Rep. Lilly: Detroit recovery benefits all of Michigan

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Legislator: Progress from bankruptcy improves state’s image

State Rep. Jim Lilly today praised Detroit officials for presenting a positive picture of the Motor City’s recovery from a 2014 bankruptcy, saying a strong Detroit makes for a strong Michigan.

Lilly, of Park Township, serves as vice chair of the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee, which today heard testimony from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, officials from the Detroit Institute of Art and a governor’s aide who was instrumental in steering legislation in 2014 that expedited the city’s exit from insolvency.

“Very often, the way the world perceives Detroit is the way it looks at all of Michigan, and when Detroit was financially on the ropes that perception applied to the entire state,” Lilly said. “A resurgent Detroit complements Michigan as a whole – from West Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. It’s good for everyone.”

Former House Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, who now works for the governor, explained the legislative process he spearheaded to help Detroit expedite its exit from bankruptcy – the largest city ever to go insolvent – noting that city and state officials worked together to ensure that the money invested in Detroit would have strict state oversight.

Officials from the art institute explained how they raised money to help out as well, and the mayor spent time touting the improvements in Detroit’s population, vital public services and image as a result of the legislation. He also said some of the biggest barriers to recovery included high no-fault insurance costs in the city, which is affecting a rebound in population.

Lilly asked the mayor what negative perceptions block more businesses from moving to the city.

“The biggest perception problem is the condition of our roads,” Duggan said.