Following are highlights of key issues from the 2017-2018 legislative session and the results that we achieved on your behalf. This is not an exhaustive list, rather it denotes several important issues impacting large segments of our membership.
EDUCATION & WORKFORCE READINESS
Address Michigan's Talent Gap
HBs 5139, 5141-42 and 5145
The Michigan Chamber supported legislation that focuses on solving real-world talent gap problems and providing opportunities for businesses and schools to work together to create a robust and diverse talent pipeline ready to fil the jobs coming back to our state.
Public Acts 229, 234, 235 and 366 of 2018
Improve Mandatory Paid Sick Leave, Minimum Wage Laws
SBs 1171 and 1175
The Michigan Chamber successfully advocated for a commonsense compromise to the mandatory paid sick leave and minimum wage laws by finding a balance to make these laws workable for employers and employees alike.
Public Acts 368 and 369 of 2018
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Transform Environmental Rulemaking Process
The Michigan Chamber helped develop and organize the creation of the 12-member Environmental Rules Review Committee to provide all stakeholders with a strong voice in the rulemaking process. The process provides for transparency and the opportunity for stakeholders to participate in problem-solving discussions so that rules work for everyone.
Public Act 267 of 2018
Improve Environmental Permit Review and Oversight
The Michigan Chamber advocated strongly for environmental permit reform to create transparency for all interests, provide oversight of department decisions, and require permitting decisions be based on science. The legislation provides applicants with three appeal options when a permit is approved with conditions, denied or delayed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Public Act 268 of 2018
Reform Contaminated Site Cleanup Law
The Michigan Chamber was instrumental in advocating for reform of Michigan's Contaminated Site Cleanup law. Standards for determining screening levels are now in place to ensure that they are based on science rather than opinion.
Public Act 581 of 2018
Repeal Health Insurance Tax
The Michigan Chamber was successful in pushing through legislation to repeal Michigan's unique and uncompetitive Health Insurance Claims ("HICA") Tax and replace it with a new Insurance Provider Assessment to cut insurance taxes for employers and individuals while continuing to fund Michigan's traditional Medicaid program in a fair and stable way.
Public Acts 173-175 of 2018
Establish Work Requirement for Healthy Medicaid Recipients
The Michigan Chamber advocated for legislation to require Michigan's healthy Medicaid population to find work or engage in job training or educational opportunities as a condition for receiving benefits. This requirement promotes independence and could help employers with labor shortages.
Public Act 208 of 2018
Reduce Liability Exposure
The Michigan Chamber successfully advocated for legislation to require transparency in asbestos litigation by requiring plaintiffs' attorneys to first seek compensation from companies that mined asbestos or manufactured asbestos-based insulation products before targeting companies that had little, if anything, to do with the manufacture or supply of asbestos products. The legislation seeks to curb unfair and unjustified double-dipping and give juries and judges better tools to properly apportion fault.
Public Act 100 of 2018
Expand Treasury's Settlement Authority
The Michigan Chamber supported legislation giving the Michigan Department of Treasury more discretion in settling pending tax litigation passed in 2017, providing taxpayers a more direct and less costly avenue to put these cases behind them.
Public Act 215 of 2017
Defeat Efforts by Local Governments to Manipulate Property Values Assessment
HB 4397 and SB 578
The Michigan Chamber played a leadership role in working to defeat efforts by local governments across the state to squeeze more money out of businesses by over-assessing their property taxes.
Preempt Local Governments from Passing Taxes on Food and Drinks
The Michigan Chamber championed legislation to disallow local governments from imposing specific taxes on certain foods and beverages, such as a per-ounce tax on soft drinks and a tax on salty snacks.
Public Act 135 of 2017
Defeat Attempts to Impose a Graduated Income Tax
HJR K, HBs 4436-4437; SJR I and SBs 295-296
The Michigan Chamber successfully blocked efforts to punish entrepreneurs and successful business owners by creating a graduated income tax.