5 bills to watch in the Michigan state legislature: December 2, 2021

The following article explains five bills that were introduced, passed, or enacted by the Michigan State Legislature or Governor Gretchen Whitmer during the month of October.

On the second and fourth Friday of each month, the Michigan Daily publishes a compilation of bills introduced to the Michigan State Legislature for use by University of Michigan students.

1. Reproductive health law

Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Social Services Policy

Senator Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, presented Senate Bill 0732, legislation designed to strengthen the ability of people to make diverse decisions about abortion and reproductive health in Michigan.

If passed, the law would guarantee everyone the right to use or refuse contraception or sterilization and, in the event of pregnancy, the right to carry the pregnancy to term and to give birth or have an abortion.

If passed, this law will repeal more restrictive abortion and reproductive health legislation. This act will only take effect if six other Senate bills are promulgated in law.

The introduction of this bill comes as restrictive abortion laws are being reintroduced across the country and as the Supreme Court hears arguments related to a Mississippi Abortion Act which could lead to the reversal of the historic affair Roe vs. Wade. If that happened, the legality of the abortion would be decided by each state. Twenty-six states, including Michigan, have restrictive abortion laws that would take effect again if Roe deer were knocked down.

If passed, Michigan’s Reproductive Health Act would repeal these laws and prevent this from happening.

Senator Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, is one of the sponsors of the bill and has spoken to Detroit NPR station why she is happy that this bill has been introduced.

“Burning health care and reproductive rights and reproductive justice is something that can affect every person, every household, every family,” Geiss said.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey R-Clarklake also addressed Detroit NPR station, this time in opposition to the bill.

“Michigan already has some great laws in place,” said Shirkey. “They have been replaced by the old Supreme Court ruling. And if the reverse is true, Michigan is in a very good position. “

The bill was referred to the state Senate committee on health and social services policy.

2. Michigan Climate Resiliency Corps Act

Status: Referred to House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations

Yousef Rabhi State Representative D-Ann Arbor presented House Bill 5581 November 30. The bill is related to Senate Bill 0747, presented by State Senator Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit. This bill empowers state and local agencies and officials to create and secure funding for climate residency programs and program advisory boards that raise community awareness and develop projects that enhance adaptation. to climate change.

The Michigan Climate Resilience Corps, a program that teaches sustainability practices to universities, local governments and other groups, would function as a state regulatory service, with the aim of partnering with local governments, tribes, organizations non-profit organizations, businesses and universities to include green infrastructure in their development plans. Some examples of this include planting trees, constructing rain gardens, organic ditches, and other stormwater runoff measures.

Rabhi spoke to MLive on what he hopes the bill could accomplish for areas like Ann Arbor.

“I wanted to study ways to include natural and native plants and natural landscapes in our urban areas to mitigate things like flooding, heat island effects, that sort of thing,” Rabhi said. “Bringing ecosystem services to urban areas, and that’s exactly what this bill does. ”

This bill has been referred to the House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations.

3. Amendments to the Michigan Promise Zone Authority Act

Status: Adopted in the Senate

Amendments have been made to article three of the 2008 law Michigan Promising Area Authority Act, which has created “hot spots” in areas where large numbers of families with children under the age of 18 are at or below the federal level poverty line. These changes were originally introduced on February 3 by State Senator Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, and are co-sponsored by eight others, including State Senator Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor.

In areas of promise created by the original law, eligible students are promised financial aid for resources for private or public post-secondary education whether they graduate from a public or non-public high school.

Funding comes on the one hand from state property taxes through the development plan for the promising area.

These expenses include tuition and registration fees at any Michigan educational institution, including professional training programs. The new changes would fund registration fees, books, supplies and equipment needed for courses, in addition to the registration fees covered by the original law. Financial assistance would also be extended to finance room and board on campus to eligible students.

The bill was passed in the State Senate.

4. Resolution to Urge Congress to Strengthen the Workforce Opportunities Tax Credit

Status: Referred to the State House Committee on Fiscal Policy

State Representative Mark Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills, presented a resolution which urges Congress to support a tax credit to help small businesses hire more employees.

The Employment tax credit was established in 1996 to help companies hire employees from certain backgrounds, such as veterans facing difficulties and those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This resolution, if passed, would advise that the tax credit would also include new employees who may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tisdel said in a Press release of Republicans at Michigan House that the legislation will help those most in need of a job.

“Work gives you power; it gives us purpose and allows us to meet our physical needs, ”Tisdel said at a press conference. “The Federal Work Opportunities Tax Credit encourages companies to hire the people who need a job the most, but over the years the program has not kept up with rising costs. Congress should hold working families accountable by reassessing and strengthening the tax credit. “

The bill was referred to the State House Committee on Tax Policy.

5. Increased funding approved for public safety

Status: Adopted into Michigan State House

An unused COVID-19 spending package of $ 368 million federal and state funds passed 97-3 in the House on December 2. One last minute increase in Funds for school resource officers were added following the recent shooting at Oxford High School. All representatives of the Democratic state and all but three Republicans voted yes.

The legislation, Bill 5522, was originally introduced by Representative Mike Mueller, R-Linden, to expand funding in the area of ​​public safety. The bill too included funds to improve community awareness and modernize public safety equipment.

The bill allocates $ 57 million to recruit and retain professionals in law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services. $ 7.5 million has been set aside to provide mental health resources for first responders.

Representative Gary Howell, R-Deerfield, was talking in the House to advocate for this increased funding.

“This week highlighted the value of school resource officers,” Howell said. “They are (the) first line of defense against school shootings. The bravery and swift action of the Oxford High School School Resources Manager saved lives. “

This bill will be sent to the State Senate.

Daily news contributor Emma Moore can be reached at [email protected]