February 3, 2017
Government Affairs Update
House of Representatives Committee Assignments
On January 26, House Speaker Tom Leonard released committee assignments (standing committee and budget subcommittees) for 2017-2018. Those committees have begun holding their initial organizational meetings but have not yet addressed legislation. Below are links to those assignments.
It’s notable that 11 of the House standing committees are being chaired by freshman legislators. This isn’t unexpected since 27 of the 63 member House Republican Caucus are freshmen, but does indicate that many may have a steep learning curve on issues that will come before them.
Even on committees with returning members in the chair, there is a large pool of new faces to those committees. For example, the House Health Policy Committee will be chaired by Rep. Hank Vaupel, who served as vice-chair last session, but of the other 16 committee members just 5 served on the committee last session and 8 are true freshman legislators. The House Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of Health & Human Services also has a new chair, Rep. Ned Canfield. Rep. Canfield did serve on that subcommittee last session but 6 of the 11 subcommittee members are new to the subcommittee and 4 of those are true freshmen.
Senate committee assignments and leadership remain in place for 2017-2018
Legislation (action since previous report)
Senate Bill 35 – Reintroduction of legislation to regulate charitable gaming millionaire parties. Reported from Senate Judiciary Committee on February 2.
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. Reported from Senate Judiciary Committee on January 24.
House Bill 4081 – Reintroduction of legislation to regulate charitable gaming millionaire parties. Introduced by Representative Barrett, referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee.
House Bill 4091 – Reintroduction of legislation to require calculation of state payments to community mental health services programs be based on county factors such as demographics, unemployment rates, and poverty levels, and to establish a common statewide funding methodology and rate adjusted for morbidity. Introduced by Representative Miller, referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 4115 – Legislation to increase the annual retail sales tax exemption cap for fundraising activities by nonprofit organizations from $5000 to $10,000. Introduced by Representative Leutheuser, referred to the House Tax Policy Committee.
Governor Snyder will release his Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget recommendations on February 8. The legislative budget cycle will begin shortly after that, and is expected to conclude in early June. The Governor’s presentation will be streamed live beginning at 11:00 a.m., at http://www.house.mi.gov/htv.asp
Governor Snyder’s Chief of Staff, Jarrod Agen, has announced he will leave that position to serve as Vice President Mike Pence’s Director of Communications and Deputy Assistant to President Trump. The timetable for his departure and selection of a successor have not been announced.