Michigan Lame Duck Tracker

Since the chaotic lame duck session began in late November, hundreds of bills have been introduced and voted on, some that would have major effects on Michigan.

This tracker was last updated Dec. 28 at  6:45 p.m.

Dec. 21: That's a wrap! What bills passed, died in Michigan lame duck for the ages

Republicans controlling the Michigan Legislature are making the most of their final days before Democrats take over the offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state. House and Senate GOP members are moving bills at breakneck speed.

Of the hundreds of measures flowing through the legislature, several would make major changes affecting Michigan’s government, environment and more. Here's a tally of where these bills stand during Lansing's lame-duck session.

Altering statewide ballot proposals

Topic Senate
cmte.
Full
senate
House
cmte.
Full
house
Governor
Marijuana Dead        
Redistricting Passed Passed Dead    
Voting rights Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Minimum wage* Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Paid sick leave* Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Ballot initiatives Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed

* Approved for ballot but taken off after legislature adopted them in September.

Marijuana

SB 1243 would have banned home-growing marijuana (which would otherwise be legal under new law passed by Proposal 1) and decrease the tax rate on marijuana products from 10 percent to three percent. That tax revenue would no longer go to schools and roads, but to counties, cities, the state Health and Human Services department and law enforcement. It was dropped Thursday by the bill's sponsor Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-Grand Haven.

Legislative redistricting

SB 1254 seeks to define how the state determines the party affiliation of applicants to an independent citizens commission created to draw Michigan legislative lines and intended to end gerrymandering. The bill also bars those affiliated with political parties from providing services to the commission. Critics say the bill illegally alters a constitutional amendment passed by voters. 

Voting rights

SB 1238 and its four associated bills would, among other things, require the Secretary of State to automatically register Michiganders to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or ID card and, more controversially, require license applicants to declare their citizenship for automatic registration. 

Minimum wage

SB 1171 amends a citizen initiative adopted by the legislature in September, largely to keep it off of the November ballot and make it easier for the legislature's Republican majorities to change later. This amendment would raise the state’s minimum wage to $12.05 over eleven years (far longer than the four years outlined in the citizens initiative) and restores a lower wage for tipped workers tied to growth in the regular minimum wage.

Paid sick leave

SB 1175 also amends a citizen initiative adopted by the legislature to avoid the ballot. This amendment exempts far more businesses than the original initiative (those with fewer than 50 employees) from the sick leave law and reduces the amount of sick leave time that can be accrued per hour worked. Recent versions of the amendment have changed to allow employees to accrue time immediately and use it within 90 days.

Ballot initiatives

HB 6595 would place new requirements on groups seeking to get statewide proposals on the ballot. They would be forced to secure signatures from at least 7 different congressional districts (there are 14). They could get no more than 15 percent of all signatures from any one congressional district.

Restricting incoming Democrats

Topic (office it affects) Senate
cmte.
Full
senate
House
cmte.
Full
house
Governor
Restricting executive branch
(Governor)
Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Allow legislative lawsuits
(Attorney General)
Passed* Passed Passed Passed Vetoed
Campaign finance
(Secretary of State)
Passed Passed Dead    

Nonprofit protections
(Sec. of State, AG)

Passed Passed Passed Passed  

Agency restrictions

HB 4205 would bar state agencies from adopting rules that are more stringent than the federal government’s, unless the agency’s director determined there was “a clear and convincing need” to exceed federal standards. The bill exempts special education programs. If passed, it would restrict the ability of executive branch agencies.

Allow legislative lawsuits

HB 6553 would give the state legislature the ability to automatically intervene in lawsuits that alleges unconstitutionality of a law or challenges the validity of a legislative action.

The legislature already has the ability to request to enter lawsuits, but it must receive permission from the court. This bill would remove that requirement. Opponents argue it infringes on judicial independence and on the attorney general’s power because it could create confusion as to who is representing the people of MIchigan in court.

*An amended version of this bill passed out of Senate committee, so it must be approved by the House again before going to the Governor.

Campaign finance

SB 1250 and four associated bills would remove oversight of campaign finance from the secretary of state’s office and give it to a newly-created commission of three Democrats and three Republicans (a model based on the Federal Election Commission).

Nonprofit protections

SB 1176 would prevent public agencies in Michigan from requiring nonprofits to disclose their donors or supporters, including nonprofit political advocacy groups that can funnel dark money into elections. It would prevent state agencies such as the secretary of state or attorney general from requiring nonprofits to disclose donor or member identities even to them, restricting their powers to police charities, political advocacy organizations and other nonprofits.

Environment

Topic Senate
cmte.
Full
senate
House
cmte.
Full
house
Governor
Line 5 tunnel Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Wetlands dredging Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Bottle deposit     Dead    
Toxic chemicals Passed Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed

Line 5 tunnel

SB 1197 aims to lock in a proposal to construct a tunnel to protect Line 5, Enbridge Energy’s 65-year-old oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac. It would create a three-member, governor-appointed authority to oversee the tunnel. Both Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel oppose the tunnel plan. 

