The Legislature took a break from their summer break last week to return to session for one day (July 12th) to finalize action on a few bills. Highlighting this one-day session was the Good Jobs for Michigan economic development bill package (SBs 242-244). The proposal would incent a business to bring in large numbers of new jobs to the state by locating a new company in Michigan. These bills are being pushed heavily by Governor Snyder and are supported by a broad coalition, including MML. The Governor is pointing at these bills as a necessary tool to attract larger business investment projects (like the FoxConn flat screen manufacturing facility being discussed in the media), where Michigan is competing against other states that all offer some sort of tax or job creation incentive. The bills were approved by large margins in both the House and Senate and are on the Governor’s desk where he is expected to sign them in the coming days.
Also during session on the 12th, two more bills were finalized that the League had been engaged in…Senate Bill 332 corrected a technical oversight from a change that occurred at the end of 2016 to medical waiver requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. This year-end law change created an unintended negative impact on licensure requirements for municipal employees necessitating SB 332. The language we supported in this bill will restore municipal employment licensing requirements and mirror the state law more closely to the federal guidelines for allowable exemptions. Another bill requiring our involvement is House Bill 4160. This bill finished its winding way through the legislative process as a piece of legislation attempting to address the recent Attorney General opinion prohibiting non-profit organizations from fund-raising within road rights-of-way. HB 4160 went through multiple proposed versions and saw MML’s position move from support, to opposition, to the eventual hold-our-nose neutrality. SB 332 is on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature while HB 4160 has yet to be presented to Governor.
With last Wednesday’s session activity complete, the House and Senate are now back on recess, not expected to officially return for voting until September, following Labor Day.
Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and [email protected].