Michigan Legislative Update
Week of February 5, 2015
by Judy Augenstein
SB 39 - Senator Tom Casperson sponsor. Suspend caps on DNR land purchases if legislature has approved most recent 5 year plan update and payments in lieu of taxes have been made. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.
SB 40 - Senator Darwin Booher sponsor. Authorizes a land exchange facilitation fund to be used for certain taxes and assessments on state lands. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Senate Republicans have an action plan for the first 60 - 90 days in office. Their plan includes increasing funding for state crime labs to address the backlog of rape testing kits, job creation and economic development, efficiency, transparency and reform government, education and student achievement and quality of life issues. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive commented, "We believe in common sense, and that's not all that common in government.
This week Governor Rick Snyder outlined the importance of career tech education at the Michigan Department of Education Career Eduction Conference to encourage expanded partnerships between the business and education communities.
House and Senate standing committees continue to hold organizational meetings. The various budget committees are beginning to meet and are charged with reviewing all programs as the state faces an approximate $400 million shortfall. The final budget is contingent on the sale tax ballot initiative scheduled for May.