News Story

Between Lansing runs, senator sat on board of nonprofit that got $5M earmark

Singh ran for state senate seat while sitting on board of nonprofit that received workforce grant

In between his time as a state representative from 2013 to 2019 and his election to the state senate in November, Sam Singh joined the board of a company, Global Detroit, that received a $5 million state appropriation for workforce development last year, according to state records. 

Public Act 166 of 2022 did not mention Global Detroit by name. Here’s how the law describes the appropriation and the nonprofit receiving it:

From the funds appropriated in part 1 for economic development and workforce grants, $5,000,000.00 shall be awarded to a nonprofit organization in a city with a population greater than 600,000 according to the most recent federal decennial census focused on equitable local, regional, and statewide economic growth through immigrant inclusion, for programs including, but not limited to, marketing and attracting, licensing, credentialing, placing, training, and accessing education to international entrepreneurs, companies and startups, professionals, and students.

The House Fiscal Agency analysis of the bill, which was published months after it passed, names the program as the Global Talent Initiative and the non-profit as Global Detroit.

Global Detroit’s listing on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs still names Singh as one of its directors. Singh was also a director in the non-profit’s previous filing, in 2019, after he left the legislature.

Last year, Singh was running for the state senate seat he now holds. He is now Majority Floor Leader for the Senate Democrats.

During his time in the Michigan House, Singh rose to minority leader. 

Singh told CapCon he resigned from the Global Detroit board late last year, but played no role in the state appropriation.

“I was not involved in the organization’s pitch for the appropriation,” Singh told CapCon in a text message.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.