Governor Granholm will be attending the MITA Annual Conference on Friday, January 20, and will address the group at the luncheon beginning at 12:00 noon in the Saginaw Chippewa Ballroom at the Soaring Eagle Casino.
The Governor's 2006 State of the State Address is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25 at 7:00 pm. The message is to be presented in the House Chambers before a joint meeting of the House and Senate. MGTV will broadcast live as well as most stations on the Michigan Public Radio network.
Civil Rights Initiative on the November Ballot
Michigan voters will decide in November on a constitutional amendment to ban race and gender based affirmative action programs. Depending on the outcome of this vote, Michigan's construction industry could see some changes regarding to these types of programs at the state and local level.
However, the language proposed by the state elections staff will use a combination of hot button phrases such as “banning affirmative action” and “banning preferential treatment”, which has ruffled some feathers in Lansing.
Those opposed to the proposal to ban the use of race and gender when determining public university admissions, government hiring, contracting and taxpayer programs are comfortable and supportive of these catch phrases being included in the proposal language. However, the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) is opposed to the wording because they feel it is misleading and confusing due to its failure to tell voters the extent to which governments and universities are literally hamstrung by forcing the use of race, gender and other factors.
The State Board of Canvassers will ultimately decide on the final language of this proposal. Ultimately, a very contentious debate has been set up heading into the November 2006 election.
MITA will keep you informed as to the effects this proposal may have on the heavy construction industry.
2006 Expected to be a Busy Legislative Year
The election of 2006 is expected to be the most expensive election in Michigan's history with every state elected seat open to the voters. Even with this heavy burden looming, MITA is prepared to be fully engaged in the political and legislative process here in Lansing.
There were nearly 2,500 bills being introduced in 2005, and the staff at MITA will continue to keep an eye on all legislation to make sure that the interests of the heavy construction industry are both protected and promoted.
MITA will look for successful legislative opportunities and will also continue to defend against legislation that would hurt the industry throughout 2006. The state funding initiative will be a top priority for this association as MITA continues to fight for a greater investment in Michigan's infrastructure system.
Please plan to attend the state funding panel discussion at the MITA Annual Meeting January 19-20. If you haven't registered for the Annual Meeting there is still time; log on to the MITA Web site and download the registration form.
Please contact Michael Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations at the MITA office 517-347-8336 with any questions or comments regarding the above issues.