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Review our Government Relations Update - Caucus Call: Lansing

Week of October 4, 2021
10.04.2021

Caucus Call: Lansing

This Week's Updates

Passing of Representative Andrea Schroeder

Representative Andrea Schroeder (R-Independence Township) died on Friday at the age of 57. She passed away after battling an aggressive form of stomach cancer for numerous years. She leaves behind her husband and three children. Schroeder served as the House Majority Caucus Whip and was serving her second term in the House of Representatives.

“Tweaks” to No-Fault Reforms Being Considered

  • Who needs to know: Auto insurance companies providing coverage in Michigan and health care providers seeking payment for related services rendered.
  • Potential impact: Changes being considered would impact recent cost saving reforms to attendant care hours and rates.

Auto No-Fault insurance reform that was passed during the last legislative session has started to take effect in Michigan to mixed response. While consumers are generally appreciative of the cost savings that come with being able to choose their level of coverage, health care providers have argued it has come at the cost of being able to provide continued care to those most severely injured in car accidents. There are two provisions in the reform package receiving most of the attention currently. One limits the number of hours an injured party may have attendant care, and the other is the rate at which care is provided.

These issues were the subject of a rally last week at the Capitol. Organizers were calling on the lawmakers to address these issues. In response to the rally, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told reporters that, “data is being collected and there may be a need for some adjustments to the law.” While not providing any specifics about what types of reforms he would include or a timetable to pass them, the comments indicate a continued interest by legislative leaders to continue working on No-Fault policy in Michigan.

Nearly $10 Billion Available in Next Budget Round

  • Who needs to know: Local government leaders seeking budget assistance and businesses who do work with state and local governments.
  • Potential impact: $10 billion in discretionary spending could have far reaching impact on the state of Michigan … depending on how it is spent.

There is approximately $5.5 billion in America Rescue Plan Act funds and an estimated $5.3 billion in General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue available to the state of Michigan. On the heels of completing the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, lawmakers are starting to develop a spending plan for this unplanned revenue. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has suggested numerous programs that could be developed with this revenue that would be transformative for the state. Republican legislative leaders have been cautious to suggest uses for the revenue because they see this as excessive spending and an endorsement of some of the Democratic initiatives coming out of Washington, DC. Either way, the politics of these appropriations will undoubtedly have an impact on the 2022 election.

If you have a business that does work with the state of Michigan it may be time to think about engaging with us to help with your appropriations request. If you’re a local government in need of some one-time money to address a pressing issue in your community, let us help you develop your proposal to approach the Legislature and administration.

Week Ahead:

  • The Utility Consumer Participation Board meets Monday. The board provides grants to qualified applicants that represent the interests of Michigan’s residential energy utility customers.
  • The House and Senate will be meeting this week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • The House Regulatory Reform Committee will be taking testimony on changes to the specialty growers’ portion of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.
  • The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee will be taking testimony on multiple bills that make changes to the licensing fees for certain occupational licenses.
  • There will be an administrative hearing on proposed rules to make changes to Unbundled Network Element and Local Interconnection Services.
  • There will be a public meeting of the Michigan State Waterways Commission. The commission makes recommendation on the use of funds for the acquisition and development of public harbors, boating access sites and certain locks and dams.

Contact Us

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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