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; firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or thoughts about any of the below bills.
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.