To raise from 18 to 21 the minimum age to buy tobacco in Michigan.
To raise the minimum age to enter a “cigar bar” or "tobacco specialty products" store from 18 to 21.
To repeal a 2020 law that authorized employee lawsuits against an employer who takes an “adverse employment action” or “retaliates” against an employee who is absent from work during the declared coronavirus epidemic emergency; and that prohibited employees who tested positive for COVID and had symptoms from reporting for work.
To repeal a 2020 COVID epidemic amendment to the state's occupational health and safety law that gave businesses liability exemptions for exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises, unless this was caused by a reckless disregard of a substantial and unnecessary risk that an individual would be exposed, and as long as it can establish that operations were in substantial compliance with the law.
To create a new state government “blockchain and cryptocurrency commission” comprised of specified officials and political appointees including industry representatives, for the purpose of "fostering an expansion of the industry in this state." The commission would also be tasked with examining “the feasibility, validity, risks, and admissibility, including privacy risks and benefits of using blockchain technology in state and local government and Michigan-based businesses;” and identifying “best practices for enabling blockchain technology and cryptocurrency transactions."
To require municipalities with a public beach to post on a website specified information on beach safety and anti-drowning techniques, and require state natural resource regulators to create and promulgate the safety tips.
To prescribe detailed disclosures that “high-volume third-party sellers” (more than 200 'consumer product' sales in a year) would have to make to an online marketplace (like eBay), including the seller's full name, location and contact information, whether the seller makes, imports or resells consumer products, and more. The site would then have to post a phone number on the seller's offerings for reporting "suspicious marketplace activity." The bill is supported by a broad coalition of large retail chains with outlets in this state.
To give state agriculture department regulators the authority to issue “certificates of free sale” if requested by a plant grower or nursery. This would verify their products are “legally sold or distributed in this state and on the open market with the approval of the department.” The bill does not mandate producers get the certificate or ban sales by ones who have not.
To resolve that the Michigan House urges President Joe Biden "to reject radical open border policies and to enforce our nation's immigration laws."
To require the governor to announce the election dates to fill a vacancy in the legislature within 30 days of the seat becoming open.
To add a selective state subsidy program that would give private developers and corporations $2.5 million in “Great Lakes Maritime” grants for a variety of improvements and uses related to port facilities, including pursuing more business.
To revise provisions of the state school code that prescribe a process for a governor exercising the authority granted by the state constitution to remove a local public official from office, in cases when that official is school board member or intermediate school board member. House Bill 4883 would amend the process for removing other local officials, which is authorized for neglect, corruption or malfeasance.
To make it unlawful to record in the county deeds office a property owners’ or condominium association’s governing documents that contain a “restrictive covenant” that violates the federal Civil Rights Act, and establish that existing ones are void and unenforceable. The bill would also require associations that receive a member request to delete the restrictive covenants to act on it, and empower courts to enforce this.
To establish that a police officer or a prosecuting attorney may provide a domestic or sexual violence service agency with the name and pertinent information of a victim of domestic violence for the purpose of offering supportive services.
To give $1,000 annual stipends to public school “mentor teachers” as defined in the bill, and also give $90 daily stipends to prospective teachers who are filling the teacher licensure requirement to obtain a prescribed number "apprenticeship and internship" hours.
To raise the minimum age to buy tobacco in Michigan, from 18 to 21.
To authorize grants up to $1,500 to parents whose children experienced “learning loss” due to school closures during the COVID epidemic, with 40% of the amount based on household income and the rest based on how many days a child’s classrooms were closed.
To make permanent the permission granted to local government employee retirement boards to hold their meetings remotely, which was was granted temporarily by state epidemic response laws enacted in 2020. This is one of a growing number of proposals to grant this privilege
to various public and quasi-public bodies (like agricultural commodity "marketing boards").
To authorize paying individuals in a professional training program that is required to obtain a state social worker, school counselor, psychologist or mental health professional license, a stipend for serving as an intern in various capacities at a public school.
To place in statute authorization for “robo-bartender” alcoholic dispensing machines in restaurants, bars and other establishments with a liquor license. The machines could dispense up to 96 ounces of beer, wine, or mixed spirit drink in a single order, and staff would be required to monitor their use. Rules adopted under an existing law permit a much more limited version of this, which the industry has sought to expand.
To permit establishments with an “on-premises” liquor license that also have a “public swimming pool” and pay an additional $350 license fee, to sell drinks at the pool subject to a broad range of additional regulations and requirements.
To suspend collection of the state’s 27.2 cent-per-gallon "motor fuel tax" on gasoline and diesel fuel sales from June 15 to Sept. 15, 2022. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports this would reduce the amount available for future road and bridge repairs by around $360 million.
To suspend collection of the state’s 6% sales tax on purchases of gasoline and diesel fuel from June 15 to Sept. 15, 2022. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports that suspending sales and use taxes on fuel would reduce state and school revenue around $680 million in the current fiscal year.
To authorize state grants of up to $2.5 million each to developers and owners of shipping ports and related facilities. The bill creates a new state agency to manage the subsidies, and to pursue more projects eligible for them.
To authorize civil fines of $2,500 per day for carnival ride safety violations. The bill would also revise procedures on permit revocations, appeals, reporting and disclosure mandates and more.
To revise state high school graduation requirements by adding a new one, that schools offer and students take a one-semester “personal finance” course, which would also substitute for a portion of the math credits that are currently required. The Michigan Department of Education would be required to develop the personal finance course.
To authorize adoption leave business tax credits for employers, which would be equal to half the annual wages of the employee for up to 12 weeks of adoption leave, up to a maximum of $4,000.
to reduce from a year to four months the time period a former public school employee must be retired to be eligible to collect a paycheck as a substitute teacher while also collecting pension checks
To cut the state income tax rate from 4.25% to 4.0%; authorize a $500 nonrefundable child tax credit; increase the amount the state adds on to a federal earned income tax credit for low-income households that owe no taxes, from 6% to 20% of the federal amount; increase the income tax exemption for individuals age 67 and above from $20,000 to $21,800; authorize tax credits for disabled veterans, and more. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates the bill would save taxpayers around $2.5 billion annually.
To change a law that prohibits a person younger than age 18 from selling or serving alcoholic drinks. The bill would lower the minimum age to 17.
To revise the state income tax law to authorize a $500 per household "inflation relief payment" plus an extra $100 per dependent, which would be given to households that filed a state income tax return for 2021. This is part of the $2.5 billion Republican income tax cut proposal represented by the "S-1" version of this bill passed by the state Senate on the same day, described above, which the House is expected to approve with some amendments.
