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