To override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's veto of this bill, which would have prohibited state agencies from retaliating against employees for telling a legislator about problems at the agency. An override requires a two-thirds supermajority vote and so the bill will not become law.
To adopt a revised version of the state budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year. This substitutes $1.008 billion federal coronavirus relief dollars for $538.7 million of state tax receipts that had been projected but won't be realized do to the epidemic and business lockdowns. The bill also makes some modest budget cuts and adjustments that reflect fewer demands on certain state functions and services due to the epidemic.
The state's Medicaid and other social welfare programs receive a large boost under the bill, including more federal "match" dollars tied to spending state dollars on Medicaid, and an outright grant of $600 million additional dollars for food stamps.
The House vote on bill described above.
To use federal coronavirus epidemic relief money, and a $350 million withdrawal from the state "rainy day fund," to fill holes in 2019-2020 education budget, brought about by a decline in state revenue caused by the epidemic and business lockdowns. For the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30, public schools will actually get $136 million more revenue than the previous year under this budget. Community colleges and state university will see no changes in their net current-year appropriation amounts under the bill.
The House vote on bill described above.
To prescribe requirements, standards, limitations and more on conducting public school classes electronically over the internet. Among many other things school districts would have to ensure that all students will have access, and that the specific needs of different students are met including special education students.
To revise and waive many of the rules on the required number of hours and days of public school instruction, including allowances for snow days, rules for conducting classes online, and the amount of state funding provided for both these exceptions to regular schooling, and to days on which fewer than 75 percent of a school’s students are in attendance. Public schools could continue to operate under distance learning plans during the coronavirus epidemic, but with added steps intended to assure students receive instruction and meet academic goals.
To require all school districts to test all K to 8 students within the first 30 days of the 2020-2021 school year to measure proficiency in reading and mathematics. The bill would also revise some rules on students allowed to get “remote instruction,” and create a committee to provide oversight to the state education department’s pupil accounting process.
To ban transferring patients in a medical care facility who test positive for COVID-19 to nursing homes, with exceptions for patients who have recovered from the disease or nursing homes with a designated coronavirus area meeting standards specified in the bill. Also, to require state regulators to create a “centralized intake facility” in each of the state’s eight “health care regions” to treat coronavirus patients who are “ineligible for admission at a hospital.”
To make it felony to turn in an absent voter ballot application using another person's name and personal information, and also create a new felony crime for submitting an absent voter ballot application with the intent to obtain multiple absent voter ballots.
To ban transferring a patient currently in a medical care facility, and who tests positive for COVID-19, to a nursing home, with exceptions for patients who have recovered from the disease or nursing homes with a designated coronavirus area meeting standards specified in the bill. Also, to require state regulators to create a “centralized intake facility” in each of the state’s eight “health care regions” to treat coronavirus patients who are “ineligible for admission at a hospital.”
To prohibit the sale of smoke alarms powered by a replaceable and removable battery starting on April 1, 2022, and instead mandate that all smoke alarms must be powered by a nonremovable and nonreplaceable battery that lasts at least 10 years, or by another power source utilizing new technology. This would not apply to alarms powered by a building electrical system and some other exceptions.
To prohibit hospital emergency rooms or other emergency medical care providers from charging a person whose health insurance provider does not have a negotiated deal with the provider more than the average amount negotiated by the patient’s insurer, or more than 150% of the Medicare fee for service fee, with various exceptions.
To place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to add “electronic data and communications” to the Article I provision that recognizes the right of the people to be secure from unreasonable government searches and seizures of their “person, houses, papers, and possessions." The constitution states that no warrant to search or seize any person, place or things may be issued without describing them, or without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation. With this vote the constitutional amendment heads to placement on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.
To express the support of the House for "the timely issuing of permits for the construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel Project," meaning the Line-5 gas pipeline tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. The final vote was bipartisan with 23 Democrats joining all but one Republican in support.
