To authorize a $500 non-refundable state income tax credit for each dependent age 18 and below in 2022 through 2025.
To prohibit the state health and welfare department from spending any money to develop, implement, or enforce any proposal or process to impose vaccine "passport" requirements. This was an amendment to a budget bill, along with a ban on imposing facemask mandates on anyone under age 18.
To prohibit the state or a local health department from imposing a face mask mandate on children younger than age 5.
To restrict a state “administrative board” increasing or decreasing an item of appropriation without permission from legislative appropriation committees if the amount is more than 3% or $125,000 and won’t change the appropriation by more than $200,000. The bill comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used this device to repurpose some $600 million appropriated in the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget.
To create a transportation bond repayment sinking fund, to hold money to be used only to repay road debt incurred by the Whitmer, Granholm and Engler administrations. No new road debt could be incurred without depositing an equal amount in the sinking fund up to $234 million annually, over several years if necessary. The House Fiscal Agency reports the state currently owes $1.159 billion to bond holders, which currently uses $143 million of road tax revenue. A House-passed supplemental spending bill (House Bill 4420) would appropriate $626 million for the sinking fund.
To impose a new mandate on both new and used auto dealers that they must be open for 30 hours per week during at least 48 weeks a year. This would likely have no effect on new car dealers, whose generally larger operations and costs make them likely to keep long hours already, but the additional burden could force some used car dealers to go out of business.
To establish that emergency “lockdown” orders issued by the state health department do not prohibit or otherwise limit holding a high school graduation commencement ceremony held during the 2020-2021 school year at a public or nonpublic school to honor the graduating class of 2020 or 2021.
To revise a state licensure mandate imposed on barbers that requires 1,800 hours of instruction at a “licensed barber college” before an individual can earn a living at this trade. The bill would allow an individual to substitute “apprenticeship” hours for the barber college mandate, if this met a lengthy list of requirements specified in the bill.
To prohibit the state from entering “severance pay,” “nondisclosure” or “confidentiality” agreements with current or prospective government officials and appointees, subject a fine of up to $2,500. Specifically, such agreements would be unlawful if the payment exceeded 12 weeks of the individual's regular pay, or prohibited him or her from revealing factual information about an alleged violation of law. This would not apply to unionized state employees whose terms of employment are already specified by a union contract. The bill comes after it was revealed the former head of the state health department who resigned during the coronavirus epidemic was the beneficiary of such a deal.
To eliminate the statewide May and August election dates. Partisan primary votes that are currently held in August would instead take place in June. School elections that are currently held on the discontinued May date would mostly happen in June instead.
To establish that an executive order, proclamation, or directive issued under the law that authorizes the governor to declare an emergency may not lengthen the required government agency response times or otherwise limit the scope of a public body's duties under the state Freedom of Information Act.
To establish that if the governor signs a memorandum of understanding with another party, defined as an informal agreement that does not impose contractual duties or obligations on this state, after that governor leaves its terms only apply until it is rejected by a subsequent governor. Also, to require that these agreements be signed by the governor and filed in the state office of the great seal, similar to the practice for new laws.
To prohibit the sale of smoke alarms powered by a replaceable and removable battery starting on April 1, 2022, and instead mandate that all smoke alarms must be powered by a nonremovable and nonreplaceable battery that lasts at least 10 years, or by another power source utilizing new technology. This would not apply to alarms powered by a building electrical system and some other exceptions.
To waive liquor license renewal fees for the 2021 renewal period, and extend a temporary increase in the usual 17% discount from the "uniform prices" on the hard liquors purchased from the state by liquor stores, bars and restaurants. Under Michigan's "Liquor Control" law, the state is the sole "wholesaler" of hard liquor, which it manages through three entities contracted to do the work (until the 1990s the state actually operated liquor warehouses). An earlier epidemic response law set the discount at 23% through July 1, 2021, which the bill would extend to December 31, 2023. Opponents mainly expressed concerns about the extended state license fee revenue loss.
To give a $5,000 state income tax exemption to an individual, and $10,000 on joint returns, if an individual or couple deposits those amounts in a specialty savings account the bill would authorize for individuals who have not bought or owned a Michigan home in the past three years (dubbed by the bill a "first time home buyer"). Up to $50,000 in such deposits could be exempted from state income tax over time. A version of this proposal was vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018.
A House version of the Senate-passed tax break bill described above.
To mandate that by January 1, 2028, at least 90% of single-family dwellings in municipalities with more than 5,000 residents have access to curbside recycling that meets detailed criteria specified in the bill. The bill also rewrites many definitions and requirements related to landfills, solid waste and recycling mandates. It is part of a legislative package comprised of House Bills 4453 to 4461 that would expand regulation, fees and fines in the areas of solid waste and recycling.
To establish that portable fuel containers that are completely made in Michigan and sold here only are not subject to federal regulations, notwithstanding the U.S. constitution’s interstate commerce clause.
To require managers of the state-run school pension system to use a “layered amortization" method for repaying the debt accumulated by failing to contribute enough to meet the system's pension promises. Officials to amortize (pay back) each “layer” of underfunding accumulated in a given period over a specified time. The bill would also permit and require managers to assume 6.8% annual growth in assets when calculating annual state pension fund contributions.
To permit school districts to install cameras on school buses for the purpose of prosecuting motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus.
