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.





Friday, April 17, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: April 14th – April 17th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (April 14th through April 17th).  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 4/14 – 4/17

Stipulate that the Michigan Early Stage venture Investment Corporation may not enter into any new agreements with investors
HB 4195 (H-2) 4/15/2015, Passed 107-3
HB 4196 (H-3) 4/15/15, Passed 108-2
HB 4365 (H-1) 4/15/15, Passed 108-2
HB 4195 would amend the Act to stipulate that the Michigan Early Stage venture Investment Corporation may not enter into any new agreements with investors following the bill’s effective date, but may modify an existing agreement with an investor so long as no additional funds are being expended by the modification. HB 4196 would shorten the sunset on the Venture Capital Authority Fund from 2054 to 2029. HB 4365 would correct a reference to the program in the Michigan Business Tax Act, which will be needed due to the changes made in HB 4195 and 4196.

Removes employment by an enforcing agency as requirement to be a building official
HB 4245 4/15/15, Passed 110-0
House Bill 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.

Allow Detroit to refinance some of the bonds from the bankruptcy
SB 160 (S-2) 4/15/15, Pass 107-3 
Senate Bill 160 would amend the Home Rule City Act to specify that if Detroit issues financial recovery bonds in accordance with provisions of the Bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment, the revenue collected to repay these bonds would be held in trust for the benefit of the trustee and the bonds regardless of who collected it, and would remain subject to the trust regardless of subsequent transfers until the trustee received the revenue. The bill also states that to the extent that the City, or any other person, holds a residual or other interest in the revenues held in trust, the interest is subordinate to a lien in the revenues in favor of the trustee.

Allow Retired State Employee to Contract with AG Office
SB 12 (H-1) 4/16/15, Passed 82-28
Senate Bill 12 would allow a retired state employee to contract with the Attorney General’s office in a litigation matter involving the state without losing his or her retirement benefits due to the “double dipping” prohibition. “Double-dipping” refers to a retirant receiving retirement benefits while still drawing a salary.
                                 
Eliminate February regular election date
HB 4271 (H-1) 4/16/15, Passed 93-17
HB 4272 (H-2) 4/16/15, Passed 93-17
HB 4273 (H-3) 4/16/15, Passed 93-17
HB 4274 (H-2) 4/16/15, Passed 93-17
HB 4276 (H-2) 4/16/15, Passed 93-17
HB 4385 (Jacobsen) RC 68, 4/16/15, Passed 94-16
House Bill 4271 would amend Section 570a of the Michigan Election Law to eliminate all reference in Election Law to the February election for townships. House Bill 4272 will eliminate the ability for the city to have a February primary election for a city. This bill is part of a larger package of bills that will eliminate the February regular election date. House Bill 4273 (H-3) would amend Michigan Election Law to eliminate the February regular election date. House Bill 4274 would amend the Michigan Election Law to require that recall elections be held at a May regular election date, and eliminate the February regular election date. House Bill 4276 would amend Michigan Election Law to eliminate a recall elections from taking place at the February regular election date. House Bill 4385 would amend Michigan Election Law to eliminate the nominating petition requirement for a February primary election that may be authorized for cities by city governments. The petition requirement needs to be eliminated from Michigan Election Law because the February election date is also being eliminated from law.


Friday, March 27, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: March 24th – March 26th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (March 24th through March 26th).  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 3/24 – 3/26

Provides greater departmental and local oversight of mobile home parks
HB 4054, 3/24/15, Passed: 106-3
HB 4054 provides greater departmental and local oversight of mobile home parks, as well as improved remedies for health and safety violations.

Prohibit the use of an unmanned aerial or submersible vehicle to interfere with the taking of animal or fish
SB 54, 3/25/15, Passed: 110-0
SB 55, 3/25/15, Passed: 110-0
Senate Bill 54 amends the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act, Part 401, by prohibiting the use of an unmanned vehicle, or an unmanned device that uses aerodynamic forces to achieve flight or that operates on the surface of the water or underwater to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of animal or fish. Senate Bill 55 amends the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act to prohibit an individual from taking game or fish using an unmanned vehicle or an unmanned device that uses aerodynamic forces to achieve flight or that operates on the surface of the water or underwater.