To discourage local units of government from defunding or abolishing their local police departments.
To resolve that the Michigan Senate denounces the Governor’s policy placing COVID-19 positive residents with uninfected residents in nursing homes.
To resolve that the Michigan House opposes the Governor’s policy placing COVID-19 positive residents with uninfected residents in nursing homes.
To appropriate $6 million for Midland county flood relief.
To allocate $880.1 million in federal coronavirus epidemic relief grants. Highlights include $125 million more for licensed child care providers in social welfare and school programs; $120 million to cover a $2 raise for certain direct care social welfare workers; $25 million in low income water bill subsidies and $60 million in rent subsidies; $29.1 million to beef-up the staff and tools used to process unemployment benefit claims; and $100 million for subsidies for some small businesses. The Senate also voted unanimously to concur with the House changes and send the bill to the governor.
To place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to add “electronic data and communications” to the Article I provision that recognizes the right of the people to be secure from unreasonable government searches and seizures of their “person, houses, papers, and possessions." The constitution states that no warrant to search or seize any person, place or things may be issued without describing them, or without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
To allow “on-premises licensees” (restaurants with liquor licenses and bars that serve food) to sell drinks to go, for pickup or delivery; and allow establishments that were already permitted to sell drinks on a patio or outside area to expand this service in 2020 only without permission. The bill would also give these establishments a 30 percent discount off the usual price they pay for "spiritous liquor," which under Michigan's extensive liquor control regulatory regime is all wholesaled by the state at fixed prices.
To authorize county absent voter counting boards that cities, townships and counties may form together, and delegate the absentee ballot counting process to these boards. This would not be allowed to be used for the first time in a county during the November 2020 general election.
To permit Medicaid and other social welfare medical assistance programs to reimburse providers for some telemedicine services if the recipient is in an “in-home or in-school setting” at the time the service being furnished, or other sites allowed by the rules or the service provider. Other bills in this package make the same or similar changes for private health insurance.
To authorize sentences of life in prison for delivering, manufacturing, or possessing with intent to deliver more than 1,000 grams of heroin or fentanyl, and penalties starting at 20 years and up for amounts starting at 50 grams. Maximum penalties for less than 50 grams would be lowered from 20 years to 10 years; and penalties on offenses related to other narcotics or cocaine would be slightly reduced. Other bills passed by the House would allow probation and plea bargaining in some narcotics prosecutions where these are now prohibited.
To require prospective Michigan law enforcement officers to receive instruction in de-escalation techniques, “procedural justice," and “mental health resources and support available for law enforcement officers,” plus “implicit bias training." A Michigan Commission On Law Enforcement Standards would have to establish minimum standards in rules due by Sept. 2021. Current law enforcement officers would have to take the training retroactively. Going forward, officers would have to take 12 hours of annual continuing education classes in 2022, and at least 24 hours each year starting in 2023.
To extend to residential properties the taxing power of local “principal shopping district” and “business improvement district” authorities. These entities levy property taxes labeled special assessments on local businesses, and spend the money on projects intended to "promote economic activity" that benefits the owners. Under the bill these authorities could impose the taxes on home and residential property owners who are not currently subject to them. A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2017 due to concerns about extending these levies to homeowners.
To prohibit state regulators from requiring unattended self-service gas stations to install measures to prevent public access, including locked dispensers, security fencing or other means. The bill would also subject these gas stations to state approval under rules specified in the bill.
To allow payday lenders to make “small loans” of up $2,500, subject to restrictions specified in the bill. These would be 90-day to one-year loans that are not secured by a future paycheck.
To prohibit colleges, the NCAA, or other intercollegiate athletic organizing bodies from prohibiting a student from participating in sports if the student has received compensation for the use of the his or her name, image, likeness rights, or athletic reputation, or if the student hires an agent.
To authorize statewide roadside drug testing. This expands a five-county pilot program authorized by a 2016 law.