To require the Michigan Public Services Commission to do a feasibility study on expanding nuclear power generation in the state.
To place on the November 2022 general election ballot a constitutional amendment to extend legislative term limits to 12 years in either or both the state House and Senate. Under Michigan’s current term limits, state representatives may only be elected for three terms of two-years each, and state senators for two terms of four-years each. The proposal would also place in the constitution a financial disclosure mandate, requiring lawmakers to submit lists each year of all assets, liabilities and more. Michigan's current term limits were placed in the state constitution by voters in a 1992 citizen's initiative that passed 59% to 41%.
The Senate vote on the term limits constitutional amendment described above.
The measure was brought to both bodies on the same day and requires a two-thirds majority from each to be placed on the November ballot, which it received.
To require individuals seeking the license and certificates required to teach in a public school to obtain training in dyslexia, as specified in the bill.
To increase the pay of district court judges to the same rate as probate court judges, which is 84% of the amount set by a state officers compensation commission for Supreme Court justices. Probate and circuit court judges now receive $159,917 per year, and district court judges now get $158,027.
To permit establishments with a public swimming pool and an “on-premises” liquor license to pay an additional $350 license fee that gives them permission to sell drinks at the pool, subject to a broad range of additional regulations and requirements including advanced pool filtration.
To allow a student to meet the foreign language requirement in the state’s high school graduation requirements by taking a computer software class instead.
To prohibit the use in Michigan of electronic voting systems produced or provided by an entity that is listed as a national security risk on the Federal Communications Commission website.
To establish that a pharmacist who receives a prescription from an advanced practice registered nurse prescriber or physician's assistant prescriber in another state or Canada may dispense the drug or device without determining whether the prescriber has the correct licenses. Under current law, Michigan pharmacists may fill such prescriptions written by out-of-state doctors, dentists and veterinarians.
To permit public school teachers and other staff who retire and begin collecting a pension to return to work in a school district and claim both a paycheck and a pension check if at least 12 months have passed since the "retirement." Under current law, with some exceptions for hard-to-fill positions, retirees who "double dip" get reduced benefits. The bill would also repeal a requirement that a school district must pay the unfunded pension benefit liability contributions associated with employing a retired teacher. Also, it would extend for 10 years a 2021 sunset on allowing retirees to fill certain high-demand positions and collect both a paycheck and full pension check.
To prohibit state regulators from requiring unattended self-service gas stations to install measures to prevent public access, including locked dispensers, security fencing or other measures. The bill would instead require daily inspections by an owner or operator, emergency shut-off switches, surveillance cameras, fire extinguishers and more.
To create a segregated state account (“fund”) to hold money extracted from pharmaceutical companies in lawsuits related to their sales of opioid pain killers, and spend it in a manner consistent with the “judgment, settlement, or compromise of claims” in legal settlements with certain drug producers (called the "Janssen settlement" and the "National Prescription Opiate Litigation").
To create a Michigan-Indiana state line commission comprised of the county surveyors of Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale counties, to oversee a survey and remonumentation of the Michigan-Indiana state line. This would be paid for from an existing state account that collects fees on recording deeds. It would be the eighth law passed in the past 20 years related to this task.
To adopt a non-binding resolution asserting that the state Senate opposes "mandates related to COVID-19 at all public and private colleges and universities in Michigan," and send it to the Michigan Association of State Universities, the president of Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, and the president of the Michigan Community College Association.
To add selling an object specifically designed for ingesting or inhaling nitrous oxide to a 1988 law that banned the sale of drug “paraphernalia,” subject to 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
To increase the subsidies the state gives to railroad companies each year to maintain their active traffic control devices, circuitry, and appurtenances at rail grade crossings. Also, to increase the payments by 6.64% every other year going forward.
To allow "retired" state prison employees to collect a pension while also getting paid to do corrections work. This authorization would expire two years after the bill becomes law.
To prohibit the use of automated, unmanned, photographic traffic signal enforcement system ("photo-cops") to issue traffic citations for violating red lights or stop signs.
To authorize use of a “uniform bar examination” to fill the current Michigan mandate that lawyers be members of the state bar association, but only if Michigan officials choose to also administer this uniform test in this state. The bill would also increase a related bar examination fee.
To reduce from a year to four months the time period a former public school employee must be retired to be eligible to collect a paycheck as a substitute teacher while also collecting pension checks.
To adopt a non-binding resolution that the Michigan Senate calls for an immediate end to public transportation face mask mandates on trains, planes and buses.
To appropriate $4.709 billion for spending on water and wastewater infrastructure programs and grants. Of this $4.133 billion comes from federal “stimulus” and relief dollars, with the rest money collected by the state.
The House vote on the large appropriations bill described above.
To add to the declarations an individual makes when registering to vote, a statement that the individual "understands it is a felony to offer to vote or attempt to vote more than once at the same election, in either the same or another voting precinct.”
To authorize state regulators to issue “certificates of free sale” for food upon request of a "food processor." This would verify a product is registered, is not disapproved by government administrators and is legal to sell. The bill does not mandate producers get the certificate or ban sales by ones who who have not.
To increase from $25,000 to $40,000 the cap on annual sales by a home-based “cottage food” operation, which are exempt from state licensure mandates imposed on commercial food producers. Also, to allow these operations to sell over the internet or by mail-order through a third-party "cottage food delivery platform."
To suspend collecting the state motor fuel tax levied on gasoline and diesel fuel purchases between April 1 and September 30, 2022. The current tax rate is 27.2 cents per gallon on both fuels, and revenue from it pays for state and local road repairs. The House Fiscal Agency projects this would reduce that revenue by $725 million in 2022, leaving an equivalent amount in motorists' pockets.
To encourage (but not require) public schools to offer a program of instruction on free enterprise and entrepreneurship for high school students.
To authorize enhanced penalties for assaulting a hospital "health professional" or volunteer by creating a new crime punishable by 93 days in jail and a $1,000 fine or more depending on specific circumstances.
To revise various regulations in the law governing veterinary practices. Among other things the bill would prohibit veterinarians from practicing “unless it is within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship” as defined in the bill; waive certain licensure mandates during a declared emergency or in response to a “to a large-scale animal cruelty case;” authorize the use of specified “therapeutic philosophy and practice that is not considered part of conventional, Western veterinary medicine;” and more.
To prohibit veterinarians from practicing “unless it is within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship” as defined in the bill. See also House Bill 4912.
To exempt diapers and adult incontinence products from sales tax. It is unusual for the House to complete and record a vote to defeat a particular bill, rather than suspending the vote and moving on to the next agenda item. In the background of this vote are ongoing negotiations on some very substantial proposals to cut the state income tax and suspend the state gas tax.
