Action in Lansing has been focused on positioning each chamber’s version of the state budget for initial voting. The full House and Senate Appropriations committees moved through their discussion and consideration of each subcommittee report during a series of meetings last week. Following that discussion and a small number of approved amendments, each subcommittee report was then combined into an “omnibus” budget bill. The House finished their review and reported House Bill 5578, while the Senate finished their work on Senate Bill 848 this week. House and Senate Democratic committee members attempted to amend their respective versions of the General Government budget to restore the current year revenue sharing amount at $6.2 million, but were unsuccessful at this initial step of the process. The House then passed their version over to the Senate this week, while the Senate versions will likely see action next week as they work to get the bills into position for final negotiations after the mid-May consensus revenue estimating conference.
Sexual Assault Package
The House Law & Justice committee is continuing its work on the House-introduced package aimed at preventing sexual assault (House Bills 5783-5824). The House’s package has undergone committee consideration for the last two weeks and they are expected to continue testimony on these bills for at least another week. We expect the Senate package (Senate Bills 871-880), that includes a significant change in government immunity and retroactive statute of limitations changes to be brought up by the House committee following their work on the House-originated package. League staff continues to meet with House committee members and other key legislators as we work with other governmental agencies and organizations to amend the Senate’s government immunity bill (SB 877) to protect local government from an unintended consequence where the Senate-passed language creates a higher liability standard than private sector employers.
Stormwater Utility Authority Proposal
The stormwater utility authority proposal that the League has been promoting (SB 756) received a Wednesday hearing in front of the Senate Natural Resources committee. League staff expressed our support for the bill and the committee heard direct testimony from the city of Birmingham, and Oakland County. While this hearing was testimony only, League staff continue to meet with committee members to ensure a smooth path to passage for this important bill.
Asset Management Legislation
A three bill package (HB 5335, HB 5406 and HB 5408) based on the recommendations of the 21st Century Infrastructure Report received a hearing in the Senate on Thursday. HB 5335 would create the Michigan Infrastructure Council (MIC) to act as a clearing house for transportation and water asset data. The MIC will also focus on best practices for coordinated planning and creating policy recommendations to ensure proper investment in Michigan’s infrastructure. HB 5406 creates the Water Asset Management Council (WAMC) to collect asset management data on water, wastewater and stormwater systems. Finally, HB 5408 strengthens the current Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC) to ensure asset management plans are submitted in addition to road condition data.
Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.