The House and Senate held sessions but no votes of general interest this week. This report describes some bills introduced this year proposing to expand the state’s social welfare programs.
Senate Bill 203: Expand certain social welfare program eligibility
Introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R), to remove restrictions on private or public organizations getting authorization to enroll noninstitutionalized individuals older than 65 with incomes less than $25,000 in “all inclusive” social welfare programs for the elderly (called “PACE” programs) paid for with state and federal revenue. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates this would add $4.32 million to Medicaid spending. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4313: Require utilities assist delinquent water customers get social welfare benefits
Introduced by Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D), to impose additional restrictions, disclosure requirements, installment plan mandates and more on municipal water and sewer systems before they can shut off service to someone who hasn’t paid their bills, including a duty to facilitate low income households getting social welfare benefits. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 344: Expand social welfare benefits to paying people’s water bills
Introduced by Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D), to expand means-tested social welfare entitlements to include paying a person’s household water and sewer service charges. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4713: Authorize social welfare-related developer subsidies
Introduced by Rep. Jim Lilly (R), to exempt “qualified community land trust property” from local property taxes. This designation would be used for delivering tax breaks on real property that is “held on behalf” of the government, henceforth defined as “community assets,” and includes but is not limited to providing social welfare benefits and amenities including “affordable housing, civic buildings, community gardens, open spaces, parking facilities, sidewalks, and trails.” Senate Bill 421, introduced by Sen. Roger Victory (R), would expand the developer subsidies to include school property tax breaks. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4926: Authorize alternative social welfare delivery model
Introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D), to require the state health and welfare department to “utilize a self-insured financing and delivery system structure to provide or arrange for the delivery and integration of specialty services and supports for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries with a mental illness, emotional disturbance, intellectual or developmental disability, or substance use disorder” which shall be “carved out from the basic Medicaid health care benefits package,” with recipients eligible to keep getting the regular subsidies or use the proposed “self-insured” structure. Taxpayers (and federal lenders) would still cover the costs. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5034: Authorize social welfare payments that pay household cable and internet bills
Introduced by Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D), to include money to pay for household cable and internet service in state social welfare payments, using the same distribution formula that allocates surcharges imposed on individuals’ electric bills to pay the electric bills of households collecting social welfare benefits. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 597: Establish a new layer of integrated social welfare program management
Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R), to require the state health and welfare department to issue contracts establishing a “specialty integrated plan” to “integrate the administration of physical health care services and behavioral health specialty services and supports for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries with a serious mental illness, developmental disability, serious emotional disturbance, or substance use disorder and eligible Medicaid beneficiaries who are children in foster care,” intended to provide “full integration and administration of physical health care services and behavioral health specialty services and supports through specialty integrated plans.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 620: Create new social welfare program, “elderly emergency aid”
Introduced by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D), to add a new social welfare subsidy program called an “elderly emergency aid program,” which would transfer money to “older persons who experience public utility damage from a declared emergency.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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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