With the direction from the Board of Directors and input from Chamber members serving on policy committees, a legislative agenda is set to strengthen Michigan’s business climate.
This legislation would lessen the impact of surprise medical billing. Surprise billing occurs when a patient receives care from a physician who does not contract with their health insurer and is considered an out-of-network provider. The situation can leave patients with large medical bills when they receive care, often unknowingly, from a provider who is not part of their health insurer’s established network.
The legislation would require care providers to inform patients in advance of a scheduled procedure that their health insurer may not cover all of their medical services and that they can request care from an in-network provider. The notice must inform the patient that a non-participating provider must provide them “a good-faith estimate of the cost of the health care services to be provided.” However, in emergency situations, the out-of-network provider would have to accept payment at the median amount within the region that a health insurer pays an in-network provider, or accept 150 percent of what Medicare pays for a medical service, whichever is greater.
Patients would still have to pay their customary copays or deductibles built into the health insurance coverage.
HBs 6030-32, 6101: Across our state, businesses, nonprofits, child care, academic facilities and the medical community have invested resources, time and energy in complying with public health requirements and operating in a safe manner.
The legislation specifies a person who acts in compliance with all federal, state, and local statutes, rules, regulations, executive orders and agency orders related to COVID-19 in effect at the time of the conduct or risk that allegedly caused harm is immune from liability for a COVID-19 claim. The bill defines “person” as an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity or other legal entity, including, but not limited to, a school, a college or university, an institution of higher education and a nonprofit charitable organization. It also includes an employee, agent or independent contractor of the person, regardless of whether the individual is paid or an unpaid volunteer.
SB 886: This legislation would continue “non-charging” employers for COVID-19 related UI benefits, authorize increased flexibility for employers participating in the WorkShare program and ensure individuals filing an initial state claim for UI benefits could receive up to 26 weeks of benefits. These provisions would continue through December 31, 2020—but the legislature could always pass legislation at a future date to continue these provisions further.
HB 4288: The bill adopts nationally recognized standards for how federal and state money dedicated for rural broadband should be used and ensures that public funding made available goes towards serving regions of Michigan that need it most.
SB 1154 would make several changes to the state’s environmental protection act, specifically to the clean up criteria for commercial and industrial sites with contaminated ground soil. Among other things the bill removes several sections of language that provide flexibility in developing site specific clean up standards, and the ability for site owners and other affected businesses to utilize other pathways of compliance. The concern is this would hinder current of future remediation of commercial and industrial property and reduce property values.
SB 0431: This legislation prevents local governments from arbitrarily preventing aggregate mining in Michigan and consequently, saves tax dollars, fixes more roads and clarifies property rights for property owners all across Michigan.
The bill will increase access to high-demand, construction-quality aggregates that are required for building durable infrastructure, such as roads and bridges consequently, creating good-paying jobs for Michigan workers. Concrete and asphalt cannot be produced without aggregates like sand and gravel. Michigan needs to have proper policies in place to ensure we can cost-effectively rebuild crumbling infrastructure.
SB 384 & HB 5390: When Proposal A was passed in 1994, Michigan voters were promised a permanent decrease in property taxes in exchange for a permanent increase in the sales tax and the imposition of a flat, 6-mil state education tax. Over time, school districts have deviated from this agreement and have sought out ways to increase local property taxes. In this case, through sinking fund milleages.
HB 4779, if enacted, would create a $.06 per mile tax on all commercial vehicles. The tax will be collected quarterly by filing a form and remitting payment to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
HB 4215 increases the threshold in which a small taxpayer can benefit from a full exemption of personal property taxes. Currently, if a business has less than $80,000 in personal property, they can file for a full exemption from the personal property tax.
HB 4214 would allow a taxpayer eligible for the small taxpayer personal property tax exemption (a business with less than $80,000 in personal property) to go before the July Board of Review in addition to the March Board of Review if they missed the February deadline for submitting the exemption. The bill also provides for forgiveness if a taxpayer eligible for the small taxpayer exemption forgets to file the exemption in the first year of being operational. If a taxpayer forgets to file the exemption the first year they were eligible, they can petition the March or July Board of Review in the subsequent year to receive the exemption retroactively.
In an effort to increase taxes, local governments across Michigan are urging the Legislature to legitimize recent attempts by assessors to artificially increase property assessments. Instead of going through the normal process for a tax increase, which requires a vote of the people, local governments have been inflating the value of property to yield higher property tax assessments.
Michigan currently has a single, flat income tax rate of 4.25%. Adopting a graduated rate would create several different income tax rates. As individuals earn more, their tax rate would go up.
HB 4781 will increase taxes on ALL Michigan employers.
Corporate Income Tax Increase: The proposed legislation would increase Michigan’s 6% Corporate Income Tax to 8.5% starting in tax year 2020. Increasing the Corporate Income Tax by 42% would put Michigan’s rate near the Country’s highest joining States like Illinois and California.
New Entity Level Tax on Passthroughs: HB 4781 would apply a new 8.5% tax on passthrough income. Currently, passthrough owners pay 4.25% on business income through their personal income tax. This proposal doubles the rate passthrough owners would pay starting in tax year 2020.
It’s hard to believe that many parts of Michigan do not have access to broadband internet services. Unless you live in an area without access to broadband you would not know how wide spread the problem is. In the past, legislators have introduced bills to allow for local units of government to offer broadband services with revenues collected from a special millage.
Nothing is more frustrating for Michigan’s businesses than when our state’s tax policy makes them uncompetitive within their industry; that is exactly the case for aircraft repair facilities.
Legislation works to drive down Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance rates by giving drivers a choice in the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits they buy; instituting a fee schedule to control reimbursement rates for medical services; and mandating a rollback in auto insurance rates for eight years.
Takes wage decisions out of employers’ hands and establishes a minimum wage rate of $16 per hour for individuals with five years of “relevant” work experience and a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.
Would increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour over four steps, raising labor costs significantly.
This bill would eliminate statewide use of an assessment to evaluate how well-prepared students are to enter the workforce post high school graduation. Although the state pays significant attention to college readiness, workforce readiness is often overlooked.
Creates pathways for all students, regardless of income, to get the skills or education they need to land a good-paying job. The bills contain contains three career pathways, all focused on getting students the skills, credentials and degrees they need to enter the workforce.
Let your voice be heard
It is our goal to be your voice in the Michigan Legislature. Please let us know how we can advocate for issues that are important to your business.