To amend provisions in the state health code that delegate to the state health department the authority to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including the statewide “lockdowns” ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. The bill would prohibit officials from using this law to ban the sale or use of lawfully possessed firearms, ammunition, or other weapons during a declared emergency or disaster.
To prohibit the Secretary of State or local election officials from delivering unsolicited absentee voter ballot applications to registered voters.
To prohibit state or local election officials and bureaus from accepting gifts from individuals or nongovernmental entities for election-related activities, equipment, or staff.
To require public schools to prominently post two state law provisions in specified rooms, including the one where the school board meets. The first provision is the text from section 1 of the Michigan Constitution’s Article 8, which reads, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
The bill would also require schools to post the section of the state School Code that reads: “It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil's parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil's intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive environment.”
To suspend collecting the state gasoline and diesel tax between April 1 and September 30, 2022. The current tax rate is 27.2 cents per gallon on both fuels, and revenue from it pays for state and local road repairs. The House Fiscal Agency projects this would save motorists around $725 million in 2022, with the foregone revenue to "backfilled" from a $4 billion state budget surplus.
To cut the state income tax rate from 4.25% to 3.9% starting Jan. 1, 2022; authorize a $500 nonrefundable income tax credit for a taxpayers' dependents who are age 18 and under; and lower from age 67 to age 62 eligibility for certain income tax exemptions on retirement income.
The Senate vote on the House-passed version of the bill described above, which does not include the business tax cut in an earlier version the Senate approved. With this vote the bill gets sent on to the Governor for signature or veto.
To replace the property tax levied on heavy equipment owned by rental companies with a 2% tax on heavy equipment rentals, to be distributed mostly to local governments.
To cut the state’s business income tax rate from 6% to 3.9% starting Jan. 1 2022.
To extend to COVID-19 treatments a 2014 "Right to Try” state law that lets terminal patients use and drug companies provide non-FDA approved treatments, subject to a broad array of restrictions, conditions and requirements.
To eliminate the $2,000 cap in a law authorizing counties to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a criminal, or the capture of an escaped convict. Under the bill there would be no limit on how large a reward a county could pay.
To require that prior to their adoption any changes made by state officials to a “pupil accounting and auditing manual” must be sent to the chairpersons of the state House and Senate education policy committees. This document is used to set standards for the number of school days and hours provided by public school districts for purposes of determining whether a district meets the qualifications to get state school aid money. As introduced the bill would have required legislative approval for these changes, which have played a role in school districts' decisions to close classrooms during the COVID epidemic.
To increase from $50 million to $100 million the debt cap in a 2008 law that authorized state job training subsidies for particular employers, provided through community colleges. The scheme diverts income tax collected from the new employees to repay the local college for the training.
To cut the state income tax rate from 4.25% to 3.9% starting Jan. 1, 2022; authorize a $600 nonrefundable tax credit for dependents age 18 and below; and reduce the corporate income tax from 6.0% to 3.9%. The bill would also increase the annual income tax deduction allowed for individuals age 67 and above from $20,000 to $30,000, and for couples from $40,000 to $60,000.
To make it a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $2,500 for unauthorized dumping of between 3 cubic feet and 5 cubic yards of refuse or trash, with the fine going up by another $2,500 for each subsequent offense. Employers would be potentially liable, and offenders could also be ordered to clean up the mess. Under current law this is a civil not criminal offense.
To amend a section of the state food law that deals with adulterated food, so as to declare that its prohibitions do not apply to food that contains or has added to it any quantity of "industrial hemp."
To authorize and create a comprehensive regulatory regime for the use of “robo-bartender” dispensing machines for beer, wine and mixed drinks that are located at a customer's table or with use of a secure "key card" in other parts of establishments with a liquor license, including restaurants, certain hotel rooms and more. The machines could not dispense more than 96 ounces in a single order, or dispense spirituous liquor “straight.” Customers would still have to place the order with a human staff member, and staff members would still be required to monitor the service.
To permit local governments that have created joint emergency services agencies including fire departments impose new property taxes and incur long term debt (sell bonds) to acquire buildings and equipment if local voters approve.
To revise a 2002 law that authorized a joint legislative committee inquire into the proposed actions of a state “Certificate of Need” commission, which was created in the 1970s to ration the number of medical providers and facilities in the state. The bill would require this committee to meet annually and review the law’s impact on the availability, quality and the cost of medical services in Michigan. Related bills would establish other transparency requirements for this law and entity.
To repeal criminal sanctions for a person who is ice fishing and fails to attach his or her name and address to tip-ups, or regular fishing with more than the authorized number of lines. These violations would instead be subject to fines up to $150.
To go along with the $8.4 million spending increase approved a day earlier by the House for a Michigan Technological University construction project, and raise the bill's total cost by adding another $4.2 million to cover similar cost overruns at an Oakland University construction project, giving it a new total cost of $44.2 million.
To revise a law that permits the state to “ buy back” commercial housing market bond debt it has assumed. The bill would permit rather than require the state to cancel such “repurchased” bond debt. Such discretion could benefit the state if officials time the market right, but increase costs if their timing is off.
To require the governor to announce the election dates to fill a vacancy in the state House or Senate within 30 days of the vacancy. Under current law governors have discretion in the timing, which can affect legislative outcomes.
To prohibit research that uses organs, tissues, or cells taken from a dead embryo, fetus, or neonate obtained from an abortion. This and related bills would repeal an exception that allows this if the mother gives consent.
To no longer seek competitive bids for state architectural, engineering or land surveying service contracts, and instead let officials assess and rank vendors according to specified (and potentially subjective) criteria, and then try to negotiate a “fair and reasonable” contract with the “highest ranking” firm. The bill does not establish how “fair and reasonable” would be defined in the absence of competitive bidding. If officials don’t get the price they want they would repeat the process with the next firm on their list.
To authorize “automated vehicle roadways" or lanes, use of which would be exclusively reserved for vehicles operating while communicating with an “automated vehicle roadway system.” The bill would permit the state to contract out construction and operation of such roads and permit charging tolls on them.
To establish that a “uniform bar examination” created and administered by a national group would fill the current Michigan mandate that lawyers be members of the state bar association, but only if Michigan officials choose to administer this uniform test in this state. The bill would also increase bar examination fees and related charges.
To establish procedures and standards for selecting a vendor for the defined-contribution annuity option authorized for school retirees by the 2017 pension reform law that largely replaced a persistently underfunded “defined benefit” pension system with 401k account employer contributions, or an annuity to be created later, which this bill would do.
