Key Bills at a Glance

Key bills are listed/grouped by category. Each category represents a Michigan Chamber legislative priority issue for 2013-2014. Click on the thumb icon next to each key bill to reveal additional information.

EMPLOYER RIGHTS

Garnishment Reform

HB 5390
HB 5391

 

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Cotter, Rep. McCready

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Reforms Michigan's garnishment system.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. House Bills 5390-91 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 minimizes the employers’ exposure to being held liable for employees’ bad debt.

Status:

Both bills passed in the House and were referred to Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee. 

Repeal Prevailing Wage

HB 4172
SB 157

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Jacobsen, Sen. 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 House and Senate and referred to House Commerce and Senate Government Operations Committee.

REGULATORY REFORM

Contaminated Site Cleanup

SB 891
SB 892

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Senator Casperson

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

This legislation will clarify some important parts of Part 201 to assure that the Department of Environmental Quality is implementing Part 201 to its legislative intent. It is mostly focused on clarifying definitions and permitting some flexibility where possible.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. This legislation is supported by Chamber members to help address clarity issues contained in Part 201. It is focused on streamlining the law to assure we continue to move forward with the revitalization of Brownfield sites across the state.

Status:

These bills are currently before the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee.

TAX POLICY

Audit and Refund Deadlines, Reform Officer Tax Liability

Senate Bill 337

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Brandenburg

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan taxpayers routinely reported that Michigan Department of Treasury took years to complete audits and approve refund claims as well as Treasury's application of "officer" tax liability.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Taxpayers were routinely waiting up to seven years for Treasury auditors to complete audits, and for Department staff to deny or approve refunds and tax information to complete business transactions. This bill also made significant reforms to apply officer tax liability only to those who had actual responsibility for tax default.

Status:

Signed into law as Public Act 3 of 2014. 

Audit Reform Package

HB 4288
HB 4289
HB 4291
HB 4292

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Foster, Rep. Genetski, Rep. Farrington, Rep. MacGregor

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Protect taxpayers by providing clear statutory authority for what are acceptable audit methods utilized by the Department of Treasury. Too often, state auditors are reliant on the use of speculative evidence which is not credible.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT: Michigan taxpayers are too often subjected to audits based on arbitrary methods and questionable procedures. Michigan taxpayers have a right to have audits conducted in a fair and reasonable manner based on a credible and defensible process.

Status:

All four bills have been signed into law.

HB 4288 is now Public Act 108 of 2014
HB 4289 is now Public Act 148 of 2013
HB 4291 is now Public Act 35 of 2014
HB 4292 is now Public Act 109 of 2014

Improved Transparency for Taxpayers

HB 4290

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Genetski

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

One of the hallmarks of a fair, consistent, efficient voluntary tax system is providing useful guidance and information to taxpayers. This bill requires the Michigan Department of Treasury to post relevant guidance on their website.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Governor Snyder and Lt. Gov. Calley have been consistent in their desire to have a transparent state government, yet the Michigan Department of Treasury has been resistant to posting useful information to taxpayers. Valuable resources are wasted when taxpayers are forced to litigate issues that could otherwise be avoided if Department staff were willing to provide useful information.

Status:

Passed the House unanimously, reported from Senate Finance Committee and awaiting action by the full Senate.

Taxpayer "Offer in Compromise" Program

HB 4003

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Walsh

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Provides a transparent standardized process that will allow taxpayers and the Department of Treasury to agree to a payment plan when taxpayers are unable to pay their tax bill in full.  

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT: Michigan must improve the administration of taxes and provide meaningful opportunities for distressed taxpayers to settle bills.

Status:

Signed into law as Public Act 240 of 2014.

Unclaimed Property Appeals

HB 4703

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan’s Unclaimed Property law (which all businesses must comply with) is an obscure hidden cost of doing business in Michigan; businesses are routinely socked with grossly over-estimated assessments by contingent-fee auditors with very little opportunities for recourse.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. House Bill 4703 would provide a real, codified appeals process for Holders of presumed unclaimed property with an avenue to appeal that allows them the option to avoid a costly trip to the Court of Claims.

Status:

Passed the House unanimously, reported from Senate Finance Committee and awaiting action by the full Senate.

TRANSPORTATION

Increase Transportation Investment

SB 87
SB 88

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Sen. Kahn

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan's roads are among the worst in the nation. These bills provide for an added $1.6 billion annual investment in Michigan's transportation system.

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT: Making investments to improve our state's roads, bridges and public transportation is sound economic policy. For every dollar invested in maintaining roads and bridges, we save at least $6 in reconstruction costs. We cannot continue to pass down the responsibility of fixing our roads to future generations. 

Status:

Introduced in the Senate and referred to Committee on Appropriations.  The bills have been re-referred to the Senate Committee on Infrastructure Modernization.