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

Bill(s):
House Bill 4198

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.

Mandate Paid Sick Leave

Senate Bill 101
House Bill 4167

Job Killer

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 101, House Bill 4167

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 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 and referred to House Commerce and Senate Commerce Committees. Proponents were unsuccessful in getting the issue on the 2016 ballot but already are preparing to circulate petitions to place the issue on the November 2018 ballot. 

Repeal Prevailing Wage

Senate Bills 1 and 3
House Bills 4001, 4002 and 4003

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 3, House Bill 4001, House Bill 4002, House Bill 4003

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

Senate Bill 827

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 827

Sponsor(s):
Sen. Tom Casperson

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would provide 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. 

Revise Michigan's Energy Policy 

Senate Bill 437

Bill(s):
SB 437

Sponsor(s):
Senator Nofs

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would reivse Michigan's energy policy.

Chamber Position:

The Michigan Chamber will continue to work with key lawmakers and the administration to update Michigan's energy law to sustain customer choice, improve reliability, and maintain affordable rates. 

Status:

Pending on the Senate calendar. 

HEALTH CARE

Cap the Co-Pay on Certain RX Drugs

Senate Bill 625

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 625

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

Bill(s):
Senate Bills 987-990

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

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Repeals a costly and anti-competitive tax on health insurance claims (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:

Passed by the House. Referred to the Senate for concurrence. 

LEGAL REFORM

Auto No-Fault Reform 

Senate Bill 248

Pro Jobs

Bill(s):
Senate Bill 248

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. Michigan ranked as the seventh highest state for auto insurance premiums in 2012, with Detroit ranking as the most expensive city for auto insurance rates, making this a key general business and competitiveness issue for Michigan. 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 awaiting action on the House floor. 

TAX POLICY

Impose a Graduated Income Tax

House Joint Resolution K
House Bill 4341

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
House Joint Resolution K, House Bill 4341

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. 

Increase Michigan's Beer Tax

HB 5873

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
HB 5873

Sponsor(s):
Rep. Hooker

Summary of Bill & What it Means to You:

Would increase Michigan's beer tax by nearly 250 percent.

Chamber Position:

OPPOSE. This ill-advised effort to raise the beer tax would have a chilling effect on Michigan's craft brewers, distributors and retailers and would bring this growth industry to a grinding halt. 

Status:

Introduced in the House and referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform. 

Mandate City Income Tax Withholding on Suburban Employers

House Bill 4829

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
House Bill 4829

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. Employers could face stiff penalties. 

Chamber Position:

Oppose. Michigan employers who are not located in, and do not receive services from, cities with a local income tax 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 Local Gov't Scheme to Increase Real Property Taxes

House Bill 5578

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
House Bill 5578

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. 

Stop Trial Lawyers' Efforts to Create New "False Claims" Act

House Bill 4494

Jobs Killer

Bill(s):
House Bill 4494

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.