Senate Bill 1250, Create non-partisan “Fair Political Practices Commission” to oversee election law: Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate
To create an independent, bipartisan commission within the Secretary of State department that would prescribe rules and definitions related to many campaign finance and election law provisions, including the political redistricting process created by voter passage of 2018 Proposal 2. The commission would consist of three Republicans and three Democrats named by their state parties, in a manner similar to the Federal Election Commission. This and Senate Bill 1254 are reportedly intended to prevent a future Secretary of State from potentially making partisan choices in the many areas of these laws where important details are left to the discretion of state officials.
Senate Bill 1238, Prescribe rules for early voting, same-day registration, more: Passed 26 to 10 in the Senate
To prescribe details of rules needed to implement the election-day registration and early voting provisions enacted by voter approval of 2018 Proposal 3. That measure eliminated the requirement to register to vote at least 30 days before an election; authorized “no reason” absentee ballot voting for all voters; mail-in voter registration; automatic registration with drivers license or state ID interactions; and a straight-ticket voting option. Senate Bill 1254 would similarly prescribe rules for the political redistricting process required by voter approval of 2018 Proposal 2.
Senate Bill 1197, Authorize Straits of Mackinac pipeline and utility tunnel: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To create a new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority with the duty of overseeing the construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning of a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which among other things would contain a controversial oil pipeline.
Senate Bill 1211, Revise restrictions on owners of property deemed “wetland”: Passed 23 to 14 in the Senate
To revise many rule and process details related to enforcement of restrictions imposed on owners of property deemed to be a wetland. The bill is said to give state officials less discretion in interpreting regulations in a way that restricts use or subjects landowners to sanctions. Among other things it would authorize damage awards to property owners harmed by such actions unless the state demonstrated that its position was "substantially justifiable."
House Bill 6269, Take over federal coal ash permit program: Passed 103 to 3 in the House
To provide for assumption by the state of a federal permit program for coal ash disposal and landfills. The bill proposes many revisions to a comprehensive state environmental regulatory regime to accommodate this proposal. This would align state law and regulations with provisions of a 2015 federal law, and largely resolves an ongoing controversy on addressing this issue.
House Bill 5939, Repeal preemption of some local fireworks restrictions: Passed 92 to 17 in the House
To revise a 2012 law that restricted the authority of local governments to regulate fireworks use. Under the bill a local government could not restrict fireworks use on New Years Eve and from midnight to 1 am on New Years Day; until 11:30 pm on the Saturday before Memorial Day and on weekend before the Fourth of July, and on the Saturday before Labor Day until 11:30 pm. Also, to add new requirements and restrictions on seasonal licensed fireworks retail operations, and require them to have signs that explain time and place restrictions on fireworks use. A related bill would regulate "sky lanterns" as consumer fireworks.
House Bill 6465, Adopt Coast Guard ballast water discharge permit standards: Passed 80 to 28 in the House
To adopt the U.S. Coast Guard standards for ballast water discharges from oceangoing vessels. Michigan adopted its own permit requirement and standards in 2006, which was before the Coast Guard finalized theirs in 2012, and the bill would make compliance with the federal rules sufficient to get the state permit, which would still be required.
House Bill 6553, Empower legislature to intervene in legal challenges to state laws: Passed 58 to 50 in the House
To authorize the state legislature, including either the House or Senate on their own, to intervene in any court of this state to protect a right or interest of this state, or of that body. The bill is reportedly intended to allow a future legislature to pursue the legal defense of previously passed laws it favors should future Attorney General, Secretary of State or Governor choose not to defend them in court.
Senate Bill 1171, Initiated minimum wage law 're-do': Passed 60 to 48 in the House
to revise the initiated law enacted in Sept. 2018 that increased the state minimum wage mandate. The original version of this law was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and would have increased the current $9.25 minimum to $12 in 2022, and eliminated a separate lower minimum wage that applies to tipped workers. This bill extends the phase-in of the $12.05 minimum to 2030, keeps a separate and lower minimum wage for tipped workers (employers must still pay the difference if tips come up short of making the regular minimum wage), and eliminates indexing the minimum wage to inflation.
Senate Bill 1175, Initiated paid leave law 're-do'
To revise the initiated law enacted in Sept. 2018, which imposed an employee paid leave mandate on employers. The original version of this law was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and would have granted workers one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 72 hours a year. The revised version mandates one hour of leave for every 35 hours worked, with an annual paid leave cap of 40 hours. Firms with 50 or less workers would be exempt. The revised version also removes provisions that would impose extensive record keeping requirements on employers, with a potential legal presumption that incomplete records means an employer has violated the law. The Senate has concurred with these changes and sent the bill to the Governor for approval. The Senate has concurred with these changes and sent the bill to the Governor for approval.
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