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).

Friday, May 15, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: May 11th – May 15th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (May 11th through May 15th).  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 5/11 - 5/15 

Prohibit a court from assigning HYTA to certain youth offenders. It would also require a court to revoke HYTA-status under certain circumstances
HB 4135 (S-1) 5/12/15, Passed 84-26
House Bill 4135 amends MCL 762.12 of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) to prohibit a court from assigning an individual to HYTA or revoking HYTA status if the individual is convicted of any of the following offenses either during the period of consideration of assignment to HYTA or while assigned to HYTA: A felony for which the maximum penalty is life in prison, A major controlled substance offense or a violation or attempted violation of the offenses (MCL 750.82 Felonious Assault; MCL 750.84 Assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder)

Make clarifications regarding the exemption of over-the-counter prescription drugs from sales taxes
HB 4464 (H-1) 5/12/15, Passed 108-2
HB 4465 (H-1) 5/12/15, Passed 109-1
House Bills 4464 (H-1) and 4465 (H-1) amend the Sales Tax Act and Use Tax Act, respectively, to make clarifications regarding the exemption of over-the-counter prescription drugs from sales and use taxes.             

Amends an Act authorizing counties to levy special taxes or appropriate money from their general fund for advertising agricultural advantages of the county
HB 4166 (H-1) 5/12/15, Passed 73-37
House Bill 4166 (H-1) amends an Act authorizing counties to levy special taxes or appropriate money from their general fund for advertising agricultural advantages of the county. The Act is currently available to all counties. Under the bill, a county that is currently levying the tax (Washtenaw County) could continue to levy it until January 1, 2020. The bill would also provide a mechanism by which all counties could have these levies only if they are approved by a majority of the voters.

Allows certain places with fuel pumps to obtain a Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) license (to sell alcohol)
HB 4074 (H-2) 5/12/15, Passed 106-4
House Bill 4074 (H-2) amends the Liquor Control Code (Code) to allow the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) to issue a SDM license to an applicant or licensee who owns or operates motor vehicle fuel pumps on or adjacent to the premises if it is located in a township with a population density of less than four people per square mile and county with a population density of less than 11 people per square mile.

Updates the Department responsible for sending a welcome home letter to returning veterans
SB 52 (S-1) 5/12/15, Passed 110-0
The former Department of Labor and Economic Growth routinely sent a welcome-home letter to returning veterans, directing them to a website with information about pursuing work or education, starting a business, and securing veterans benefits. It was suggested that the letter also should inform veterans about state-funded veterans service organizations (VSO), which led to the enactment of the Veterans Welcome Home Act in 2008, requiring the Department’s letter to include a list of state-funded VSOs.Under Executive Reorganization Order (ERO) 2011-4, the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth was renamed the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. It has since been suggested that the Veterans Affairs Agency, created within the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs by ERO 2013-2 be responsible for sending out the welcome home letter to returning veterans and informing them about the VSOs.

Allow certain fund-raising activities during school hours
SB 139 5/13/15, Passed 66-43
Amends the Revised School Code to require the Department of Education to “ensure maximum state and local control over the implementation” of school meal programs established under Section 1272a, including but not limited to establishing an upper limit on the number and frequency of fund-raising activities that may take place in a public school during school hours that do not meet the nutritional standards established under federal rules and regulations. The bill allows a maximum of 2 fundraisers per week that local schools may go over, and defines a fundraiser occurring at multiple times per day over one day as one fundraiser. The bill also requires the group doing the fundraiser to ensure that notification of the fundraiser occurring be given to the parents at least 1 week before the event with a description of the products to be sold.

Provide funding to allow the state to attempt to buy back tax vouchers issued due to the Venture Michigan Fund (VMF I) at a 10% discount in FY 14/15
HB 4101 (H-1) 5/14/15, Passed 107-1
House Bill 4101 (H-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 tax vouchers issued due to the Venture Michigan Fund (VMF I) at a 10% discount. This would allow the state to realize $5 million in savings associated with the first year of tax vouchers issued due to VMF I.

Removes the contiguity requirement from Community College districts
HB 4265 (H-1) 5/14/15, Passed 108-0
HB 4265 (H-1) removes the contiguity requirement from community college districts.

