McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Legislation

Albert Resigns as Appropriations Chair, Elections Deal Struck

Update: Sep 19-30, 2022

On September 28, one of the final session days ahead of the November 8 election, the Michigan State Legislature finalized a $1 billion supplemental appropriation bill, most of which would additional funding to the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund for various economic development projects.

In light of the negotiations, Representative Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) announced during the House Appropriations committee meeting that he would be resigning as chair due to his concerns with approving additional spending. Albert, who again addressed the chamber during his no-vote explanation, said he could not support the spending during a “period of economic uncertainty”. Representative Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township) will serve as the Appropriations Chair for the remainder of the 2021-22 legislative session.

Following an agreement struck between the Whitmer administration, local clerks and lawmakers, the Michigan State Legislature also took up a package of bills related to election security and preprocessing of absentee ballots. All bills in the package passed out of both chambers and now head to the desk of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. House Bill 4491 would allow county clerks to remove deceased individuals from the qualified voter file as well as allow absentee ballot preprocessing up to two days before the election. Currently, Michigan only allows preprocessing 24 hours prior to an election and only in municipalities of at least 1,500 voters. House Bill 6071 would increase access to polling locations. Senate Bill 8 defines “verified electronic signature” for military personnel, while SB 311 allows the electronic return of ballots for military voters.

The legislation is expected to be signed into law and be in effect for the upcoming November general election.

Court of Claims Ruling Restores Original 2018 Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Time Laws

Update: Jul 11-22, 2022

On July 19, Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled in Mothering Justice vs. Dana Nessel that the Legislature violated the Michigan Constitution when, in 2018, it amended two citizen initiatives. One initiative would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour over a period of years with an inflation adjustment in place once the maximum was reached. It would also eliminate the lower tipped minimum wage. A separate initiative would allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 72 hours per year.

Prior to the 2018 election, the Republican-led legislature took up and passed the two ballot proposals, thus preventing them from going before voters. After the election, the Legislature then voted to amend the ballot proposals, effectively limiting the pool of employers subject to the law to those with 50 or more employees and reducing the sick time hours that could be earned.

The judge ruled that nothing in the Michigan Constitution empowers the Legislature to adopt and amend an initiative petition in the same legislative session, and that doing so effectively undermines the ability of voters to decide.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other groups like the AFL-CIO praised the order. While several groups from the business community, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, warned the ruling could have a crippling effect on employers and employees.

A stay is expected to be filed. Business groups may also choose to appeal.

Michigan Legislature Passes Historic Budget

Update: Jun 27-Jul 8, 2022

In the early hours of July 1, the Michigan State Legislature passed House Bill 5783, the general omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2023. In the general omnibus, the state appropriated $58.4 billion, with $33.3 billion of that being the Health and Human Services budget. The School Aid Fund budget, Senate Bill 845, allocated $22.1 billion, bringing the state’s total appropriations to a historic $76 billion. The Executive Office and Legislative leaders celebrated the passing of the budget before the statutory July 1 deadline.

While an over $2 billion supplemental spending measure for FY 21-22 accompanied the budget, approximately $7 billion remains on the table for future spending, with $3.8 billion in General Fund and $3.3 billion in School Aid Fund. Further discussions around tax cuts and other supplemental appropriations measures are expected in the late summer/early fall.

All FY 23 appropriations materials can be found here.