Friday, June 19, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: June 15th – June 19th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (June 15th through June 19th).  Please feel free to contact me (517.373.0826; andyschor@house.mi.gov) if you have any questions or thoughts about any of the below bills.

Thank you!

Andy Schor
State Representative
68th District

Passed 6/15 – 6/19

Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act
HB 4052 (S-1) 6/16/15, Passed 59-51
HB 4052 would create would create the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act.
Please note: HB 4052 is expected to pass the Senate with an S-1 substitute. The substitute adds Sections 16 and 17, as well as inserts a definition of “local policy.” Section 16 is ostensibly aimed at allowing for a local government to be able to set terms and conditions on its own contracts, but so long as the phrase “Subject to sections 6 to 12” remains in the bill, the Section is effectively voided by the rest of the bill, H-6 It removes the old Section 4 language

Expands an allowance for non-public school students (private and homeschool) to take classes in public schools from 1-12 to K-12
HB 4594 6/16/15, Passed 110-0
HB 4594 expands an allowance for non-public school students (private and homeschool) to take classes in public schools from 1-12 to K-12.

Amends the District Library Establishment Act to remove a sunset on the ability of a school district to establish a new district library
SB 108 6/16/15, Passed 109-1
SB 108 amends the District Library Establishment Act to remove a sunset on the ability of a school district to establish a new district library. Under the Act, at least two municipalities, except for two or more school districts that hold their regularly scheduled elections on different dates, may come together to establish and maintain a district library. Current law defines a municipality as “a city, village, school district, township, or county. Municipality shall not include a school district for the purpose of establishing a new district library after January 1, 2015.” The bill strikes the emphasized language in the definition, allowing school districts to qualify as a municipality to establish new district libraries into perpetuity.

Service Dog Bill Package
HB 4521 (H-1) 6/16/15, Passed 110-0
HB 4527 (H-1) 6/16/15, Passed 108-2
HB 4521 & 4527 expand current statutes relating to the use of service animals to include protections for veterans (and others) with PTSD, TBI, and other psychological disorders who are eligible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Amends statute and deletes “crippled child” and replace it with “children and youth with special health care needs
SB 112 6/16/15, Passed 110-0
SB 113 (H-1) 6/16/15, Passed 110-0
SB 114 (H-1) 6/16/15, Passed 110-0
The bills each amend Public Act 137 of 1921, which authorizes counties to contract for the care and treatment of certain children, to refer to a child or children “with special health care needs” rather than a “crippled” child or children. The bills are tie-barred to HB 4205.

Moving Violations on Private Property Open to the Public
HB 4314 6/17/15, Passed 89-21
HB 4314 would allow certain moving violation statutes to be enforced on private property open to the public, specifically when an individual operates a motor vehicle on property open to the public in a manner that would be a moving violation if done on a public road, and death or the serious impairment of a body function is the result.

Amends notice provisions for tax forfeitures and tax foreclosures
HB 4039 (H-2) 6/17/15, Passed 93-17
HB 4039 amends the notice provisions for tax forfeitures and tax foreclosures to allow a foreclosing entity to provide notice of forfeiture online or inserted into a notice publication. The bill would provide requirements for notices inserted into notice publications.

Emergency contact information within electronic or machine readable codes within a digitized driver’s license
HB 4459 (H-2) 6/17/15, Passed 110-0
HB 4460 (H-2) 6/17/15, Passed 110-0
House Bills 4459 (H-2) and 4460 (H-2) allow, upon request, for emergency contact information to be contained within electronic or machine readable codes within a digitized driver’s license or State personal identification card. The Secretary of State is not required to implement the provision until the date that digitized licenses are manufactured under a new vendor contract for the manufacture of digitized licenses. HB 4459 amends the Vehicle Code with respect to driver’s licenses and HB 4460 amends PA 222 of 1972, which provides for official personal identification cards.

