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NATO of Michigan’s lobbyist, Karoub Associates, monitors all relevant legislation, keeps members apprised of happenings, and issues calls to action when advocacy is needed. Bookmark and come back to this page often to stay up-to-date on vital information.




George Rouman, Cinema Operator and Industry Champion, Passes Away

It is with a heavy heart that we share of the passing of our colleague George Rouman, a highly regarded leader in the North American cinema industry. He was president of NATO of Wisconsin & Upper Peninsula, served on the Advisory Board of the National Association of Theatre Owners, and was president of the family-owned movie theatre circuit Rouman Amusement Company, which operates 10 screens in two locations in Rhinelander, WI. READ MORE




NATO of Michigan Awards $7,500 in Scholarships to Theatre Employees

Congratulations to Addison Chinn (Phoenix State-Wayne Theatre), Ciera Corso (MJR Southgate Cinema 20), and Brenna Fikel (MJR Southgate Cinema 20) on being selected through a competitive review process to receive a 2024 NATO of Michigan Scholarship. They each received a $2,500 scholarship to assist with the cost of attending college/university. These scholarships are 100% funded by NATO of Michigan member contributions. READ MORE




Minimum Wage Increase Proposal Won’t Be on the 2024 Ballot

Today the Michigan Supreme Court declined to overrule a decision by the Board of Canvassers to reject to certify a petition for a ballot initiative on raising the state’s minimum wage. The proposed initiative put forth by Raise the Wage MI called for raising the general minimum wage to $12 initially and then to $15 by 2027 and phasing out the minimum wage for tipped workers by 2028. Based on the court’s decision, the minimum wage initiative will not make the 2024 ballot and leaves the power over deciding what proposals are placed on the ballot in the hands of the Board of Canvassers. At this time, Michigan’s minimum wages remain at $10.33 per hour for non-tipped workers and $3.93 for tipped workers.  




Businesses Should be Protected from Unintended Consequences When Streamlining the Youth Work Permit Process

The House Labor Committee heard testimony but did not vote on legislation that calls for amending the Youth Employment Standards Act to modify the procedures for issuing youth work permits. 


While the bill sponsor, Representative Phil Skaggs (D-East Grand Rapids), indicated the purpose of the bill is to streamline the work permit process and relieve school districts of associated administrative burdens, NATO of Michigan and other interest groups have concerns about the unintended consequences House Bill 5594, as it currently written, would have on businesses. 


NATO of Michigan Executive Director Matt Breslin will represent theater owners in working with the bill sponsor as HB 5594 moves through the legislative process, to ensure the legislation breaks down barriers to students seeking valuable work experience and the opportunity to earn money while not creating additional burdens on businesses.




Film Tax Credit Bill Sponsors, Director of Statewide Film Office Speaking at Annual Meeting

NATO of Michigan is honored that Representative Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield), Representative John Roth (R-Lake Township), and Selam Ghirmai, Director of the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, will be speaking with the membership during the NATO of Michigan Annual Meeting on June 11 in Lansing.


Representatives Hoskins and Roth are sponsors of bipartisan legislation—House Bills 4907 and 4908, respectively—that would create a transferable income tax credit for Michigan-based multimedia projects, including movie productions.


The tax credit would be administered by the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, which has been led by Selam Ghirmani since 2018. Ms. Ghirmani is a passionate advocate for those working in the creative industries and an effective leader of the organization that is continually working to position our state as a worldwide mixed-media production destination.


Register for the NATO of Michigan Annual Meeting & Legislative Reception and come with your questions. 




Film Tax Credit Bills Pass House Committee

By a vote of 10-0, with two members abstaining, the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee approved the bipartisan Multimedia Jobs Tax Credit package on April 23, sending it to the House floor. House Bills 4907-4908 would make transferrable, nonrefundable income tax credits (not refunds)—ranging from 30% to 10%—available to companies that produce qualified productions in Michigan. To earn qualified status, a production must have been created wholly or partially in Michigan.




Education Scholarship Applications Due May 5

Scholarship applications from employees of NATO of Michigan member theaters are being accepted through May 5. Up to three $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to help college, university, or trade school students with education costs. The NATO of Michigan Scholarship Program is 100% funded by NATO of Michigan members. MORE INFORMATION




House Panel Hears Film Tax Credit Bills

On February 6, the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee held a hearing on the “Multimedia Jobs Tax Credit," which would be beneficial to movie theaters. House Bills 5907-5908 would, among other things, create a transferable income tax credit available to media companies making “qualified productions” in Michigan. NATO of Michigan Executive Director Matt Breslin attended the hearing and submitted a card of support on behalf of the association. LEGISLATIVE ANALYSIS




Paid Family Leave Bills Introduced in House and Senate

Identical bills aimed at updating family leave policies and coverage were introduced in the Michigan House and Senate in 2023. House Bills 4574-4575 and Senate Bills 332-333 call for establishing a state-level paid insurance program that, among other things, provides up to 15 weeks of paid leave, expands the list of qualifying paid leave events, and requires all employers to contribute to the program. The bills remain in committee.




Minimum Wage Increase Effective January 1

Effective January 1, 2024, Michigan's minimum wage increased from $10.10 to $10.33 per hour, as mandated by the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018. The minor minimum wage (85% of the standard minimum wage) increased to $8.78 per hour. The hourly training wage for newly hired emloyees, aged 16-19, for the first 90 calendar days of empoyment remained at $4.25.

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