Remove the term “crippled child” and replace it with “children and youth with special health care needs”
HB 4203 (H-1) 5/14/15, Passed 108-0
HB 4204 5/14/15, Passed 108-0
HB 4205 (H-2) 5/14/15, Passed 108-0 *Schor Legislation*
House Bill 4203 (H-1) would amend Public Act 327 of 1931, which sets guidelines for the founding and endowing hospital or charitable asylum, to refer to a child or children “with special health care needs” rather than a “crippled” child or children. The bill is tie-barred to HB 4205, which is Schor Legislation. House Bill 4204 would amend the Social Welfare Act, which deals with the administration of public welfare programs by county departments, to refer to child or children “with special health care needs” rather than a “crippled” child or children. The bill is tie-barred to HB 4205. House Bill 4205 (H-2) amends numerous sections of the Public Health Code, to refer to a child or children “with special health care needs” rather than a “crippled” child or children. Changes include renaming the title of Part 58 of the Public Health Code and updating additional outdated language, notably the term “deformity”.


Friday, May 8, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: May 4th – May 8th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (May 4th through May 8th).  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 5/4 – 5/8

Allow the hunting of game from a personal assistive mobility device.
HB 4239 5/5/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bill 4239 would allow individuals who need a personal assistive mobility device because of impaired mobility to still engage in hunting of game from that vehicle. A personal assistive mobility device is defined as "any device, including, but not limited to, one that is battery-powered, that is designed solely for use by an individual with mobility impairment for locomotion and is considered an extension of the individual."

Economics Requirements under the Michigan Merit Curriculum
HB 4390 (H-1) 5/5/2015, Passed 110-0
HB 4390 will allow for the ½ credit economics requirement under the social studies component of the Michigan Merit Curriculum to be fulfilled by taking a ½ credit course in personal economics or financial literacy.

Allow vehicles to proceed without stopping at inactive railroad track grade crossings if posted “exempt” by MDOT.
HB 4319 5/5/2015, Passed 110-0
HB 4320 5/5/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bills HB 4319 and HB 4320 amend the Vehicle Code and the Pupil Transportation Act, respectively, to make the two acts consistent with regard to: (1) prohibiting passenger buses and school buses from stopping at railroad crossings posted “exempt” by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT); and (2) establishing the same definition for “inactive railroad track,” which is distinct from track that has been “abandoned” pursuant to federal law. In general, MDOT may post crossings on rail lines no longer in service as exempt if they haven’t been officially abandoned.

Budget Bills for Conference Committee
HB 4113 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 103-7
HB 4097 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 102-8
HB 4093 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 104-6
HB 4103 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 102-8
HB 4105 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 104-6
HB 4106 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 103-7
HB 4091 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 103-7
HB 4089 (H-2) 5/7/2015, Passed 86-24
House Bills 4113, 4097, 4093, 4103, 4105, 4106, 4091, and 4089 are all Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget bills for the following budgets: Community Colleges; Michigan Department of Education; Department of Environmental Quality; Higher Education; Judiciary; Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; Department of Natural Resources; and School Aid (K-12).

Private Correctional Facility
HB 4467 5/7/2015, Passed 57-53
HB 4467 would remove restrictions on the security classification levels of inmates that could be housed at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Webber Township (Lake County), which is owned by the Florida-based Geo Group.

Clarify the level of conduct that a defendant must act with in order for a court to score 50 points toward his or her minimum prison sentence under aggravated abuse.
HB 4463 5/7/2015, Passed 108-2
HB 4463 5/7/2015, Passed 105-5 (Reconsideration) 
House Bill 4463 amends MCL 777.37 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to clarify the level of conduct that a defendant must act with in order for a court to score 50 points toward his or her minimum prison sentence under Offense Variable 7 (aggravated abuse).

Clarify that each of the employer members participating in a self-insurer group possesses ownership of its proportional share of the assets of the group in excess of group obligations.     
HB 4362 (H-1) 5/7/2015, Passed 109-1
The Worker's Disability Compensation Act allows multiple employers in the same industry with combined assets of $1 million or more, and multiple public employers of the same type of unit, to form self-insured groups for workers compensation coverage. The groups must apply to the Workers' Compensation Agency, within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for form a group.

Designates US-12 from the intersection of M-60 to the intersection of US-31 in Berrien County as the “Tpr. Steven B. Devries Memorial Highway.”
HB 4389 (H-1) 5/7/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bill 4389 (H-1) designates US-12 from the intersection of M-60 to the intersection of US-31 in Berrien County as the “Tpr. Steven B. Devries Memorial Highway.” As with all designations under the Memorial Highway Act, private contributions are required for the placement and maintenance of the signs marking the designation.

