Michigan Business, Economy & Tourism

From classic cars to travel, energy and food, we bring you the stories of the people who fuel our economy and the policies that shape it.

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The state Senate has approved its $1.5 billion plan to boost road funding.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley cast two tie-breaking votes on bills to gradually raise Michigan’s gas tax by 15 cents over three years. Calley says those votes were meant to move the process along toward reaching a final compromise on road funding.

“I think this was a positive step toward actually getting our roads fixed,” Calley told reporters shortly after casting the rare tie-breaking votes.

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Michigan’s film incentives could soon end with the stroke of Gov. Rick Snyder’s pen.

The state House and Senate approved a bill to phase out the film credits on the last day before lawmakers go on an intermittent schedule for the summer.

Supporters of House Bill 4122 say the level of economic activity generated by the program doesn’t justify its cost. And they say the film industry has never taken hold in Michigan.

UPDATE 5:15 pm: State lawmakers have sent Gov. Rick Snyder a bill that would ban local minimum wage and benefit laws. The bill does not apply to ordinances adopted before this year. 

Local minimum wage and benefit ordinances in place before this year would no longer be preempted by a controversial bill in the state Legislature.

A federal appeals court says a northern Michigan Indian tribe does not get to set its own labor rules at the casino it operates near Manistee.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians claimed tribal sovereignty allowed it to adopt its own laws that ban strikes and discourage union organizing by casino employees. The Teamsters challenged the tribal act, and the union won before the National Labor Relations Board.

But the Little River Band says the board has no jurisdiction in this instance.

Traverse City Whiskey Company

Small distillers in northern Michigan would get a big tax break under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI).

He visited Traverse City Whiskey Company on Tuesday to promote the legislation, which would lower the federal excise tax on liquor from $13.50 per gallon to $2.70.

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