Friday, July 1st, 2022Statutory State Budget Deadline
Monday, July 4th, 2022Independence Day
Whitmer Signs Legislation to Fund School Safety
On Friday, June 10, Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 6012, legislation to, among other things, provide supplemental appropriations to Oxford High School following the devastating shooting that occurred on November 30, 2021.
Sponsored by Representative Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield), a former public-school teacher, the funding aims to implement risk assessments to identify campus safety and determine where further investments are needed as well as ensure emergency plans and protocols are effective. A total of $14 million will be awarded to all schools for $2000 grants to complete comprehensive safety and security assessments. The bill also provides direct funding to Oxford Community Schools to hire mental health professionals, enhance security, and other student supports.
Fiscal Agencies Release May Revenue Reports
Both the Senate and House Fiscal Agencies released May revenue reports following the May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC).
The Senate Fiscal Agency reported that revenues from taxes with the General Fund and School Aid Fund earmarks totaled $2.6 billion, which is a 8.9% decrease from May 2021. While total revenue collections came in lower than a year ago, tax collections for the month were $93.5 million above May forecasts. Net income saw a sizable drop - down 17.5 percent from last May - but that was largely due to a policy change last year that delayed the return date from April to May. Income tax witholding and sales tax were both up over last year’s levels.
The House Fiscal Agency reported cash collections from major taxes, penalties, interest, and lottery transfers totaled approximately $2.6 billion for May 2022, or $205.7 million less than May 2021. For fiscal-year-to-date, collections for FY 2021-22 were reported 19.8% higher than during FY 2020-21.
Children Under Age 5 Eligible for COVID Vaccine
Following approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that all Michigan children 6 months and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
MDHHS reports that more than 500,000 children under the age of 5 are now eligible to receive the vaccine, which can be accessed from a primary care provider, local health department, or federally qualified health center. Not all pharmacies will vaccinate children 3 and up.
As of June 15, there have been more than 427,000 confirmed COVID cases in those 19 years and younger. A total of 44 deaths have been reported in ages 0 to 19.
Johnson Will Not Make Ballot; Craig Sues Fraudulent Circulators
On June 13, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith denied disqualified GOP gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson’s efforts to halt the ballot printing process in hopes of gaining a spot on the ballot for the August primary election.
Johnson had claimed in his suit, Johnson v. Board of State Canvassers, that the Bureau of Elections did not follow their normal procedures when identifying fraudulent signatures, and if all fraudulent signatures were compared to the Qualified Voter File, Johnson could prove that there were enough legitimate signatures to keep him on the ballot. Judge Goldsmith sided with the Bureau of Elections, finding their report to be sufficient in identifying fraudulent signatures and petition circulators.
In other related news, disqualified GOP gubernatorial candidate James Craig announced his write-in campaign for the August 2 primary. Craig filed with the Bureau of Elections on Tuesday, June 14, kicking off his campaign.
Craig also recently filed suit against In Field Strategies and eighteen petition circulators in Kent Circuit Court. Craig, et al v. In Field Strategies claims that the fraudulent signatures resulting in Craig’s disqualification from the ballot were unbeknownst to Vanguard Field Strategies and himself, also noting that circulators signed affidavits falsely swearing to collect legitimate signatures. Craig is seeking recovery of damages for breach of contract.
Lawmaker to Resign for Government Affairs Job
Michigan State Representative Jim Lilly (R-Park Township), who chairs the House Rules and Competitiveness Committee, announced he will be resigning from the legislature on July 1.
Rep. Lilly was offered a job to become the vice president of government affairs at SpartanNash, a food distributor and grocery store retailer. This makes Lilly the fifth House member to leave office during the current 2021-2022 term. This also marks the first time in 11 years that a House member will leave office early for a private sector career.
Lilly represents Michigan’s 89th House District which is on the west side of the state. He was serving his final term in the House and was not seeking a Senate run.
Whitmer Urges Federal Government to Pause Gas Tax
On Tuesday, June 21, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden urging him to work with members of Congress to pause the federal gas tax as prices at the pump rise. On June 22, President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation to suspend the federal gas tax through September. Whitmer’s full letter to the President can be found here.
Previously, the Michigan State Senate passed legislation to suspend the state’s gas tax and sales tax on motor fuel from June 15 until September 15. The legislation has been referred to the House committee on Tax Policy for further consideration.
Pharma Company to Pay MI $14.45 Million
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Wednesday, June 22, that Michigan will receive approximately $14.45 million following a lawsuit by Mallinckrodt ARC, LLC, formerly known as Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The settlement stems from allegations made that between January 2013 and June 2020, Mallinckrodt knowingly underpaid Medicaid rebates for its drug Acthar, violating the Federal False Claims Act and the Michigan Medicaid False Claims Act.
Mallinckrodt will pay Michigan, 49 other states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the federal government a total of $233.7 million, plus interest, over the next seven years. Michigan is expected to receive the first payment of $180,000 by mid-July.