Transportation Network Companies
HB 4637 (H-3) 6/17/15, Passed 71-39
HB 4638 (H-1) 6/17/15, Passed 73-37
HB 4639 (H-2) 6/17/15, Passed 73-37
HB 4640 (H-1) 6/17/15, Passed 70-40
HB 4641 (H-1) 6/17/15, Passed 74-36
HB’s 4637-4641 are a package of bills that would regulate transportation network companies (such as Uber or Lyft). HB 4637 would create the Transportation Network Company Act (“Act”). This bill defines a transportation network company (“TNC”) as a person that “uses a digital network to connect TNC riders to TNC’s drivers who provide prearranged rides.” It does not include taxi services, transportation service arranged through a transportation broker, ridesharing arrangement, or transportation service using fixed routes at regular intervals. HB 4638 (H-1): Changes to Limousine Transportation Act: HB 4639 (H-2): Changes to the Insurance Code Regarding Exclusion of TNC Vehicles. HB 4640 (H-1): Changes to the Insurance Code Regarding PIP for TNC Passengers. HB 4641 (H-1): Changes to Michigan Vehicle Code: This bill would stipulate that TNC drivers would not need a chauffeur’s license and would specifically exclude a TNC vehicle from the definition of “commercial vehicle.

Salvage Title Inspector Appeal
HB 4185 (H-1) 6/17/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bill 4185 (H-1) amends the Motor Vehicle Code to require Secretary of State (SOS) notify an officer when SOS revokes, suspends, or denies the officer’s salvage title inspector certificate. The notification must include a statement that a request for appeal must be made no later than 30 days of the revocation, suspension, or denial. The officer may make a request for a hearing at the time of the appeal. SOS or their designee must deny or grant an appeal within a reasonable time, in writing or stated on the record if a hearing is held, and include findings of fact and conclusions of law

Sunset on Michigan New Jobs Training Program
SB 69 (H-1) 6/18/15, Passed 104-5
SB 69 would extend the sunset on the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, change the definition of minimum wage to reflect current law, and require a provision in new agreements prohibiting employers from claiming MEGA credits under the Michigan Business Tax.

Amendment to the Vehicle Code to authorize the legal use on public roads of a commercial quadricycle
SB 165 (S-1) 6/18/15, Passed 96-13
SB 166 6/18/15, Passed 100-9
Senate Bills 165 (S-1) and 166 amend the Vehicle Code to authorize the legal use on public roads of a commercial quadricycle – a multi-seat, pedal-powered vehicle used to transport passengers in downtown areas. The bills allow for the transport and consumption of alcohol by passengers in an open container unless prohibited by a local ordinance.

Consolidated Schools Refunding Bonds
HB 4517 (RUTLEDGE), RC 270, 6/18/15, Passed 
Staff: Dan Feinberg (3-1248)
Next: Sent to Senate for Consideration
HB 4517 creates a mechanism for originating school districts of a consolidated school district that did not assume the bonded indebtedness of the originating districts to issue refunding bonds for their debt without encumbering areas outside of the original school district.

Term Removal from Statute
HB 4205 (S-3) (SCHOR) 6/18/15, Passed 109-0
Part of a package of bills that amends a number of statutes that remove the term “crippled child” and replace it with “children and youth with special health care needs”. The substitute S-3 to HB 4205 addresses issues that relate to pharmacy technician licensure that was enacted last session. The department (LARA) has asked that this bill be used as a vehicle to delay the date by which a pharmacy tech must be licensed from June 30, 2015 to October 1, 2015. The pharmacy technician license bill passed last session 101-7. The second change relates to where the cost-sharing requirements go as a result of the fund being renamed (this specifically relates to the Child With Special Health Care Needs fund that was updated in the prior House version)

Prohibits the Michigan Film Office or the Michigan Strategic Fund from operating or funding expenditures for the Film and Digital Media Production Assistance Program
HB 4122 (S-4) 6/18/15, Passed 63-46
House Bill 4122 (S-4) prohibits the Michigan Film Office or the Michigan Strategic Fund from funding expenditures for the Film and Digital Media Production Assistance Program as of the effective date of the bill. In addition, all money remaining in the Film Promotion Fund after September 30, 2016, and after all payments and obligations have been satisfied, shall revert to the General Fund.

Personal Property Tax Phase-out Package
HB 4553 6/18/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4554 6/18/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4555 6/18/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4556 6/18/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4557 6/18/15, Passed 108-1 
House Bills 4553-4557 amend various statutes to facilitate changes to the personal property tax (PPT) phase-out package that was approved by voters in 2014. The changes make a number of clarifications related to the administrative procedures associated with the PPT phase-out and revenue reimbursement process and provide for audit procedures and due process requirements related to the Department of Treasury’s collection of the Essential Services Assessment created under the PPT phase-out package. The bills also provide for the additional capture of $300,000 per year of use tax revenue in fiscal years 2016-2019 to cover administrative costs of the Local Community Stabilization Authority, which administers the reimbursement of local governments.