To prohibit the use of a "mobile electronic device" including a cell phone while driving, except for hands-free or voice-activated devices, with violations subject to fines or up to 16 hours of community service for texting-while-driving, and 24 hours for a second offense. This and House Bill 4788 would also increase fines and license penalty points and authorize license suspensions for three or more violations within three years, ban driving with headphones or ear-buds, ban recording, watching or sending a video while driving, ban interacting on social media while driving and more.
To grant $5,000 state income tax exemptions, and $10,000 on joint returns, if the money is deposited 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 "first time home buyers"). The exemptions could be claimed for up to five years, meaning $50,000 could be exempted from state income tax liability over time by certain households. Fiscal agency analysts estimate the bill will transfer up to $19.8 million in benefits to these households, with an equivalent amount of revenue foregone by the state. A version of this proposal was vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018.
To grant $5,000 state income tax exemptions, and $10,000 on joint returns, if the money is deposited in a specialty savings account for individuals who have not bought or owned a Michigan home in the past three years (labeled by related bills as "first time home buyers"). The exemptions could be claimed for up to five years, meaning $50,000 could be exempted from state income tax liability over time by individuals who can afford to do so. Legislative fiscal agency analysts estimate the bill will provide up to $19.8 million in benefits for these individuals, with an equivalent amount of revenue foregone by the state. A version of this proposal was vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018.
To exempt from state income tax up to $5,000, and $10,000 on joint returns, that is deposited 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 could be exempted from state income tax liability by an account owner over time. A version of this proposal was vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018
To appropriate $1 billion for a new corporate subsidy scheme. The money would pay for a “Critical Industry Fund” to give grants and loans to certain companies to create jobs or job training, and a “Strategic Site Readiness Fund” to give others money to create “investment-ready sites” for new plants and facilities. The bill also appropriates $409 million for relief to businesses "afflicted" by the coronavirus epidemic and responses, and $75 million to reduce personal property taxes levied on business tools and equipment.
The House vote to spend $1 billion on the new corporate subsidy program described above.
To double a small business exemption on the value of business tools and equipment subject to property taxes (called the “personal property tax"), from $80,000 to $160,000, and also index this to inflation going forward.
To mandate that “all (public) school personnel” complete seizure recognition and seizure first-aid response training every other year.
To authorize state income tax deductions for gambling losses claimed on an individual’s federal tax returns.
To extend an Open Meetings Act requirement that public bodies hold their meetings in public to the “independent citizens redistricting commission” authorized by a 2018 ballot initiative. The bill was introduced after this controversial commission met behind closed doors to discuss secret legal memos related to its potential federal Voting Rights Act violations.
To create a new corporate subsidy program and account, to be called the “Strategic Site Readiness Fund,” which would give grants and loans to certain companies to create “investment-ready sites” for new job producing plants and facilities.
The House version of the new corporate subsidy program described above as Senate Bill 770.
To create a new corporate subsidy program and account, to be called the “Critical Industry Fund,” which would give grants and loans to certain companies to create jobs or job training.
The House version of the new corporate subsidy program described above as Senate Bill 771.
To revise a "brownfields" law used to give subsidies to particular developers by stripping-out provisions requiring that the transfer of state revenue to a developer “result in an overall positive fiscal impact to this state.” The bill would authorize subsidies of up to $10 million to each beneficiary, which recipients could collect by essentially getting a portion of employees' or residents’ income tax.
To change the terms of county commissioners to four years, instead of the current two years “concurrent” with state representative" terms.
To eliminate the criminal penalties for a minor who tries to buy or possesses tobacco. A first offense would be a civil offense with a $50 fine (as in current law), and community service and participation in a government approved “health promotion and risk reduction” program. Subsequent offenses would also be civil offenses subject to a $100 fine on a second offense and $150 on subsequent offenses.
To authorize a state government “community crisis response grant program” that would give state grants to local governments related to 9-1-1 call responses, with the amount in part determined by a particular social-welfare organization selected by the state. This would include in 911 call responses "community crisis responder clinicians...or peers,” for "stabilization, de-escalation, harm reduction, screening and assessment, and connection to mental health, substance use disorder, social, health, or other services and supports as needed.”
To authorize Michigan’s entry into a multi-state psychology interjurisdictional compact that permits psychologists licensed in one member state to also practice in other member states. The bill would prescribe rules and definitions for this.
To double the a small business exemption on the value of business tools and equipment subject to property taxes (called the “personal property tax"), from $80,000 to $160,000, and also index this to inflation going forward.
To extend an Open Meetings Act requirement that public bodies hold their meetings in public to the “independent citizens redistricting commission” authorized by a 2018 ballot initiative. The bill was introduced after this controversial commission met behind closed doors to discuss secret legal memos related to its potential violations of the federal Voting Rights Act.
To permit government agencies authorized by a 1978 "energy employment” law created to provide or subsidize municipal power plants and related projects and dubbed “joint agencies,” to hold “virtual” board meetings electronically on a permanent basis, not just during epidemics. This is one of at least 10 bills proposed this year to grant this privilege to certain government authorities, some obscure and some that are not.
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 - when that governor has left office its terms only apply until they are rejected by a subsequent governor. The bill would also require that these agreements be signed by the governor and filed in the state office of the great seal.
To add paying for on-campus room and board to the benefits a local government “promise zone” tax increment financing authority (TIFA) may provide to students eligible for its scholarships. These entities were authorized in 2008 to “capture" a portion of any increases in the state portion of school property tax revenue in the area, and use the money to partially subsidize college tuition for local students.
To revise state high school graduation standards that require 2.0 credits in a language other than English by reducing this to 1.5 credits, and adding a .5 credit “financial literacy” requirement. The Michigan Department of Education would be required to develop "content expectations" for the personal finance course. This would also consolidate similar provisions already in this law.
To revise a 2017 “Good Jobs For Michigan” law that authorized the state to give ongoing cash subsidies to Detroit developer Dan Gilbert and potentially other business owners, by stripping-out provisions requiring business subsidies to “result in an overall positive fiscal impact to this state.” Unlike the other corporate and developer subsidy schemes enacted in the name of “economic development,” this law’s revenue transfers appeared to create incentives for businesses in other Michigan communities to move to Detroit, rather than grow the state economy as a whole. The bill would also increase an annual cap on how much a subsidized company could get.
To cap at 6.7% the return estimate that managers of the state’s government employee pension system use to determine state pension fund assets will grow over time (and whether it’s enough to meet the state’s pension promises to employees). Also, to require that if new unfunded liability gaps appear, they must be filled (“caught-up on”) within 10 years or less.
To revise requirements and procedures for an animal control agency taking possession of an abused animal seized by police, and its ultimate disposition, including forfeiture and humane euthanization. Under this and House Bill 4704 the owner would be responsible for all related costs, including euthanization if ordered. The bills are intended to provide uniformity in several sections of state animal cruelty law.
