Key Bills at a Glance

Key bills are listed/grouped by category. Each category represents a Michigan Chamber legislative priority issue for 2017-2018. Click on the thumb icon next to each key bill to reveal additional information.

EDUCATION & WORKFORCE READINESS

Address Michigan's Talent Gap

HBs 5139-42 and 45

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 5139, HB 5140, HB 5141, HB 5142, HB 5145

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Daire Rendon, Rep. Sue Allor, Rep. Bronna Kahle, Rep. Robert Kosowski, Rep. Julie Alexander

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan employers are facing a severe talent gap. There are currently over 100,000 open positions on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website and it is estimated that the professional trades fields will add 15,000 new jobs each year through 2024. Michigan needs to work smarter to address the state’s long- and short-term talent needs. 

This legislative package of bills would:

  • Provide for greater student and parent skilled trade program awareness, with the goal of driving more students towards these programs and careers where Michigan has worker shortages. This will allow proprietary schools, skilled trade employers and community colleges to have access to pupil directory information for the purposes of marketing educational and career opportunities. This will put these institutions on par with the military and universities in their ability to recruit students.
  • Provide for greater student career exploration, exposing students in 7th and 8th grade to robust career exploration and job readiness courses.
  • Provide real world experience for educators, guaranteeing that the time educators spend with local employers will count for credit toward required continuing education and professional development. 
  • Boost CTE instructor recruitment by allowing schools to hire non-certificated/-endorsed instructors for CTE programs in instances where the person has achieved private sector expertise in the subject matter or field of the program.

Chamber Position:

Support. This legislation focuses on solving real-world problems and providing opportunities for businesses and schools to collaborate to create a robust and diverse talent pipeline ready to fill the jobs coming back to our state.

Status:

Awaiting a vote in committee. 

Post-Labor Day Opening for Schools

SB 271
HB 5157

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
SB 271, HB 5157

Sponsor(s):
Senators Knollenberg, Pavlov and Hopgood, Representative Pamela Hornberger

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Repeals Michigan’s post-Labor Day school start law, which ensures there is an adequate workforce available to staff the travel and tourism industry throughout its peak summer season. This legislation is focused on starting the school year in late summer and ending earlier in the spring, meaning it has nothing to do with either improving education quality or lengthening the school day or school year to increase student achievement.

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. The Michigan Chamber has long supported the post-Labor Day school start law as a way to boost Michigan’s travel and tourism industry. Research shows Michigan’s post-Labor Day school start law has produced its desired intent. Without student workers through Labor Day, many hotels, golf courses, campgrounds, restaurants, marinas, etc. will be unable to keep their doors open or be forced to operate during limited hours or shutter their business early for the season. 

Status:

SB 271 - Passed by the Senate Education Committee but has not moved in the full Senate
HB 5157 - Referred to House Education Reform Committee.

Workforce Readiness

HBs 4315-16

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HBs 4315-16

Sponsor(s):
Reps. Griffin, VanderWall, Hauck, Howell, Frederick, Reilly, Alexander, Cole, Wentworth, Marino, Bellino, Noble, Lower, Glenn, Lucido, Hornberger, LaFave, Hoitenga, LaSata, Bizon, Iden, Graves, Barrett, Sneller, Sheppard, Rendon, Brann, Kahle, Leutheuser

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Allows for greater flexibility in the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements with the goal of narrowing the skills gap and fostering workforce readiness.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. High school students need greater flexibility to pursue their individual areas of interest and develop skills needed for their future educational goals or to be ready to enter the workforce. This legislation would create additional opportunities for students to pursue coursework in subjects such as computer coding or career and technical education (CTE) programs.

Status:

Passed by the House; Referred to Senate Committee on Education. 