Budget Implementation Bill
HB 4391 6/18/15, Passed 74-34
House Bills 4391 (H-2) is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) budget. This bill amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to increase and restructure various fees associated with pesticides and fertilizers (water quality protection fees).

Early Warning Package
HB 4326 (S-1) 6/18/15, Passed 61-47
HB 4327 (S-1) 6/18/15, Passed 61-47
HB 4328 (S-1) 6/18/15, Passed 61-47
HB 4329 (S-1) 6/18/15, Passed 60-48
HB 4330 (S-1) 6/18/15, Passed 63-47
HB 4325 (S-5) 6/18/2015, Passed 63-45
HB 4326 (S-1) adds language to the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act (the EM Law, 2012 PA 436) establishing the State Treasurer in place of the Superintendent of Public Instruction as the State Financial Authority for school districts under deficit elimination plans. HB 4327 (S-1) adds a new Section 1220 to the Revised School Code by moving the Deficit Elimination Plan, overseen by the Superintendent of Public Instruction from the State School Aid Budget and creating an “Enhanced Deficit Elimination Plan” which is overseen by the State Treasurer. The S-1 version differs from the H-3 version only due to the removal of the 90 day enactment language. HB 4328 (S-1) amends Section 102 of the State School Aid Act striking language addressing the requirements for a Deficit Elimination Plan as they are being placed through HB 4327 (S-1) into the Revised School Code. HB 4329 (S-1) amends the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act (The Emergency Manager Act) by adding a section which states if the State Treasurer determines that a school district has failed to submit or comply with an Enhanced Deficit Elimination Plan, the State Treasurer may declare a financial emergency for the school district and recommend that the Governor appoint an emergency manager. HB 4330 (S-1) amends the State School Aid Act clarifying that school districts and PSAs are required to comply with the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act, adds operating deficit notes issued under Section 1356 of the Revised School Code to the list of proceeds the Department of Education and State Treasurer can withhold as part of bonding deals, and adds language establishing that funding is contingent on districts complying with the act. Finally it adds a subsection allowing the Department of Education to withhold up to 10% of a schools total state aid for non-compliance with adoption of a budget in compliance with the Act. HB 4325 (S-5) adds a new section 1219 to the Revised School Code which establishes a requirement that school districts and public school academies (PSA) report basic budgetary assumption data (projected foundation allowance, pupil counts, and estimated current and projected expenditures per pupil) to CEPI for review by the Department of Treasury. Districts that have maintained a positive general fund balance of at least 5% for the previous 2 fiscal years are exempt from this requirement.


Friday, June 12, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: June 8th – June 12th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (June 8th through June 12th).  Please feel free to contact me (517.373.0826; andyschor@house.mi.gov) if you have any questions or thoughts about any of the below bills.

Thank you!

Andy Schor
State Representative
68th District

Passed 6/8 – 6/12

Social Welfare Act Sunset Changes
HB 4434 (H-2) 6/9/2015, Passed 109-0
HB 4434 would amends the Social Welfare Act to extend sunsets on mandates that the state cover 100% of administrative rates (including the $3.00 increase for providers of foster care services, the administrative rate for providers of foster care services for new foster cases, and the rate increase to providers of residential foster care services under a DHS contract) for providers of foster care services and instead make these requirements subject to appropriations. Currently, whenever the state is able to cover these costs, the Act must be updated to reflect this. Under the bill, the state would be required to cover these costs subject to appropriations through fiscal year 2016.

Budget Implementation Bills
HB 4441 6/9/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4451 (S-1) 6/9/15, Passed 62-47
HB 4441 is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) budget. This bill amends the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to extend sunsets on various fees by another four-years. HB 4451 is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) budget. The bill amends the Michigan Commercial Feed Law (hereinafter “Feed Law”) to increase various feed bills and to update and modernize the Act

General Property Tax Amendment
SB 217 6/9/15, Passed 89-20
SB 217 would amend the General Property Tax Act to allow a parcel of property that contains a combination of agricultural use property and productive forest to be considered qualified forest property with regard to eligibility for an exemption from school operating taxes.


