In response to the coronavirus emergency the legislature has scheduled tentative one-day-a-week sessions but is unlikely to meet again before April 21.
During this period the weekly roll call report will share descriptions of some interesting or noteworthy recent bill introductions, beginning with ones related to the epidemic and emergency response. Recent roll call reports have described unanimous votes to fund state virus-response activities, but there have been no hearings or votes on these new bills.
Senate Bill 846 and House Bill 5771: Authorize jail, $1 million fine for spiking hotel, lodging price during emergency
Introduced by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D) and Rep. Mike Mueller (R), respectively, to authorize penalties of $10,000 per violation by individuals, and $1 million for a business, for raising the price on temporary lodging during an emergency by an amount the bill deems as “excessive,” which could apply to increases as low as 10%. Violations would be a misdemeanor, and the state Attorney General would be authorized to file class action lawsuits seeking triple damages from landlords who raise prices.
Senate Bill 848 and House Bill 5669: Authorize jail, $1 million fine for spiking fuel prices during emergency
Introduced by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D) and Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D), respectively, to authorize the same sanctions proposed by the bill above for raising prices on gasoline, propane, home heating oil, and other energy-based products and services during an emergency by an amount the bill deems as “excessive.” Senate Bills 847 and 5670 apply the same restrictions and penalties to consumer staples and other goods.
House Bill 5633: Impose coronavirus insurance mandate
Introduced by Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D), to impose a new coverage mandate that would require private insurance policies to include coverage for care related to coronavirus including doctor visits, diagnosis, prescribed treatment by telemedicine, hospitalizations, drugs, vaccines, lab tests, hand sanitizer and face masks, and quarantine, detention or isolation by any governmental entity.
House Bill 5631: Include coronavirus treatment and more in Medicaid benefits
Introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D) to include coronavirus treatment costs among those the state Medicaid and other social welfare programs will pay for, including doctor visits, diagnosis, prescribed treatment by telemedicine, hospitalizations, drugs, vaccines, lab tests, hand sanitizer and face masks, plus the costs of quarantine, detention or isolation by any governmental entity.
House Bill 5630: Require state cover costs of uninsured person's coronavirus care, isolation, lost wages, more
Introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D), to mandate that health care professionals and facilities notify state health regulators of each occurrence of coronavirus, and if a case requires isolation or detention for individuals not covered by private or government health coverage, require that the state pay the costs, including lost wages, medical treatment, laboratory testing, drugs or equipment.
House Bill 5680: Authorize coronavirus epidemic sales tax “holiday”
Introduced by Rep. Lynn Afendoulis (R), to authorize a sales tax “holiday” through the end of 2020, during which sales tax would not be imposed on purchases made in person from a business located in Michigan, but would be charged on remote catalog or internet sales.
House Bill 5629: Expand requirement state regulators have response plan for flu epidemics
Introduced by Rep. Cara Clemente (D), to amend a 2006 law that requires state health regulators to maintain a “model influenza pandemic preparedness and response plan” for governmental entities, by also requiring them to maintain a “model pandemic preparedness and response plan.” .