To grant the House Standing Committee on Oversight the power to issue subpoenas and get documents on employee separations and severance agreements entered into by the executive branch of state government. This relates to $155,000 paid to the former state Health of Human Services Department director Robert Gordon to not discuss his departure in the midst of the fall 2020 epidemic caseload surge.
To repeal a ban on the sale, possession or use of "stun devices" by adults, defined as a “device that is capable of creating an electro-muscular disruption…capable of temporarily incapacitating or immobilizing an individual by the direction or emission of conducted energy." This does not include a launchable device, which means Tasers would still be prohibited.
To prohibit the state health department from imposing restrictions on members of a family or household observing another member in a sporting event, dining out together at a single table, or otherwise gathering together. Also, to prohibit orders that bar an individual from traveling to another property he or she owns, or ban high school graduation ceremonies, or ban an individual from buying a product in a store.
To place in state law specific disease incidence thresholds and limits for restricting gatherings and occupancy limits in restaurants and other “event venues” during an coronavirus epidemic. The bill would prescribe specific occupancy restrictions based on current local disease incidence levels.
To exempt “broadband equipment” owned by certain internet developers claiming to serve "underserved areas" from personal property taxes levied on business tools and equipment. The bill is connected to Senate Bill 46, and the Senate Fiscal Agency is unable to quantify the amount of foregone revenue the tax subsidies they promise would cost the state, in part because the bills would permit developers to claim them in areas where broadband internet may already be available.
To exempt “broadband equipment” owned by certain internet developers claiming to serve "underserved areas" from personal property taxes levied on business tools and equipment, along with House Bill 4210. See the Senate vote on that bill above.
To authorize a two-year vehicle registration (license plate tab) renewal.
To authorize an enhanced penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for taking a law enforcement or corrections officer's gun by force, which would be added to penalties imposed for the underlying crimes.
To impose a new coverage mandate that would require insurance companies to include coverage for orally administered chemotherapy in all health insurance policies that provide for cancer chemotherapy treatments, without requiring any dollar limit, deductible or co-pay for these that does not apply to other treatments. Also, to ban charging a copay of more than $150 per month on these drugs.
To establish that medical service professionals in another state may provide “telehealth” services to Michigan patients without needing to also get a Michigan license.
To add employee salary and benefit information to information each state department is required to post on a state website. This would include individual employee position titles, (unionized) civil service status, salary and general benefits information, but no names, emails or other identifying information (which may still be obtained through a specific Freedom of Information Act request).
To repeal the exemption in the state Freedom of Information Act for records held by the governor and lieutenant governor’s offices and staff, subject to a broad range of exceptions. These exceptions include records related to gubernatorial appointments; sanctions on judges; pardons, reprieves and commutations; executive budget preparations; deficit-related spending cuts; the annual state-of-the-state address; records subject to executive privilege; communications with constituents; and information related to security, employee personal information and more.
To extend the Freedom of Information Act to legislators, whose offices are currently exempt, subject to a broad range of exceptions and exemptions. This is part of a package comprised of House Bills 4383 to 4392.
To denounce the decision by Attorney General Dana Nessel to not investigate the governor's nursing home policy early in the coronavirus epidemic, along with the data that was reported on deaths in nursing homes, and to encourage county prosecutors to pursue independent investigations.
To exempt “broadband equipment” used by certain internet providers specified in the bill from personal property taxes levied on business tools and equipment.
To allow local governments to permit on-premises liquor sales in bars and restaurants between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. If a municipality did allow this, a bar or restaurant would still need to apply to the state Liquor Control Commission for a special license and pay $250 each year.
To establish that a physician is not liable for civil damages that result if he or she refuses to provide a written verification that an individual is unable to wear a seat belt in a car or wear a helmet where that is required for ORVs, snowmobiles, etc. These laws each permit medical exceptions.
To authorize the Senate Majority Leader to commence legal action on behalf of the Senate, challenging any action by the governor to spend money that has not been authorized in appropriation bills passed by the House and Senate. This relates to vetoes of provisions in House Bills 4047 and 4048 that would prohibit spending part of the state’s federal stimulus and coronavirus relief money unless two provision of two other bills are also signed into law (Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 4049). Those bills would transfer the authority of the state health department to close schools in an emergency to county health departments, and require legislative consent after 28 days to a governor's authority to maintain a state of emergency and issue executive orders. Under this resolution, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey would be authorized to sue the governor if the administration spends money without the legislative authorization required by the Michigan Constitution of 1963.
To override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's line-item veto of $150 million in state aid for businesses afflicted by coronavirus epidemic lockdowns, and another $150 million for deposit in the state's unemployment insurance account to "offset expected exposure to state fraud and improper payments" during the epidemic.
To restrict emergency orders the state health department (the Department of Health and Human Service) may impose in response to an epidemic to 28 days unless an extension is approved by the Legislature. A state Public Health Code adopted by the Legislature in 1978 gives the department the authority to issue such orders. The bill would also require officials to disclose in such orders how any restrictions on gatherings protects public health, and all the information used in deciding to issue the emergency order.
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Contact my lawmakers
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. email@example.com
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit www.MichiganVotes.org.
Permission to reprint this legislative summary in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that www.MichiganVotes.org is properly cited.