Roads Package
HB 4605 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 62-47
HB 4606 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 64-45
HB 4607 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 60-49
HB 4608 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 59-50
HB 4609 6/10/15, Passed 57-52
HB 4610 6/10/15, Passed 63-46
HB 4611 6/10/15, Passed 65-44
HB 4612 (H-3) 6/10/15, Passed 59-50
HB 4613 (H-3) 6/10/15, Passed 100-9
HB 4614 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 59-50
HB 4615 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 58-51
HB 4616 (H-1) 6/10/15, Passed 58-51
House Bill 4605 (H-1) amends the Income Tax Act to earmark the following amounts from individual income tax revenue for distribution under Public Act 51 of 1951 for State and local road programs. House Bill 4606 (H-1) amends the General Sales Tax Act to, beginning in fiscal year 2016, redirect the General Fund portion of sales tax revenue derived from motor fuel sales for State and local road programs. House Bill 4607 (H-1) amends the Michigan Trust Fund Act to, beginning in fiscal year 2017, redirect $75 million each year of Tobacco Settlement Revenue from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to the Michigan Transportation Fund to be distributed to State and local road programs. House Bill 4608 (H-1) amends the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Act to, beginning in fiscal year 2017, provide for the deposit each year from the MSF an amount equal to the amount received from Indian Gaming Compact receipts to the Michigan Transportation Fund for distribution to State and local road programs. House Bill 4609 eliminates the State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) beginning in tax year 2015, by reducing the rate of the credit from 6% of the federal credit to 0%. House Bill 4610 requires a county road commission to use competitive bidding for a road project in which a township, or combination of two townships, contributes 50% or more of the cost of the project and requests the road commission to use competitive bidding. House Bill 4611 requires all road construction and preservation projects of a local road agency whose cost exceeds $100,000 to be performed by contract awarded by competitive bidding unless the local road agency affirmatively finds that some other method is in the public interest. House Bill 4612 (H-2) establishes a vehicle registration tax surcharge of $30 for hybrid vehicles and $100 for fully electric vehicles. HB 4613 (H-3) amends warranty requirements for MDOT projects, establishes warranty provisions for the first time for local road agency projects, and establishes reporting requirements for MDOT and local road agencies for warranty and certain non-warranty projects.
House Bills 4614-4616 comprise a tie-barred bill package to: Increase the diesel tax from 15 cents per gallon to 19 cents per gallon (the current tax rate on gasoline) [HB 4615] and apply the increase to interstate motor carriers (HB 4616).  Apply the fuel tax to alternative fuels including natural gas and hydrogen based on gallon equivalents and establish provisions for collecting the fuel tax on alternative fuels (HB 4615 and HB 4616). Establish a license fee for alternative fuel commercial users ($50) and dealers ($500) and increase the fee for propane dealers (from $50 to $500) [HB 4615]. Provide for an annual inflationary adjustment to the cents per gallon tax on gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels (HB 4615 and HB 4616) based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers rounded up to the nearest 1/10 of a cent. Increase the penalty for using dyed (untaxed) diesel fuel for on-road purposes (HB 4615). Amend the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Revenue Equalization Act to ensure the collection of the 6% use tax on alternative fuels or gasoline used by interstate motor carriers, when applicable (HB 4614).

Religious Adoption Bill
HB 4188 6/10/15, Passed 65-44
HB 4188 creates a new act that will prohibit requiring child placing agencies from providing services if providing those services would violate the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. The S-1 substitute includes language that requires a child placing agency that declines to provide any services to provide, in writing, information advising the applicant of the DHHS website – the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange – and a list of adoption or foster care service providers contact information. Agencies that declined to provide services were already required to promptly refer the applicant to the DHHS website or another agency willing to provide services.

Change standard from “negligence” to “willful & wanton disregard for safety” of the participant under the exception to immunity from liability for equine activities
HB 4175 6/11/15, Passed 64-44
HB 4175 would eliminate reference to a "negligent act" and, instead, replace it with "an act or omission that constitutes a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant that constitutes a proximate cause of the injury."  Senate Substitute: leaves the liability threshold for equine professionals and equine activity sponsors at "willful and wanton disregard" but changed the language to state that other persons would remain at the current threshold of a "negligent act".

Building Officials and Inspectors Registration Act Amendment
HB 4245 6/11/15, Passed 108-0
HB 4245 amends the Building Officials and Inspectors Registration Act to remove the requirement that to be registered as a building official, plan reviewer, or inspector, the individual be employed by an enforcing agency. The S-1 clarifies the registration/renewal date to be by September 17 every three years beginning in 2015 for building inspectors to register with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Budget Implementation Bill 
HB 4447 6/11/15, Passed 96-12
HB 4447 is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) budget and the Department of Community Health (DCH) budget. This bill amends the Public Health Code to establish and increase various health care facility fees, and decrease others. The bill also establishes an ambulance QAAP to increase reimbursements to Medicaid ambulance providers. Finally, the bill increases, for one year, the hospital QAAP in order to free up General Fund to pay for other items, such as GME and special rural hospitals.