Wetlands dredging

SB 1211 would carve out a slew of exemptions to state permitting requirements for property owners wanting to fill, dredge or built upon wetlands and lakes.

Bottle deposit

HB 6532 and four associated bills would repeal Michigan’s 10-cent bottle deposit law, ending the program at the end of 2022. The bills have been dropped and cannot pass this session.

Toxic chemicals

SB 1244 would overhaul state standards for cleaning up toxic chemicals at thousands of polluted sites across the state. Among other provisions, the bill would require Michigan regulators to rely on chemical toxicity values from a U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency database when assessing whether property owners have properly cleaned up a polluted site.

Education

Topic Senate
cmte.
Full
senate
House
cmte.
Full
house
Governor
Grading schools A to F Skipped Passed Passed Passed ✔ Signed
Innovation districts Dead   Passed Passed  

A-F commission

HB 5526 would create an A-to-F school ranking system for public schools and establish a commission with broad authority that would take some power away from the State Board of Education, which becomes a Democratic majority in January. It passed early Thursday but the commission was removed and replaced with a "peer review panel" as a compromise.  

Related: Michigan’s A-to-F school ratings on ice until attorney general weighs in

Innovation districts

HB 6314 and an associated bill would create “public innovation districts” that wouldn’t have to meet some state requirements, and would likewise establish a commission that would take some power away from the State Board of Education.

Economy, public sector unions

Topic Senate
cmte.
Full
senate
House
cmte.
Full
house
Governor
Union recertification Passed Dead      
Employer medical benefits Passed Rejected; under reconsideration      

Union recertification

SB 1260 would require public sector unions to vote every two years on whether they’d like to keep their union. The bill has been dropped and cannot pass this session.

Employer medical benefits

SB 1209 would cap how much a public employer is allowed to spend on offering medical benefits to employees. That cap also would apply to union-negotiated contracts going forward, which could affect collective bargaining on health care.

Social

Topic Senate
cmte.
Full
senate
House
cmte.
Full
house
Governor
Juvenile offenders     Passed Dead  
Abortion Passed Passed Passed Passed Vetoed
Puppy mills Passed Passed Passed Passed Vetoed

Juvenile offenders

HB 4850 would raise the age of criminal offenders that are considered “juvenile” from 17 to 18.

*A spokesman for House Republican parties told reporters Dec. 12 this bill is dead for the current legislation session, citing an "inability to work out funding issues."

Telemedicine abortion

SB 1198 would stop the expiration of a law that bars doctors from diagnosing and prescribing medical abortions without performing a physical exam first. The doctor must be physically present when the medical abortion drug is taken.

Puppy mills

HB 5916 would forbid local communities from barring pets shops from selling puppies, which critics say sometimes come from puppy mills. Proponents say it raises standards for pet safety.

 

Like what you’re reading in Bridge? Please consider a donation to support our work!

We are a nonprofit Michigan news site focused on issues that impact all citizens. In an era of click bait and biased news, we focus on taking the time to learn both sides of a story before we post it. Bridge stories are always free, but our work costs money. If our journalism helps you understand and love Michigan more, please consider supporting our work. It takes just a moment to donate here.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Matt
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 12:13pm

With all the complaints about lack of legislative action, and the politicization of of every issue, passing a bunch of bills and moving a lot of the issues out of politics and on to appointed boards, I would think makes sense instead of causing this bunch of howling. Maybe it's not really the actions being taken but it's who is doing the enacting?

dlb
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 1:47pm

If these bills were so important, why only introduce them after the election? Because the majority of people are opposed to these actions. The republicans are using the lame duck to subvert the will of the people.

Matt
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 8:07pm

There's nothing like the impending loss of power to focus ones attention.

Don
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:42am

Lost of power of the people!! that what them Naiz republicans in Landsing are doing Taking away OUR prower to remoce them!!!

Arjay
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 1:53pm

After all the gnashing of teeth, and the swearing in of a new governor, the legislative branch is still in the hands of the Republicans, isn't it? So what is wrong with the legislature getting a little bit ahead on their workload for next session. Or is Whitmer going to veto everything the legislature does? Sounds like Michigan is in for 4 years of going nowhere.

Mike Wilkinson
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 3:56pm

Arjay: Any bill passing both chambers goes to Gov. Snyder. None of it carries over until Whitmer's term begins. That's why they are doing it now, at least the Republican-oriented stuff, because this is their last chance for at least four years to not need the support of Democrats.

 

Kevin Grand
Tue, 12/11/2018 - 7:13am

And all of this "outrage" is based upon the premise that Gov. Snyder will actually sign any of these packages.

