Legislative Forum Series

The Land Policy Institute created the Legislative Forum Series to address critical issues facing Michigan and provide timely science-based research that is useful to policy makers in the State of Michigan government, and other engaged stakeholders. The Series was part of LPI's Public Policy Response Initiative. These forums provided venues for transferring useful knowledge from academics to state policy makers on a variety of topics. Speakers came from within Michigan and across the nation, representing academia, government, nonprofits, business and industry. Each forum was hosted by a Michigan legislator, and included a luncheon, brief presentations and questions-and-answer session.

The series was active from 2005-2013. From 2005-2008, the Series was jointly managed by the Land Policy Institute and MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. All forums after 2008 were presented solely by LPI.

2013

Placemaking: Why and How: February 6, 2013

This was the second forum of a two-part series on Placemaking. Hosted by Rep. Andy Schor, this forum focused on results from a Midwest assessment condcuted by LPI on the value of placemaking, explored Michigan PlacePlans and PlaceMarket initiatives, and provided examples of local and regional placemaking in action.

Placemaking: What Is It?: January 22, 2013

This forum was part of a two-part series on Placemaking. Hosted by Sen. Mike Kowall, this forum explored the various aspects of placemaking, including national and Midwest survey results on what people want, and Michigan’s current Placemaking programs. Panelists shared information and research on the benefits of placemaking, and the economic and community developments that coincide. 

2011

Building Prosperous Places: Placemaking Strategies for Prosperity in Michigan Cities: June 14, 2011

Hosted by Rep. Jim Townsend, this forum focused on findings and recommendations from a National Association of Realtors-funded study of placemaking projects in Michigan, including a look at policy and financial regulatory barriers, public-private partnerships that facilitate placemaking, and the economic impacts of placemaking developments on residents, developers and communities. Panelists shared information and policy recommendations to help better explain the issues surrounding financing, regulating, incentivizing and developing placemaking projects in Michigan, such as breaking down barriers toward placemaking development, and providing better access to development funds, credits, programs, etc.

How Michigan Venture Capital Dollars Can Jumpstart Growth in Jobs and Income: May 26, 2011

Hosted by Rep. Marty Knollenberg, this forum explored statewide venture capital sources and flows. Panelists shared information and policy recommendations to help Michigan make better use of venture capital funds to spur job growth and income levels statewide, including the opportunity to direct Michigan-based resources toward second-stage companies in emerging industries, which tend to be drivers of growth in the state.

2010

Renewable Energy 2.0: June 15, 2010

This was the last forum in the New Economy 2.0 series and focused on “The Next Big Things” in this driver of the Green Economy. The forum covered the potential for renewable energy in Michigan, as well as development prospects (wind/solar/battery); and addressed policy problems and mindset barriers to the industry.Panelists shared their experience and thoughts about national, state, regional and local policies and strategies that affect the state’s future.

The Policies for Placemaking (Stimulus II): March 23, 2010

This forum was part of the New Economy 2.0 series. The forum focused on developing complimentary and collaborative policies at the local, regional, state and federal level that position places for prosperity. It covered the concept of "placemaking" as a New Economy strategy to create quality-of-life places that appeal to segments of the population, such as young knowledge workers, who more typically choose places to live first and then look for employment. Panelists shared their experiences and thoughts about national, state, regional and local policies and strategies that affect the state’s future.

Right-Sizing Michigan: February 23, 2010

This forum was a part of the New Economy 2.0 series. Hosted by Rep. Ed Clemente, the forum provided insights on how the shifting--and in some cases, declining--populations in Michigan are affecting our cities, suburbs and rural areas. “Right-sizing,” “smart decline,” “land banking,” “smarter density,” “shrinking”--these and other related concepts and practices were explored and explained by the presenters. It covered the essential qualities of “right-sizing” and how this concept is being realized in different ways throughout the state depending on if the community is a large metropolitan area, such as Detroit and its surrounding cities and suburbs, or a less developed place like the Upper Peninsula. Regional cooperation, cultivating entrepreneurs, accenting cultural and natural assets and rethinking intergovernmental services were among the examples in the state offered as proof-of-concept for right-sizing--with more work in this direction still needing to be done, the speakers emphasized.

The Problem and Promise of Detroit: January 19, 2010

This forum was a part of the New Economy 2.0 series. Hosted by Rep. Gabe Leland, the forum focused on the importance of revitalizing Detroit, Michigan's major metro, and what the drivers of change and opportunities might be. It covered how Detroit can connect to the Green Economy; the need to address the shrinking city with its significant population and income loss; the importance of regional connectivity in revitalization efforts; how the City's empty land can become an asset instead of a detriment through the use of urban farming and parks; and the need for communities to work together to help increase economic development potential, cooperation and a sense of "place." For example, one community organization, Public Art Workz, was using inspiring murals to shift the "image" of the Detroit's communities toward opportunities for improvement, prosperity and connection. Panelists shared their experiences and thoughts about national, state, regional and local policies and strategies that affect the state’s future.

