McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Legislation

Lawsuit Challenges Michigan Abortion Restrictions Despite New Reproductive Health Act

Update: Jan 27-Feb 12, 2024

House Democrats are celebrating the enactment of several new laws aimed at safeguarding personal freedoms and rights, which come into effect on February 13. These laws, which include protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and measures to eliminate barriers to reproductive health care access, are significant milestones for the state. Among them is the Reproductive Health Act, which aims to ensure access to abortion, remove medically unnecessary barriers, and safeguard reproductive rights.

Still, certain groups advocating for greater abortion access are challenging existing abortion restrictions that remain, such as the mandatory 24-hour waiting period and restrictions on advanced practice clinicians providing abortion care. These groups argue that these laws contradict the will of Michigan voters as expressed through the Reproductive Freedom for All constitutional amendment. The lawsuit, led by the Center for Reproductive Rights, names Attorney General Dana Nessel and other state officials as defendants, seeking a declaration that the laws are invalid and an order to prevent their enforcement. While House Democrats were unable to repeal these laws legislatively, the outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen.

Governor Signs Clean Energy Legislation into Law

Update: Nov 22-Dec 15, 2023

Governor Whitmer recently signed groundbreaking clean energy legislation that positions the state as a national frontrunner in combating climate change. These bills, part of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, promise to slash household utility costs by an average of $145 annually, generate 160,000 well-paying jobs, and bring in nearly $8 billion in federal funds for clean energy initiatives. The package boasts a 100% clean energy standard by 2040 (SB 271), driving Michigan toward renewable energy sources while fostering economic growth and elevating labor standards.

The comprehensive package also includes measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste (SB 273), the formation of the Office of Worker and Community Economic Transition (SB 519), and streamlined processes for clean energy projects (HB 5120). The legislation places special attention on protecting local communities (SB 502) and farmers’ rights to engage in solar projects on their own land (SB 277).

Clean Energy by 2040 Passed in House and Senate

Update: Oct 30-Nov 10, 2023

A bill package summoning Clean Energy by 2040 passed in the Michigan House on Thursday, November 2. Originally a set of nine bills — five from the Senate and four from the House — this package was whittled down to a final seven. The House’s initial four bills were consolidated into House Bills 5120 and 5121. Several amendments were made by the House before passing the final package. These amendments primarily focus on giving local government more authority over the energy projects and adjusting language within the legislation.

Senate Bills 271, 273, 502, 519, and 277 mandate that electric companies shall run entirely on clean energy by 2040 and will allow farmers to rent land to commercial solar projects. These projects alone could impose an additional cost of $100 per month for Michigan residents due to new infrastructure that the projects would require, according to a Minnesota think tank. A recent press release by Governor Whitmer touts a savings of $145 per year for each Michigander by incorporating clean energy, dampening the monthly project cost slightly. The clean energy legislation is also expected to assist in receiving $7.8 million in federal investments and contribute to the addition of Michigan jobs.