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Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Speed Up State Permitting, Making Michigan More Competitive


August 3, 2023



Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Speed Up State Permitting, Making Michigan More Competitive

Executive Directive 2023-04 aims to cut red tape and provide accountability on deadlines while putting science and Michiganders first


LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2023-04, which aims to make state permitting processes more predictable, transparent, and efficient and require state government to reimburse applicants for missed deadlines, where possible. It will lower costs and ensure permits for more projects of all kinds—housing, community revitalization, manufacturing, clean energy, and water protection—get done on time while protecting our air, land, and water.


“Permitting delays can increase costs and uncertainty for communities and businesses,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why today, I am signing an executive order aimed at speeding up state permitting and refunding permit application fees for missed deadlines whenever possible. Those applying for a state permit must know how long the process will take and that when the state commits to a deadline, we will meet it. The bipartisan budget I recently signed also included resources to further reduce permitting wait times and improve the permitting process. I will keep working hard to lower the cost of doing business and make Michigan more competitive for projects that create good-paying jobs and transform communities.” 


“We must work together to grow Michigan’s economy and make it easier to do business, create jobs, and get things done,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Executive Directive 2023-04 will help make our permitting process more efficient and effective while balancing the important need to protect clean air, land, and water for every Michigander. Governor Whitmer and I will continue our work to lower costs for Michiganders, grow our economy, and build prosperity in our communities.”


"Increasing project certainty and reducing delays through an efficient permitting process will support critical investments and improve community vibrancy, quality of life and the attraction in West Michigan," said Rick Baker, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. "Each week a permit is delayed is anticipated to increase the cost of a project by at least 1%. We applaud the Governor and her Administration for taking on this important work."


“Speed to market is a critical business element.  A barrier to business expansion and attraction in Michigan is cumbersome and overlapping regulatory processes,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President & Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber supports a serious examination – and changes – to regulator processes to foster job creation and economic growth."


Permitting Executive Directive

The executive directive will bring an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensuring state government is responsive, efficient, and effective in responding to permit applicants and getting projects done on time while protecting our environment, maintaining rigorous standards of permit review, and putting science and Michiganders first. It directs state departments and agencies to assess what permits and licenses they issue and the statutory authorities governing application fees and response times. They will then report that information to the governor, who will establish recommended times for the efficient processing of each type of permit or license. When state departments or agencies exceed the recommended time, they must waive or refund the full application fee to the extent permitted by law. The agencies are also required to identify what permits can be eliminated.


The full executive directive can be found here.


Lowering the Cost of Doing Business in Michigan

The executive directive builds on Governor Whitmer’s work to cut down on permitting delays and grow Michigan’s economy. Last year, she signed Executive Directive 2022-6 to streamline the state permitting process for infrastructure projects of $50 million or more. In her FY 2024 budget, she proposed $6.6 million to add resources to reduce permit issuance wait times and improve the overall permitting process. The governor also signed bipartisan legislation cutting taxes, reducing tax burden, and increasing tax flexibility for small businesses in Michigan.