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

Post-Labor Day Opening for Schools

SB 271
HB 4337

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
SB 271, HB 4337

Sponsor(s):
Senators Knollenberg, Pavlov and Hopgood, Reps. Johnson, Schor, Elder, Faris, Lucido, Crawford, Vaupel, Miller, Kesto, Pagel, Kelly and Kosowski

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.  

Status:

SB 271 - Passed by the Senate Education Committee but has not moved in the full Senate
HB 4337 - 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.

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. 

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

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:

Introduced in the Senate.

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 are expected to have a substantial mandatory rate rollback for drivers.

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:

Bill pending in the House Insurance Committee. 

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.

Allow for More Efficient Tax Settlements

HB 4976

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4976

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Jim Tedder

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Allows for more efficient tax settlements

Chamber Position:

Support. 

Status:

Introduced in the House. 

Eliminate or Reform Essential Services Assessment (ESA)

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 ESA 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:

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 pending in Senate committee. 

Eliminate the Sales Tax on Dental Prosthetics

HBs 4929-30
SBs 566-67

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4929, HB 4930, SB 566, SB 567

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Julie Alexander, 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:

Introduced in the House and Senate. 

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. 

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.

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

HB 4999

SB 583

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
HB 4999, SB 583

Sponsor(s):
Rep. VerHeulen, Sen. MacGregor

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.

Chamber Position:

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

Status:

HB 4999 - Passed by the House.

SB 583 - Passed by the Senate. Referred to House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness. 

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.