Designates the portion of Business Loop I-94 in the city of Battle Creek as the “Detective LaVern S. Brann Memorial Highway.”
SB 99 5/7/2015, Passed 110-0
Senate Bill 99 designates the portion of Business Loop I-94 in the city of Battle Creek as the “Detective LaVern S. Brann Memorial Highway.” As with all designations under the Memorial Highway Act, private contributions are required for the placement and maintenance of the signs marking the designation.

Converting the governance of the Kent County-owned Gerald R. Ford International airport near Grand Rapids to a regional authority.
HB 4468 5/7/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bill 4468 allows a local government that owns or operates an airport to incorporate a regional authority to operate the airport. The bill is aimed at converting the governance of the Kent County-owned Gerald R. Ford International airport near Grand Rapids to a regional authority.

Child Custody Changes during Deployment of Military Members
HB 4071 (H-1) 5/7/2015, Passed 110-0
HB 4482 5/7/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bill 4071 would amend the “Child Custody Act of 1970” to revise how motions filed for parenting time changes are handled by a court during the time a parent is deployed for

Adoption Registry Fee
HB 4457 5/7/2015, Passed 110-0
HB 4457 removes the initial $100 fee prospective adoptive parents are charged for maintaining information in a registry and the $50 per year renewal fee the prospective adoptive parent must pay to remain on the registry.

Prohibiting New Agreements for MEGA Tax Credits
HB 4333 (H-1) 5/7/2015, Passed 105-5
HB 4334 (H-1) 5/7/2015, Passed 104-6
House Bills 4333 (H-1) and 4334 (H-1) amend the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Act and the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) Act, respectively, to prohibit new agreements for certain tax credits claimed against MBT liability and to also prohibit amendments to existing agreements unless the amendment reduces the net amount of the credit to the taxpayer.

On-Premises Selling of Unlimited Quantity of Alcohol at Specific Prices
HB 4432 (H-1) 5/7/2015, Passed 106-4
HB 4432 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; also prohibits a licensee from selling two or more identical alcoholic drinks to an individual for one price.



Saturday, May 2, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: April 27th – May 1st

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (April 27th through May 1st). 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 4/27- 5/1

Omnibus budget for Fiscal Year 16
HB 4102 (H-1) 4/28/15, Passed 59-51
House Bill 4102 (H-1) is the general government omnibus budget bill that provides the FY 15-16 House budget recommendation for the general governmental departments and agencies. These include: Agriculture and Rural Development; Community Health; Corrections; Education; Environmental Quality; Attorney General; Civil Rights; Executive Office; Legislature (including the Legislative Auditor General); State; Technology, Management, and Budget; Treasury (including MSF and MSHDA); Human Services; Insurance and Financial Services; Judiciary; Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; Military and Veterans Affairs; Natural Resources; State Police; and Transportation.

Sunset Fee Extensions
HB 4363 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 100-10
HB 4364 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 96-14
HB 4382 4/29/2015, Passed 92-18
HB 4383 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 92-18
HB 4381 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 88-22
HB 4384 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 88-22
HB 4397 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 94-16
HB 4398 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 98-12
HB 4363 will extend sunset on mechanical contractor licensing fee. HB 4364 will extend sunset on plumbing contractor licensing fees. HB 4382 will extend sunset on electrical license fees. HB 4383 will extend sunset on building inspector licensing fee. HB 4381 will extend sunset on various license fees. HB 4384 will extend sunset on nonprofit corporation act licensing fees. HB 4397 will extend sunset on Business Corporation act licensing fees. HB 4398 will extend sunset on uniform security licensing fees.

