Grand Rapids Economic Club Luncheon:
Ballot Panel – Impact of Ballot Proposals for Michigan

Thank you for attending the October 29 Grand Rapids Economic Club luncheon at the JW Marriott presented by The West Michigan Policy Forum and The Grand Rapids Chamber. Click below to view the slides presented at the luncheon.  

Click HERE to view the presentation outlining each ballot proposal

Click HERE to view the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Guide to Educating Employees on Politics and Public Policy

Thank you for joining us at the 2018 Conference. With a jam packed agenda and a lot of engagement from our participants, many have requested to view the presentation slides from our speakers. See the links below to view slides presented throughout the conference.

  • Click HERE to view Dr. Ferrarini’s presentation slides on fiscal health
  • Click HERE to view the presentation slides on ballot initiatives
  • Click HERE to view Dr. Montgomery’s presentation slides on Education in Michigan
  • Click HERE to view Jeb Bush’s presentation slides on Florida’s Education System
  • Click HERE to view the 2018 conference presentations
  • Click HERE to view interviews with our WMPF speakers and leadership

At the WMPF biennial conference, we discuss state policy priorities aimed at growing jobs, talent and opportunities in Michigan.  During the course of the event participants are encouraged to VOTE on legislative policy directives that will help Michigan become a Top-10 state in the nation.

The top priority chosen in 2016 by over 400 business leaders attending the forum was:  Addressing the looming crisis of unfunded retirement and healthcare costs.  

Other priorities voted on included (in order of importance): eliminating the state’s income tax, achieving criminal justice reform, expanding education choice and empowering individuals with more options in housing.

Your participation and voice is critical to continuing the momentum in Michigan.

Following the 2016 conference, the WMPF Executive Committee set forth an aggressive agenda geared towards fulfilling those priorities.  In June 2017, unfunded pension liabilities—specific to teachers in the state—topped the list of the state legislature and the bill was quickly approved by law makers.

The state is on the road to recovery, but we have a long way to go before we can lead the nation in economic vitality, innovation, job growth and quality of life.  By removing barriers to competitiveness and empowering grassroots advocacy within the state’s business community, we can continue driving Michigan’s resurgence.

Since its inception in 2008, the WMPF has fulfilled the following priorities chosen by our conferences attendees:


  • Build the New International Trade Crossing and Freight Tunnel to Canada (2012)
  • Ensure state policies maximize federal matching dollars (2012)
  • Update/reform the state’s funding mechanisms (2008, 2012, 2014)


  • Encourage the development of consistent K-12 and higher education metrics (2012)
  • Support the dedication of funds for early childhood development (2012)
  • Expansion of college credits for work experience (2014)
  • Require funding for state economic development and workforce agencies to align more closely with private sector efforts in talent development initiative (2014)
  • Reform of Teacher Evaluation (2015)
  • Reform: 3rd Grade Reading Readiness (2016)


  • Streamlining the permitting process (2008)
  • Repeal of the Michigan Business Tax (2011)
  • Local government consolidation (2012)
  • Reform of the Personal Property Tax, eliminating this penalty for many key job creating investments (2012)
  • Criminal Justice Reform (2016 Conference)
  • Keeping Promises – Teacher and Municipal Retirement Reforms (2016)
  • Unfunded Liabilities – Schools (2017)


  • Maintain Michigan’s Freedom to Work Status (2008)
  • Repeal of the Prevailing Wage mandate (2018)
  • Grow Michigan’s Labor Participation rate – Addition of Medicaid work requirements for able-bodied adults (2018)


  • Increase funding for health care providers with effective prevention practices (2008)


We will hold lawmakers accountable for making bold decisions to reinvent Michigan and challenge state government to operate with the same vigor as the private sector

2018 Conference Agenda: