Monday, November 9, 2015

The following is a summary of legislation that passed the House 11.2.15-11.6.15. Feel free to contact my office (517-373-0826) with any questions or if you need additional information.

Allow the use of Certain Military Experience as the Basis for Licensure
HB 4134 (S-1) (Barrett) RC 404, 11/3/15 Passed 106-1
Next: Presentation to the Governor
Committee: Regulatory Reform
Description: HB 4134 (S-1) (Barrett) Allows certain veterans to use relevant military experience to register and obtain licensure as a boiler operator. The S-1 substitute adds language allowing the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to promulgate rules for alteration and servicing of boilers, as well as adopting existing rules published codifications or national standards.

House GOP Roads Package
HB 4738 (S-5)
(McCready) RC 405, 11/3/15 Passed 55-52
HB 4736 (S-4) (McCready) RC 406, 11/3/15 Passed 55-51
SB 414 (S-4) (Schmidt) RC 407, 11/3/15 Passed 61-46
HB 4370 (S-3) (Hughes) RC 408, 11/3/15 Passed 62-45
HB 4737 (S-4) (McCready) RC 409, 11/3/15 Passed 73-34
HB 4614 (S-5) (Sheppard) RC 410, 11/3/15 Passed 55-52
HB 4616 (S-6) (Sheppard) RC 411, 11/3/15 Passed 56-51
Next: Return to the Senate (SB 414);
Presentation to the Governor (HB 4738, HB 4736, HB 4370, HB 4737, HB 4614, HB 4616)
Committee: Tax Policy (HB 4370)
Roads and Economic Development (SB 414, HB 4614, HB 4616);
Transportation and Infrastructure (HB 4738, HB 4736, HB 4737);
Description: HB 4738 (S-5) would increase fuel taxes at an earlier date and by a higher amount than the House-passed bill. The Senate substitute then calls for a 26.3 cent per gallon increase in 2016, compared to 22.3 cents per gallon in 2018 set in the House bill. The Senate substitute also includes a tie-bar to SB 414 (income tax rollback) and the effective date is also moved up to January 1, 2017 compared to October 1, 2017. HB 4736 (S-4) increases the registration tax on passenger vehicles and commercial trucks by 20% beginning January 1, 2019 and establishes a vehicle registration tax surcharge on hybrid electric vehicles and nonhybrid electric vehicles. SB 414 (S-4) amends the Income Tax Act to establish a mechanism to reduce the individual income tax rate in years when State General Fund revenue meets certain benchmarks, beginning in tax year 2023. HB 4730 (S-3) amends the Income Tax Act to: (1) earmark funds currently directed to the General Fund for distribution under Public Act 51 for State and local road programs; and (2) increase the Homestead Property Tax Credit. HB 4737 (S-4) amends Public Act 51 to Amend warranty requirements for MDOT projects, establish warranty provisions for the first time for local road agency projects, and establish reporting requirements for MDOT and local road agencies for warrantied projects. It creates a Roads Innovation Task Force and Roads Innovation Fund to receive $100 million in fuel tax revenue until the Legislature acts to release the funds. It also provides a $3 million funding earmark in the Act 51 funding formula for a new Rail Grade Crossing Surface Account to be used for surface improvements at rail crossings on local roads. Further, it increases the earmark in the Act 51 formula dedicated to State Trunk Line debt service from $43 million to $50 million. The bill allows certain large cities to use up to 20% of Act 51 road funds for public transit purposes with the approval of the MDOT director. Lastly, it reduces the cap for the percentage of revenue MDOT may spend on administrative expenses from 10% to 8%. HB 4614 (S-5) amends 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. The Act currently only applies to diesel fuel. The bill further clarifies that an interstate motor carrier is entitled to a credit for use tax paid when purchasing fuel in Michigan to be claimed under its International Fuel Tax Agreement return. HB 4616 (S-6) amends the Motor Carrier Fuel Tax Act to increase the tax paid on diesel fuel by interstate motor carriers as provided in HB 4738, including the provisions for an annual inflationary adjustment to the tax rate and application of the tax to alternative fuels.

Amending the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act to allow multiple employers in the same industry to form self-insured groups for workers compensation coverage
HB 4362 (S-2) (Sheppard) RC 412, 11/4/15 Passed 106-1
Next: Presentation to the Governor
Committee: Commerce
Description: 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. HB 4362 would say 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 (that is, of the surplus). The trustees of a self-insured group, acting in their fiduciary capacity, would have to establish processes and procedures for the distribution of excess assets with the approval of the director of the Workers' Compensation Agency.

Amending the Early Stage Venture Capital Investment Act to Stipulate the MI Early Stage Venture Capital Investment Corporation may not enter into new agreements with investors; Shortens Sunset on Venture Capital Authority
HB 4195 (S-1) (Pscholka) RC 413, 11/4/15 Passed 101-6
HB 4196 (S-1) (McCready) RC 414, 11/4/15 Passed 102-5
Next: Presentation to the Governor
Committee: Commerce
Description: HB 4195 (S-1) (Pscholka) would amend the Early State Venture Capital Investment 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 (McCready) would shorten the sunset on the Venture Capital Authority Fund from 2054 to 2029. Please note: The Senate amended HBs 4195 and 4196 to stipulate that the first $140 million of the fund would go to reimburse the General Fund for the original amount. Any remaining funds would go to the 21st Century Jobs Trust Fund. It should be noted that there is some dispute as to how much will be left in the Fund after it expires.

Amend the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) to Conform to Federal Law
SB 213 (Schuitmaker) RC 415, 11/4/15 Passed 106-1
Next: Presentation to the Governor
Committee: Commerce
Description: SB 213 amends the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) to eliminate a requirement in the Act in order to conform to federal law. The bill removes the language requiring reporting to LARA within eight hours of a fatality or any hospitalization of three or more employees suffering injury from the same accident or illness from the same exposure to the same health hazard associated with their employment from MIOSHA. The language that is retained requires the employers to report “in accordance with rules
promulgated by [the State].”

Extending the Industrial Processing Exemption for the Use Tax and the Sales Tax
SB 369 (S-2) (Schmidt) RC 416, 11/4/15 Passed 82-25
SB 370 (S-2) (Brandenburg) RC 417, 11/4/15 Passed 82-25
Next: Presentation to the Governor
Committee: Tax Policy
Description: SB 369 (S-2) and SB 370 (S-2) would amend the Use Tax Act and the General Sales Tax Act, respectively, to extend the industrial processing exemption under each Act to tangible personal property used or consumed in an industrial processing activity to produce alcoholic beverages that are sold at retail through the manufacturer's own locations (i.e., a winery, brewery, or distillery).

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