Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nyet/Neutrality: Chamber Says No To Film Credits, Neutral On Roads

MI Chamber President Rich Studley

 By Brandon Hall        (Email him at

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has been making waves recently, announcing they support House Bill 4122, completely eliminating Michigan's film subsidies, and that they will stay neutral on the road rax proposal before voters on May 5th.

Regarding proposal 1, the May 5th road package proposal, Chamber President Rich Studley issued a statement Monday night. In it, he praised Gov. Snyder, but said he and his group will stay out of the race.

“Over the past two months, the Michigan Chamber has gathered information from a wide range of sources and actively sought input from the Chamber’s membership regarding the May 5th ballot proposal. Today, the Chamber concluded a comprehensive review of Proposal 1 and related legislation.”

“First, we want to emphasize that Michigan Chamber members and staff are very supportive of Governor Rick Snyder. We appreciate the Administration’s many accomplishments and commend the Governor for his leadership in the effort to fix the roads.”

“Second, after careful consideration, the Michigan Chamber has concluded there is not a consensus within our membership to either support or oppose the May 5th ballot proposal. Therefore, the Michigan Chamber will not take a position for or against Proposal 1. Between now and May 5, the Chamber will focus our efforts on educating and informing Chamber members about the proposal.”

Last week, Studley spoke out in favor of ending Michigan's film subsidies. He backs State Rep. Dan Lauwers bill that will end the program completely.

In an email statement entitled "It's Time to Leave Michigan's Hollywood Film Subsidy on the Cutting Room Floor,"

Studley said:

“This boondoggle currently costs Michigan taxpayers $50 million a year and is a waste of taxpayer dollars. The facts are clear: this costly and ineffective film subsidy is not creating full-time, permanent jobs for Michigan residents and comes at the expense of more important programs.”

“If the state government is determined to spend this money, rather than return this money to taxpayers, it would be far better to fully fund the recently cut State Police Trooper School or increase funding for Pure Michigan, a proven program with a track record of positive return on investment for our state’s travel and tourism industry that is anchored in Michigan."

 Tricia Kinley, Senior Director of Tax & Regulatory Reform for the Michigan Chamber, added:

“We are urging legislators to place a higher priority on Michigan’s taxpayers and say NO to Hollywood film producers and movie stars who only come to town to pick up a check. Michigan-based companies throughout our state have established roots here, create good-paying permanent jobs, and have never asked for or received a dime in state funding.” 
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics. >>>Email him at 

Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

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