Legislative Highlights

Your Fight, Our Fight

The following are highlights of some 2019-2020 key legislative issues and the actions
the Michigan Chamber took on behalf of our members.

Employer Rights

Reform Work Search Requirements For Unemployment Benefits

SB 812

The Michigan Chamber supported legislation to make reasonable modifications to Michigan’s work search requirements to promote getting claimants off unemployment benefits quicker and saving the 100% employer-financed system millions of dollars.

Public Act 83 of 2020

Repeal Right to Work Law – BLOCKED

HBs 4033, 4034

The Michigan Chamber opposes repeal of Michigan’s 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.

Blocked in committee

Increase Minimum Wage – BLOCKED

SB 233

The Michigan Chamber opposes efforts to increase the minimum wage to $16 per hour. Michigan already has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country.  Any further increases would make Michigan uncompetitive in the race for jobs and force many employers to cut back staffing hours, increase prices or reduce other investments in employees or the business.

Blocked in committee 

Mandatory Overtime Pay – BLOCKED

HB 5036, SB 542

The Michigan Chamber opposes efforts to require employees making less than $54,964/yr be paid overtime pay for hours over 40.  This proposal takes the salary threshold too high, too fast and comes on the heels of a significant increase of the federal overtime threshold.

Blocked in committee

Legal Reform

COVID-19 Liability Protections for Businesses

HBs 6030-32 and SBs 1022-24

The Michigan Chamber is leading the charge on common sense legislation to assure that employers in all sectors who take reasonable steps to follow public health guidelines will be protected against needless lawsuits.  The legislation also would protect companies who have stepped up to produce critically needed personal protection equipment (PPE).

Bills in Committee

COVID-19 Medical Malpractice Liability

SB 899

The Michigan Chamber supported legislation to provide temporary and limited liability protections for health care facilities who stepped up during unprecedented times to aid Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill vetoed by Governor Whitmer

Education and Workforce Readiness

Eliminate Educational Choices for Students and Families – BLOCKED

The Michigan Chamber opposes efforts to prohibit a charter school board from contracting with a for-profit education management company to provide staff and comprehensive educational, administrative, management or instructional services.  In the real world, this would mean more limited access to educational choice for students and families, including in areas where public schools are failing our students.

Blocked in committee

Tax Policy

Graduated Income Tax – BLOCKED

HJR S

The Michigan Chamber opposes any attempt to repeal Michigan’s constitutionally protected flat rate income tax in exchange for a graduated income tax.  Our state’s flat rate income tax is applied equally to all income earners whereas a graduated income tax would apply increasingly higher tax rates to individuals with increasing income levels.  A graduated income tax punishes success, discourages investment and diminishes the entrepreneurial spirit.

Blocked in committee

Artificially Inflating Property Taxes – BLOCKED

HB 4025, 4047 and SB 26, 29

The Michigan Chamber opposes any measure to manipulate the property tax system to yield higher taxes. Any attempt to artificially inflate property values and prevent taxpayers from appealing unfair valuations run contrary to a fair and equitable property tax system.

Blocked in committee

Small Business Tax Increase – BLOCKED

HB 4781

The Michigan Chamber opposes doubling the tax on small businesses.

Blocked committee

COVID-19 Related Financial Relief

HB 5761, HB 5810 and SB 935-7

After Governor Whitmer started forcing business closures and severe occupancy restrictions, via executive order, the Michigan Chamber immediately began pursuing several proposals to offer financial relief to impacted businesses.  Largely in the form of tax deferments, the Chamber recognized the need to provide a hand up (not a handout) to those job providers who need it most.

Governor vetoed after legislative approval

To get a downloadable PDF of the Michigan Chamber Legislative Highlights, click below.