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MI lawmakers react to GM bankruptcy

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Legislative leaders say the General Motors bankruptcy complicates state government budget troubles, and will put more stress on unemployment and welfare funds. But they say there are also a few opportunities in the crisis.

Democratic and Republican leaders at the state Capitol say one of their goals is to get downsizing car companies and automotive suppliers to consolidate their operations in Michigan.

Republican state Senator Jason Allen chairs the Senate Commerce Committee: "One in five jobs in the state is directly related to the auto industry, and as the consolidation moves forward, we're trying to determine the strengths and the weaknesses and the tools that are necessary to move the auto industry forward."

But Allen says Michigan also has to build a new economy that's hospitable to the auto industry, but not so reliant on it. He says the state needs to help auto Suppliers connect to venture capital, so they can move into new industries, and help train workers for those new jobs.

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