• Chamber Alliance works to ''Fix the damn roads''

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    The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance released a 5-part plan with recommendations on generating and distributing new state revenues for road and bridge construction in Michigan. The Alliance's "2019 Road Funding Principles" document calls on state lawmakers to dedicate new fuel taxes or fees to road and bridge construction under regional funding models that bring parity to Northern Michigan. The priorities were drafted in the wake of renewed calls in Lansing for more dedicated revenue - including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to raise the state's gasoline tax 45 cents per gallon to raise an additional $1.5 billion for roads. See our road funing recommendations.

    > Funding cut for robotics competition - Many of us have seen the positive impact area school robotics programs have had on students. Many students in Petoskey, Pellston, Charlevoix, and Boyne City are pursuing careers in STEM related fields thanks to the skills and passion they learned through local robotics programs. We just learned that the state funding that supports FIRST and VEX robotics programs has been pulled out of the House version of the School Aid Budget. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is actively working to see that funding is maintained. We see the need to fill STEM careers as crucial for Michigan's economic future and recognize robotics programs as a natural gateway to help students into these careers. Those who agree are urged to contact their State Legislators to support the Michigan Senate version of Section 99H of the FY 2019-2020 School Aid Budget that allows multiple robotics programs in all schools and increases the budget for grants statewide by $200,000 . Take action here .

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    The Boyne Area Chamber is an Associate Partner of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance.

    Kim Akin, Chamber Executive Director

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