Mid-Year General Fund Supplement
HB 4101 6/11/15, Passed 109-0
House Bill 4101 (S-1) is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2015 mid-year General Fund supplemental to provide funding to allow the state to attempt to buy back two-years-worth of tax vouchers issued due to the Venture Michigan Fund (VMF I).

Unlimited Tax Election Act Lien
HB 4495 (H-1) 6/11/2015, Passed 108-1

HB 4495 creates a statutory first lien on all taxes subject to an unlimited tax pledge made under the Unlimited Tax Election Act and establishes a trust for the owners of the unlimited tax pledge securities.

Friday, June 5, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: June 1st – June 5th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (June 1st through June 5th).  Please feel free to contact me (517.373.0826; andyschor@house.mi.gov) if you have any questions or thoughts about any of the below bills.

Thank you!

Andy Schor
State Representative
68th District

Passed 6/1 – 6/5

In order to remain eligible for assistance
HB 4041 (S-2) 6/2/15, Passed 74-34
HB 4041 requires school attendance for all children in a Family Independence Program (FIP) group in order to remain eligible for assistance. The Senate S-2 adds language requiring DHS to implement a policy within one year of enactment that it must follow prior to terminating a family’s FIP assistance or removing a child from a FIP group due to the child’s truancy.

Eliminates the Complete Streets Advisory Council within the Michigan Department of Transportation
HB 4458 6/2/15, Passed 90-18
House Bill 4458 eliminates the Complete Streets Advisory Council within the Michigan Department of Transportation. The Complete Streets Advisory Council was established through Public Act 135 of 2010 as part of a bill package aimed that required the State Transportation Commission to adopt a complete streets policy related to MDOT road projects and encouraged the development of complete streets policies by local road agencies for local road projects.

Highway Designations
HB 4047 6/2/15, Passed 108-0
HB 4562 6/2/15, Passed 108-0
HB 4047 designates portion of M-18 between the city of Gladwin and the city of Beaverton as the "Veterans Memorial Highway.” HB 4562 amends the Memorial Highway Act to designate the portion of M-37 in Newaygo County between the southern city limit of White Cloud and the intersection at 3 Mile Road as the “Brian Derks Memorial Highway.” As with all designations under the Act, private funds are required to erect and maintain the signs needed to mark the designation.

Committee Subpoena Reforms
HB 4522 (H-2) 6/2/15, Passed 69-39
HB 4523 (H-3) 6/2/15, Passed 74-34
HB 4522 (H-2) amends PA 46 of 1952 to allow the House Oversight and Ethics Committee and its Senate counterpart committee to subpoena for records and files of any department, board, institution, or agency of local governments. The subpoena would need to be supported by a majority vote of the members of that committee, with at least one vote needing to come from a member of the minority party.  HB 4523 (H-3) amends Act 118 of 1931 to allow each house of the legislature, by resolution of that house, to authorize committees and commissions of or appointed by that house to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, or examine the books and records of any person or entity involved in a matter before that committee or commission.

School Omnibus Appropriations for FY 2016
HB 4115 6/3/15, Passed 99-10
HB 4115 is the School Omnibus Appropriations for FY 2016

General Omnibus Appropriations for FY 2016
SB 133 6/3/15, Passed 70-39
SB 133 is the General Omnibus Appropriations for FY 2016

Michigan Campaign Finance Act Reforms for Judges
HB 4596 6/3/15, Passed 109-0
HB 4597 6/3/15, Passed 109-0
House Bill 4596 and House Bill 4597 would allow incumbent judges or justices to qualify for automatic compliance with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act without filing a waiver for a campaign filing when a campaign committee does not expect to spend $1,000 for an election.

The bill would seek to increase the number of satellite SmartZones that can capture school taxes from three to nine and would set a hard deadline to create a satellite
HB 4226 6/3/15, Passed 70-39
HB 4226 would amend provisions of the Local Development Financing Act under which a municipality with a LDFA in which a certified technology park has been designated, may enter into an agreement with another LDFA to designate a distinct geographic area within the authority district as a certified technology park.