To extend to a private Michigan prison that contracts with a federal agency to hold inmates the same penalties for giving a prisoner a cell phone or certain other contraband that applies to state-run prisons. The bill comes after activists who oppose prison privatization have been caught tossing potentially dangerous contraband over the fence to prisoners.
To require medical records referencing treatment of an individual that involves vaginal or anal penetration by a health professional to be retained for 15 years by the health professional and health facility or agency, with violations subject to criminal sanctions. Also, to require the licensure boards for different medical specialties to produce “guidance to licensees on generally accepted standards of medical practice for medical services involving vaginal or anal penetration, including internal pelvic floor treatments.”
To expand a provision of a state consumer protection act that restricts third parties from offering online services that are similar to ones performed by a governmental agency, by requiring them to “conspicuously” indicate that the operation is not a government entity, plus disclosing the prices and terms.
To authorize state grants equal to 80% of the amount spent by developers and owners on shipping ports and improvements. As introduced the bill would have required the developer to permit public use of the port for at least 10 years, but this was deleted from the House-passed version.
To prohibit public schools from teaching "critical race theory." Specifically, the bill prohibits instructing children that because of their race or gender individuals comprising a racial or ethnic group or gender all act in certain ways, hold certain opinions, are born racist or sexist, bear collective guilt for historical wrongs, or regard race or gender as a better predictor of outcome than character, work ethic, or skills. Also, to ban teaching that the cultural norms or practices of a racial or ethnic group or gender are flawed and must be eliminated or changed to conform; that racism (or sexism) is inherent in individuals from a particular race or ethnic group (or gender); that a racial or ethnic group or gender is in need of deconstruction, elimination, or criticism; or that the actions of some individuals serve as an indictment against their race or gender. Democrats abstained from voting on the bill.
To deduct manufacturer rebates from the purchase price of a new car, boat or RV for purposes of calculating sales tax. The bill would require foregone school aid revenue generated by the narrow tax break to be taken from other state taxes and fees.
To require state regulators to refund civil penalties they imposed on employers for violating emergency orders issued under a 1945 emergency powers law that has been ruled unconstitutional because it let a governor declare a state of emergency and govern unilaterally with no time limit.
To require public schools that impose epidemic-related face mask mandates on students to grant waivers; ban districts from requiring school board meeting attendees to wear a face mask or get a COVID test; prohibit schools from requiring asymptomatic students to get a COVID test, and more.
To prohibit public or private schools from mandating student get a vaccine authorized solely for emergency use (meaning the COVID vaccines available when the bill was introduced). Also, to ban different requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated students including separated seating, facemask requirements and more.
To prohibit the state health department from issuing an order that requires schoolchildren who are asymptomatic for COVID-19 to wear a face mask, receive an experimental drug vaccination (meaning one for COVID), or get tested for COVID-19. This would apply to attending school, riding the bus, or participating in on- or off-campus extracurriculars. This would also apply to adults attending school board meetings.
To repeal the Oct. 1, 2021 sunset on a law that caps the 32% tobacco tax imposed on cigars at 50 cents per cigar. In other words, if the bill becomes law the 50 cent cap would remain in effect.
To exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax.
To amend the definition of “brownfield” subsidies in a way that would allow a certain developer to collect these taxpayer-funded benefits on a particular venture.
To preempt local governments from enacting any ordinance, rule, or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife making components that is more restrictive than state law. Also, to preempt local rules or ordinances relating to the manufacture of a knife that are more restrictive than those relating to the manufacture of any other commercial goods.
To revise population thresholds in a law that permits certain communities to levy property taxes for public safety services, so as to allow Romulus to impose this type of tax. The bill would also let governments in Berkley, Harper Woods and the city of Saginaw impose these levies
To allow local governments to restrict a person from doing Airbnb-type short term rentals on more than two properties within their jurisdiction, and to limit the total number of short term rentals to 30% of the local rental market. With some narrow exceptions locals could not enforce zoning restrictions that restrict short term rentals. Locals could adopt regulations on noise, advertising, traffic, nuisances, dwelling capacity, inspections, fees and taxes otherwise permitted by law.
To create a K-12 “student opportunity scholarship program” that would allow individuals and companies to get a tax credit for contributing to a nonprofit “scholarship organization” that would provide grants to lower income families to pay tuition at a non-pubic school, or pay for other education expenses, services and supplies. Beneficiaries would get individual accounts from which families could draw money for permitted expenses. Senate Bill 688 and House Bill 5405 would authorize up to $500 million in annual tax credits for this, which would increase with demand according to a specified formula.
The House version of the school choice tax credit bill described above.
To authorize state grants to local governments, with the amounts determined using criteria devised by a particular social-welfare organization. This would pay for sending one or more “community crisis responder clinicians or community crisis responder peers” on 911 calls, who among other things would do “ screening and assessment” for referral of individuals to “mental health, substance use disorder, social, health, or other services and supports as needed.” Reportedly there are 51 organizations that would be the ultimate recipients of the money.
To establish a process to allow a township to change the township’s name. Two thirds of the township board would have to agree to put the question on the ballot in a regular November or August election, and voters would have to approve it.
To exempt from sales tax the delivery and installation costs necessary to complete a purchase, which are taxable under current law.
To impose a new licensure and $75 per charger fee regime on paid electric vehicle charging services.
To retroactively make a particular developer’s project eligible for increased “refundable” state business tax credits under a suspended program that authorized actual cash payments from the state treasury to a relative handful of companies and developers approved by state officials. The bill would allow the particular developer to "shuffle" the credits/subsidies he was granted between two separate projects in a way that maximizes how much is collected.
The bill would also increase the total subsidies the developer will receive, and allow another five years to complete the project. The House Fiscal Agency estimates this will result in a $12.8 million increase in either foregone state revenue, or in actual cash disbursements to this developer.
To restrict access to the state's qualified voter file (QVF) database to the Secretary of State office and other authorized election officials, local and county election clerks, and state employees or vendors who do maintenance and security work on the QVF. The bill would remove a provision authorizing access by a “designated voter registration agency.” The Senate also passed House Bill 4838 by the same margin, which would have banned connecting the electronic poll book at election precincts from being connected to the internet on election day. Note: Both bills were vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Oct. 3.
To add to teacher continuing education courses a requirement that they include “mental health first aid” training, and require the Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services to "develop or adopt" a program for this. This would include "identifying potential risk factors and warning signs for mental illness, and strategies for helping an individual experiencing a mental health crisis."
