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Review our new Government Relations Update - Caucus Call: Lansing

Peter J. Langley
Week of Feb. 8, 2022
02.08.2022

Caucus Call Lansing

This Week's Updates

The Michigan House and Senate will be in session Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.

Governor’s Budget Presentation This Week

  • Who needs to know: Businesses operating in Michigan
  • Potential impact: The state of Michigan is anticipating record amounts of revenue this year. That means that there will be more money to spend on special projects and one-time opportunities.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is set to give her budget presentation to a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee this week on Wednesday morning. The presentation represents a wish list of Whitmer’s spending priorities. Coming off an on overly bi-partisan, election year State of State presentation, the budget presentation will set the tone for partisan talks leading into the August primary season. With nearly $7 billion in extra expected revenue, this budget may set a record for spending levels. There have been numerous leaks over the last few days about what to expect in Whitmer's budget proposal. Here are a few highlights:

Education:

    • Whitmer will propose a $2.3 billion dollar plan to increase recruitment and retention efforts for teachers and staff. The proposal includes annual bonuses of $2,000 in 2022 and 2023, $3,000 in 2024, and $4,000 in 2025.
    • $600 million for grants / scholarships for future educators and stipends for student teachers
    • Increase per-student funding from $8,700 to $9,135. This increase will cost $580 million in total.
    • $222 million to assist economically disadvantaged students
    • $150 million to increase the reimbursement rate for special education students

Economic Development:

    • $500 million to the new economic development fund that was used entice General Motors to build their two new facilities in Michigan

Infrastructure:

    • $1 billion increase to Michigan’s transportation budget for roads, bridges and public transit

Front Line Workers:

    • $500 million for one-time “hero pay” to include law enforcement, corrections officers, firefighters and first responders
    • $265 million for raises to direct care workers
    • $200 million for raises to state employees

Data Center Equipment Sales Tax Exemption Legislation

  • Who needs to know: Businesses that operate data centers in Michigan or are looking to operate centers in Michigan.
  • Potential impact: Allows for Sales and Use Tax exemptions for the storage, use or consumption of date center equipment through Dec. 31, 2046.

The House Commerce and Tourism Committee passed House Bills 5305 and 5306 that would provide exemptions from Michigan General Sales Tax Act and Use Tax Act to encourage data and technology centers to locate in Michigan. The bills have been under consideration since last fall. If signed into law, the following enterprise date centers meeting all the following may qualify for the exemptions:

    • One or more buildings located in Michigan
    • Primarily designed and intended to house data center equipment to centralize the storage and processing of the qualified entity’s data
    • Developed, owned and operated by a qualified entity
    • The entity will develop, own and operate the facility and make an aggregate capital investment of at least $250 million in the facility.
    • The entity will maintain a total of at least 30 qualified new jobs thought Dec. 31, 2046 with wages that exceed 120% of the county average wage.
    • New jobs will be held by individuals who reside in Michigan
    • 50% of qualified new jobs will consist of individuals who have an associate, bachelor or advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or who are licensed, registered or certified under the Skilled Trades Regulation Act.

The bills now move to the full House for a vote.

The Week Ahead:

  • Tuesday, the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee will meet to discuss pharmacy benefit managers and patient directives.
  • Tuesday, the House Appropriations General Government Subcommittee will meet to discuss statewide broadband internet service.
  • Tuesday, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission will meet.
  • Wednesday, the House Tax Policy Committee will meet to discuss tobacco products tax legislation.
  • Thursday, the Michigan Public Service Commission will meet.
  • Thursday, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission will meet.

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If you have any questions about the content of Caucus Call: Lansing or if you would like additional information about the firm's services, please contact a member of the Government Relations Practice Group.

Plunkett Cooney is one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished full-service law firms with seven offices in Michigan and one each in Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Chicago, Illinois. 

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