Michigan Legislative Update
Week of July 14, 2016
By Judy Augenstein
This week on Wednesday the Senate was in session for one minute and the House was in session for 24 minutes. The House Oversight and Ethics Committee chaired by Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan reported out a bill to overhaul the Unemployment Agency, a House GOP priority for this session. The bill changes how the UIA deals with potential fraud by shortening the statute of limitations, requiring the use of certified mail to contact certain claimants and prohibiting certain discrepancies from being identified solely by a computer. The bill is now awaiting full debate by the House and then will move to the Senate for further action. Some business groups do not support the bill as reported out of committee.
This week Senator Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, Senator Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, Senator Steven Bieda, D-Warren and Senator Curtis Hertel Jr., D-E. Lansing announced they are crafting legislation that would include in the state's hate crime law protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender individuals. The plan is to introduce the bill this session. Senators are not up for re-election and most have four more years to represent their Senate district.
To ensure truck drivers transporting fuel across Michigan can do so in a timely manner, the federal government approved an extension to Michigan's existing energy emergency until September 9. This is the second extension of the energy emergency at the end of May in response to the shutdown of the West Shore Pipeline in Wisconsin, which is still closed. The federal waiver waives the hours of service requirements for motor carriers and drivers transporting fuels, allowing them to number of hours and days they are allowed to operate consecutively.
I continue to attempt to identify possible House of Representative winners in the August and November elections and attend their events . All 110 House members are up for re-election, half of them are term limited so House members are either campaigning for themselves or campaigning for others. I have been supporting and attending events for Ben Fredericks, R-Owosso, former chief of staff to Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare who is term limited so Ben is out of a job. Ben, if elected will replace Rep. Ben Glardon, R-Owosso who is term limited. Rep. Glardon is the House Transportation Committee VC and Ben Fredericks has a lot of experience working with that committee which if elected, could land him a spot on the Transportation Committee. I attended a $100 event for Fredericks this week.
I also continue to do campaign efforts for Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, an active supporter of our effort to require the Amish to be accountable for business taxes as other forest products interest. It will be much easier to identify district candidates following the August primary. Right now, we have 4-7 candidates in each race for term limited candidates which will be narrowed to one Republican and one Democrat.
Top of Page