Any causal review of Snyder's record will show that he is most definitely not a republican. A fact that many Republicans that I know will repeatedly attest to.

Legislation curbing gun control and allowing Michiganians to keep more of what they have earned has gone nowhere . While legislation using public funds to bailout a fiscally inept and corrupt city numerous times and initiating a financially ruinous health care plan that shouldn't have seen the light of day get signed off on.

I'm looking forward to reading when The Bridge will finally focus on something a little more timely with the incoming administration and her entourage, like why an AG candidate who literally campaigned on what's in her pants has a wife-beater (multiple times) on her staff?

I can only surmise that the focus on "women's rights" ends right after election day when the usefulness of that position ends..

Word is that there are more skeletons relating to the others that the media won't touch.

But keep the focus on Lame Duck...

dlb
Wed, 12/12/2018 - 8:50am

"why an AG candidate who literally campaigned on what's in her pants " - what the heck does that mean?
Is this as crude a reference as I think it means? An proud example of today's GOP.

Kevin Grand
Wed, 12/12/2018 - 6:23pm

Not even remotely close.

Just using her very own words.

https://youtu.be/1hW_Os0-884

Feel free to now direct your ire towards the correct individual.

Your welcome.

TJH
Fri, 12/14/2018 - 9:02am

The "what's in her pants" comment is disgusting. The last attorney general was a political hack with very little interest in the job for anything other than a step toward his dream job. He used his office staff to gear up for his campaign rather than to do the work of the people. Gov. Snyder may or may not sign some of the lame duck legislation, but he has a history of caving and signing bills he has said he doesn't support. All journalists should continue to cover this legislative session and expose the theft of the will of the people. This trend is toxic and will weaken our state and nation if not stopped. This is nothing like the American brand of democracy we learned about and still teach about in our public schools. It is more like what we see in countries with emerging democracies or with corrupt regimes, the kind of countries we assist by sending consultants and election observers like Pres. Carter to help them safeguard democracy.

Kevin Grand
Sat, 12/15/2018 - 11:23am

Again, I didn't bring it up originally, Dana Nessel did herself!

Regarding B.S., well as everyone knows, he was an apparatchik, which is why he didn't exactly click with the Grassroots (and also why he lost back in November...they simply didn't trust him).

Finally, for a website that claims to want to inform its readers, The Bridge does an abysmal job of communicating to its readers that the current flurry of bills beings crammed through in Lansing, clearly due to politics, is by any stretch of the imagination an isolated case.

Politicians have been doing this for decades. Do a keyword search on James Farley or Boss Madigan (just two quick examples right off of the top of my head) to see what I mean.

Not excusing it, just pointing out that this is simply history repeating itself.

Don
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:46am

And Snyder has to go before theDemocrates in DC to tell how he poison the city of Flint<<< he heading to prison!! AND HE KNOWS IT>> So he is F ing the people of MI one last time!!

jud
Tue, 12/11/2018 - 7:37am

So when they're referred, that means what exactly?

Kevin Grand
Tue, 12/11/2018 - 5:56pm

When a bill is introduced by a member of the Michigan Legislature, it is sent ("referred") to a specific committee that specializes in the subject of that particular bill (i.e. Transportation, Energy, Finance, Education, Commerce) .

Only after that committee has approved a bill does it go back to the floor for a second and third vote. Many bills do not get past committee.

If it is approved, it will then go to the opposite chamber for their consideration, and if approved by that chamber, goes over to the Governor's Desk for his signature.

TKD
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:06am

Why did they wait all these years to raise these issues . Should have been working on them while in office instead of just riding along. Stop politcing and do your jobs. Representing the people not your political desires.

Don
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:43am

Mosst of these laws IF the democrates take to court will be ruled unconstitutional!!

Charlene
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:29pm

Michigan's Republican legislators certainly paid attention at whatever American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] conference they attended when it came to drafting SB 1260 "Union recertification".

"Under the 'Union Recertification Act,' what ALEC calls 'worker voting rights,' workers in unions would have to vote every couple of years on whether they want to continue with their current union representation. Typically, there is no such opportunity for public employees, unless they go through a very involved and rare 'decertification' process. Similar laws have already passed in Florida, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, according to F. Vincent Vernuccio, a senior fellow at the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy."
http://www.governing.com/topics/workforce/gov-alec-unions-conference-lab...

Some economists see a correlation between the decline of middle class income and the decline of union membership.
"Union decline and rising inequality in two charts"
https://www.epi.org/blog/union-decline-rising-inequality-charts/

In other words, Michigan legislators who gleefully pursue union-busting legislation are, in part, responsible for middle-class income stagnation in Michigan. Congratulations on a job well done.

Sharlan Douglas
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 11:18am

It's Dec. 18. Are you going to update this page?