Reinvent the state

Back in November, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley met with local business leaders to continue a dialogue on Reinventing Performance in Michigan and to seek input from businesses on Michigan’s regulatory reform. Calley wanted to hear from job providers on how regulatory reform benefits their businesses.

The RPM is being led by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, in partnership with the Departments of Treasury and Environmental Quality with the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

RPM has four main goals for collective improvement of customer-facing requirements and processes within state government:

– A 25 percent improvement in satisfaction with the regulatory process

– A 50 percent improvement in customer response time

– Ensuring 100 percent of customer-facing regulatory materials are utilized and needed

– An overall 50 percent reduction in forms

RPM will be implemented in several phases within the pilot departments. The first phase, which was completed in July 2013, resulted in the following process improvements for LARA’s agencies:

– Bureau of Health Care Services: Following form consolidation, the elimination of duplicate information fields and the creation of an online application, the BHCS now issues health professional licenses 60 percent faster.

– Michigan Liquor Control Commission: By streamlining a formerly paper-intensive process, the MLCC now issues liquor licenses an average of 63 percent faster, allowing businesses to receive their liquor license 150 days sooner.

– Michigan Public Service Commission: An ongoing process improvement aimed at automating the licensing process for new licenses and renewals is expected to enable the MPSC to issue motor carrier licenses up to 67 percent faster.

– Unemployment Insurance Agency: Having eliminated and consolidated forms, and reduced processing and customer response times, the UIA now processes tax reporting changes 90 percent faster and provides customers with their tax registration number 98 percent faster.

Michigan has become a leader in implementing positive changes for business. The goal is to become a top ten business friendly state. Momentum must be continued in order to get there:

– Michigan’s economy is at a 10-year high

– We’ve added more than 200,000 jobs and our unemployment rate has dropped from 14.2 percent to 8.4 percent

– Personal income in Michigan is up 3.5 percent in 2012, matching national average

– A $1.5 billion deficit has been erased without using any accounting gimmicks; Long-term liability reduced by more than $20 billion or $2,000 per Michigan resident

– Job-killing Michigan Business Tax replaced by Corporate Income Tax; tax ranking shot up to No. 7 from No. 49

– The burdensome and obsolete Personal Property Tax is being phased out

– Our businesses, including small and medium-sized firms, are enjoying a reduction in the state business tax of at least 80 percent

– Michigan is the only Midwestern state whose workers’ compensation pure premium rates have decreased by over 7 percent each of the last two years

– Unemployment Trust fund, which was $3.9 billion in debt, now has a balance of $1.5 billion, eliminating tax penalty

– State’s rainy day fund is up to $505 million

Do you have ideas on how the government can improve the regulatory environment? Are you interested in more information regarding Reinventing Performance in Michigan? Visit their website at michigan.gov/lara. From there you may sign up for email updates, find contact information for the different departments and read recent information from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Editor’s note: Amy Clickner is CEO?of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.