Flint Mayoral Election Fix             
SB 329 (H-3) 6/3/15, Passed 95-14
The bill would permit a city clerk to accept nominating petitions from mayoral candidates, even if those petitions were turned in past the deadline, in certain circumstances. The bill also contain a subsection that places training and oversight requirements on the city clerk of a city that utilizes this section of law. Additionally, the Secretary of State will be required to provide added oversight and audits of a community that chooses to use this section of law. These additional requirements are waived if a new clerk is placed in the clerk’s position.

Drug Forfeiture and Public Nuisances Evidence Standards
HB 4499 (H-1) 6/4/2015, Passed 104-5
HB 4505 (H-1) 6/4/2015, Passed 103-6
HB 4508 (H-2) 6/4/15, Passed 81-28
House Bill 4499, House Bill 4505 and House Bill 4508 would amend various statutes to raise the evidentiary standard for drug forfeiture and public nuisances from the “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing.”

Uniform Forfeiture Reporting Act
HB 4500 6/4/2015, Passed 107-2
HB 4503 6/4/15, Passed 107-2
HB 4504 (H-1) 6/4/15, Passed 107-2
HB 4506 6/4/15, Passed 107-2
HB 4507 6/4/15, Passed 108-1
House Bill 4500, House Bill 4503, House Bill 4506, and House Bill 4507 all amend various other statutes to include the reporting requirements that would be mandated by the “Uniform Forfeiture Reporting Act.” House Bill 4504 (H-1) is the main bill in a five-bill package to establish the “Uniform Forfeiture Reporting Act,” which would require local law enforcement agencies and certain state departments and agencies to provide annual reports to the Michigan State Police on property that is seized and forfeited when it is connected to a crime.

Friday, May 29, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: May 25th – May 29th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (May 25th through May 29th).  Please feel free to contact me (517.373.0826; andyschor@house.mi.gov) if you have any questions or thoughts about any of the below bills.

Thank you!

Andy Schor
State Representative
68th District

Passed 5/25-5/29

Child Custody Motions during Military Service
SB 9 (H-1) 5/26/15, Passed 110-0
Senate Bill 9 (H-1) would amend the “Child Custody Act of 1970” to revise how motions filed for child custody are handled by a court during the time a parent is deployed for military service outside of the country.

Clarify physical presence required for vote
HB 4182 5/26/15, Passed 91-19
House Bill 4182 (H-2) would prohibit elected officials from voting during an elected public body’s meeting through electronic or telephonic means when they are physically absent from a meeting.

Scrap and Salvage Title for Insurance Companies
SB 196 5/26/15, Passed 107-3
Allows insurance companies to obtain a scrap or salvage title from the Secretary of State in circumstances when the insurer pays a claim for a total loss on a vehicle but is unable to obtain a certificate of title from the vehicle owner.

Athletic Trainer Licensing Fees
HB 4263 5/26/15, Passed 109-1
HB 4263 reduces the yearly licensing fee paid by athletic trainers, as well as amends regulations related to necessary training and qualifications to be licensed as an athletic trainer in Michigan.

Prohibits the Lottery Bureau from disclosing the name, address, or other personal information concerning the winner of a multistate gaming prize
HB 4433 5/26/15, Passed 103-7
HB 4433 except as provided by state and federal laws, prohibits the Lottery Bureau from disclosing the name, address, or other personal information concerning the winner of a prize awarded under a game played pursuant to a joint enterprise, unless the winner of the prize agrees, in writing, to allow the disclosure.

Taxpayer Appeal Changes
SB 100 5/27/15, Passed 109-0
SB 100 (S-2) amends the Revenue Act to delete a requirement that, in an appeal to the Court of Claims, a taxpayer first pay the disputed portion of a tax, including penalties and interest, under protest and claim a refund as part of the appeal. The bill also would change the timeframe for an appeal to the Tax Tribunal from 35 days to 60 days after the assessment, decision, or order. In addition, the bill would appropriate $200,000 for fiscal year 2015 from the General Fund to the Court of Claims for operations due to the anticipated increased caseload from the changes made by the bill.

Require scrap metal dealers to only mail payment for certain items in a transaction over $25.00, and not for the entire transaction
SB 304 5/27/15, Passed 69-40
SB 304 would allow a scrap metal dealer to pay a seller immediately, no matter the purchasing price, for any items that are not catalytic converters, air conditioners or parts, or copper wire, even if those items are in the transaction. If any of those three items are being sold in that transaction, and amount to $25.00 or more, then the dealer would have to mail payment to the seller for the price of any of those three items only. If those items amount for less than $25.00 alone, the dealer would be able to pay the seller at the time of transaction.