Fiscal Year 2015-2016 School Aid Budget
HB 4115 4/29/15, Passed 60-50
HB 4115 is the fiscal year 2015-2016 omnibus appropriations for school aid, higher education, and community colleges
Sunset Fee Extensions
HB 4399 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 98-12
HB 4400 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 99-11
HB 4439 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 102-8
HB 4441 4/29/2015, Passed 109-1
HB 4443 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 106-4
HB 4445 4/29/2015, Passed 104-6
HB 4446 4/29/2015, Passed 103-7
HB 4448 4/29/2015, Passed 107-3
HB 4363 will extend sunset on mechanical contractor licensing fee. HB 4364 will extend sunset on plumbing contractor licensing fees. HB 4382 will extend sunset on electrical license fees. HB 4383 will extend sunset on building inspector licensing fee. HB 4381 will extend sunset on various license fees. HB 4384 will extend sunset on nonprofit corporation act licensing fees. HB 4397 will extend sunset on Business Corporation act licensing fees. HB 4398 will extend sunset on uniform security licensing fees. HB 4399 will extend sunset on MI LLC licensing fees. HB 4400 will extend sunset on livestock dealer licensing fees. HB 4439 will extend sunset on vehicle code fees. HB 4441 will extend sunset on DEQ fees. HB 4443 will extend fingerprint processing and criminal history check fee. HB 4445 will extend sunset on Department of State Fees. HB 4448 will extend sunset on DEQ fees.

MDOT Fund transfer to match federal highway funding
HB 4440 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 107-3
House Bill 4440 (H-1) is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Transportation. The bill amends PA 231 of 1987, the Act which creates and governs the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF), to redirect $12.0 million from the TEDF to the State Trunkline Fund (STF) for FY 2016. The reduction would be taken from the Targeted Industry program or “Category A” projects, which are consider state projects. The intent of the shift is to match available federal aid highway funds.

Eligibility updates for grant program for independent part-time students at state-approved Michigan degree-granting institutions
HB 4442 (H-2) 4/29/2015, Passed 108-2
House Bill 4442 (H-2) amends PA 180 of 2004, which provides a grant program for independent part-time students at state-approved Michigan degree-granting institutions.

Clean up existing provisions in law to reflect the transfer of the UIA to the Talent Investment Agency and would clarify the use of these funds
HB 4404 4/29/2015, Passed 107-3
House Bill 4404 amends the Michigan Employment Security Act (MESA) to allow contingent funds to be used for developing and executing workforce training programs. Under current law, unemployment insurance solvency taxes and interest, penalties, and damages are deposited into a MESA contingent fund. Solvency taxes are used for the payment of interest on federal advances, and the penalties and interest (P&I) are appropriated for the administration of the unemployment agency (UIA) and for the payment of interest on federal advances. Under the bill, these P&I funds would be appropriated for the administration of the Talent Investment Agency, under which the UIA now falls due to Executive Reorganization Order 2014-6, including, but not limited to, the development and execution of workforce training programs.

Repeal the Extended Family Independence Program, which provides a $10 per month benefit to individuals exiting FIP
HB 4409 (H-1) 4/29/2015, Passed 110-0
House Bills 4409 (H-1) is a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget implementation bill for the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget. It amends the Social Welfare Act to repeal the Extended Family Independence Program (EFIP), which provides a $10 per month benefit to individuals exiting FIP. Under current law, individuals who leave FIP due to no longer meeting the financial eligibility criteria may receive $10 per month in benefits for six months if they continue to meet federal guidelines for work participation. However, the tradeoff for receiving these benefits is that these six months counted against the individual’s 48-month lifetime benefit cap. The FY 2016 DHS budget eliminates the program, saving $116,400. This bill would repeal this provision in the Social Welfare Act to eliminate the program.

Eliminate sunsets on mandates that the state cover 100% of administrative rates for providers of foster care services and instead make these requirements subject to appropriations
HB 4434 (H-2) 4/29/2015, Passed 109-1
House Bill 4434 (H-2) amends the Social Welfare Act to eliminate 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. It would eliminate the need to regularly amend the Act to implement the DHS budget

Prohibit local units of government from regulating pneumatic guns (such as BB, air, or pellet, or certain paintball guns) except in certain circumstances
SB 85 4/29/2015, Passed 79-31
Senate Bill 85 would prohibit local units of government from regulating pneumatic guns (such as BB, air, or pellet, or certain paintball guns) except in certain circumstances.

Align MI’s definition of firearm with the federal definition
HB 4154 (S-1) 4/30/2015, Passed 89-21
HB 4155 (S-2) 4/30/2015, Passed 90-20
HB 4156 (S-1) 4/30/2015, Passed 89-21
HB 4161 (S-1) 4/30/2015, Passed 108-2
House Bill 4154 would amend sections of the National Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to align Michigan’s definition of firearm with the federal definition of firearm.. HB 4155 would amend several sections of the Michigan Penal Code to align Michigan’s definition of “firearm” with the federal definition of firearm and create special provisions for pneumatic guns. House Bill 4156 will amend various statutes to align Michigan’s definition of firearm with the federal definition of firearm. House Bill 4161 defines in the Michigan Penal Code what it means to “brandish” a firearm.