EMPLOYER RIGHTS

Increase 100% Employer-Financed Unemployment Insurance Benefits

SBs 531, 532, 534, 538

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
SB 531, SB 532, SB 534, SB 538

Sponsor(s):
Senators Hood, Warren, Hertel and Ananich

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Massively increases the 100 percent employer-financed unemployment insurance (UI) weekly benefit amount and dependent allowance, weakens the state’s ability to garnish wages to recover fraudulent benefit payments and increases penalties on employers for tax compliance issues. These changes could more than double an employer’s maximum exposure for a former employee, increasing the potential benefit charges from $7,840 to $14,060 per claimant. There is no doubt this legislation would lead to sharp UI tax increase on employers. 

Chamber Position:

Oppose. The Michigan Chamber opposes this irresponsible plan because it would lead to higher UI taxes on employers and change the fundamental scope of the UI program from a short-term, partial wage replacement program for individuals who are unemployed due to no fault of their own to a general welfare system that rewards and incentivizes people not to work. Michigan employers pay some of the highest UI tax rates in the nation today because Michigan amassed a nearly $4 billion debt with the federal government to pay benefits during the last recession. Michigan needs to continue to focus on rebuilding the UI system for the next downturn in our state’s economy, not increasing benefits that will bankrupt it. 

Status:

Introduced in the Senate. 

Increase Minimum Wage

SB 185

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
SB 185

Sponsor(s):
Senators Young and Knezek

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Increases the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour on January 1, 2018.

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. The Michigan Chamber opposes any further increase in the state’s minimum wage, especially given that the state’s minimum wage was increased in 2014 and the wage is set to increase again in 2018. If Michigan were to further increase its minimum wage, it would result in our state having one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, thereby making Michigan uncompetitive in the race for jobs. Michigan already has the highest minimum wage in the region, outpacing Indiana ($7.25), Illinois ($8.25), Ohio ($8.10) and Wisconsin ($7.25).

Status:

Introduced in the Senate. 

Insert Government in Private Sector Wage Decisions

HBs 4509-4519
SBs 317-328

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
HB 4509, HB 4510, HB 4511, HB 4512, HB 4513, HB 4514, HB 4515, HB 4516, HB 4517, HB 4518, HB 4519, SB 317, SB 318, SB 319, SB 320, SB 321, SB 322, SB 323, SB 324, SB 325, SB 326, SB 327, SB 328

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Love, Rep. Chang, Rep. Erika Geiss, Rep. Winnie Brinks, Rep. Pam Faris, Rep. Kristy Pagan, Rep. Christine Greig, Rep. Christine Greig, Rep. Vanessa Guerra, Rep. Donna Lasinski, Rep. Kevin Hertel, Sen. Curtis Hertel, Sen. Rebekah Warren, Sen. Rebekah Warren, Sen. David Knezek, Sen. Hooh-Yung Hopgood, Sen. Steven Bieda, Sen. Vincent Gregory, Sen. Curtis Hertel, Sen. Jim Ananich, Sen. Rebekah Warren, Sen. Coleman Young, Sen. Bertram Johnson

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Mandates "pay equity."

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Existing laws already provide robust protections and significant remedies to protect employees against wage discrimination. This package of bills would take things to a new extreme, limiting the ability of employers to pay market wages according to objective factors, such as performance, number of years on the job, geographic differentials, occupational risks, and the like. 

Status:

Introduced in the House and Senate. 

Mandate Paid Sick Leave

Senate Bill 212
House Bill 4307

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 212, House Bill 4307

Sponsor(s):
SB 212: Senators Ananich, Hopgood, Bieda, Warren, Johnson, Young, Conyers and Hertel, HB 4307: Reps. Chang, Geiss, Love, Faris, Hertel, Santana, Yanez, Chirkun, Green, Pagan, Gay-Dagnogo, Byrd, Rabhi, Brinks, Sneller, Wittenberg, Ellison, Sowerby, Moss, Phelps, Sabo, Hammoud, Hoadley, Elder, Dianda, Cochran, Jones, Lasinski, Camilleri

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 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. Employers would be several limited in their ability to require the employee to call in prior to use of sick leave or to require a doctor's note. Furthermore, the language opens the door to lawsuits against employers. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. This one-size-fits-all 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.