Tax-free savings accounts for families of children under 26 years of age who are disabled
HB 4541 5/27/15, Passed 107-2
HB 4542 5/27/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4543 5/27/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4544 5/27/15, Passed 108-1
House Bills 4541-4543 and 4544 would create tax-free savings accounts for families of children under 26 years of age who are disabled. These accounts would not count against applicants for financial eligibility determinations for assistance programs.

Sunset Fee Extension
HB 4447 5/27/15, Passed 94-15
HB 4447 would extend the sunset on the nursing home provider assessment (Quality Assurance Assessment Program, or QAAP), which helps fund programs within DCH.


Friday, May 22, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: May 18th – May 22nd

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (May 18th through May 22nd).  Please feel free to contact me (517.373.0826; andyschor@house.mi.gov) if you have any questions or thoughts about any of the below bills.

Thank you!

Andy Schor
State Representative
68th District

Passed 5/18 – 5/22

Mobile homes; other; health and safety violations; provide for remedies and require posting of financial assurance
HB 4054 (S-1), 5/19/15, Passed 105-3 *Schor Legislation*
HB 4054 (H-3) provides greater departmental and local oversight of mobile home parks, as well as improved remedies for health and safety violations. The Senate S-1 makes a technical change that removes a conflict in how an applicant can obtain licensure for a mobile home park.
                 
Sunset Fee Extensions
HB 4568 5/19/15, Passed 103-6
HB 4569 5/19/15, Passed 105-4
House Bills 4568-4569 are two Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bills for the Department of State and Michigan State Police. These bills amend the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act and the Michigan Vehicle Code respectively, to extend sunsets on various fees through October 1, 2019, essentially adding another four-year sunset.

Senate Budget Bills
SB 115 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 98-11
SB 118 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 98-10
SB 119 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 98-10
SB 122 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 99-9
SB 124 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 100-8
SB 125 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 98-10
SB 128 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 99-9
SB 131 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 99-9
SB 132 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 96-12
SB 133 (H-1) 5/19/15, Passed 100-8
Senate Bills 115, 118, 119, 122, 124, 125, 128, 131, and are all Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget bills for the following budgets: Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; Department of Community Health; Department of Corrections; General Government; Department of Human Services; Department of Insurance and Financial Services; Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Michigan State Police; and Department of Transportation.

Create the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act
HB 4052 (H-3) 5/20/15, Passed 57-52
HB 4052 would create the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act (Act), which would apply to counties, cities, villages, townships, and other political subdivisions. The new substitute clarifies that the legislative intent for this Act is that regulation of the employment relationship between a non-public employer and its employees is a matter of state concern and is outside the express or implied authority of local governmental bodies to regulate absent express delegation of authority. The bill also specifically includes a definition for “Education Institution” and “Governmental Body,” so that the bill explicitly applies to a public school district or community college. It should be noted, that this Act, as applied to community colleges, is arguably unconstitutional.

Various statute updates to facilitate changes to the personal property tax (PPT) phase-out package that was approved by voters in 2014
HB 4553 5/20/15, Passed 109-1
HB 4554 5/20/15, Passed 109-1
HB 4555 5/20/15, Passed 109-1
HB 4556 5/20/15, Passed 109-1
HB 4557 5/20/15, Passed 109-1
HB 4558 5/20/15, Passed 106-4
House Bills 4553-4558 amend various statutes to facilitate changes to the personal property tax (PPT) phase-out package that was approved by voters in 2014. The changes make a number of clarifications related to the administrative procedures associated with the PPT phase-out and revenue reimbursement process and provide for audit procedures and due process requirements related to the Department of Treasury’s collection of the Essential Services Assessment created under the PPT phase-out package. The bills also provide for the additional capture of $300,000 per year of use tax revenue in fiscal years 2016-2019 to cover administrative costs of the Local Community Stabilization Authority, which administers the reimbursement of local governments

County Board of Commission Resolution Changes
HB 4212 5/20/15, Passed 70-40
HB 4215 5/20/15, Passed 70-40
House Bills 4212 and 4215 removes language requiring that county board of commissioners pass a resolution transfer the powers, duties and functions of county road commission to the county board of commissioners occur before January 1, 2015. The bills are tie-barred.