Allow retired federal law enforcement officer to carry a concealed pistol in places listed as “no carry zones”
SB 53, 3/25/15, Passed: 73-37
Senate Bill 53 would allow a concealed pistol license (CPL) holder, who is a retired federal law enforcement officer, to carry a concealed pistol in places listed as “no carry zones” under Michigan’s CPL law.

Repeal the ban on the scalping of tickets for entertainment events
HB 4015, 3/25/15, Passed: 70-30
House Bill 4015 amends MCL 750.465 of the Michigan Penal Code to decriminalize the reselling of tickets for and at entertainment and sporting events for more than face value.

Update sentencing guidelines pertaining to changes of the definition of firearm in HB 4155
HB 4295, 3/25/15, Passed: 90-20
Update the sentencing guidelines to reflect changes anticipated in House Bill 4155, if enacted. 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.

Allow the Governor to request conveyance of certain swamplands in Clarence Township
SB 18, 3/26/15, Passed: 108-2
SB 19, 3/26/15, Passed: 109-1
Senate Bill 18 allows the Governor to request conveyance of certain swamplands in Clarence Township (Calhoun County) from the United States to Michigan, to require the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to determine the de facto owners of this property, and to convey a portion of the property to those de facto owners. Senate Bill 19 is the complementary property tax pop-up exemption for land conveyances resulting from SB 18.

Require school attendance for all children in a FIP group in order to remain eligible for assistance
HB 4041, 3/26/15, Passed: 74-36
HB 4041 requires school attendance for all children in a Family Independence Program (FIP) group in order to remain eligible for assistance.

Provide immunity for persons or corporations donating food to nonprofit organizations
HB 4017, 3/26/15, Passed: 106-4
House Bill 4017 would provide immunity, under certain circumstances, to donors and nonprofit organizations that collect and donate food to other nonprofit organizations or nonprofit corporations.

Allows certain veterans to use military experience to obtain licensure as a boiler operator
HB 4134, 3/26/15, Passed: 110-0
House Bill 4134 amends the Boiler Act to allow a veteran to use his or her military experience to meet requirement for a license to inspect, install, or repair boilers, or register as a boiler operator.

Require universities to inform military members of their options for credit transfer and receiving credit for training
HB 4060, 3/26/15, Passed: 110-0
Require state public universities to inform those who are currently serving or have served as a member of the military, National Guard, or the military reserves of the options relating to the transfer of military education and training for college credit.

Allow for proof of insurance to be shown electronically
HB 4193, 3/26/15, Passed: 108-2
HB 4193 would amend the Vehicle Code to allow for proof of insurance to be shown electronically.

Stop collection of a filing fee for the annual statement of foreign and alien insurers by DIFS
HB 4224, 3/26/15, Passed: 105-5
HB 4224 would stop collection of a filing fee for the annual statement of foreign and alien insurers by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).

Change the method of wage garnishment in Michigan
HB 4119, 3/26/15, Passed: 110-0
HB 4119 would change the way that wage garnishment is done in Michigan, specifically what is required when an order is directed to a third party (the garnishee/employer) to withhold periodic or non-periodic payment of assets.

Monday, March 23, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: March 17th – March 19th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House last week (March 17th through March 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 3/17 – 3/19

Cap the fee county treasurers charge to provide electronic property records
HB 4075, 3/17/15, Passed: 104-4
Many local realtor associations and listing services bulk purchase property tax records for their members. These records provide information such as special assessments and tax data, which help realtors list properties as well as enter into transactions for the purchase of properties for sale.

Allow for adoption agencies to deny services based on religious beliefs
HB 4188, 3/18/15, Passed: 65-44
HB 4198, 3/18/15, Passed: 65-44
HB 4190, 3/18/15, Passed: 65-44
These bills create 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. HB 4189 and HB 4190 amend various codes to comply with the new act.

Allow notices of evictions to be served electronically
HB 4038, 3/18/15, Passed: 85-24
House Bill 4038 would amend MCL 600.5718 of the “Revised Judicature Act of 1961” to allow a notice of eviction to be served electronically.