Prohibit Gov't Interference in the Interview Process

SB 353

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
SB 353

Sponsor(s):
Senators Proos, Marleau and Brandenburg

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Prohibits local units of government from banning, via ordinance or regulation, the types of questions employers can ask prospective employees in the interview process.  

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Local units of government around the country are increasingly restricting the types of questions private sector employers can ask in the interview questions (e.g., salary history). This legislation would guarantee that these issues are regulated at the state and federal level, creating a consistent set of rules for employers.

Status:

Passed the Senate, pending committee action in the House. 

Reform Unemployment Insurance System

HBs 5165-72

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):

Sponsor(s):

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

For years, the UIA has been plagued with problems. From wrongly accusing over 40,000 individuals of unemployment insurance (UI) fraud to the growing problem of identity theft claims to a compromise of their database this past winter, no one can deny the UIA is facing many challenges and needs to clean up its act. The bipartisan package of bills we support would work to block UI identity theft and the payment of fraudulent benefits, protect employers and innocent employees who are victims of identity theft and make other miscellaneous changes to the law.

Chamber Position:

Support. The legislation would mandate the UIA create new firewalls during the claim application process to prevent the fraudulent claims from ever being filed. The legislation would dramatically strengthen the UIA’s identity verification processes and arm the UIA with better information to verify a claimant’s identity, including driver’s license or state identification numbers. The legislation requires UIA to verify a claimant’s identity before making a payment on the claim to protect the integrity of Michigan’s 100% employer-financed UI system. Furthermore, the bills would protect employers and innocent employees who have fraudulent claims filed using their name and social security number by clearing the victim’s name, stopping all fraudulent payments and nullifying the claim. 

Status:

Passed by the House, pending committee action in the Senate.

Repeal Prevailing Wage

Senate Bills 1, 2 and 3

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 2, Senate Bill 3

Sponsor(s):
Senators Robertson, MacGregor, Hildenbrand and Meekhof

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 Senate. 

Repeal Right to Work Law

HBs 4146-4147

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
HB 4146, HB 4147

Sponsor(s):
HB 4146: Reps. Chirkun, Dianda, Peterson, Robinson, Scott, Durhal, Zemke, Liberati, Hammoud, Greig, Yanez, Sabo, Hertel, Wittenberg, Ellison, Rabhi, Brinks, Pagan, Moss, Lasinski, Greimel, Elder, Schor, Guerra, Sowerby, LaGrand, Faris, Camilleri, Kivela, , HB 4147:Reps. Cochran, Robinson, Dianda, Neeley, Camilleri, Pagan, Lasinski, Greig, Geiss, Kivela, Elder, Hertel, Schor, Hammoud, Liberati, Sneller, Greimel, LaGrand, Byrd, Scott, Durhal, Zemke, Moss, Sowerby, Rabhi, Green and Love

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Repeals Michigan’s 2013 Right to Work law which ensures workplace fairness and equality by giving every employee the ability to decide for themselves if joining or financially supporting a union is the right choice for them. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Michigan's Right-to-Work law is good public policy that protects all employees from being forced to join a union and pay dues against their will. It does not prohibit a union's right to exist or prevent collective bargaining; rather, the law simply specifies that an individual shall not be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Status:

Introduced in the House.

Restrict the Use of Non-Compete Agreements

HB 4755

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
HB 4755

Sponsor(s):
Representative Peter Lucido

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Restricts the use of non-compete agreements between employers and employees. Non-competes are used to protect employers' intellectual property, customer relationships and client lists, to qualify for trade secret protection, among other things. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. The Michigan Chamber opposes legislative interference in private contracts between employers and employees. There is over 30 years of case law developed in this issue area and the courts have been successful in balancing employer and employee interests. 

