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Executive Order 2023-4: Growing Michigan Together Council

For much of the 20th century, people came to Michigan seeking opportunity. Michiganders could earn family-sustaining wages and build generational wealth with just a high school diploma. Our population and incomes grew faster than the rest of the country, supporting strong schools, world-class infrastructure, and vibrant communities.



Michigan’s population growth began to slow in the 1970s, and in the 21st century, Michigan grew more slowly than all but one state. For Michigan to thrive in the decades ahead, we must ensure that our state is a place that everyone can and wants to call home.



Michiganders are Michigan’s most important resource. Children playing with blocks today will be the workers, designers, and engineers of tomorrow, building bridges and defining the skylines of cities right here in Michigan. Recent graduates from Michigan’s world-class institutions of higher education must be able to see a path to a prosperous future and a good-paying, high-skilled job right here in Michigan. Retirees who have worked hard over decades starting businesses, raising families, and building their communities should be able to enjoy their golden years right here in Michigan. Our friends, family, and neighbors are also the customers that patronize our businesses, the workers who staff our factories, and the innovators who will define our future.



To usher in a better tomorrow, we must collaborate to grow Michigan together today. 



Growing Michigan together is a Team Michigan task. We must shore up our talent pipeline, build on our strong manufacturing base, leverage our rich natural resources, and draw more people from across the nation and around the world, all while maintaining our state’s high quality of life and low cost of living. Michigan must be a place that attracts all, welcomes all, and includes all. Together we can again make Michigan a magnet for jobs, people, and prosperity. To achieve these critical goals – to make Michigan bigger, better, stronger – we need a cohesive strategy; a long-term vision that addresses current and future challenges and sets Michigan up for success in the 21st century. 



Section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the governor.



Section 8 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 obligates the governor to take care that the laws be faithfully executed and places each principal department under the governor’s supervision.



For these reasons, and acting pursuant to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:


1. Creating the Growing Michigan Together Council


(a) The Growing Michigan Together Council (“Council”) is created as an advisory body within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (“Department”).


(b) The Council should include twenty-eight (28) total members, with twenty-one (21) voting members and seven (7) non-voting members as follows:


1. The Council should include twenty-one (21) voting members appointed by the governor:


(a) Two (2) members who will be designated by the governor as the chairs of the Council;


(b) The director of the Department, or the director's designated representative from within the Department;


(c) Four (4) members of the legislative branch of state government may participate as voting members of the Council:


(i) Two members from the Michigan House of Representatives, one from each party; and


(ii) Two members from the Michigan Senate, one from each party;


(d) The remaining fourteen (14) voting members should be selected to represent the interests of the private sector, labor, workforce development and talent, infrastructure, non-profit or philanthropy, and education. One (1) such voting member should be under 25 years old.


(2) The Council should include seven (7) non-voting members:


(a) The director of the State Budget Office, or the director’s designated representative from within that office;


(b) The state treasurer, or the treasurer’s designated representative from within the Michigan Department of Treasury;


(c) The director of the Department of Transportation, or the director’s designated representative from within that department;


(d) The Chief Executive & Economic Competitiveness Officer (“CEO”) of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (“MEDC”), or the CEO’s designated representative from within the MEDC;


(e) The executive director of the Office of Global Michigan, or the executive director’s designated representative from within that office;


(f) Two (2) non-voting members appointed by the governor:


(i) An individual with a background in economics; and


(ii) An individual with a background in demography.


(c) The Council’s membership should reflect the socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, occupational, political, and geographic diversity of Michigan.


(d) If a vacancy occurs on the Council, the governor must make an appointment for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.


(e) The governor may remove a member of the Council for any reason.


2. Charge to the Council


(a) The Council must act in an advisory capacity to the governor and the director of the Department and do the following:


(1) Identify concrete, data-driven, and evidence-based goals to grow the state’s population, improve educational outcomes from preschool through postsecondary education, attract and retain talent, and build long-term, sustainable infrastructure that meets the needs of the population;


(2) Define the gap between Michigan and the best performing states on the goals identified by the Council;


(3) Identify specific short-term, medium-term, and long-term policies needed to close these gaps and meet the goals identified by the Council; and,


(4) Analyze the effectiveness of existing programs and spending dedicated to achieving the goals identified by the Council, and make recommendations on how to address any gaps between projected revenues and recommended expenditures.


(b) The Council must establish four workgroups: jobs, talent and people; infrastructure and places; preK-12 education; and higher education. These workgroups may include voting or non-voting Council members, representatives of state departments or agencies, or members of the public as deemed necessary by the Council. In its designated area of focus, each workgroup must make recommendations with respect to the duties of the Council described in section 2(a) of this order and the report described in section 2(d) of this order.