Changes to the Public Employee Retirement System Investment Act to be consistent with the Detroit Bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment
HB 4289, 3/18/15, Passed: 108-1
This bill changes some terms in Section 13g of the Public Employee Retirement System Investment Act to make the Act consistent with the Detroit Bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment.


Updates regulations regarding commercial driver’s license learner’s permits
SB 42, 3/19/15, Passed: 105-2
Senate Bill 42 amends the Vehicle Code to do four distinct things: (1) update regulations regarding commercial driver’s license learner’s permits to be consistent with federal requirements; (2) clarify that a driver under Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) provisions would not be delayed in attaining a higher level license if involved in an accident not associated with a moving violation; (3) allow the Secretary of State to suspend the license of a driver under their 3-year probationary period without a review hearing, unless a hearing is requested; and (4) remove language prohibiting issuance of a personalized license plate with a message that could be considered "offensive to good taste and decency" due to a court decision invalidating the language.

Friday, March 13, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: March 10th – March 12th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (March 10th through March 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 3/10 – 3/12
Eliminate funding for the Film and Digital Media Production Assistance Program
HB 4122, 3/11/15, Passed: 58-51
Prohibits the MI Film Office from operating or funding expenditures for the Film and Digital Media Production Assistance Program as of October 1, 2015.

Amends regulations for elevator journeymen to exclude the installation of a residential stairway chair lift or residential platform lift
HB 4162, 3/11/15, Passed: 62-47
HB 4163, 3/11/15, Passed: 62-47
Exempts the installation of residential stairway chairlifts and platform lifts by a residential contractor from the elevator journeymen requirements and regulations.

Revisions to eligibility requirements for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA)
HB 4069, 3/12/15, Passed: 98-12
House Bill 4069 makes revisions to eligibility requirements for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA).

Prohibits courts from assigning HYTA to certain youth offenders
HB 4135, 3/12/15, Passed: 85-25
House Bill 4135 would prohibit a court from assigning HYTA to certain youth offenders. It would also require a court to revoke HYTA-status under certain circumstances.

Modify sentencing and MDOC placement for HYTA offenders
HB 4169, 3/12/15, Passed: 99-11
House Bill 4169 would retain, yet modify, how Holmes Youth Trainee Act (HYTA) –assigned offenders are sentenced to and placed in Michigan Department of Correction (MDOC) prison facilities.

Allows for an appropriation of $3M for various autism programs
SB 137, 3/12/15, Passed: 62-48
This bill would allow for a one-time appropriation and expenditure of $3M from the Autism Coverage Fund for FY15 to be used for university autism programs and autism family assistance services. (This is a budget implementation bill related to the recent supplemental, HB 4112).

Allow for an appropriation of $1.3M for a statewide trauma system
SB 138, 3/12/15, Passed: 58-52
This bill would allow for an additional $1.3M to be appropriated and expended from the Crime Victim’s Rights Fund to support a statewide trauma system. (This is a budget implementation bill related to the recent supplemental, HB 4112).

Friday, March 6, 2015

House of Representatives Week in Review: March 3rd - March 5th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that came before the House this week (March 3rd through March 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 3/3 – 3/5

Allow the State Treasurer to disclose the address of certain housing units exempt from property taxes under MSHDA
HB 4501, Passed: 110-0
House Bill 4051 amends the Revenue Act to allow the State Treasurer to disclose the address of housing units that are part of a housing project exempt from property taxes under the State Housing Development Authority Act or under the auspices of a Municipal Housing Commission, and whether the unit is subject to a service charge in lieu of property tax. The bill further allows the Treasurer to disclose the millage rates of property taxes.

Reestablish the teacher critical shortage list protocols
HB 4059, Passed: 108-2
Re-establishes the teacher critical shortage list protocols which allow school districts to hire retired teachers in identified subject areas without the teacher being required to forfeit their pension benefits to take the position.

Friday, February 27, 2015

House of Representatives Legislative Activity: January 1st – February 27th

Hello Friends,

Below is a list of the legislation that has come before the House so far this term. 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 2/2 – 2/27
Appropriates funding through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
HB 4078, Passed: 103-7
House Bill 4078 is a FY 14-15 appropriations bill that includes funding for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) capital outlay projects. The bill appropriates $24,729,500 Gross, all restricted funds.

