Whitmer and lawmakers push to fill SOAR economic development fund

“I don’t think SOAR can wait. I think other things can wait,” Ananich said. “We don’t have enough money in SOAR for the number of projects we’ve been awarded. If we really want to do economic development, and the whole point of going SOAR was to show the outside world who we were, we don’t there’s not enough money in there.”

The wild card this week could be the House, where Republican Rep. Thomas Albert de Lowell — chairman of the House Appropriations Committee — has opposed the development of a supplementary budget bill this fall, citing the economic uncertainty and the need to hold cash in reserve. House Speaker Jason Wentworth, however, could be receptive.

“The speaker is always open to good ideas and will listen to anyone’s suggestions to help Michigan families and the future of our state,” spokesman Gideon D’Assandro said.

If the legislation is approved, the Whitmer administration hopes it will also include additional spending on workforce and talent development. Harkins said the state has about $700 million in discretionary federal coronavirus recovery funding that it hasn’t allocated and an additional $250 million to $300 million that has been earmarked but may not be. expenses.

Whitmer’s proposals include funding for the creation of “regional economic resilience plans” and a Main Street program to invest in small businesses and startups.

“The Legislative Assembly has expressed interest in economic development,” Harkins said. “We believe we have seen real progress with the SOAR fund. There has been a lot of interest from people looking to invest in the state given this new fund. resources there are really valuable to us as we try to finalize some of these potential investments.”