(c) The Council may adopt, reject, or modify recommendations made by the workgroups.


(d) By December 1, 2023, the Council must prepare and submit a report to the governor, the Michigan House of Representatives, and the Michigan Senate on the following categories and, in each of these categories, the report will identify priorities with short-term, medium-term, and long-term policies to achieve the goals identified by the Council consistent with section 2(a) of this order:


(1) Jobs, Talent, and People: Propose a specific population goal for 2050 that is based on comprehensive economic development strategies that create safe, vibrant communities and lead to great opportunities and upward economic mobility for every Michigander. The report must contain policy recommendations to drive concrete, equitable investments that reflect the state’s growth in communities of color; ensure domestic migration to Michigan (a combination of retaining our young talent and attracting talent to come to Michigan), as well as international migration to Michigan (creating additional pathways for new Americans); give direction on how to leverage Michigan’s rich natural resources and expected climate migration from other states; and identify potential future workforce shortages and create targeted programs to attract the talent to fill these gaps.


(2) Infrastructure and Places: Propose long-term, sustainable, and equitable funding solutions for Michigan’s multi-modal transportation systems and aging water infrastructure network to help meet the 2050 population goal identified in the report. When proposing policy, planning, and funding recommendations, the report must consider the need for sustainable investment amongst the emergence of more fuel-efficient vehicles and an unprecedented influx of one-time federal money. The workgroup also must propose solutions on how to create attainable housing options for Michiganders in every income bracket and create investment-ready sites across the state.


(3) PreK-12 Education: Propose statewide goals and policy recommendations on how Michigan can improve student outcomes to help every student reach their full potential, strengthen accountability to meet shared goals, and attract people and businesses to our state. The report must propose how Michigan’s statewide performance will be benchmarked against top performing states and countries and develop specific initiatives that guarantee every child realizes their full potential that allows them to be a lifelong Michigan resident.


(4) Higher Education: Propose long-term, sustainable, and equitable funding solutions for Michigan’s postsecondary education system, including student financial aid, to help meet the 2050 population goal identified in the report. The report must consider the need to improve college access and success, lower costs, and provide education and training that meets the demands of the state’s economy. The report must also consider and build on the existing efforts within the Office of Sixty by 30 and make recommendations to achieve and exceed this goal.


(5) Revenue: Identify or propose different revenue sources to address gaps identified between revenues and recommended expenditures to meet the goals identified by the Council, as well as any recommended changes in existing programs to ensure effectiveness and alignment with the goals identified by the Council.


3. Operations of the Council


(a) The Council may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, hold hearings, and receive comments from the public. The Council may review best practices from other states and consult with issue-area experts and outside experts to perform its duties, including, but not limited to, experts in the private sector, government departments and agencies, and the nonprofit sector.


(b) The Department must assist the Council in the performance of its duties and provide personnel to staff the Council, as appropriate. The Council may hire or retain contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants, and agents, consistent with this order and applicable law, rules, and procedures, subject to available funding. Any budgeting, procurement, or related management functions of the Council will be performed under the direction and supervision of the director of the Department.


(c) The Council must adopt procedures, consistent with this order and applicable law, governing its organization and operations.


(d) The Council shall comply with the Freedom of Information Act, 1976 PA 442, as amended, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.


(e) The chairs of the Council, in coordination with each other, will call the first meeting of the Council, which must occur on or before July 1, 2023. At the first meeting, the chairs and the Council must set goals and a schedule. After the first meeting, the Council must meet at the call of the chairs or if requested by a majority of the members.


(f) A majority of the members of the Council serving constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Council. The Council must act by a majority vote of its serving members.


(g) The Council may accept grants of funds, donations of funds, property, labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person. Any grants or donations may only be accepted and expended in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and procedures.


(h) Members of the Council must not receive additional compensation for participation on the Council. Members of the Council may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses consistent with applicable law, rules, and procedures, subject to available funding.


4. Implementation


(a) All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this state must give to the Council, or to any member or representative of the Council, any necessary assistance required by the Council, or any member or representative thereof, in the performance of the official duties of the Council so far as is compatible with their duties and consistent with this order and applicable law. Free access also must be given to any books, records, or documents in their custody relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or review of the Council, consistent with applicable law.


(b) This order is not intended to abate a proceeding commenced by, against, or before an officer or entity affected by this order. A proceeding may be maintained by, against, or before the successor of any officer or entity affected by this order.


(c) If any portion of this order is found to be unenforceable, the unenforceable provision should be disregarded and the rest of the order should remain in effect as issued.


(d) This order is effective upon filing.



Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.


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