Status:

Introduced in the House. 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Create a MI Environmental Science Board

SB 654

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
SB 654

Sponsor(s):
Senators Robertson and Booher

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Establishes the Michigan Environmental Science Board to review environmental issues at the Governor's request. The main purpose of the Board is to provide advice outside of the DEQ on complicated environmental issues. 

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber has had success with these boards in previous administrations, most recently with Gov. Engler. These boards provide a more balanced scientific view, which isn't always the case with DEQ staff. 

Status:

Introduced in the Senate. 

Create a Stakeholder Process for Environmental Rulemaking

SB 652

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
SB 652

Sponsor(s):
Senators Casperson and Robinson

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Establishes a rule review committee to prevent the DEQ from simply writing whatever rules its wants. It will provide critical oversight and transparency to the DEQ rulemaking process and force the agency to answer questions.

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber has been working with members the last six years to develop a long-term fix to the poor rulemaking process at the DEQ. This review committee will greatly improve the rulemaking process by inserting stakeholders into the discussion early and give them a stronger voice to ensure the outcome is in everyone's best interest.

Status:

Introduced in the Senate.

Create an Environmental Permit Appeals Board

SB 653

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
SB 653

Sponsor(s):
Senators Booher, Robertson and Casperson

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Creates an appeals board that would, upon request, serve as a scientifc permit review panel similar to the body in environmental remediation, to hear an appeal by a permit applicant that has been denied by the DEQ. Final decision-making would reside with the DEQ Director.

Chamber Position:

Support. This legislation would provide Chamber members the opportunity for a fair review of the facts related to a denied permit without incurring the costs of going to court. 

Status:

Introduced in the Senate. 

Ensure Implementation of Michigan's New Energy Law (2016) 

Public Act 341

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
PA 341

Sponsor(s):
Senator Nofs

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

This new law contains critical changes, including: 1) continuation of retail open access; 2) improved electric reliability requirements; and 3) creation of a meaningful competitive bidding process for the procurement of utility generation. 

Chamber Position:

Support. After months of negotiations, the Michigan Chamber successfully championed legislation to reform the state’s energy policy last session. Chamber staff is now working to ensure the law is implemented as intended. 

Status:

Implementation process underway.

HEALTH CARE

Mandate Health Insurance Coverage Requirements

SB 492

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
SB 492

Sponsor(s):
Senate Geoffrey Hansen

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Limits the out-of-pocket costs for certain pharmaceutical drugs, which pushes the costs back into the premium. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Government should not arbitrarily cap a patient's copay for certain drugs. Taking these decisions out of the insurer and health purchasers' hands does nothing to change the underlying price of the drugs. Rather, it shifts the remaining costs to the employer/purchaser. 

Status:

Passed by the Senate. Referred to House Committee on Insurance. 

Repeal Tax on Health Insurance Claims

Senate Bills 28-32

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 28, Senate Bills 29-32 (Tie-Barred)

Sponsor(s):
Senators Bieda, Ananich, Hopgood, Knezek, Johnson, Gregory and Conyers, Senator Horn

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Repeals a costly and anti-competitive tax on health insurance claims, known as the Health Insurance Claims Assessment, or “HICA Tax."

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Eliminates a tax that has added over $1 billion to the cost of health insurance since it was enacted in 2011. This proposal is not only a win for health insurance purchasers, but also a win for the state budget because it allows Michigan to continue to collect Use Tax revenues from Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) for General Fund and School Aid Fund budget priorities. 

Status:

Introduced in the Senate. 

LEGAL REFORM

Reform Auto Insurance System to Bring Down Premiums

HB 5013

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 5013

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Theis

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Reforms the primary cost-drivers of the current no-fault automobile insurance system, including Michigan's unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits; the lack of a reasonable fee schedule to adequately reimburse providers for medical services, but stop excessive charges and cost-shifting; and out-of-control reimbursements to attendant caregivers. The reforms require a substantial mandatory rate rollback for drivers and would produce annual savings of $1 billion or more. 

