Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hello, everyone. Here's a summary of the bills the House passed from 10-6 to 10-8. Please don't hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Service Animals Package
HB 4521 (S-1) (Barrett), RC 335, 10/7/15 Passed 106-0-1
HB 4527 (RUTLEDGE), RC 336, 10/7/15 Passed 105-1
SB 298 (H-1) (KNEZEK), RC 337, 10/7/15 Passed 106-0
SB 299 (O'Brien), RC 338, 10/7/15Passed 106-0
Next: Sent for to the Governor
This package of bills expands 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. Additionally, one of the bills in the package, HB 4521, created a voluntary application process to obtain state issued ID, dog tags, and/or vest for service animals

Motor Vehicle Fuel Sales Tax Exemption
HB 4685 (H-4) (Poleski), RC 339, 10/7/15, Passed 105-1
Next: Sent to Senate for Consideration
Specifies that, beginning April 1, 2016, certain purchases of motor fuel are exempt from sales tax prepayment requirements placed upon those purchasing motor fuel from a supplier (i.e., refiner or terminal operator) or importer to avoid the need for refunding tax overpayments. These are: purchases by a supplier from another supplier or by an exporter from a supplier; and purchases made outside of the state for sale within the state by a supplier from another supplier.

Interest on Tax Refund Changes
HB 4461 (McCready), RC 340, 10/7/15, Passed 106-0
HB 4462 (CLEMENTE), RC 341, 10/7/15, Passed 106-0
Next: Sent to Senate for Consideration
HB 4461 and HB 4462 amend the Revenue Act, and the City Income Tax, respectively, to specify that interest on tax refunds owed by the Department of Treasury or a city treasurer shall be added to the refund commencing from the date the original filing date or the date the overpayment was made, whichever is later. Under current law, interest is added beginning 45 days after the tax filing date if the refund is not received in that timeframe. The new provision would apply for refunds approved after December 31, 2016

Medical Marihuana Package
HB 4209 (H-5) (Callton), RC 342, 10/7/15, 95-11
HB 4210 (H-2) (Lyons), RC 343, 10/7/15, 96-10
HB 4827 (H-1) (Kesto), RC 344, 10/7/15, 99-7
Next: Sent to Senate for Consideration
HB 4209 creates the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act which allows for the licensing for medical marihuana growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers, and safety compliance facilities. The bill also create a strict regulatory framework. HB 4210 would amend the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) to allow for the use of marihuana infused products. HB 4827 creates the Marihuana Tracking Act, which will establish, maintain, and utilize, directly or by contract, a system to track marihuana that is grown, processed, transferred, stored, or disposed of under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

Tax-Free Saving Accounts for Families of Disabled Children
HB 4544 (S-1) (Jenkins) RC 345, 10/8/2015, Passed 106-0
Next: Sent to the Governor
Senate Bill 360 (WARREN), House Bills 4542-4543 (Forlini) and 4544 (Jenkins) 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. HB 4544 amends the Social Welfare Act (PA 280 of 1939) to exempt ABLE accounts from financial eligibility determinations for assistance programs.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Package
HB 4504 (S-1) (Kesto) RC 346, 10/8/2015, Passed 106-0
HB 4505 (S-1) (Lucido) RC 347, 10/8/2015, Passed 100-6
Next: Sent to the Governor
House Bill 4499 (Glenn), House Bill 4505 (Lucido) and House Bill 4508 (IRWIN) 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.” HB 4504 (S-1) (Kesto) 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. HB 4505 (S-1) (Lucido) amends MCL 333.7521 of the Michigan Public Health Code’s “Controlled Substance Act” to require that the plaintiff prove a violation under the Act by clear and convincing evidence.

Liquor Commission Fees
HB 4581 (H-1) (Crawford) RC 348, 10/8/2015, Passed 102-4
Next: Sent to Senate for Consideration
HB 4581 increases the cap on fees the Commission may pay a vendor of spirits in addition to the acquisition price for purchasing spirits from the current maximum of $7.50 to a new maximum of $10.

Michigan Education Savings Account
SB 360 (H-1) (WARREN) RC 349, 10/8/2015, Passed, 106-0

Next: Sent to Senate for Consideration
Senate Bill 360 (H-1) (WARREN) increases the maximum account balance that a beneficiary of a Michigan education savings account (“529 plan”) may maintain from $235,000 to $500,000. The bill is tie-barred to House Bills 4542-4544, which establish the Michigan Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) program to allow families with disabled person to save more income without being penalized with respect to eligibility for various social services. However, the provisions of SB 360 apply to all individuals regard

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