Sen. Richardville removes SmartZone roadblock as Senate committee approves economic development legislation
LANSING-The Senate Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee today approved legislation that would allow more communities to take advantage of SmartZones for economic growth opportunities, said Sen. Randy Richardville, vice chair of the committee.
Representing Grass Lake, Leoni, Norvell, and Summit townships in Jackson County, Richardville has been working with residents and businesses in Jackson to help secure one of the zones. By reaching a bipartisan compromise with House and Senate lawmakers, Richardville helped remove potential roadblocks that would prevent Jackson from receiving a SmartZone designation.
"SmartZones have successfully helped communities attract high-paying jobs, develop an educated workforce, and experience economic growth," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "This legislation will allow more communities to take advantage of the SmartZone program and will create a more supportive environment for businesses to operate in Michigan."
Senate Bill 1203, sponsored by Richardville, would allow three existing SmartZones to join with another municipality to extend the zones to provide greater access to business incubators during this time of limited state funding.
The committee also passed House Bill 5609 that will create three SmartZones. Richardville sponsored an amendment to the measure requiring the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to provide approval for the new zones one year earlier.
SmartZones are areas where business and school taxes can help pay for public infrastructure improvements.
The bills have been sent to the full Senate for consideration.
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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