McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

May 22nd-June 2nd, 2023

Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference Highlights

Governor Announces ‘Make it in Michigan’ Economic Strategy Governor Whitmer and Michigan leaders announced “Make it in Michigan,” an economic strategy to drive projects, invest in people from pre-K to postsecondary education, and revitalize communities across the state. With over $16 billion of projects and 16,000 jobs secured in the past 18 months, the goal of “Make it in Michigan” focuses on projects, people, and places, aiming to make Michigan a top state for talent, competitive in key sectors, an innovation hub, and a state with attractive communities. The state plans to bring manufacturing jobs, advanced facilities, and supply chains home, utilizing tools such as the Make it in Michigan Transformational Brownfields and Competitiveness Fund.

Further initiatives will be revealed in the upcoming weeks to boost research and development, lower business costs, and support transformational projects while investing in childcare, housing, infrastructure, and workforce programs.

Governor Establishes ‘Growing Michigan Together Council’ Established by Executive Order 2023-04, Governor Whitmer launched the Growing Michigan Together Council. The council, led by bipartisan co-chairs Ambassador John Rakolta Jr. and Shirley Stancato, will focus on key areas such as talent attraction and retention, educational improvements, modernizing infrastructure, and sustaining Michigan’s economic momentum.

In her announcement, Whitmer stated she is looking for ways to reverse the trend of Michiganders seeking opportunities elsewhere by lowering costs, attracting high-paying jobs, investing in education from preschool to post-secondary, protecting natural resources, and expanding fundamental rights.

The Growing Michigan Together Council will consist of 28 members, including representatives from the private sector, labor, workforce development, talent, infrastructure, non-profit or philanthropy sectors, and education. The council will propose initiatives to improve educational outcomes, secure funding for higher education, develop sustainable transportation and water infrastructure funding solutions, and establish a population goal for 2050.

Whitmer Hires ‘First-Ever’ Chief Growth Officer Hilary Doe has been appointed as Michigan’s chief growth officer, a first-of-its-kind position in the US. Doe will work with the Growing Michigan Together Council to boost population growth and economic development.

Doe, a Detroit resident, brings experience most recently from Nationbuilder, where she has been for the past decade. She is also a member of the Voters Not Politicians Board and sits on the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Detroit Mayor Duggan Proposes Land Tax Reform Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan unveiled a new Detroit tax reform plan at the conference this year. The proposal involves tripling land taxes while cutting building taxes by 30 percent. The goal is to create a more balanced tax structure and encourage equitable growth in the city. Duggan presented the plan to business leaders and lawmakers, with House Speaker Joe Tate being tapped to lead the legislative charge.

The tax reform plan would reduce property taxes collected across Detroit from 86 mills to 60 mills, eliminating the Detroit operating tax and state school levy. The increase in land taxes, from 86 mills to 246 mills, aims to offset the revenue loss from buildings and improvements. The mayor emphasized the need for a phased implementation to allow residents time to adjust to the changes.

The plan also addresses side lots, vacant lots, scrap yards, warehouses, and new developments, aiming to incentivize efficient use of space and spur affordable housing. A coalition of organizations, including Invest Detroit and the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance, expressed support for the tax overhaul, highlighting its potential for equitable growth and relief for small businesses.

Governor Signs "Red Flag" Legislation

On May 22, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed extended risk protection order (ERPO) legislation, also known as “Red Flag Laws”. Red flag laws allow family, friends, law enforcement, and mental health professionals to petition a circuit court to seize firearms from an individual placed under an extreme risk protection order.

The law does create penalties for non-compliance and for those who knowingly provide false statements to the court. Governor Whitmer highlighted the importance of these laws in preventing violence and reducing suicides.

Whitmer Announces Directors at MDOT and Children's Ombudsman

On May 30, Governor Whitmer announced that Ryan Speidel will be the new director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman and Brad Wieferich as the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Speidel has been serving as the acting director of the OCO since March of this year. Prior to that, he was the deputy director at the OCO beginning in 2019. Speidel also has several years of experience, serving in roles at the Office of Inspector General and the Michigan Department of State. In his current role, he will help to investigate cases, advocate, and recommend changes to policy, practice, and law to help improve the lives of children.

Wieferich is the current acting director of MDOT and will now step into the role of director. He has worked within MDOT for 27 years, including previously serving as chief operations officer. Prior to joining MDOT, Wieferich served as a field engineer.

Legislative Coffee Hours

JUNE 5th

JUNE 10th

JUNE 12th

JUNE 16th

JUNE 19th

  • Rep. Farhat 5:30, Biggby Coffee, Michigan Ave, Dearborn

JUNE 23rd

JULY 1st

JULY 10th

  • Rep. Coffia 9:05, Long Lake Twp Hall, Traverse City
  • Rep. Coffia 1:00, Red Door Café, 19631 Maple St, Lake Ann
  • Rep. Coffia 3:00, Leelanau County Gvt Center, Suttons Bay

JULY 14th

JULY 17th

JULY 28th

  • Rep. Morse 10:30, Oshtemo Charter Twp, Kalamazoo



  • Rep. Coffia 9:05, Long Lake Twp Hall, Traverse City
  • Rep. Coffia 1:00, Red Door Café, 19631 Maple St, Lake Ann
  • Rep. Coffia 3:00, Leelanau County Gvt Center, Suttons Bay


Contact Kim Vitale - for additional information