A brief look at recent state legislative activity
October 20, 2017
LANSING— Here's a brief look at recent legislative action that impacts Michigan citizens:
Senate Bill 609, Repeal 'driver responsibility fees' and give partial amnesty: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To repeal the driver responsibility fees (“bad driver tax”) that are assessed for various traffic violations, effective Sept. 30, 2018. Individuals who lost their driver's license for nonpayment of these fees could get it back (on payment of a $125 fee). Fees that have been owed for more than six years would be forgiven, but not more recent ones. These very expensive fees were originally adopted in 2003 to increase state revenues.
Note: House Bill 5040 would end the fees and give amnesty for all amounts owed, not just amounts in arrears for six years. The Snyder administration indicated the Governor would veto this due to the state revenue loss, and this bill's partial amnesty is seen as a negotiating position on that. More than 300,000 people owe more than $600 million for these fees, much of which is uncollectible, and thousands have lost their driver's license for nonpayment.
Senate Bill 574, Let charter schools get some ISD enhancement millage money
To require revenue extracted by future regional enhancement property taxes that are levied by Intermediate School Districts and distributed to conventional public school districts to also be shared with public charter schools within the ISD district.
House Bill 4457, Authorize new energy debt scheme for colleges and universities: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To include state colleges and universities in the kind of debt scheme authorized by a 2016 law for school districts, which lets them contract with vendors for energy efficiency projects, and pay for these with money the projects are supposed to save (or from regular tax revenue if savings don’t appear).
Senate Bill 492, Impose oral chemotherapy insurance mandate: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate
To impose a new coverage mandate that would require insurance companies to include coverage for orally administered chemotherapy in all their health insurance policies that provide for cancer chemotherapy treatments, without requiring any dollar limit, deductible or co-pay for these that does not apply to other treatments.
House Bill 4940, Revise dry bean commission marketing program details: Passed 107 to 0 in the House
To revise commission membership details in a law that imposes assessments on growers of “dry, edible beans, except soybeans.” The money this collects from growers is used to pay commission expenses including staff payroll, and for marketing or information campaigns.
Senate Bill 98, Authorize more “promise zone” tax increment financing authorities: Passed 89 to 18 in the House
To expand from 10 to 15 the number of “promise zone” tax increment financing authorities (TIFA) located in low income and “low educational attainment” areas. These entities were authorized by a 2008 law to “capture" a portion of the state school property tax collected in the area, and use the money to partially subsidize college tuition for local students.
This information is provided by 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 for more information.