To establish a government $1 billion “Jobs for Michigan Investment Fund” to give subsidies to public entities and private businesses engaged in various “competitive edge” technologies. The bill authorizes government ownership of private businesses and gets around a state Constitutional prohibition on this by placing these in a "permanent fund," which Senate Joint Resolution T of 2002
exempted from the prohibition, and which was described when presented to the people for a vote as applying to natural resources, veterans and state parks trust funds. Government officials and representatives of the types of organizations likely to get the money would make up a "Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board” to allocate the subsidies (see Senate Bill 533
). The $1 billion would come from “securitizing” (selling) one-third of the approximately $280 million annual revenue stream from the 1998 tobacco company lawsuit settlement. This is the legislature's response to Gov. Granholm’s $2 billion "Jobs for Michigan"
debt proposal. The bill specifically authorizes spending $400 million in 2006, $75 million of which is earmarked for particular industries. It is tied to other business subsidy measures, in particular Senate Bills 359 and 521, but not to the House-passed tax cuts in HB 5108.