Review our Government Relations Update - Caucus Call: Lansing

Peter J. Langley

Caucus Call Lansing

This Week's Updates

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

Short-term Rental Legislation Proposed

  • Who needs to know: Local governments and property owners that use services like AirBnB and VRBO.
  • Potential impact: Competing legislative proposals could have far ranging impacts on the regulation of short-term rental properties.

Last week, there was an announced compromise on legislation that would regulate the use of short-term housing rentals by local governments. The Michigan Townships Association, Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association announced that they were endorsing legislation that would allow for property owners to rent out their property for up to 30 days a year with limited oversight by the government entity. The problem with the announced compromise was that it was immediately opposed by proponents of another set of bills that would prohibit local governments from interfering with short-term rentals.

The announcements were part of an ongoing debate about the role of services like AirBnB and VRBO with property owners versus the role that local governments have in regulating such services. Included in the debate are the perceived inequities that traditional lodging choices like hotels and motels that must abide by specific rules and regulations which don’t apply to short-term rentals. Both sides seem eager to find a resolution to the issue during this legislative session.

Electric Choice Legislation Introduced

  • Who needs to know: Industrial energy customers looking to use an alternative supplier outside of their current electricity providers.
  • Potential impact: For some large industrial manufacturers, energy costs can be the number one monthly expense. Both DTE and Consumers Energy have lengthy waiting lists for businesses looking for alternative provider to try to save money.

Senate Bill 695 was introduced this week by Senator Roger Victory. The legislation effectively removes the current limits on industrial electricity users that can seek their power from alternative providers. While the concept is not new for this type of bill, the co-sponsors for SB 695 are. The legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Dan Lauwers, Chair of the Senate Energy Committee where the bill was referred, and Senator Jim Stamas, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Given the high-profile sponsors and the recent loss of Ford’s battery manufacturing facilities, citing energy costs as a reason, it seems like this legislation could be headed for consideration. Consumers Energy and DTE have already registered their opposition to the bill.

Week Ahead:

  • The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will continue their public meetings on proposed elections maps this week.
  • The Senate Energy and Technology Committee will have a presentation on electric vehicles on Tuesday.
  • The Michigan Strategic Fund will have a meeting on Tuesday to consider various funding proposals.
  • The House Health Policy Committee will be meeting on Thursday to consider multiple Certificate of Need bills.
  • The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) will be meeting Thursday in Traverse City to take comments on the MRA’s authorities, duties and functions.

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