Legislative Action Report, Monday April 3, 2017
The Michigan Senate is in recess until Wednesday April 19th and the House is in recess until Tuesday April 18th. Until they return there will be limited action on bills. I believe that their staff will still be answering phone the next 2 weeks and the calls will be reported to the legislators when they return. Remember that the Michigan legislators are not used to a lot of interest in their business so our calls are impactful.
Michigan Resistance is still asking for help on State House Bill 4163 which is an attack on teachers' rights. It's trying to place new limits on teachers' rights to negotiate contracts with their employers. This is an anti-labor bill that would eliminate the ability for teachers to negotiate what the school calendar looks like. This is a way for schools to eliminate planning periods and force teachers to work unsustainable hours or days.
It appears to still be in committee (Education Reform). Calling the legislators on that committee is recommended. Please call all of these State Representatives:
State Representative Julie Alexander, Vice-Chair (Jackson): 517-373-1795
State Representative Kathy Crawford (Novi): 517-373-0827
State Representative Beth Griffin (Hartford): 517-373-0839
State Representative Pamela Hornberger (New Baltimore): 517-373-8931
State Representative Jeff Noble (Plymouth): 517-373-3816
State Representative John Reilly (Auburn Hills): 517-373-1798
State Representative Brett Roberts (Waterloo Township): 517-373-1775
Michigan Resistance is also calling for an independent investigation into the alleged Trump- Russian ties in the presidential elections. Paul Ryan if the one to call.
Investigate Donald Trump’s Ties to Russia
Speaker of the U.S. House of Reps Paul Ryan (Wisconsin): 202-225-3031
Hi, I am calling to URGE Speaker Ryan to remove Representative Nunes as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee and allow a non-partisan, independent investigator to conduct the investigation of the Donald Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
I am asking that you allow an independent investigator to take charge of this incredibly serious case. We need fair elections. This issue affects ALL Americans. Foreign interference must be properly investigated, and love of country must take precedence over politics. Thank you.
New Bills Here are a few bills that were introduced last week that bear watching and perhaps resistance or support:
House Bill 4378 which will require more school water testing. It requires it once every 3 years. Personally, that seems like a long time between tests. It was introduced this week.
House Bill 4391 was introduced and asserts the “right” to drinking water that is safe, clean, affordable, and accessible. Whether it means that water bills would be paid for some income levels, has not been clarified.
House Bill 4392 would give the State Public Service Commission oversight over city water and sewer systems.
All three seem worthy bills and I will keep tabs of what happens to them.
House Bill 4395 was introduced and would allow municipalities to provide early voting systems up to 45 days before the elections. It does not require it but does allow it. Since I used to live in Colorado where ballots were mailed to all registered voters, this seems like a positive idea to me.
Bills Awaiting Action:
Senate Bill 245 would repeal the state law against owning a switchblade knife. It was reported back to the senate and passage was recommended.
Senate Bill 271 has been reported back to the senate and passage recommended. It repeals the law that required Michigan schools start after Labor Day. This allows start dates in August but prohibits sessions on Monday or Friday in August.
Passed House and Transmitted to the Senate:
There are 3 bills that change the graduation requirements for high school graduation:
HB 4315 would eliminate foreign language requirement of 2 years of classes and substitute computer or artistic classes. This bill would make it harder for students to get into college as most require two years of foreign language study. We live in a global economy. Students with foreign language skills are more competitive in the market place. This is a bad idea and should be opposed.
HB 4317 would allow exception to graduation regarding health education requirements. The students could take a class on governmental health and safety regulations instead.
HB 4318 would allow statistics to replace the Algebra II requirement.
Representative Inman voted ‘yes’ on all three bills.
Most of this report comes from Michigan Votes from the Mackinac Center and Michigan Resistance. There are many other bills being considered but these were the most interesting.
You can always get more information on the Michigan Legislature site at www.legislature.mi.gov.
Feedback is always welcome.
Submitted by Linda Pepper,
GT Dems Communications Committee