Review our Government Relations Update - Caucus Call: Lansing
This Week's Updates
The Michigan House and Senate will be in session on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. Expect a couple of long days of session as we head into a break, Both chambers start the process of cleaning up their calendars and moving priorities prior to the end of the year. After this week, there will only be two weeks of session left before the end of 2021.
After this week, the Legislature will be on break for the next two weeks. Caucus Call will not be published during that time, returning on Monday, Nov. 29.
Catastrophic Claims Association Refunds Coming
- Who needs to know: Anyone insuring a vehicle in Michigan.
- Potential impact: The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) has voted to refund a portion of their $5 billion surplus to policyholders in the state.
Less than a week after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the MCCA to issue refunds in the state, the board unanimously voted to do just that. The MCCA was created by the Legislature in 1978.I It is a private, unincorporated, nonprofit association that reimburses no-fault insurance companies for personal injury protection medical claims that are paid in excess of a set amount under policies of insurance providing unlimited lifetime coverage. The current amount is $600,000. The MCCA assesses all auto insurance companies operating in Michigan to cover catastrophic medical claims occurring because of motor vehicle accidents. The 2021-2022 MCCA assessment was $86 per vehicle.
While the amount that will be refunded to Michigan drivers is not set yet, the MCCA board indicated, “the goal is to issue the largest possible refunds to consumers while maintaining sufficient funds to ensure high-quality care to those who have been catastrophically injured.” The announcement was met with praise from Whitmer, as well as Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth who said, “delivering savings like this to Michigan drivers is the entire reason we fixed the state’s broken auto insurance system in 2019.” The Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council, while supporting the refunds, did warn, “this move cannot be taken as an excuse to shirk the responsibility of caring for victims of catastrophic auto accidents.”
The timing of the refund and the amount will be determined by the MCCA board.
Administration Proposes ‘Jobs Court’
- Who needs to know: Employers / law enforcement in Wayne, Genesee and Marquette counties.
- Potential impact: The proposal would create a pilot program in three counties to place low-level, non-violent offenders in jobs in attempt to reduce recidivism and help employers find workers.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her proposal to create a pilot program that places up to 450 eligible defendants in Wayne, Genesee and Marquette counties who are accused of certain crimes to maintain a job in return for the opportunity to have their charges dismissed. Whitmer has asked for a $5.5 million appropriation as par t of her MI Safe Communities Plan. She announced the proposal with the Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, Detroit Manufacturing Systems, Goodwill Industries and the United Auto Workers.
The program will work by matching qualified individuals with participating employers to work “good-paying jobs with benefits,” while training to learn transferable skills. The defendants will be required to maintain frequent communications with their employer and state officials. Participants will also be eligible for wraparound services such as mental health care, transportation to and from work, and access to a social worker.
- The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will continue its public hearing schedule this week with meetings on Monday,
- The House Rules and Competitiveness Committee will meet this week to take up a package of bills dealing with corrections reforms.
- The Michigan Liquor Control Commission will meet on Tuesday.
- The Underground Storage Tank Authority will meet on Tuesday.
- The Senate Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday to take up a bill package of tobacco products tax changes.
- The Natural Resources Commission will meet on Wednesday.
- The Health Endowment Fund Board will meet on Wednesday.
- The Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board will meet on Friday.
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