Sunset Fee Extension
SB 86 (S-1) 5/20/15, Passed 109-1
SB 86 Extends the sunset for municipalities to bond out any liability due to switching from a defined benefit to defined contribution plan.

Create a mechanism for the state to be able to join a reciprocal agreement state compact whose members are institutions of higher learning
SB 221 (S-2) 5/20/15, Passed 110-0
SB 221 (S-2) creates a mechanism for the state to be able to join a reciprocal agreement state compact whose members are institutions of higher learning. With the use of distance learning as a tool for colleges and universities increasing at a rapid rate, one of the issues that has arisen is the lack of standardization of requirements for schools to cross state lines to provide educational services. Use of compacts would allow for multiple states to have a single standard, easing the registration process and bureaucratic red tape colleges and universities must go through in order to be able to provide courses online.  Currently, Michigan has no requirements for out of state schools to meet before offering courses in the state.

Allow more municipalities to qualify for exclusions where public officers or public employees may hold dual position
HB 4070 (H-2) 5/20/15, Passed 101-9
HB 4070 (H-2) would allow more municipalities to qualify for exclusions where public officers or public employees may hold dual positions through January 1, 2022.

Caps the fee Co treasurers charge for electronic property records
HB 4075 (S-3) 5/21/15, Passed 105-4
House Bill 4075 amends PA 161 of 1895, which requires county treasurers to provide certain transcripts and records for a fee, to cap the fee charged for the provision of electronic copies. Under current law, county treasurers must provide copies of certain records on payment of specific fees. The bill would cap charges for electronic copies of records in a qualified data file at 25 cents per record, not to exceed $1,500.00 for each request. These copies could not be resold for commercial purposes.

Prohibits an on-premises licensee from selling an unlimited quantity of alcoholic liquor drinks at a specific price unless it is in connection with a private event
SB 271 (S-2) 5/21/15, Passed 103-6
Senate Bill 271 (S-2) amends the Liquor Control Code (Code) to prohibit an on-premises licensee from selling, offering for sale, or advertising the sale of an unlimited quantity of alcoholic liquor at a specific price unless it is in connection with a private event, the licensee has entered into a written agreement with the organizer of the event that outlines the date, time, location, and terms under which the alcohol will be sold, and the licensee makes the agreement available to the Commission and local law enforcement.
                 
Allow MDOT to do biennial bridge inspections instead of annually
HB 4455 5/21/15, Passed 95-14
House Bill 4455 changes the statutory requirement for the inspection of State-owned bridges by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) from requiring a “systematic plan of biennial inspection of all bridges…” to a federally compliant and risk-based inspection plan for all bridges…”

School Bond Qualification Approval and Loan Act Changes
HB 4496 5/21/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4497 5/21/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4496 & 4497 amend the School Bond Qualification Approval and Loan Act (SBQALA) by altering the definition of “computed millage” and remove the prohibition on refunding bonds extending beyond a current qualified bond’s final mandatory repayment date.

Establish & increase health care facility inspection fees
HB 4444 (H-1) 5/21/2015, Passed 57-52
House Bills 4444 and 4447 are Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bills for the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) budget and the Department of Community Health (DCH) budget. The bills amend the Mental Health Code and Public Health Code, respectively, to establish and increase various health care facility inspection fees, and eliminate others.

Increase air emissions fees and maintain air quality fees by extending the sunset
HB 4449 (H-1) 5/21/2015, Passed 106-3
House Bill 4449 (H-1) is a FY 2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The bill reauthorizes the air quality fee through October 1, 2019, enabling the state to collect the fees for four more years, restructures the fee schedule, and implements fee increases on various facilities.

Increase various fees associated with food establishments
HB 4470 (H-2) 5/21/2015, Passed 79-30
House Bill 4470 (H-2) is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) budget. The bill amends the Food Law to increase fees on various food facilities.

Increase and restructure various fees associated with pesticides and fertilizers
HB 4391 (H-2) 5/21/2015, Passed 61-48
House Bill 4449 (H-1) is a FY 2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The bill reauthorizes the air quality fee through October 1, 2019, enabling the state to collect the fees for four more years, restructures the fee schedule, and implements fee increases on various facilities.

Increase various fees associated with commercial feed
HB 4451 (H-1) 5/21/2015, Passed 59-50
House Bills 4391 (H-2) is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) budget. This bill amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to increase and restructure various fees associated with pesticides and fertilizers (water quality protection fees).