To allow election clerks in larger communities (above 25,000) to begin opening and processing absentee ballots the day before an election under rules prescribed by the bill.
To require the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget to develop processes and procedures for tracking state information technology vendor contracts that exceed $250,000. This includes identifying cost overruns and change orders, accounting for projects that exceed one fiscal year, communicating processes and defined roles to involved parties, tracking spending, keeping the legislature informed and more. There have a number of major state information technology contract debacles over the past 30 years. The Senate also passed House Bill 5495, to require the state auditor general to validate state departments' compliance in these matters.
To establish regulations allowing semi-autonomous “personal delivery devices” to make deliveries on roads and sidewalks. The bill defines these as devices for transporting cargo on sidewalks or on the side or shoulder of a roadway “with the remote support and supervision of a human.” The bill would require that a human operator monitor the device and be able to promptly take control. It establishes that these are not “vehicles” subject to licensure, prescribes required safety equipment and specific “rules-of-the-road” (and sidewalks), addresses user liability issues and more. Local government regulation would be preempted, but local authorities could choose to ban the devices, with some exceptions.
To repeal a provision of the law establishing high school graduation requirements that requires school districts to report to the state each year the number of students who did not complete a language requirement but instead took career and technical courses or “visual or performing arts” courses that are allowed as an alternative. The bill also makes permanent a temporary provision allowing students to avoid part of the language requirement by taking a career and technical education program.
To require state health care regulators to create rules that would permit a veterinarian to “consult” with an animal owner on the use of marijuana or CBD oil on an animal.
To further limit the use of criminal records to determine whether an individual is eligible to get an occupational license mandated by the state, which is required to earn a living in many professions. Specifically, with some exceptions, a licensing board or agency could not consider past civil judgments or lawsuits against an individual as evidence of a “lack of good moral character,” and also could not consider a criminal conviction, in and of itself, as conclusive evidence of this. This would not apply if the individual was convicted of a felony that is explicitly listed in statute as a disqualifying offense for the particular license, or the offense was directly related to the licensed profession.
To appropriate $2.87 billion federal dollars to cover the additional $300 per week boost to unemployment benefits authorized in August by a federal "Lost Wages Assistance Program." These benefits are retroactive to August 1 (when the earlier $600 weekly federal boost expired), and end Sept. 30. The bill also includes $59.3 million federal dollars to cover extra state unemployment bureau expenses generated by the massive and sudden epidemic-related job losses, $9 million in state matching funds for flood cleanups, and $8 million pledged by state officials toward an invasive species barrier in Illinois.
To extend until October, 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.
To prohibit a person under age 16 from operating a carnival or amusement park ride, and ban state regulators from imposing any higher age mandate. The bill would also require all operators to be trained in operating and safety procedures.
To only require school districts to provide instruction “…online, digitally, by other remote means, in a synchronous or asynchronous format" in the 2020-21 school year, with some exceptions.
Along with House Bill 5912 this would waive the requirement that at least 75% of the students enrolled in a district must be present for the district to get state aid on any given day. Instead, schools would get state funding if they “ensure” that at least 75% of the students who are enrolled for non-classroom instruction get at least one “two-way interaction” per month with one of his or her teachers. Under the bill this could be an email, phone call, text message or an actual face-to-face conversation. In October and February, when normally students are counted for purposes of allocating per-pupil state funding, the number of required student interactions with a teacher would be four.
Also, to require school districts to administer a test during the first nine weeks of the 2020-21 school year to all K-8 students that assesses their progress on reading and math, and do so once again before the end of the school year.
The House vote on the bill described above.
To waive the requirement that schools provide 1,098 hours of instruction in the 2021-22 school year, and waive the requirement that at least 75% of the students enrolled must be present a on a school day for the district to get state aid for that day. Among other things the bill specifies administrative procedures to accommodate this.
School districts would only be required to “provide pupil instruction...online, digitally, by other remote means, in a synchronous or asynchronous format” that will “deliver the educational or course content that would have been delivered in 180 days and 1,098 hours.”
The House vote on the bill described above.
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.
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Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734 . email@example.com
Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. firstname.lastname@example.org
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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