2009

The Realization of the Green Economy in Michigan: October 28, 2009

This was the first forum in the New Economy 2.0 series. Hosted by Rep. Marie Donigan, this forum focused on how, in 2009, the Green Economy was a priority of Washington D.C., and was becoming a growing reality in Michigan, and the nation. It covered the drivers of the Green Economy; how policy issues are being addressed at the national and state level; the imperatives of renewable energy and energy efficiency; and the critical steps that we can take today to help move the state forward. Panelists shared their experiences and thoughts about national, state, regional and local policies and strategies that affect the state’s future.

Infrastructure for the New Economy: June 9, 2009

Hosted by Rep. Robert Jones, this forum addressed infrastructure needs and strategies for Michigan, at the state, regional and local levels; and provided additional detail on New Economy growth factors, as well as ideas for how these can be leveraged for Michigan's prosperity. It covered what infrastructure is and why it matters to prosperity in the New Economy; how regional collaboration in infrastructure can help create better communities for Michigan; the role and impact that mass transit can make in connecting the state’s metro communities; and how to create an environment conducive to young knowledge workers that meets their place-based needs for living, working and playing.

Green Infrastructure: May 12, 2009

Hosted by Rep. Robert Jones, this forum addressed green infrastructure strategies for Michigan, at the state, regional and local levels. It covered what green infrastructure is and its importance in the New Economy; the role green infrastructure can play in regional planning and economic development; and how statewide policies on green infrastructure can help in economic growth for Michigan.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth: March 31, 2009

Hosted by Rep. Robert Jones and Rep. Ed Clemente, this forum addressed the role of entrepreneurship in economic growth strategies for Michigan, at the state, regional and local levels. It covered the basics on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and resources available to help them be successful; how Michigan communities can capitalize on economic development by encouraging the growth of and collaboration with entrepreneurs; and the importance of embracing the creative process of entrepreneurism, along with ways to make starting a business easier in Michigan. Panelists shared their experiences and thoughts about policies that affect entrepreneurial culture, community efforts to help encourage innovation and business development, and challenges and successes of Michigan entrepreneurs.

Population Trends, Economic Impacts and Attraction Strategies: March 3, 2009

Hosted by Rep. Robert Jones, this forum provided science-based information about how Michigan can harness its current assets, and develop new ones, to attract the population segments that will help to strengthen our economy. It covered compared Michigan's economy to other states, the need for our State to attract and retain talent/knowledge-workers, the connection between prosperous metros and the 25 to 34-year-olds age group, how placemaking can help communities become prosperous, and strategies for transitioning our State into the New Economy. Panelists discussed strategies for attracting the right mix of populations to help jumpstart and sustain Michigan’s economy.

How Growth Happens: February 11, 2009

Hosted by Rep. Robert Jones, this forum provided information about important factors for growth in the New Economy and addressed how Michigan can harness its current assets, and develop new ones, to achieve prosperity in a rapidly changing economy. It covered changes in economic development with the move from the “Old Economy,” reliant on a manufacturing-based industry, to the “New Economy,” based on information technology and knowledge creation.

2008

Immigration: The New Face of Michigan Prosperity: May 13, 2008

Hosted by Rep. Steve Tobocman, the forum explored immigration strategies to build prosperity in Michigan. Panelists shared information and policy recommendations to help Michigan become more immigration-friendly.

2007

Rebuilding Michigan: Effective Economic Development Incentives: October 3, 2007

Hosted by Rep. Mark Meadows and Rep. Fran Amos, this forum focused on new ideas regarding alternative approaches to economic development, based on recent studies that show that tax abatements have not been effective in attracting people and businesses to Michigan. Panelists shared information on issues facing Michigan businesses, tax abatements and subsidy model reform.

Protecting Michigan's Economic Engine: Conserving Land for Long-Term Prosperity: May 10, 2007

Hosted by Sen. Jason Allen, the forum explored achieving prosperity through smart land use and land conservation. Panelists shared information to help the Michigan legislature understand how important such industries as agriculture and tourism are to the state's economy, and, thus, how vital it is for us to protect the land and other natural resources.

2006

Fueling Our Future: Land Use Solutions to Rising Energy Prices: September 27, 2006

Hosted by Sen. Patty Birkholz and Rep. Chris Kolb, the forum explored land use solutions for Michigan. Panelists shared information and policy recommendations on alternative energy, mass transit and the greening of communities.

2005

Organization and Finance Issues Facing Michigan Local Governments