The Legislature will meet just one day this month, on Oct. 17, so rather than votes this report contains several newly introduced bills of interest.
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting
Senate Bill 1245: Ban Obamacare Medicaid expansion
Introduced by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R), to prohibit Michigan from expanding Medicaid eligibility to include all residents up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, including single individuals without children. The federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” originally mandated the expansion, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it optional. Medicaid is a medical welfare program funded by a mix of tax dollars raised by the federal and state governments and originally targeted primarily at low income families with children. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 1255: Authorize per-mile auto insurance pricing
Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young (D), to allow insurers to offer “pay-as-you-drive” automobile insurance, meaning the price is determined by the number of miles driven rather than just the term of the coverage. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 1263: Revise state “civilian conservation corps” program
Introduced by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R), to authorize conversion of the state “Civilian Conservation Corps” into a nonprofit run by a private entity. The bill is part of a CCC package comprised of Senate Bills 1261 to 1265. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 1269: Grant medical facility rationing exception to McLaren Health Systems
Introduced by Sen. Mike Kowall (R), to authorize a special exception to the health care facility rationing imposed by the state’s “Certificate of Need” law, which would allow McLaren Health Systems to build a new facility in Clarkston. The bill would also revise details of who is on this government rationing board. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 1270: Allow late return of military and overseas absentee ballots
Introduced by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), to allow overseas and military voter absentee ballots postmarked by the close of the polls on election day to be counted. Under current law, election clerks must physically receive the completed ballots by the close of election day. Another bill, Senate Bill 1254, would allow these ballots to be returned by email. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 1278: Declare Iosco County as the “birding capital of Michigan”
Introduced by Sen. John Moolenaar (R), to establish as law that Iosco County and no other county shall be declared the official “Birding Capital” of Michigan. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5778: Raise business income tax rate
Introduced by Rep. John Olumba (D), to increase the state income tax on business earnings from 6 percent to 15 percent. Manufacturers and firms “primarily engaged in the business of research” would have a 6 percent rate if they added at least five new jobs during the preceding year. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5780: Allow public safety “step” pay hikes after union contract expiration
Introduced by Rep. John Walsh (R), to exempt police and firefighter employees and unions from the provisions of a 2011 law that prohibits seniority-based automatic pay hikes for individual employees (“step” increases) when a government employee union contract has expired and no replacement has been negotiated. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5782: Mandate insurance rate cuts in Detroit
Introduced by Rep. Lisa L. Howze (D), to force auto and property insurance companies to cut renewal rates by 20 percent for residents of a depopulating city (one whose population fell at least 10 percent in the last census, including Detroit), if rates there exceed nearby communities by 50 percent. The bill would also restrict rate hikes after a first-time claim in those cities. To pay for the mandated rate cuts the bill would impose a $50 million tax on the MCCA, the statewide reinsurance provider that covers medical claims above $500,000. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5790: Earmark court money to new Detroit crime lab
Introduced by Rep. Richard LeBlanc (D), to earmark certain court assessments and fees to a potential new Detroit crime lab. The previous Detroit crime lab was closed after an audit revealed extensive abuses and errors. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5805: Exempt “health care sharing ministries” from insurance regulations
Introduced by Rep. Lisa Lyons (R), to establish that “health care sharing ministries” are not subject to state insurance regulations. Health care sharing ministries are an alternative to insurance that provide health care cost-sharing arrangements among people of similar and sincerely held beliefs. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5808: Subsidize charitable doctor care
Introduced by Rep. Jim Ananich (D), to authorize a state income tax credit of up to $5,000 for free medical services donated by a physician to a patient who is not eligible for medical welfare (Medicaid). This would be a “refundable” credit, meaning that a check is sent to the taxpayer for the balance of the credit exceeding taxes owed. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.