Lansing, Michigan capitol

The Michigan Capitol in fall 2021

(The Center Square) – A bipartisan coalition is backing a bill known as the "Buy Michigan" plan.

House Bill 4902 and Senate Bill 117 aim to favor Michigan-based businesses in procuring state contracts.

Rep. Graham Filler, R-Clinton County, and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, with support from the Michigan Chamber, Small Business Association of Michigan, and the Southwest Michigan Chamber of Commerce, called on legislators to support the Buy Michigan plan.

“Creating good paying jobs right here in Michigan has always been one of my top priorities,” Ananich said in a statement. “To do that, we must support Michigan’s businesses and help them grow. That’s what Buy Michigan is all about, giving Michigan businesses a fair shot that will benefit all of us.”

The plan aims to require Michigan to give state-based companies a seven-day window to resubmit their original bid at a lower price if an out-of-state company undercuts their bid.

More than $16 billion is dedicated annually to procuring goods and services through the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. This legislation aims to incentive more of Michigan’s tax dollars to support state-based businesses.

“I’ve spent my time in Lansing fighting to create opportunities for Michigan’s small businesses,” Filler said in a statement. “This legislation is yet another tool that will allow us to help our businesses bounce back and put our tax dollars to good use by keeping more of it right here in Michigan.”

The bill maintains the requirement that DTMB award every taxpayer-funded contract to the “responsive and responsible best value bidder.”

Businesses and other organizations, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce, and other county elected officials, support the plan.

SMRCC President Arthur Havlicek called the Buy Michigan plan “a commonsense way to support Michigan businesses.”

“Michigan is poised to receive billions in funding for a wide range of goods and services,” Havlicek said. “Businesses all over Michigan were hit hard by Covid-19 and high inflation rates. We need out-of-the-box solutions to help us move forward. That is why I support Buy Michigan.”

Mike Alaimo, MCC director of environmental and energy affairs, said the plan should become law.

“This is one common-sense way our state’s taxpayer dollars can stay right here in Michigan while supporting and reinvesting in our own employers and workforce,” Alaimo said in a statement.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.