To extend until October of 2022 a law that permits courts to impose any costs on guilty defendants that are reasonably related to the actual costs of operating the court, including building maintenance expenses, court employee benefit expenses and more, and do so without tying those expenses to the particular case. The controversial 2014 law that authorized these impositions has already been extended once, and the introduced version of this bill would have added another three years, not two years.
To allocate Michigan's $523.7 million share of federal relief dollars approved by Congress to help state governments and schools deal with the coronavirus epidemic. The allocations include $125 million for subsidies to licensed child care providers who give discounts this spring; $15 million for school district summer school programs (distributed based on the epidemic’s “impact in the communities” serve they serve); $100 million to pay for giving $1,000 bonuses to local law enforcement and public safety personnel, emergency first responders, 9-1-1 operators and others; $178 million to give a temporary $3 per hour bonus to “direct care workers” covered by Medicaid and other social welfare programs; $50 million in grants to buy personal protection equipment to “priority providers” designated by the state health and welfare department, and more.
To revise the definition of “telemedicine” in the state insurance code, by replacing a requirement that a patient be able to interact in real time with the off-site health care professional at the time the services are provided, with a requirement that the health care professional "must be able to examine the patient via a...secure interactive audio or video telecommunications system, or through the use of store and forward online messaging." House Bills 5413 to 5416 amend other laws to make similar changes in Medicaid and related social welfare programs, and also remove current restrictions that prohibit getting telemedicine services at home.
To extend through the end of the coronavirus state of emergency a medical malpractice liability exemption granted to health care professionals and facilities by the 1976 state “Emergency Management Act.” The law the bill would amend now limits the governor's exercise of extraordinary emergency powers - and the liability exemptions the bill would extend - to 28 days unless the legislature approves an extension, which it has declined to do.
This means that Gov. Whitmer's epidemic related executive orders now rest their authority primarily on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor Act,” which does not place limits on how long a governor may retain such powers, and also does not grant liability protections to doctors and hospitals during an epidemic.
To limit the proposed medical care provider liability waiver extensions in Senate Bill 899 to "the assessment or care of an individual with a confirmed case or a suspected case of COVID-19."
To not extend the proposed liability waivers to a hospital or medical care provider that acted "with an intent to harm or discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity."
To amend a 1976 “Emergency Management Act,” one of two state laws that grant extraordinary emergency powers to a governor. This law limits these powers to 28 days unless extended by the legislature, which on the same day as this vote the legislature declined to do. This make makes Gov. Whitmer’s exercise of emergency powers more reliant on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor” law, which does not limit how long a governor may retain these powers and does not require legislative approval.
The bill does two things. It essentially “writes into” this law (“incorporates by reference”) the current coronavirus epidemic executive orders that have been imposed under its authority, but with different termination dates for many than in the governor’s order. In general, orders that are more restrictive of business reopening get earlier end-dates, and ones easing state regulations (including those on medical care providers and facilities) are extended for a longer time. Bars and restaurants could reopen with social distancing protocols on May 16 under the bill.
Second, it adds to this law “social distancing” protocols for businesses and public accommodations that are somewhat more general and flexible than those in the current orders.
On the day the bill passed an angry breakdown occurred in lockdown-easing negotiations between Michigan's Republican Senate Majority Leader. This bill will not be signed by the governor and will not go into law, but may be significant as a political statement from the majority party in a co-equal branch of government, the legislature.
The House vote on the coronavirus epidemic response bill described above.
To revise the penalties in the laws that authorize a governor to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including the statewide “lockdowns” ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. The current law makes violations “a misdemeanor,” and the bill would add a “civil infraction” provision and specify fines of either $100 for individuals, and up to $500 for businesses or other entities. House Bill 5710 makes the same change in the other state of emergency law.
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Contact my lawmakers
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734 . firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. email@example.com
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 www.MichiganVotes.org.
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