Chamber Position:

Support. Michigan businesses, families and individuals need lawmakers to act this fall to reduce Michigan's highest-in-the-nation auto insurance premiums. Average auto insurance premiums in Michigan were $2,738 in 2016, nearly twice the national average and worse in many regions of our state. Bold action is needed to drive down Michigan's exorbitant auto insurance rates. 

Status:

The bill was defeated on the House floor on Nov. 2, 2017 by a vote of 63-45. Read the Chamber's new release and our Nov. 3, 2017 Capitol Report Special Edition

TAX POLICY

Accelerate Elimination of Sales Tax on the Difference for the Purchase of Automobiles

SBs 94-95

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
SBs 94-95

Sponsor(s):
Senator Hildenbrand

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Eliminates double taxation which takes place when a consumer trades in an old car for a new one and is not allowed to deduct the trade-in value from the sales price. 

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber supports eliminating this unfair sales tax scenario that artifically inflates the purchase price of a new automobile. 

Status:

Bills vetoed by the Governor; veto override possible.

Eliminate Tax on Aviation Repair Parts

HBs 4350 and 4351

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4350, HB 4351

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Kahle

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Levels the playing field for Michigan-based aviation service businesses by making Michigan a tax-exempt state for the maintenance and service of all aircraft (both in-state and out-of-state).

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber supports the elimination of this tax to make Michigan-based aviation service businesses competitive with other states. 

Status:

Bills on Senate floor. 

Eliminate the Sales Tax on Dental Prosthetics

HBs5164, HB 5173
SBs 566-67

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 5164, HB 5173, SB 566, SB 567

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Julie Alexander, Rep. Bronna Kahle, Sen. Dale Zorn

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Returns the taxation of dental prosthetics in Michigan to tax exempt status.

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber supports "re-exempting" dental prosthetics from the sales tax. 

Status:

Bills on House floor. 

Entertainment Venue Tax

HB 5174

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
HB 5174

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Sylvia Santana

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Imposes a 10% tax on entertainment events that take place in a city with more than 100,000 people.  he Tax would be on events such as: Concerts, Opera, Live Theatre, museums, etc.

Chamber Position:

Opposed. Placing a tax on items like entertainment events only inflates the cost of attendance, increases the cost to put events on, or does a combination of both. Michigan affords a great quality of life and boasts numerous opportunities for entertainment. The economic benefits large entertainment events have on the surrounding community in which they take place, as well as for the state as a whole, are numerous. 

Status:

Introduced in the House. 

Expand Allowable Uses of Sinking Funds

SB 384

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):

Sponsor(s):

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Expands allowable uses of sinking funds.

Chamber Position:

Opposed. 

Status:

Introduced in the Senate. 

Expand Treasury's Settlement Authority

HB 4976

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4976

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Jim Tedder

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Allows Treasury to settle tax disputes without having to spend significant time and money on legal proceedings and appeals.

Chamber Position:

Support. 

Status:

Passed by the House. On Senate floor.

Impose a Graduated Income Tax

House Joint Resolution K
House Bills 4436-4437

SJR I
Senate Bills 295-296

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
House Joint Resolution K, House Bill 4436, House Bill 4437, Senate Joint Resolution I, Senate Bill 295, Senate Bill 296

Sponsor(s):
Reps. Cochran, Ellison, Wittenberg, Liberati, Faris, Lasinski, Greig, LaGrand, Schor, Brinks, Rabhi, Hoadley, Pagan, Chang, Hammoud, Love, Hertel, Green, Gay-Dagnogo, Byrd, Moss, Sowerby, Geiss, Sabo, Dianda, Robinson, Chirkun, Elder, Peterson, Sneller, J, Rep. Wittenberg, Rep. Ellison, Senators Warren, Young, Knezek, Gregory, Conyers, Hertel , Senators Warren, Knezek, Gregory, Conyers, Hertel , Senators Warren, Knezek, Gregory, Conyers

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Strips Michigan’s constitutional protections against a graduated income tax. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. The Michigan Chamber strongly opposes proposals to impose a massive tax increase on families, entrepreneurs, and job providers by eliminating Michigan’s long-standing taxpayer protection against a graduated income tax. This sends a clear message about the direction Michigan Democrats want the state to go: immediate and blatant redistribution of wealth that punishes individuals and job providers for being successful.

