Key Bills at a Glance

Key bills are listed/grouped by category. Each category represents a Michigan Chamber legislative priority issue for 2016-2017. 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

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
SB 271

Sponsor(s):
Senators Knollenberg, Pavlov and Hopgood

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 forced to operate during limited hours.  

Status:

Passed by the Senate Education Committee but has not moved in the full Senate.

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, awaiting action in the Senate.  

EMPLOYER RIGHTS

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:

Would increase 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. 

Mandate Paid Sick Leave

Senate Bill 212
House Bill 4307

Job 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 to comply.

Status:

Pending on the Senate Floor.

Repeal Prevailing Wage

Senate Bills 1 and 3

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 1, 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:

Would repeal 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. The Michigan Chamber supports the Right to Work law because it is good public policy that protects all employees from being forced to join a union and pay dues against their will. The Right to Work law 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.

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

Repeal Tax on Health Insurance Claims

Senate Bills 28, 29-32

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. This tax is 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. 

TAX POLICY

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:

Would strip Michigan’s constitutional protections against a graduated income tax. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. The Michigan Chamber is strongly opposed to 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. 

Mandate City Income Tax Withholding on Suburban Employers

Bills being drafted

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):

Sponsor(s):

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would mandate that employers who have no operations in cities with income taxes become their tax collectors. 

Chamber Position:

Oppose. The Michigan Chamber is strongly opposed to mandates on suburban employers simply because cities refuse to hold delinquent residents accountable for their own filing responsibilities. 

Status:

Bills not yet introduced.

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:

Urged on by local governments who want to legitimize their efforts to increase business property taxes, House Bill 4397 has once again been introduced by State Representative Dave Maturen (R-Vicksburg). This bill would:

  • Tie the hands of the Michigan Tax Tribunal in considering criteria during property tax appeals by eliminating otherwise valuable evidence about comparison property values.
  • Impact all taxpayers! Local tax collectors want the public and legislators to think this legislation is targeted solely at large commercial retailers who have legitimately challenged over-assessments. Nothing could be further from the truth. This legislation will have consequences on how all property is evaluated during the appeals process, and will eventually trickle down to how property is assessed.
  • Result in more litigation. This legislation is legally suspect as the Michigan Constitution requires uniformity in how properties are valued and assessed. Artificially eliminating valuable sales data will likely result in more litigation due to skewed appeal results and assessments.
  • Send a message to all local tax collectors that there is no reason to not over-assess business property owners since the MTT would be limited in their review during the appeals process.

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. We urge Michigan Chamber members to be very leery of the portrayal by local governments who suggest that some type of “loophole” in Michigan law exists, simply because property is valued based on comparison vacant property. All property in Michigan is valued as if it were vacant and available for sale; this is nothing more than a red herring argument by local tax collectors.

Status:

Introduced in the State House.