Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has played an integral role in Michigan’s comeback, using a forward-looking approach to solving problems. Prior to the administration taking office in 2011, Michigan’s tax code was complicated, outdated and created winners and losers among businesses and individuals. Lt. Gov. Calley’s hands-on approach guided two historic tax reforms through the Michigan Legislature that have expanded economic opportunity and served as a catalyst for significant private sector job growth. Replacing the Michigan Business Tax with a simple, low-rate Corporate Income Tax and eliminating the Personal Property Tax on small businesses and manufacturers paved the way for Michigan’s comeback, resulting in the creation of more than 500,000 private sector jobs
Talent is the new currency of economic development. Michigan is on the forefront of efforts to close the talent gap, preparing our people for in-demand careers. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is part of efforts to improve training for essential skills trades careers so that our state’s economy and residents can continue to grow and succeed. The state launched the Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program, combining classroom instruction with paid work experience in a 3-year no-cost program. The administration has also provided $50 million in grants for community colleges looking to update their training equipment and also supported FIRST Robotics, giving students technology training in a fun competitive environment. Calley also partnered with the Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation to raise awareness about the talent needs in the homebuilding industry.
Investing in these efforts continues to be a priority with more than $160 million allocated in the last three budgets combined, including $56 million for Fiscal Year 2018. These funds are used to upgrade classroom training equipment, promote opportunities in skilled trades and offer grants for additional job training.
Gordie Howe International Bridge:
Calley took a leadership role in efforts to create an additional span between Michigan and Canada. The lieutenant governor studied the business case and advocated for the statewide economic benefits that Michigan would gain as a result of the new bridge. His ability to process complex issues and communicate simple solutions was instrumental to securing the agreement that was negotiated between Michigan and Canada to move the Gordie Howe International Bridge forward. The bridge is expected to create thousands of short- and long-term jobs and allow the state to access billions in federal matching funds for statewide infrastructure projects.
Leading Michigan’s response to the addiction crisis , Lt. Gov. Calley chaired the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force in 2015. The bipartisan task force examined trends, evaluated strategic options and developed a statewide action plan to address the issue. The report is available here.
Lt. Gov. Calley continues to work on implementing the task force’s recommendations to help save lives and change outcomes for Michiganders. Recent achievements include securing funding to replace Michigan’s outdated system for tracking how controlled substances are prescribed, increasing prescription take-back drop-off bins, and launching drug court pilot programs that provide medication-assisted treatment to those suffering from opioid addiction. Our Good Samaritan laws also have been expanded, encouraging people to seek help for themselves or others in the event of an overdose without fear of being arrested.
Lt. Gov. Calley signed legislation in 2016 making naloxone, the drug that reverses the effects of an overdose, available without a prescription and available in Michigan schools for use in an emergency. Since then, Naloxone has been made much more readily available in Michigan and is helping to save lives.
Untreated mental illness is a barrier to people becoming involved in their communities. Lt. Gov. Calley chaired the Mental Health and Wellness Commission, which offered 60 recommendations to help Michiganders living with mental health issues achieve greater quality of life, safety, and independence. The lieutenant governor continues to champion the implementation of these recommendations, which included the launch of enhanced 9-1-1 services across the state in 2016. The report can be viewed here.
Lt. Gov. Calley also chairs the Mental Health Diversion Council, which focuses on helping people with mental illnesses receive treatment and avoid incarceration. Since 2013, the council has worked to reduce the entry rate of people with mental health obstacles or disabilities into the corrections system while maintaining public safety. The council has also expanded its scope to include a focus on juvenile justice. In 2016, due to the lieutenant governor’s persistent advocacy, the council celebrated the enactment of Kevin’s Law, making assisted outpatient mental health treatment more accessible in Michigan.
Calley led the charge to increase access to autism services in Michigan. In 2012, he signed legislation requiring insurance companies to cover autism treatments, and to ensure every Michigan family has access to them. The legislation provided Michigan families access to diagnosis and treatment, giving their children with autism a better chance to live self-determined, independent lives. In 2016, Lt. Gov. Calley also signed legislation properly licensing autism behavioral therapists in Michigan, encouraging additional growth in the profession by making it easier for therapists to receive reimbursement for services.
In 2016, Lt. Gov. Calley also served as chair of the Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board, which released a roadmap to eliminate child lead exposure throughout Michigan. The report offered comprehensive recommendations that focus on proactive efforts to protect Michigan’s children from ever being exposed to lead. The report can be viewed here.
A tireless advocate for families in the special education community, Lt. Gov. Calley believes all children of all abilities deserve the opportunity to fully participate in society. In 2015, he traveled all over Michigan on a listening tour to learn from parents whose children have special needs about how the special education system has treated them. From this tour stemmed the Special Education Reform Task Force, which developed and recommended strategies to make Michigan a better place for all students. Lt. Gov. Calley continues to work with members of the task force to advance its recommendations.
In December of 2016, the task force’s recommendation to end the use of non-emergency restraint and seclusion practices in Michigan’s public schools became law. Lt. Gov. Calley signed the legislation at an inclusion rally in Troy surrounded by hundreds of families and advocates. The report can be viewed here.
Lt. Gov. Calley is an ardent proponent of inclusion in our schools, communities and workplaces. He launched an initiative with Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, who has been blind since birth, to encourage businesses to be intentional about hiring Michiganders with disabilities to fulfill their workforce needs. The effort, known as MI Hidden Talent, has been the topic at business chamber and community events all across the state over the past two years. In 2016, the first MI Hidden Talent Workshop was held, educating employers about the resources available to help with these hiring practices. Lt. Gov. Calley believes it is smart business, not charity, to bring this hardworking, loyal population into the workforce and that this initiative will be a game changer in redefining full employment.
In 2015, Lt. Gov. Calley signed legislation authorizing an ABLE Act disability savings program to be developed in Michigan. Under the program, Michiganders with disabilities and their families can save for disability-related expenses without fear of losing pre-existing benefits. On Nov. 1, 2016, Michigan became the 5th state in the nation to launch its disability savings program. In its first year, 1,000 MiABLE accounts were created with more than $3 million saved.