that hasn’t been done before.

House Bills 5768-5770 would dedicate $600 million annually, from 2025-26 through 2034-35, as follows:

  • $100 million per year to the Housing and Community Development Fund. This would double the current allotment.
  • $50 million per year to the Revitalization and Placing Making Fund. This would extend the current allotment set to expire in 2026-27.
  • $200 million a year to the newly created Michigan Mobility Trust Fund. The money would be equitably distributed to regional transit authorities and public transportation providers.
  • $250 million per year to SOAR (being renamed the Make It In Michigan fund). This is half the current funding level that’s used to give grants to companies for jobs and investments and to prepare future development sites.

We have heard from our members about the need for housing, the importance of investing through placemaking, and how transit is a missing piece in our ability to attract and retain talent. This proposal checks all three of those boxes, and for that reason, this legislation has our full and enthusiastic support.

We encourage you to reach out to your legislators and express to them the importance of creating a 10-year economic development strategy that cohesively connects the need to invest in people, place, and business.


Jennifer Rigterink is the League’s assistant director of state and federal affairs, handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected]


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