Amends the Michigan Election Code to provide for precinct consolidation in certain elections
HB 4068, Passed: 109-0
House Bill 4068 would amend the Michigan Election Law to allow a county, city, or township to consolidate precincts that are currently located within the same polling location for statewide special elections dealing with ballot proposal questions.

FY 15 Mid-year School Aid Fund supplemental
HB 4110, Passed: 62-48
House Bill 4110 is a FY 15 mid-year School Aid Fund supplemental, affecting appropriations for School Aid (K-12), Community Colleges, and Higher Education. HB 4110 (H-1) includes a combination of budget reductions and fund shifts totaling $183.4 million Gross ($250.3 million GF/GP).

FY 15 Mid-year multi-departmental General Fund supplemental
HB 4112, Passed: 66-44
House Bill 4112 is a FY 15 mid-year multi-departmental General Fund supplemental, affecting the Departments of Community Health, Corrections, Education, Environmental Quality, Human Services, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Military and Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, State, State Police, Technology, Management, and Budget, Transportation, and Treasury. HB 4112 (H-1) includes caseload-related adjustments, appropriates funding for new expenditure needs in various departments, and reduces certain GF/GP expenditures. The bill’s net effect is a $120.2 million Gross ($169.4 million GF/GP) reduction in the state budget.

Require that a statewide presidential primary election be conducted on the third Tuesday in March
SB 44, Passed: 72-38
Require that a statewide presidential primary election be conducted on the third Tuesday in March, instead of the fourth Tuesday in February.

Move the February regular election date to March
SB 45, Passed: 74-36
Move the February regular election date from the fourth Tuesday in February to the third Tuesday in March, in each presidential election year when a statewide presidential primary was held.

Changes to Michigan’s wage garnishment procedures
HB 4119, Passed: 109-1
HB 4120, Passed: 109-1
HBs 4119 and 4120 would change the way that wage garnishment is done in Michigan, specifically what is required when an order is directed to a third party (the garnishee/employer) to withhold periodic or non-periodic payment of assets.

Delete a reference to the statutory definition of “lawful purpose”
HB 4076, Passed: 110-0
House Bill 4076 amends the Michigan Firearms Law to delete a reference to the statutory definition of “lawful purpose” which no longer exists in the Michigan Penal Code.

Allow certain licensed officers to carry a concealed pistol in a pistol-free or no carry zone
HB 4159, Passed: 89-21
House Bill 4159 (Johnson) would certain licensed corrections officers, and retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed pistol in a “pistol-free” or “no carry” zone.

Define in the MI Penal Code what it means to “brandish” a firearms
HB 4160, Passed: 95-16
HB 4161, Passed: 108-2
Together, House Bill 4160 (Johnson) and House Bill 4161 (Hughes) (H-1) define in the Michigan Penal Code what it means to “brandish” a firearm.

Reform the concealed pistol licensing (CPL) process and eliminate concealed weapons licensing boards
SB 34, Passed: 76-34
SB 35, Passed: 81-29
Senate Bill 34 and Senate Bill 35 (both sponsored by Senator Green) reform the concealed pistol licensing (CPL) process and eliminate concealed weapons licensing boards, effective November 30, 2015. Effective December 1, 2015, all duties would be transferred to the county clerks and Michigan State Police.

Repeals regulations and penalties for the use or possession of BB handguns by minors
HB 4151, Passed: 80-29
House Bill 4151 repeals Public Act 186 of 1959 (Spring, Gas, or Air Operated Handguns) which regulate and penalize the use or possession of BB handguns by minors.

Align the Michigan definition of firearm with the federal definition of firearm
HB 4152, Passed: 87-22
HB 4153, Passed: 85-24
HB 4156, Passed: 89-20
House Bill 4152, House Bill 4153, and House Bill 4156 would amend various statutes to align Michigan’s definition of firearm with the federal definition of firearm.

Amends the definition of firearm to include certain pneumatic guns
HB 4154, Passed: 87-22
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.

Amends the definition of “firearm” and creates provisions for pneumatic guns in the Michigan Penal Code
HB 4155, Passed: 88-21
As part of the National Rifle Association (NRA) “Airgun Reclassification Package,” House Bill 4155 (Cole) 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.