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On November 29, the Michigan Senate took action on three bills which seek to restructure campaign finance laws, state oversight of public elections, and the ability of the Michigan legislature to intervene in court proceedings.
The legislature also approved amendments to citizen-initiated bills which seek to change earned sick-leave and raising the state minimum wage.
Personal Privacy Protection Act
Passed by the Michigan Competitiveness Committee, SB 1176 creates a new “Personal Privacy Protection Act,” that further protects the identities of members of non-profits and other donor information currently already protected from public disclosure.
Proponents argue the bill is, “…a victory for First Amendment freedoms,” while critics claim it is a, “dark money protection act” as it would shield nonprofits which engage in heavy election-cycle spending.
Fair Political Practices Commission
Introduced and referred to the Committee on Elections and Government Reform, SB 1250 would establish the “Fair and Political Practices Commission” to oversee campaign finance. The proposed bipartisan commission would be comprised of three Republican appointees and three Democratic appointees with the intent to “encourage bipartisan cooperation”.
The immediate, opposing response to the proposed legislation has suggested this may instead lead to further “partisan gridlock” with aims to decrease the powers of incoming democratic lawmakers.
Expanded Power of the Legislature to Litigate
HB 6553, referred to its second reading to the Committee on Government Operations, would amend previous statutes to expand the legislature’s ability to intervene in any action made in any level of state court, at any time.
In doing so, the legislature would protect its ability to litigate in cases of state interest as an entity independent from the Attorney General’s office. The current bill language is being interpreted by pundits as potentially threatening to the separation of powers with concerns to its constitutionality.
Sick Leave & Minimum Wage
On December 4, the legislature approved substantial amendments to a citizen-initiated bill which sought to reform worker’s compensation and earned sick-leave.
The newly approved bill version will roll back the language as originally presented and passed – drawing concerns of the action’s constitutionality from citizens and praise from business and interest groups. A detailed analysis of the amendments has been provided by Bridge Magazine.
MSAE will continue to monitor and provide substantive updates to the above. For additional information, contact Taylor Benavente regarding MSAE advocacy.
With one week remaining in the Lame Duck session, the legislature continued to take up action on a number of bills including Michigan school grading systems, the right of the legislature to litigate, citizen-initiated bills, and more. The U.S. House and Senate also passed significant revisions to nonprofit fringe benefits and donor disclosure rules.
Advocacy Corner: January thru Mid-February Round-Up
Michigan’s 100th Legislature, executive branch, and the Michigan Supreme Court have each seen significant movement in shaping the state public policy arena through the first several weeks of 2019. A State of the State Address, a much anticipated release of the 2019 state budget, and more are discussed below in MSAE’s advocacy round-up through Friday, February 22nd.
Advocacy Corner: Week of March 1, 2019
Updates to the national Unrelated Business Income Tax, another round of Michigan auto insurance reform, state redistricting, and more in MSAE’s advocacy round-up through Friday, March 1st.
State and local officials made their return to the capitol city this week as we look back at the 2018 Lame Duck session and a brief look ahead at Michigan’s 2019 public policy arena.
Welcome to March! A repeal was introduced to combat Unrelated Business Income Tax, minimum wage advocates reignite 2018 Lame Duck debate, and Governor Whitmer released her 2019 budget recommendation.