Status:

Introduced in the House and Senate. 

Manipulation of Property Tax Assessments and Appeals

House Bill 4397

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
House Bill 4397

Sponsor(s):
Rep. David Maturen

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Legislation to dramatically change how property tax assessments and appeals are conducted in Michigan has been reintroduced under the guise of making corporations pay their "fair share" in property taxes. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. The Michigan Chamber opposes efforts to upend tax evaluation processes that have been in place for decades. Challenges to the current system amount to nothing more than a money grab by local units of government in search of new revenue. 

Status:

Introduced in the State House.

Personal Property Tax Reform

Bills being drafted

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):

Sponsor(s):

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

This disastrous tax represents a disincentive to invest, makes Michigan uncompetitive, and is a proven administrative nightmare.

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber supports eliminating the PPT to alleviate unintended administrative burdens on Michigan manufacturers and to finally end punishing businesses for capital investment by slapping an endless tax on purchased equipment. 

Status:

Preempt Local Governments from Adopting a Local Excise Tax on Food and Drinks

HB 4999

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4999

Sponsor(s):
Rep. VerHeulen

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Prohibits local units of government from creating a patchwork of taxation by imposing a tax on food and beverages, including soda, unhealthy food, or prepared foods served at restaurants. Across the country, we have seen failed experiment after failed experiment when it comes to local governments passing excise taxes on specific products. By imposing a patchwork of locally-specific taxes, local governments will add administrative burdens on businesses within their borders, make businesses uncompetitive with neighboring towns, and increase the price of grocery items for consumers.

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber supports preempting local governments from going down this dangerous path. 

Status:

Passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Snyder as Public Act 135 of 2017. The Michigan Chamber played a key role in advancing this legislation, from introduction to final passage in only one month's time.

 

Tax Tribunal Reform

HB 4412

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4412

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Iden

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Provides for better training and increased funding for Tribunal judges, to help garner more professional and consistent rulings. 

Chamber Position:

Support. The Michigan Chamber supports a taxpayers' right to appeal tax assessments. Efforts to make the process more fair and efficient are steps in the right direction.

Status:

Bill pending in Senate committee.

Water Tax

HB 5133

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
HB 5133

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Peter Lucido

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Imposes a five-cent-per-gallon tax on water bottlers in Michigan. This bill also breaks longstanding tradition in Michigan that water is a right and not a commodity which could lead to major consequences, such as Great Lakes water diversion.

Chamber Position:

Opposed. Not only would such a tax increase the cost of doing business in Michigan, it would also turn longstanding property rights policy on its head. Under HB 5133, anyone with a permit to bottle water in this state has just been targeted. In fact, recent news report indicate some companies could see their tax liability increase in excess of $20 million. Even worse, HB 5133 as drafted would change over a 100 years of precedent on Michigan’s water policy by making water a taxable commodity that could be bought and sold. Making water a commodity would open the door for legal challenges to water rights in Michigan. One judicial decision could bring about a host of bad ideas that would negatively affect every water user and could open the door for diversion of Great Lakes water.   

The bill sponsors’ misguided goal to raise a few more dollars off the backs of water bottlers could cost Michigan 18,000 jobs, almost $4 billion in economic activity and, worst of all, could eliminate the water rights of every property owner in the state. The Michigan Chamber is strongly opposed to this harmful, job-killing legislation. 

Status:

Introduced in the House.