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MichiganVotes Weekly Report: May 22, 2020

House Bill 5488: Let courts keep imposing operations costs on defendants
Passed 101 to 4 in the House on May 19, 2020

To extend until October of 2022 a law that permits courts to impose any costs on guilty defendants that are reasonably related to the actual costs of operating the court, including building maintenance expenses, court employee benefit expenses and more, and do so without tying those expenses to the particular case. The controversial 2014 law that authorized these impositions has already been extended once, and the introduced version of this bill would have added another three years, not two years.

Senate Bill 690: Allocate epidemic relief money for state and schools
Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on May 13, 2020

To allocate Michigan's $523.7 million share of federal relief dollars approved by Congress to help state governments and schools deal with the coronavirus epidemic. The allocations include $125 million for subsidies to licensed child care providers who give discounts this spring; $15 million for school district summer school programs (distributed based on the epidemic’s “impact in the communities” serve they serve); $100 million to pay for giving $1,000 bonuses to local law enforcement and public safety personnel, emergency first responders, 9-1-1 operators and others; $178 million to give a temporary $3 per hour bonus to “direct care workers” covered by Medicaid and other social welfare programs; $50 million in grants to buy personal protection equipment to “priority providers” designated by the state health and welfare department, and more.

House Bill 5412: Facilitate more use of telemedicine
Passed 105 to 0 in the House on May 13, 2020

To revise the definition of “telemedicine” in the state insurance code, by replacing a requirement that a patient be able to interact in real time with the off-site health care professional at the time the services are provided, with a requirement that the health care professional "must be able to examine the patient via a...secure interactive audio or video telecommunications system, or through the use of store and forward online messaging." House Bills 5413 to 5416 amend other laws to make similar changes in Medicaid and related social welfare programs, and also remove current restrictions that prohibit getting telemedicine services at home.

Senate Bill 899: Extend coronavirus epidemic liability waivers for medical care providers
Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate on May 7, 2020

To extend through the end of the coronavirus state of emergency a medical malpractice liability exemption granted to health care professionals and facilities by the 1976 state “Emergency Management Act.” The law the bill would amend now limits the governor's exercise of extraordinary emergency powers - and the liability exemptions the bill would extend - to 28 days unless the legislature approves an extension, which it has declined to do.

This means that Gov. Whitmer's epidemic related executive orders now rest their authority primarily on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor Act,” which does not place limits on how long a governor may retain such powers, and also does not grant liability protections to doctors and hospitals during an epidemic.

Senate Bill 899: First Democratic amendment on extending medical care liability waiver
Failed 16 to 22 in the Senate on May 7, 2020

To limit the proposed medical care provider liability waiver extensions in Senate Bill 899 to "the assessment or care of an individual with a confirmed case or a suspected case of COVID-19.

Senate Bill 899: Second Democratic amendment on extending medical care liability waiver
Failed 16 to 22 in the Senate on May 7, 2020

To not extend the proposed liability waivers to a hospital or medical care provider that acted "with an intent to harm or discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

Most viewed bills

2019 House Bill 4729
Authorize COVID-19 epidemic response spending

  2020 Senate Bill 909
End going to the polls, do elections by mail

  2020 House Bill 5709
Revise penalties for violating governor’s orders during declared emergency

  2020 House Bill 5460
End giving “corporate welfare” subsidies in secret



Bills Introduced
Amendments Introduced
New Laws Passed