No bills have been voted on so far in the opening weeks of the 2017-18 Michigan Legislature. This report contains some newly introduced bills of general interest.
House Joint Resolution A: Establish part time legislature
Introduced by Rep. Michael Webber (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would limit annual legislative sessions to 90 consecutive days. More than 20 part time legislature proposals have been introduced in recent Legislatures. Proposals to change the state constitution need a 2/3 supermajority in the House and Senate to be placed on the ballot.
House Bill 4001: Reduce state income tax rate
Introduced by Rep. Lee Chatfield (R), to cut the state income tax from the current 4.25 percent to 3.9 percent starting in 2018, and then gradually phase out the tax over a 39 year period with annual cuts of 0.1 percent.
House Bill 4011: End daylight savings time; put whole state on Eastern time
Introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido (R), to petition the U.S. Department of Education to allow Michigan to no longer participate in daylight savings time clock changes, and instead use Eastern Standard Time as the year-round time zone for the entire state.
House Bill 4016: Create centralized government infrastructure planning council
Introduced by Rep. Patrick Green (D), to create a central government infrastructure planning council comprised of specified political appointees to “develop a long-term, integrated infrastructure strategy for publicly held assets in this state,” and explore ways to pay for increased spending on this, based on findings from an initial pilot program the bill would require.
House Bill 4019: Impose contraceptive insurance mandate
Introduced by Rep. Pam Faris (D), to impose a new health insurance coverage mandate requiring that all policies include paying for a one year supply of birth control pills or other contraceptives.
House Bill 4029: Let state enforce city income taxes
Introduced by Rep. Wendell Byrd (D), to authorize cities and the state Department of Treasury to enter agreements under which the Department could use its statewide authority to enforce the city’s income tax.
Senate Bill 3: Repeal prevailing wage law
Introduced by Sen. David Robertson (R), to repeal the state “prevailing wage” law, which prohibits awarding government contracts to contractors who submit the lowest bid unless the contractor pays wages based on pay scales that local union officials represent as prevalent in a particular area, but which tend to be above the market rate.
Senate Bill 4: Reduce income tax rate
Introduced by Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R), to cut the state income tax from the current 4.25 percent to 4.0 percent starting in 2018, and then cut it another 1 percent for each of the next four years until the tax is eliminated in 2022.
Senate Bill 22: Ban housing young prisoners with older ones
Introduced by Sen. Bert Johnson (D), to require the Department of Corrections to only house 17- to 22-year-old inmates with others in that age range, unless specific circumstances prevent this.
Senate Bill 26: Increase state earned income tax credit
Introduced by Sen. David Knezek (D), to increase the state earned income tax credit from an amount equal to 6 percent of the federal EITC, to 20 percent. This is a “refundable” credit for low income workers (meaning that a check is sent to the taxpayer for the amount the credit exceeds taxes owed).
Senate Bill 28: Repeal FDA approved drug lawsuit ban
Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D), to allow product liability lawsuits against drug companies for drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bill would repeal a tort reform law passed in 1995, under which such lawsuits are prohibited in Michigan courts unless the company intentionally withheld information or misled the FDA about the drug, or used bribery to gain approval.
Senate Bill 41 and House Bill 4052: Exempt pension income from state income tax
Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R) and Rep. Tom Barrett, to repeal the provision of Gov. Rick Snyder's tax reform and business tax cut that eliminated some of the state income tax exemptions for pension income. Gov. Snyder has already said he opposes the repeal.
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 https://www.michiganvotes.org.
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