Michigan’s 101st Legislature held its first session Wednesday. In the coming weeks, the House and Senate will be organizing the Policy and Funds Committees through which new bills (usually) must be routed en route for possible passage. No votes are expected until then.
The majority of the House and Senate assemblies (both Republicans) sometimes signal priorities with the first bills they introduce. Without voting, this report describes these bills as well as some others of general interest.
2021 Senate Act 1: Limiting the Ministry of Health’s epidemic orders without legal approval
Introduced by Senator Lana Theis (R) on January 13, 2021 to restrict emergency orders, the state Department of Health (the Department of Health and Human Service) may impose 28 days in response to an epidemic unless an extension is approved by lawmakers. A state public health law, passed by legislature in 1978, gives the ministry the power to issue such orders.
2021 House Bill 4001: Introduction of new rules on conflicts of interest with the legislature
Introduced by Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R) on January 13, 2021, to prevent a legislature who knows they have a “personal or professional interest” in a bill or measure from voting on it, and also if the Is related to law or has a financial or legal obligation to any person or organization who would benefit from it.
2021 Senate Act 2: Increase in unemployment benefits
Introduced by Senator Paul Wojno (D) on January 13, 2021 to increase the maximum length of time you can claim unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26 weeks.
Senate Act 3 and House Act 4002: Exemption of certain pension income from state income tax
Introduced by Senator Paul Wojno (D) and Rep. Joseph Bellino, Jr. (R) respectively, to lift age-related restrictions and restrictions on income tax deductions for retirement and pension benefits enacted under a 2011 tax reform and business tax cut.
Senate Bill 12: Exemption of outpatient cardiac catheterization from the rationing of medical services (“Certificate of Need”)
Introduced by Senator Dale W. Zorn (R) to exempt outpatient cardiac catheterization services from a state certificate of need law requiring medical service providers to obtain approval from a panel of existing providers before investing in a new or expanded service.
Senate Act 13: Granting tax breaks to certain business owners and developers
Introduced by Senator Dale W. Zorn (R) to provide tax breaks equal to 50% of their state business tax liability to certain developers and business owners selected by political officials on the board of directors of a state agency for strategic funds. If the tax break exceeds the company’s tax liability, the difference can be applied to future tax charges for up to 10 years.
Senate Act 20: Approval of 3 million property tax for school buses
Introduced by Senator Dale W. Zorn (R) to allow school districts to use a “declining fund” property tax for “student transportation” (purchase of school buses). Under current law, schools can charge up to 3 mills for 10 years for a “sinking fund” which is a permanent account that is only used for land purchases and the construction or (major) repair of school buildings or (under) recent expansions) to pay for “information technology” and school security measures.
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, impartial website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, that contains concise, impartial, simple English descriptions of all Michigan House and Senate bills and votes. Please visit MichiganVotes.org. Permission is hereby granted to reprint this summary in whole or in part, provided MichiganVotes.org is properly cited.