Honigman Capitol Report


PSC Orders Audits of Consumers & DTE

The Public Service Commission has ordered audits of the distribution systems for both Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company in light of concerns over recent power outages. The focus of the third-party audits will include reducing the number and length of outages. Additionally, both companies were ordered to report on compliance with past commission orders regarding outages and responses, outreach efforts and technology improvements. The PSC specifically called out the companies regarding the August 29th thunderstorms that left hundreds of thousands without power, many for several days.

SOAR Funds Approved, Set Aside for 3 Major Projects

Upon approval of additional funds moved to the SOAR Fund, Governor Whitmer set aside half of the fund for 3 upcoming projects approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board. The first project approved was for $125 million in SOAR funds to Chinese-based battery company Gotion to build a factory in Big Rapids. Gotion brings a $2.36 billion investment to the state along with creating 2,350 new jobs. Our Next Energy, another battery company, was awarded $200 million through SOAR along with several other incentives in order to build a nearly 700,000 square-foot facility in Van Buren Township. Our Next Energy is projected to invest $1.6 billion and create 2,112 jobs. Finally, the board approved $60 million in SOAR funds for an agricultural infrastructure project to create a wastewater pipeline in Muskegon and Ottawa counties. The project is expected to create a combined $187 million in spending between multiple food and agricultural industry companies.


Proposed Legislation Addresses Tax Tribunal Transparency

Proposed legislation to add a new provision to the Tax Tribunal Act would allow certain hearings to be held in closed session and exempt trade secrets and other confidential information or testimony from FOIA disclosure. Dan Stanley with Honigman LLP testified in support of the bill that would allow the Tax Tribunal to protect tax payer information stating that “as the language exists right now, they don’t have the tools to protect taxpayer information.” Some lawmakers expressed concerns over the broad language of the bill, but Stanley argued that “it has to be broad because you don’t know what type of confidential information is going to be sought.” Others testified that the language in the bill should be narrowed to define what information could be considered confidential. Ultimately, the goal of the bill is to make it easier for businesses and other parties to appeal the amount they are being taxed without risking confidentiality.

Latest Polling: Whitmer Leads Dixon by 17 Points

In the latest polling by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV (Channel 4), Governor Whitmer leads Tudor Dixon by 17 points. The survey of 600 voters found 49.5% support Whitmer while only 32.2% back Dixon. Polling also found 61% of voters support Proposal 3, the ballot question that would establish a constitutional right to abortion; 70% support Proposal 2, the proposal to allow in-person voting for nine days and other voting rights; and 66% support Proposal 1, which seeks to change term limits and financial transparency rules for elected officials.

Whitmer & Dixon Add Second Debate

A second debate has been scheduled between Governor Whitmer and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon on October 25th at 7pm. The debate will last for one hour and take place in Rochester at Oakland University. Whitmer and Dixon will also debate on October 13th in Grand Rapids. In addition to the scheduled debates, both are attending an event on October 21st at the Detroit Economic Club where they are expected to answer questions from the audience.

Media Contact

To request an interview or find a speaker, please contact: press@honigman.com

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