Note: Today's report includes votes from the unusual House and Senate sessions held the previous Friday, which occurred too late for last week's report, and included passage of landmark auto insurance reform. There were no votes to report this week, which was dominated by legislators' attendance at an annual Detroit Chamber of Commerce event on Mackinac Island.
Senate Bill 1, Reform auto insurance: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To no longer mandate that auto insurance policies include unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Customers could still choose unlimited PIP coverage, or choose policies with PIP limits of $250,000, $500,000, and for individuals covered by Medicaid, $50,000. Seniors on Medicare and individuals covered by other health insurance with less than a $6,000 deductible could choose not to purchase any PIP coverage at all.
The bill would mandate that insurers reduce charges for the PIP component of a customer’s policy by a proportional amount.
Medical service providers and hospitals could not charge more for medical care given to crash victims than twice the amount prescribed for federal Medicare reimbursements (subject to some adjustments). Limits would also be applied for long term care costs, including a cap of 56 hours a week on “attendant care” hours provided by friends and relatives, with payments to others capped at the amounts prescribed by the state’s workers compensation insurance law.
The bill would also increase from $500 to $3,000 the limit on damages for which a person may sue under under a “mini-tort” exception to the no fault insurance law’s general prohibition on vehicle crash lawsuits.Trial lawyers would be prohibited from suing insurance companies for reimbursement claims that have not been authorized or are not late, or if the attorney improperly solicited a case (“ambulance chasing”). Insurers could not set rates on the basis of home ownership, educational level attained, occupation or credit score (but could use “credit information”). Zip codes would also be barred as a rate-setting factor, but insurers may still group ratings by 'territory.' The bill would require auto insurers to wait 90 days before using new structures they have filed, unless regulators approve them sooner, instead of the current "file and use" system.
House Bill 4249, Revise multiline phone service 9-1-1 mandate: Passed 106 to 3 in the House
To repeal the authority of the Michigan Public Service Commission to impose rules on businesses and organizations with multiline telephone systems, and instead spell out the relevant rules in state statute (law). The bill was introduced in response to rules that have been promulgated under a 2016 law that critics say far exceed the scope envisioned by its authors.
House Bill 4434, Revise concealed pistol license violation sanctions: Passed 90 to 19 in the House
To repeal criminal sanctions for carrying a concealed pistol after an individual's concealed pistol license has expired (currently up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine), with a civil fine of $330 for carrying a pistol after failing to renew a license that is less than one year past its expiration. Bill supporters contend that the current penalty is excessive for that they call a "paperwork" crime.
*You can view the roll call votes by clicking on the hyperlinked title
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