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:

Stalled in the House Commerce Committee.

Increase Employer-Financed Unemployment Benefits

Senate Bill 525

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Hood

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would increase weekly unemployment insurance (UI) benefits from $362/week to $471/week and increase the maximum state benefit period from 20 to 26 weeks. 

Chamber Position:

This legislation would rapidly deplete the 100 percent employer-financed fund that pays claimants and would lead to increased payroll taxes on job providers.

Status:

Stalled in the Senate Commerce Committee. 

Mandate 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 could have an adverse impact on employers’ ability to offer the voluntary benefits.  

Status:

Stalled in the House and Senate Commerce committees. 

Repeal Prevailing Wage

Senate Bills 1 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:

The bills passed the Senate but have stalled in the House due to the threat of a gubernatorial veto.

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Create Oversight Committee for Environmental Rules

SB 827

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Sen. Tom Casperson

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Provides stakeholders with a vote on whether a proposed environmental rule should move forward.  

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. This legislation will ensure stakeholders are part of the rulemaking process and help reduce the pendulum swing between administrations.  

Status:

Introduced in the Senate and referred to the Elections & Government Reform Committee. 

HEALTH CARE

Cap the Co-Pay on Certain RX Drugs

Senate Bill 625

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Senator Hansen

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would mandate "cost parity" for chemotherapy treatments and place a $100 cap on out-of-pocket expenses for high-cost, specialty drugs. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. If the Legislature sets an arbitrary, 30-day, $100 out-of-pocket limit on the patient’s portion of these costs and does nothing to change the underlying price of a drug (i.e., some cost tens of thousands of dollars for a 30-day supply), it simply shifts the remaining costs to the employer in the form of higher premiums. As a result, many job providers may be forced to increase co-pays and deductibles – or stop offering health insurance coverage altogether.  

Status:

Passed by the Senate by a vote of 36-1. The bill was referred to the House Insurance Committee. 

Repeal Tax on Health Insurance Claims

Senate Bills 987-990

Pro Jobs

Sponsor(s):
Senators Horn, Stamas, MacGregor, Shirkey

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would repeal Michigan’s unique and uncompetitive Health Insurance Claims Assessment, or “HICA Tax,” a 0.75 percent tax on paid health insurance claims, including self-insured plans. 

Chamber Position:

SUPPORT. Repeal of the HICA Tax has long been a top priority of the Michigan Chamber because the HICA Tax makes it more costly and difficult for employers to purchase health insurance for their employees. 

Status:

Passed by the Senate. Referred to House Insurance Committee. 

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. 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 pending on the House floor. 

TAX POLICY

Expand Frivolous Lawsuits

House Bill 4494

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Kurt Heise

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Trial lawyers want to create a new “false claims” act that would allow anyone, including disgruntled employees who steal confidential information, to make a claim that companies have submitted inaccurate payments to the state – even in the case of highly disputed tax law! 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Creating a new statute tailored to trial attorneys who want to incentivize meritless claims against job providers would send a chilling message about doing business in Michigan.  

Status:

HB 4494 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

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:

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

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. A graduated income tax punishes success and would likely open the door to a graduated corporate income tax.

Status:

Introduced in the Michigan House and referred to Committee on Tax Policy. 

Local Gov't Scheme to Increase Real Property Taxes

House Bill 5578

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. David Maturen

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan cities have been over-assessing property tax on large retailers and now want to legitimize their one-sided approach to valuing property by rigging the system in their favor. 

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. Michigan taxpayers have a right to fair and accurate assessments, and an unbiased appeals process. Manipulating the assessment and appeals process will negatively impact all taxpayers. 

Status:

Passed by the House and referred to the Senate Finance Committee. 

Mandate City Income Tax Withholding on Suburban Employers

House Bill 4829

Jobs Killer

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Pscholka

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Michigan cities with a local city income tax want to force suburban and out-state employers to do burdensome tax withholdings for city residents. 

Chamber Position:

Oppose. Michigan employers who are not located in, and receive no services from, cities with a local income should not have to withhold multiple, and complicated taxes for city residents who may be currently evading the law.   

Status:

Introduced in the Michigan House and passed out of the House Tax Policy Committee. 

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 must stop illegally assessing taxpayers for accessing software services.

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:

In October, 2015 the Michigan Court of Appeals resoundingly rejected the State’s treatment of taxpayers on this issue and the state has begun retroactively issuing refunds to affected taxpayers.