Government Affairs Update
The 99th Michigan Legislature convened on Wednesday, January 11. There was no committee or floor activity (other than bill introductions), in anticipation of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference on January 12, the Governor’s State of the State address on January 17, and the completion of House committee assignments (see below for more on all three). Activity in both chambers will pick up the week of January 23.
Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference
The State Treasurer and other state fiscal leaders gathered on January 12 to finalize revenue projections for the coming year (Fiscal Year 2017-2018). In general, the state’s economy continues to climb slowly and it does not appear that any cuts will be needed in the current fiscal year (due in part to $478 million in one-time revenue from the last fiscal year that will carry forward). Legislative leaders and incoming State Budget Director Al Pscholka stressed that the FY 2018 budget will be “cautious” in light of the forecast and other potential influences on revenue collections, such a declining housing market due to higher interest rates or an unexpected business tax refund. Overall, there is projected revenue growth of $613 million combined for the General Fund and School Aid Fund in FY 2017; combined growth of $558 million in FH 2018; and combined growth of $415 million in FY 2019.
Click Here for Consensus Revenue Agreement Executive Summary Economic and Revenue Forecasts Fiscal Years 2017, 2018 and 2019
State of the State Address
Governor Snyder delivered his 7th, and second-to-last, State of the State address on January 17. The address was primarily a rundown of numerous issues before the state, such as job growth and infrastructure needs, but contained very few new proposals or initiatives. In contrast to last year’s address, there was very little mention of Flint. The Governor did note the success of the Heathy Michigan Plan and announced that he will be joining other Republican Governors later this week to urge that Congress not dismantle Medicaid expansion as part of any Affordable Care Act revisions. Other highlights:
- The Governor began his speech by touting the recent economic development growth announced in Michigan recently.
- The Governor reiterated his support and success of the Healthy Michigan Plan (Medicaid expansion). It was announced earlier today that the Governor will be in Washington DC this week urging members of Congress to maintain Medicaid expansion.
- The Governor announced a crowd sourcing challenge urging creative minds to find a solution to the looming Asian carp crisis in the Great Lakes. For more information, please see www.mi.gov/carpchallenge.
- The “vocational village” program in the Ionia prison aimed at giving inmates job skills will be expanded to the Jackson prison and the Huron Valley women’s correctional facility.
- The 21st Century Infrastructure Commission recommendations were highlighted, focusing on funding and the asset management component of the commission’s recommendations.
- “Place making” was previewed as an item the Governor will recommend for additional resources in the upcoming budget.
- The Governor applauded the legislature for adopting autonomous vehicle regulations and touted “Planet M,” which is the overall brand for automotive mobility.
- Michigan’s population should again grow above 10 million people – we are only 70,000 shy at this point.
Key documents from the Governor on accomplishments in the past 6 years and initiatives the Governor discussed during the address are available at
The full transcript of the address can be found here
House of Representatives Committee Assignments
House Speaker Tom Leonard is expected to announce House committee assignments sometime the week of January 23. The full House has adopted its Standing Rules in House Resolution 1, which establishes the names and number of members for standing committees for the coming session. There are numerous changes in both from last session, among them: the Education Committee has been renamed the Education Reform Committee and will have 12 members; the Criminal Justice Committee was renamed the Law and Justice Committee and will have 12 members; and the Elections Committee will now be called the Elections and Ethics Committee.
Click Here for STANDING RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MICHIGAN CONSTITUTION ARTICLE IV, SECTION 16
Senate Bill 35 – Reintroduction of legislation to regulate charitable gaming millionaire parties. Introduced by Senator Rick Jones, referred to the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform.
Click Here for SB35
Senate Bills 29 – 32 – Legislation to further modify the deadline for eliminating the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA), from July 1, 2020 to May 31, 2017 unless the federal government provides written notification and explanation that HICA is impermissible and that federal Medicaid funding would be reduced. The bills also create a Health Services Fund in the Department of Treasury to Introduced by Senator Horn (SB 29), referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.
Click Here for SB29
Click Here for SB30
Click Here for SB31
Click Here for SB32
Senate Bills 36 and 38 – Legislation to allow inclusion of fingerprint/photograph of a person with special health care needs in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and statewide network of photos upon request of parent or guardian. Introduced by Senator Rick Jones, referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Hearing scheduled for January 24.
Click Here for SB 36
Click Here for SB 38
House Bill 4051 – Legislation to require lead screening for all children under age six who are enrolled in Medicaid or MI Child. Introduced by Representative Schor, referred to the House Health Policy Committee.
Click Here for HB4051
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services submitted its Section 298 Initiative interim to the Michigan Legislative on January 13, as required in the FY 2017 budget act. The reports calls, among other things, continuing the separation of payment operations for physical and behavioral health services. It also recommends that any change to the status quo be “partly informed and guided” by integration demonstration and pilot projects. Further, the report recommends steps to end coverage gaps and to incentivize screening for substance use disorders. The report does acknowledge that significant changes in federal policy and funding could affect the recommendations. A second phase of the Initiative is now underway and will focus on the development of recommendations on models and benchmarks for implementation. A second, final report will be presented to the Legislative in mid-March.
Click Here for MDHHS Interim 298 Report