Regulate amateur mixed martial arts (MMA)
HB 4220 (H-1) 4/30/2015, Passed 100-10
HB 4286 (H-1) 4/30/2015, Passed 99-11
HBs 4220 and 4286 would regulate amateur mixed martial arts (MMA).


Friday, April 24, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: April 20th – April 24th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (April 20th through April 24th).  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 4/20 – 4/24

Limits premises liability for property owners as it relates to recreational aviation activities
HB 4244 4/21/15, Passed 79-31
House Bill 4244 amends MCL 324.73301 the “Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act –NREPA” to limit the liability for property owners, tenants, or lessees when injuries occur on their land involving aviation activities. Under the bill, aviation activities would be defined as “noncommercial operation, and related acts in the air and on the ground, of an aircraft, including, but not limited to, a motorized or non-motorized fixed wing aircraft, helicopter, balloon, hang glider, or parasail. It also will include participation in the operation or related acts described in the subdivision as a passenger or spectator.”

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 4/21/15, Passed 63-46
House Bill 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."

Tax Collecting Units Hard Copy of Tax Rolls
HB 4168 (H-1) 4/21/15, Passed 108-1
HB 4168 eliminates the requirement that a tax collecting unit maintain hard copies of tax rolls if electronic copies are maintained.

Refunds and exemptions of real, estate transfer tax
HB 4173 4/22/2015, Passed 108-1
House Bill 4173 provides for refunds to be obtained for payment of the State Real Estate Transfer Tax (SRETT) if the Department of Treasury determines that the property was eligible for an exemption at the time of the property transfer. The bill provides that a refund can be obtained for a transfer that occurred up to 4 years prior to the effective date of the bill.The bill additionally makes a retroactive clarification related to the penalty for erroneously claiming an exemption to the SRETT that is available when a principal residence is sold and the state equalized value (SEV) is equal to or lesser than the SEV when the seller purchased the property.

Authorize the DFIS Director to determine that certain insurance filings contain trade secrets and, as such, are not subject to FOIA
HB 4354 (H-1) 4/22/2015, Passed 95-14
HB 4354 would allow certain required filings of insurance companies selling automobile, home, and workers compensation insurance to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act as trade secrets, with the approval of the director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
The Insurance Code requires insurance companies to file manuals of classification, rules, and rates, and rating plans, for automobile, home insurance, and workers compensation insurance with the director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Currently the code says that such filings and accompanying information are open for public inspection.

Increases loan caps in the Emergency Municipal Loan Act from $35 mil to $85 mil for municipalities, and from $50 million to $100 million for school districts
HB 4331 (H-1) 4/23/15, Passed 64-45
HB 4331 (H-1) increases loan caps in the Emergency Municipal Loan Act from $35 million to $85 million for municipalities, and from $50 million to $100 million for school districts. The bill also expands the use of the Emergency Loan Act for schools to include assisting in resolving financial emergencies. An interest rate floor of 2.5% for variable rate loans and a 60 month cap on interest only repayment periods is added. Additionally, the bill expands the ability to restructure loans.

Allow the state to use surplus general funds to make loans to municipalities and school districts in compliance with the Emergency Municipal Loan Act
HB 4332 4/23/15, Passed 105-4
HB 4332 amends PA 105 of 1855 to allow the state to use surplus general funds to make loans to municipalities and school districts in compliance with the Emergency Municipal Loan Act which is being amended by HB 4331 (H-1).

Early Warning Package
HB 4325 (H-3) 4/23/15, Passed 60-49
HB 4326 4/23/15, Passed 60-49
HB 4327 (H-3 4/23/15, Passed 60-49
HB 4328 (H-1) 4/23/15, Passed 58-51
HB 4329 4/23/15, Passed 59-50
HB 4330 4/23/15, Passed 60-49
HB 4325 (H-3) requires school districts to file data with CEPI on projected foundation allowance, pupil counts, and current and projected expenditures per pupil. HB 4326 establishes 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 moves 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. HB 4328 Strikes language addressing the requirements for a Deficit Elimination Plan as they are being placed through HB 4327. HB 4329 Adds a new section to the EM law which empowers the State Treasurer to declare a financial emergency exists almost arbitrarily. HB 4330 Clarifies that school districts and PSAs are required to comply with the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act.