To include absent students who are "in quarantine" and "being educated through physical educational materials” as defined in the bill to be deemed present on the school district enrollment “count days" on which state aid is determined.
To require the board of state canvassers to complete the canvass of signatures collected on an initiated law petition within 100 days after it is filed with the Secretary of State. If canvassers declare there are enough valid signatures then the proposed law must be immediately forwarded to the legislature for consideration. Under the state constitution, unless the legislature enacts the law proposed by an initiative that gains the required number of signatures, it goes on the next general election ballot for a vote of the people.
The House vote on amending the initiated law process described above.
The non-education of the state budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2021. The bill appropriates $50.706 billion for all non-education state spending, of which $10.378 billion is federal money, including unprecedented amounts enacted by Congress as part of epidemic "stimulus" and relief bills.
When the state education spending authorized in House Bill 4400 is added (see below), the combined budgets propose spending a grand total of $68.9 billion in the 2021-22 fiscal year, which is $10.4 billion more than the state has ever spent prior to the pandemic. That includes $3.6 billion more in state spending, a 10.4% increase, and $6.7 billion more in federal spending, a 28.4% increase.
The legislature did not appropriate the total amount available for the year, leaving about $11 billion in federal grants and higher-than expected state revenue collections to be allocated later.
The House vote on the budget bill described above.
The state education budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2021. The bill appropriates $19.218 billion for all state education spending. This includes $431.9 million for community colleges, $1.808 billion for the state's four-year colleges and universities, and $1.978 billion for K-12 public schools.
The House vote on the budget bill described above.
To prohibit officials including the governor from using an official “Integrated Public Alert Warning System” to transmit an announcement of a new law or change in government policy, and instead limit its use to emergencies involving immediate or imminent loss of life or property. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer received criticism for using this system during a 2020 state of emergency to make announcements that did not meet this standard. The system is described as a “secure network connecting all of the public alert and warning systems in the United States into a single system.” In the House six Democrats supported the bill, but the Senate vote was a party line vote.
To establish that portable fuel containers that are completely made in Michigan and sold here only are not subject to federal regulations, notwithstanding court judgments that hold federal rules to be controlling under the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause.
To expand a law that requires a school-aged minor to get a work permit from a school district official in order to get a job (with a number of exceptions). The bill would extend to home-schooled students a requirement that their parent or guardian issue the required permit.
To restrict access to the state's qualified voter file (QVF) database to the Secretary of State office, other election officials it authorizes, local and county election clerks, and state employees or vendors who do maintenance and security work on the QVF. The bill would remove a provision authorizing access by a “designated voter registration agency.” Twenty Democrats joined all Republicans in voting 'yes' on this and House Bill 4838.
To prohibit the electronic poll book at each election precinct from being connected to the internet on election day until its votes have been tabulated. It would also prohibit connecting an electronic voting system to the internet until after the votes are counted, and then only to upload the results to the appropriate clerk.
To require the Department of Transportation to “develop parameters for prioritizing the funding of grant applications for grade separation projects" (road and street railroad crossing improvements) from a segregated state account proposed for this by House Bill 4524, which also passed. House Bill 4522 proposes allocating $30 million for this but has not advanced.
To retroactively make a particular developer’s project eligible for “refundable” state business tax credits under a suspended program that authorized actual cash payments from the state treasury to a relative handful of companies and developers approved by state officials. The bill would also allow the developer to "shuffle" the credits/subsidies that granted between two separate projects in a way that maximizes the subsidy. The House Fiscal Agency estimates this will result in $12.8 million in either state revenue, or in actual cash disbursements to this developer. The 17 Republicans opposing the bill were joined by four Democrats.
To approve an “initiated law” that would repeal one of the two Michigan statutes that authorize a governor to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including statewide “lockdowns” like those ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic.
Enacted in 1945, this law places no limit on the duration of a declared emergency. The state’s other emergency powers law adopted in 1976 puts a 28 day deadline on a governor’s assumption of emergency powers, with legislative approval required for any extensions.
Approval by the governor is not required for an initiated law approved by both the House and Senate. The Senate approved the proposal a week earlier, which means with this vote the 1945 law is officially repealed.
To authorize voter initiatives to place term limits on elected officials of “general law” villages. A petition signed by 10% of registered voters would place a measure on the local ballot limiting future elected officials to four two-year terms or two four-year terms.
To approve an “initiated law” that would repeal one of the two state laws that authorize a governor to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including statewide “lockdowns” like those ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic.
Enacted in 1945, this law places no limit on the duration of a declared emergency. The state’s other emergency powers law adopted in 1976 puts a 28 day deadline on a governor’s assumption of emergency powers, with legislative approval required for any extensions.
A state Supreme Court ruling in Oct. 2020 held that a law authorizing what amounts to unilateral governance for the duration of a governor’s term violates the constitution’s separation of powers provisions.
Approval by the governor is not required for an initiated law, which is placed before the legislature by petition. If the legislature does not approve the measure it is placed on the next general election ballot.
To make an exception to the state law banning drag racing for “an activity at Silver Lake State Park authorized by the Department of Natural Resources.” This would apply to a 450-acre section of sand dunes park managers have set aside as a "scramble area" for ORVs.
To appropriate $25 million for grants to certain rehab clinics said to be aggrieved by fee caps in the 2019 auto insurance reform law. This law eliminated a requirement for all policies to include unlimited lifetime medical and personal care benefits for crash victims, which was said to generate of fraud and abuse, and was cited as a major reason for the state's very high insurance costs.
To prohibit the Secretary of State from charging late fees on drivers license or licenses and document renewals until all its branch offices are open for walk-in service that allow same-day transactions to be completed without the requirement of an advance appointment.
To appropriate $1.25 million for county prosecutors to investigate "the long-term care and residential care facility policies implemented by the governor" in response to the coronavirus epidemic and "data on infection and transmission rates, tracking, tracing, and number of deaths associated with these facilities"
To end further state participation in the $300 weekly "supplemental" unemployment benefits authorized by a federal "stimulus" spending bill. News reports indicate 25 other states have refused the benefits due to concerns they incentivize people not to work while jobs are plentiful. The bill would also require the state unemployment agency to use clear and concise plain language in its communications and determinations.
To prohibit a governor from adding to the state’s long term debt by borrowing money for road repairs (“bonding”) without consent from two-thirds of the House and Senate. The bill comes after the legislature refused to enact a 45 cent per gallon gas tax proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who then authorized $800 million in new road debt in 2020, and eventually up to $3.5 billion. Money to service these debts comes out of future gas taxes and other transportation tax revenue.
To permit school districts to install cameras on school buses the purpose of prosecuting motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus.
