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Legislation and Procurement: “The Odd Couple”

Aug 01, 2018

What does the legislative process and procurement have in common?  At first glance, it doesn’t appear like much, but let’s take a closer look. Every legislative session in Lansing, policies are established, and budgets are approved. Both policy and appropriations have a significant impact on state projects, but most importantly create opportunities for those that know where to find these gems. Often times through either specific appropriations in a budget or through new policy legislation, opportunities for state contracts are developed.

Before we go too deep into this topic, my first word of advice is to ensure your organization has the capabilities to track legislative and budget priorities. This can be achieved using either internal or hired talent. Thousands of bills are introduced every session and the yearly budget process is complicated and decisions can be made quickly.  If you are not on top of the issues or the area of the budget you want to impact, you will miss out.  For the upcoming Fiscal Year, the budget for the State of Michigan totals $56.8 billion, allocated amongst nineteen different state departments.  This looks like opportunities calling. 

Each of the state’s nineteen departments have contracts with vendors or will receive new appropriations to spend on programs or services.  Additionally, throughout the year the legislature may pass a bill effecting either current or future contracts, or even the bidding process itself. Getting involved early in the budget, or the legislative process, gives you a couple of key opportunities:

  1. Gain insight of how each department is spending their funds appropriated by the legislature.
  2. Influence where and how the money is spent.  Please know this takes a great deal of time and effort and you need a very good understanding of the appropriations process. 
  3. You can build relationships with both the administration and legislators and position yourself for future appropriations.
  4. You can influence or benefit from early action on legislative and policy initiatives, which may be beneficial to you or your industry.

The most important aspect when working with the legislature or anyone in government, is to know what you do well and build on it.  If you do not understand or know your own strengths heading into the appropriations or legislative process you will have a difficult time convincing others to follow your ideas. 

If you have any questions on how MLC can help your business before, during, or after the legislative and/or procurement processes, please feel free to contact me at 517.372.2560 or tony@mlcmi.com.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.