Key Bills at a Glance

Key bills are listed/grouped by category. Each category represents a Michigan Chamber legislative priority issue for 2015-2016. Click on the thumb icon next to each key bill to reveal additional information.

EMPLOYER RIGHTS

Ban Non-Compete Agreements With Employees

House Bill 4198

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Peter Lucido

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Bans non-compete agreements with employees except if in connection with the sale of a business.

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Non-compete agreements are a basic fairness issue, used to protect employer interests. Non-competes are used to protect intellectual property, customer relationships and client lists, to deter competitors from hiring away employees, to qualify for trade secret protection, and/or to enhance the value of a company for future sale. There is over 30 years of case law developed in this issue area and the courts have consistently penalized employers who develop overly broad non-compete agreements.  

Status:

Introduced in the House and referred to the House Commerce Committee.

Garnishment Reform

House Bills 4119 and 4120

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Michael McCready

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Reforms Michigan's garnishment system. 

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. House Bills 4119-20 address the most serious problems and financial risks for employers associated with the garnishment process while still ensuring the right of creditors to collect monies owed to them. It increases the fee paid to employers for processing garnishments from $6 to $35 and would essentially put an end to the practice of allowing creditors to pursue a default judgment against the full bad debt of an employee.

Status:

Both bills passed the House and Senate and have been signed into law as Public Acts 14 and 15 of 2015. 

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Senate Bill 101
House Bill 4167

Job Killer

Sponsor(s):
Senator Jim Ananich, Rep. Stephanie Chang

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Employers would be required to offer one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked.  Time would accrue in one hour increments of up to 40 hours per calendar year for businesses with less than 10 employees and 72 hours per calendar year for all other businesses.  Leave could be used for illness, medical treatment, care for a family member or a newborn child.

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. This one-size-fits all paid leave mandate would have a significant impact on Michigan employers’ payroll costs and hiring decisions and would be felt most by workers, who will have to cover the work load for absent employees. It could also have an adverse impact on employers’ ability to offer the voluntary benefits that workers need and want, such as retirement, health insurance and other fringe benefits.  

Status:

Introduced in the House and Senate and referred to House Commerce and Senate Commerce Committees.

Preempt Adoption of Local Labor Laws

House Bill 4052

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Earl Poleski

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Prohibit local units of government from adopting local laws and ordinances related to employee wages or benefits, such as local minimum wage ordinances, local prevailing wage ordinances, local paid or unpaid leave mandates, wage or fringe benefit mandates or scheduling mandates.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Absent this legislation, Michigan’s 1800-plus local units of government could each enact their own rules and regulations governing private employers’ relations with their employees, creating inconsistency, confusion and a bureaucratic and red tape nightmare for Michigan job providers.

Status:

Introduced in the House and referred to the House Commerce Committee.

Repeal Prevailing Wage

Senate Bills 1, 2 and 3
House Bills 4001, 4002 and 4003

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Senator Arlan Meekhof, Senator Peter MacGregor, Senator David Robertson, Rep. Amanda Price, Rep. Aric Nesbitt, Rep. Bradford Jacobsen

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Repeals state's prevailing wage on state construction projects.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. The state's prevailing wage artificially inflates the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects by 10 percent or more, without any additional gain or return on investment.

Status:

Introduced in the House and Senate and referred to House Commerce and Senate Commerce Committees.

HEALTH CARE

Increase Taxes on Health Insurance Claims

House Bill 4114

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Al Pscholka

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

The Governor’s Department of Community Health budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16 would increase the Health Insurance Claims (HICA) tax from a .75 percent tax on paid health insurance claims to a 1.3 percent tax. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. While there is a need to adequately fund Medicaid to meet the health needs of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens, this proposal would bring in excess revenues to fund unknown budget line items and is unacceptable. Any increase in the HICA directly increases health insurance costs for Michigan businesses and individuals, making the voluntary effort to provide health insurance that much more difficult to maintain.

Status:

Introduced in the House but the budget provision was stripped by the House Department of Community Subcommittee.  

LEGAL REFORM

Reform Michigan's Auto No-Fault Insurance System

Senate Bill 248

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Senator Joe Hune

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Addresses many of the cost-drivers of Michigan’s no-fault system, while continuing to offer unlimited life-long medical benefits in exchange for strict limitations on the right to sue an at-fault party for non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering).

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Michigan ranked as the seventh highest state for auto insurance premiums in 2012, with Detroit ranking as the most expensive city for auto insurance rates, making this a key general business and competitiveness issue for Michigan. Reforming Auto No-Fault will make rates more competitive and affordable for consumers, including job providers who purchase coverage for autos used in the course of business. 

Status:

Passed by the Senate and referred to the House Committee on Insurance.

TAX POLICY

Eliminate "Pay-to-Play" to Use Michigan Court of Claims

Senate Bill 100

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Senator Jack Brandenburg

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan’s current requirement that taxpayers must pre-pay disputed state tax assessments during their first appeal to the Court of Claims creates a barrier to entry for many taxpayers. 

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Eliminating Michigan’s “pay-to-play” system would improve the administration of taxes and help to remove the incentive for issuing inflated assessments on taxpayers.  

Status:

Passed out of the Senate with overwhelming support. Awaiting a hearing in the House. 

Eliminate Michigan's Ineffective Film Subsidy

House Bill 4122

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Dan Lauwers

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan’s costly film subsidy has failed to produce a meaningful return on investment or substantial, full-time permanent jobs and comes at the expense of other state priorities. 

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Michigan’s experiment with spending $500 million has failed abysmally. Michigan taxpayers should not have to fund a program that primarily benefits out-of-state producers with minimal benefit to Michigan residents. 

Status:

Passed the Michigan House, awaiting action in the Senate. 

End Michigan's Use of Incentive-based Auditing

House Bill 4090 
Senate Bill 122

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Al Pscholka, Senator Jim Stamas

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Taxpayers should not be subjected to tax audits by individuals who are being paid more money every time they add property or transactions to tax rolls. 

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Michigan must end it’s use of “contingency-fee” paid auditors if the state wants to engender trust and confidence from taxpayers in how it administers taxes. 

Status:

House committee proposed budget expresses legislative intent that Michigan businesses will not be subjected to contingency unclaimed property fee audits.The Michigan Senate (SB 122) has added language that Michigan cannot pay auditors based on a contingency fee basis, or more than a state civil service auditor. 

Impose a Graduated Income Tax

House Joint Resolution K
House Bill 4341

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Jim Townsend

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan’s constitutionally protected flat Income Tax makes Michigan more competitive for our families and job providers.  

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Stripping Michigan’s constitutional protections against a graduated income tax would send a chilling message to Michigan residents and entrepreneurs by punishing success. it would likely open the door to a graduated corporate income tax.

Status:

Introduced in the Michigan House.

Stop Unlawful Taxation of Software Services

Senate Bills 82 and 83
House Bills 4018 and 4019

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Senator Peter MacGregor, Senator John Proos, Rep. Jeff Farrington

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

The Michigan Department of Treasury continues to assess taxpayers for accessing software services that they do not own, and despite four court opinions against the Department.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Michigan’s continued pursuit of assessing taxpayers despite the law and court decisions is wasting precious state resources and sends a bad message to taxpayers about how the State administers tax law. 

Status:

Each set of bills has passed out their respective chambers.