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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of December 21, 2016

By Judy Augenstein

Governor Rick Snyder today signed into law the wide ranging energy package that passed last week during the Lame Duck session.  The bills, SB 0437 and SB 438 protect electric choice while still also helping shore up Michigan's energy market.  It also increases the amount of energy Michigan would need to generate from renewable sources from 10 to 15 percent by 2022.  "This legislation will make it easier for our state to meet its energy needs while protecting our environment and saving Michiganders millions on their energy", Snyder said in a statement.

A recent report commissioned by Governor Snyder to examine the state's infrastructure needs showing the state spends $4 billion less than what it must spend to modernize its infrastructure should be seen as a long term guide, said Governor Rick Snyder.  Snyder commented that the $4 billion figure, most of which would need to go to roads, water and sewer services will have to be addressed in pieces. Governor Snyder suggests the work needs to be broken down over a 30 - 50 year time frame and that the $4 billion would come from all sources, not just the state, like a "public private partnership" and bonds, in addition to ongoing funding.  

SB 627, sponsored by Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake would create public private partnerships, the legislation was put forth at the request of Governor Snyder.  The bill died during the Lame Duck session primarily because it allowed "public private partnerships" to include transportation projects and created a framework for toll roads---which killed the measure.  Governor Snyder wants the bill re-introduced during the 2017 session which Senator Mike Kowall has vowed to do.  We were a large part of the opposition against the bill as it was debated in the House Commerce Committee during the last few days of session.

The 2017-18 House of Representatives will be sworn into office on Wednesday, January 10, 2017.  The Senate will resume session on the same day with no members being sworn in because senators enjoy 2 four year terms as House members are limited to 3 two year terms.

Merry Christmas!

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