Review our new Government Relations Update - Caucus Call: Lansing

Pete Langley
Week of Sept. 20, 2021

Caucus Call Lansing

This Week's Updates

New Cannabis Regulatory Agency Rules Pending

  • Who needs to know: Cannabis businesses looking to provide input on proposed administrative rules from the State of Michigan.
  • Potential Impact: The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) proposed rules are designed to bring the medical and recreational markets closer. These rules could have far reaching effects for current industry operators.

As part of the evolution of the cannabis industry in Michigan, the MRA has proposed 10 rules sets that would modernize oversight and operation. These proposed rules deal with disciplinary hearings, hearings, infused and edible products, licenses, operations, sales and transfers, sampling and testing, employees, and declaratory rulings. The first public hearing on these rules will be Sept. 27. In addition to the rules proposals, a bipartisan group of Representatives are developing legislation that would make changes to portions of the medical cannabis statutes.

For more information on the proposed rules, please click here.

Budget Votes Start This Week

  • Who needs to know: Businesses and local governments with state based appropriations.
  • Potential Impact: The process that the Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer have agreed to use for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget will see traditional budget votes this week, with later action on $10 billion in federal COVID-19 related funds.

This week will see the passage of the state’s general government budget and higher education budgets, totaling somewhere around $50 billion. The specific details of these budgets are relatively unknown to those outside of House and Senate leadership and the governor’s budget office. It is expected that caucuses will learn of the spending plans Tuesday morning with voting expected to start Tuesday afternoon.

These funds are part of the State of Michigan’s general operating revenue and are used to keep the government running. Most of the funds are restricted in that they can only be used for very specific, pre-determined programs. The next phase of the budget will be the nearly $10 billion in federal COVID-19 related funds that will need to be spent. Governor Whitmer has proposed nearly $4.1 billion in spending with very different priorities than the $4 billion proposed by senate Republicans. There are few restrictions on these funds and proposals range from rent assistance to water infrastructure to state and local parks. Expect heavy debate and stark contrasts between spending suggestions during this round of budget negotiations.

No-Fault Changes to Motorcycle Coverage Proposed

  • Who needs to know: Auto insurers that provide motorcycle coverage.
  • Potential impact: Proposed legislation would change the priority of payers in the event of an accident with a motorcycle.
  • Representative Brenda Carter D-Pontiac has introduced legislation, House Bill 5307, that would make changes to Michigan’s No-Fault insurance as it pertains to motorcycles accidents. Prior to last session’s insurance reforms, motorcyclists that were in an accident with a car would receive unlimited lifetime benefits under the car’s insurance policy. With the change in law, the motorcyclist could have fewer benefits depending on the choice of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that the car’s driver elected. This proposed legislation would change the priority of payers in an accident to prioritize the motorcyclist’s coverage.

The Week Ahead:

  • Expect long session days with budget votes Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference Monday, Sept. 20 to Thursday, Sept. 23.
  • Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference Friday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 26.
  • “We the People” Alternative GOP event planned in Antrim County at the same time as the Mackinac GOP event.
  • House Committee on Elections and Reforms will be taking testimony on a package of bills to change absentee voter applications.
  • House Committee on Regulatory Reform will be taking testimony on a bill package dealing with industrial hemp.
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Technology will be taking testimony on legislation that creates “rights” for an incumbent electric transmission company.

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