To permit members of the agricultural commodity marketing boards to meet electronically. The bill would permit this on a permanent basis, not just in epidemics. These entities allocate money collected through mandatory assessments levied on growers; examples include commissions for growers of apples, asparagus, potatoes, cherries, beans, beef and others.
To appropriate $16.742 billion for K-12 public schools in the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which $1.943 billion is federal money. The budget would raise the per-pupil state "foundation allowance" target to $8,700. This would be the first year since voters authorized this complex distribution formula in the 1994 Proposal A school funding initiative that its goal was reached of equalizing this amount between all of Michigan's 537 conventional public school districts.
To impose a binding arbitration mandate on local governments in union labor negotiations with corrections officers (jail guards). A similar mandate has long applied to local police agencies, and more recently fire departments, and reportedly increases costs and complicates contract negotiations.
To require a person to show an original or a copy of identification when requesting an absentee ballot in person or by mail, with those unable to do so getting a "provisional" ballot. Also passed were Senate Bills 303 and 304 to authorize the provisional ballots, which require a voter to show documents within six days that verify his or her identity and address for the vote to be counted.
To authorize a new form of property tax break for developers who refurbish or build rental housing and rent out at least 30% of the proposed units at below-market prices to households with incomes less than 120% of the median for their county (dubbed “attainable housing”). The bill would authorize a 50% property tax cut on the structures. Also passed was the related Senate Bill 360, to grant income tax breaks to these developers, which the Senate Fiscal Agency reports would bring "unknown and potentially significant" costs.
To create another type of selective property tax break that local elected officials can give to certain developers, this one granting a 50% cut for up to 12 years for residential developments.
To preempt local governments or authorities from enacting any ordinance, rule, or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife making components that is more restrictive than state law.
To make restaurants and other food service establishments and vendors afflicted by government epidemic lockdowns eligible for refunds on the fees they under various state license regimes. The House also passed related bills applying similar provisions to other occupational or business licensing regimes.
To end further state participation in the $300 per week "supplemental" federal unemployment benefits authorized by congress in epidemic "stimuulus" bills. News reports indicate 25 other states have refused the benefits as of the date of this vote, due to concerns they incentivize people not to work when jobs are plentiful. The bill would also require the state unemployment agency to use clear and concise plain language in communications to employers and benefit claimants, with vocabulary based on a fourth-grade reading level.
To authorize tax relief for a business that was forced to close for at least six weeks due to an executive or emergency order that cost the company 25% of its gross receipts for the year. The bill would authorize a business income tax credit equal to the firm’s property tax liability for the year. Businesses that rent would get a comparable credit based on lease costs. This applies to restaurants, taverns, hotels and motels, health clubs, entertainment facilities and other such “public facing” enterprises.
To prohibit the Secretary of State from charging drivers license renewal late fees until all its branch offices are open “on a consistent basis” for a minimum of 25 hours per week for in-person services with no appointment or preregistration requirement. Also, to require the department to submit to the legislature a detailed report on how it plans to get caught up on renewals delayed by branch office closures and open-hour limitations in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
To require that members of a state wolf management advisory council all be Upper Peninsula residents, unless and until winter tracking surveys and genetic testing show wolves are present in the Lower Peninsula, at which time a majority of the members of the council would have to be residents of the Lower Peninsula.
To impose a mandate on state legislators to file detailed annual personal financial disclosure reports, called "conflict of interest reports." The reports would go to a legislative ethics committees proposed by House Bill 4680, and would not be public records subject to disclosure under the state's Freedom of Information Act law.
To impose a personal financial disclosure mandate on state officers, defined as the governor and lieutenant governor, the Secretary of State, Attorney General, state treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, members of the liquor control and civil service commissions, members of the State Board of Education and of state university governing boards.
To place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would to empower a two-thirds majority of the state House or Senate to suspend part or all of the salary and expense allowances of a member who acts unethically or is excessively absent from regular sessions. Also, to require record roll call votes on giving a new law "immediate effect" when it is passed. The state Constitution requires a two-thirds House and Senate majority vote for a new bill to go into effect immediately rather than after a specified period, and in the House this is usually done by "hammering through" the requirement using a voice vote only, not a record roll call vote.
To require that when leaving the state and on return, the governor must notify the lieutenant governor, and require this person to notify legislative leaders in writing within 12 hours.
To add an exception to SB 458, waiving the "governor has left the state" reporting requirement for a legislative leader believed to present "a security risk to this state because of his or her affiliations with a domestic terrorist organization." This was proposed by Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor.
To impose a state permit mandate on "aggregates" mining (sand and gravel), which are needed for road repair and reconstruction projects. The bill would preempt locally imposed restrictions and permit requirements (with exceptions), and authorize a $5,000 permit application fee.
To create an exception to a 2019 law that prohibited government “civil asset forfeitures,” which are takings of property that may be associated with a suspected drug-related crime, unless the individual is actually convicted or accepts a plea bargain. That only applies to police seizures of property worth $50,000 or more, and the bill would lower this to $20,000 for property seized by public airport authority police.
To remove a cap on the amount of state online gambling tax revenue that can be given to the horse race industry and tracks. Fiscal agency analysts note this could cause a modest reduction in revenue for schools.
To prohibit the state or local governments from producing or issuing a COVID-19 vaccine passport, subject to a $1,000 penalty per violation. The bill would also ban governments from providing an incentive to a person to require or use a vaccination passport.
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 to provide records requested under the state Freedom of Information Act. Such an order was imposed in April 2020 and rescinded that June.
To prohibit including a mandate in an epidemic-related state or local health department order that requires minors to get a coronavirus vaccination.
To revise a law that requires facilities open to the public (“public accommodations") to permit the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, so that it also requires them to allow trainers to use the facility to train or socialize a service animal.
To add the employment of an individual as a substitute teacher to the list of prohibited subjects of collective bargaining between school districts and teacher unions.
To allow a school district to hire a current employee as a substitute teacher even if the individual does not have a college degree or otherwise meet the legal requirements to be a substitute teacher. The person would get a raise if their current pay was less than a substitutes’ pay but would not get a cut if it was more. This would expire with the 2021-22 school year.
To require state regulators to refund civil penalties they imposed on employers for violating emergency orders issued under a 1945 emergency powers law that has been ruled unconstitutional because it let a governor declare a state of emergency with no time limit and use it to govern unilaterally.
To make it a felony to knowingly submit an absent voter ballot application containing false information or a forged signature, or fill out and submit an absent voter ballot application in another person’s name, or submit an absent voter ballot application with the intent to obtain multiple absent voter ballots.
To place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment establishing that a state department or agency may not take disciplinary action against an employee because the employee communicates with a member of the legislature or a member's staff. The proposal would also ban restricting a nonpartisan employee of the legislature from communicating with a lawmaker or their staff. This requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate to go on the ballot.
To establish that deer feeding from backyard bird feeders does not constitute "deer baiting" or feeding, which are currently prohibited due to disease transmission concerns. The bill would explicitly permit placing up to two gallons of bird seed in a feeder within 300 feet of a residence.
To encourage public schools to offer a program of instruction on free enterprise and entrepreneurship for high school students.
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.
To appropriate $150 million in state dollars for deposit into the state unemployment insurance benefit fund to offset exposure to fraud and improper payments during the coronavirus epidemic. The bill also appropriates $405 million state tax dollars for tax and fee relief to businesses afflicted by coronavirus lockdowns. These appropriations had been in another bill but were line-item vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
To revise the procedure specified in state election law to remove certain registered voters listed in the qualified voter file who haven't voted since 2000 or who have unknown dates of birth in the voter rolls, and do not respond to a mailing.
To establish that the director of the Department of Health and Human Services does not have the authority to issue epidemic-related emergency orders that close schools for in-person instruction or prohibit school sporting events. The legislature gave this authority to the state health department director in the Public Health Code enacted in 1978; the bill would amend that law by instead giving this authority to local health departments.
To establish that the emergency executive orders issued by the governor or the state health department do not relieve county clerks of their duty to process concealed pistol carry permits, or the State Police of their duty to provide fingerprinting services for this.
To revise a law that punishes a school district that hires an instructor, counselor or administrator who has not complied with the licensure mandates imposed by law on these professions. Currently, the amount paid to the individual is deducted from state school aid. The bill would deduct 50 percent for 10 days after a district is notified, and then revert to the usual 100% deduction. The same law makes it a felony subject to a $1,500 fine for a school official who fails to comply. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports that just under $1.0 million in penalties was assessed on districts in the 2019-20 school year.
To appropriate $1.946 billion in additional school spending in the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which $1.876 billion is federal money and $170 million comes from state tax collections. However, $840 million of the federal money may only be spent if House Bill 4049 becomes law, which transfers the power to close schools during an epidemic from the state health department to local health departments.
The House vote on the school spending bill described above.
To appropriate $2.309 billion in state and federal epidemic relief dollars, with $1.677 federal money and $632 million coming from state taxpayers. Of this, $600 million would go for food stamps, $150 million for unemployment benefits, $150 million to temporary raises for front-line social welfare direct care workers, $110 million for vaccines, $547 million for more coronavirus testing and lab grants, $282 million in rental housing subsidies of which $62 million is for administration, $300 million state dollars for property tax relief and much more. Of the testing and lab grant dollars, $347.3 million can only be spent if a bill passes limiting state health department emergency orders to 28 days without legislative approval (see Senate Bill 1).
The House vote on the supplemental spending bill described above.
To prohibit officials including the governor from using an official “Integrated Public Alert Warning System” to transmit an announcement of a new law or change in government policy, and instead limit its use to emergencies involving immediate or nearly immediate loss of life or property. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used this system during a 2020 state of emergency she had ordered to make announcements that did not meet this standard. The system is described as a “secure network connecting all of the public alert and warning systems in the United States into a single system.”
To appropriate $672.7 million federal dollars and $55 million collected from state taxpayers for various coronavirus response activities including $390.1 million more for vaccine distribution and virus tests, $282.5 million more for rental subsidies, and $55 million state dollars to give a $2.25 hourly raise to certain social welfare direct care workers through September.
To appropriate an additional $1.246 billion for Michigan's public school system in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Of this, $932 million is federal money and the rest comes from state taxpayers. A total of $807 million would be allocated to school districts based on the number of children from lower income households they enroll. Another $90 million would go to K-8 summer school programs and $45.0 million for high school credit recovery programs, with smaller amounts for other purposes.
To add to the dozens of violations specified in a state consumer protection act a new one that applies to a private third party who offers “online services that are performed by a state agency, department, or division” without “conspicuously” indicating that the operation is not a government entity, and without disclosing the prices and terms.
To place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to require that bills passed in a “lame duck” legislative session held after the election in an even year must get a two-thirds House and Senate majority vote to become law. To be placed on the ballot, a House or Senate Joint Resolution proposing a constitutional amendment much get at least a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. Approval by the governor is not required.
To exempt “broadband equipment” used by some internet providers from personal property taxes levied on business tools and equipment. The beneficiaries would be firms claiming to "resolve a lack of broadband service," which is undefined in the bill. For this reason the Senate Fiscal Agency is unable to estimate how much revenue the state and local governments may forego if the bill becomes law.
To authorize Michigan’s participation in an interstate physical therapist licensure compact that would make it easier for a therapist seeking licensure in more than one state to demonstrate licensure status in his or her home state. The bill would establish that a therapist licensed in a member state that has complied with the compact’s detailed provisions would be granted a “compact privilege” to practice in other compact member states, subject to those other states' laws.
To appropriate $868.5 million in recently-approved federal coronavirus relief money, which is about 25% of the entire amount available to the state, with the rest to be allocated later. The appropriation directs $510 million federal dollars to expand food stamp distributions and related programs; $165.5 million for household rent and utility subsidies; $143.7 million for coronavirus testing and contact tracing; and smaller amounts for other purposes.
To revise school spending in the 2021-22 fiscal year to accommodate a $1.8 billion increase in federal coronavirus relief. The bill would allocate $1.490 billion to school districts, which they can spend on any of 15 specific activities listed in the federal relief bill. Among other items this bill also authorizes $86.7 million for non-public schools, $21 million for extra grants to summer school teachers, and more. The bill also appropriates $363 million state dollars to pay for extra “incentives” to get teachers back in public school classrooms. The bill is "tie-barred" to House Bill 4049, which transfers the power to close schools during an epidemic from the state health department to local health departments; this means the school spending bill can't become law unless that bill also becomes law.
To establish that the director of the Department of Health and Human Services does not have the authority to issue epidemic-related emergency orders that close schools for in-person instruction or prohibit school sporting events. The legislature gave this authority to the state health department director in the Public Health Code enacted in 1978; the bill would amend that law by instead giving this authority to local health departments.
To appropriate $393.5 million state dollars to give property tax and other relief to “afflicted businesses” impacted by state coronavirus lockdowns including restaurants and bars, “exercise facilities, “recreation facilities or places of public amusement,” and “entertainment venues." Also, to appropriate $150 million to the state unemployment insurance system “for offsetting expected exposure to state fraud and improper payments" during the epidemic.
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Contact my lawmakers
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734. email@example.com
Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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