House Speaker Tom Leonard

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A legislative leader says he's open to establishing a compensation fund for thousands of people who were falsely accused of defrauding Michigan's unemployment system. 

Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard initially said Thursday the courts should decide compensation, which would have put him at odds with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and others. A spokesman later clarified that Leonard misunderstood reporters' questions and opposes Democratic legislation to give victims damages for pain and suffering.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Bills to forgive Michigan’s controversial driver responsibility fees have cleared a state House committee, but they’ve hit a road block.

They’re opposed by Governor Rick Snyder’s Treasury department.

The fees are paid by people convicted of traffic offenses on top of their fines. They were adopted by the Legislature in 2003 to help keep the budget balanced during the recession. Most of the fees will never be collected, but they still generate $80 million a year for the state.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Legislation to reduce Michigan's high auto insurance premiums by letting drivers opt out of mandatory unlimited medical coverage is in peril, with majority Republicans lacking enough support to pass it on their own and many Democrats pushing an alternative plan.

House Speaker Tom Leonard says he needs 10 to 15 of the chamber's 45 Democrats to help move the bill to the Senate. That means 19 to 24 of the 63 House Republicans are opposed.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A plan to forgive hundreds of millions in unpaid driver responsibility fees is in the works in Lansing. A bipartisan group of lawmakers rolled out the proposal Thursday.

State House Speaker Tom Leonard says there are hundreds of thousands people in Michigan whose licenses have been suspended because they owe big surcharges tacked onto traffic fines.

The fees were adopted by the Legislature during the recessions of the 1990s to help balance the budget.

Leonard says that’s not fair, and it hits low-income people the hardest.

New no-fault proposal expected this week

Sep 25, 2017

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (MPRN)--   A new plan by state lawmakers to bring down Michigan’s expensive auto insurance rates is in the works. 

A rollout of the plan is expected as soon as Tuesday.

State House Speaker Tom Leonard dropped some hints as to what might be in the proposal this past weekend. He was a on a panel at a Republican Party conference on Mackinac Island.

He said giving consumers the option to choose how much coverage they can afford, and limiting what hospitals can charge for treating accident victims are both important.

Duggan and Leonard huddle on no-fault insurance

Sep 20, 2017

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   An unlikely alliance has formed to overhaul Michigan’s auto no-fault system. Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) and Detroit’s mayor Mike Duggan met Tuesday. They say the goal is to bring rate relief to all Michigan drivers. 

There’s no word yet on what the plan says about people with catastrophic injuries from car crashes. Right now Michigan is the only state in the US that provides unlimited medical benefits for people in those accidents.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan House has adjourned for three weeks without voting to OK tax incentives for companies that add jobs in the state at a time the hunt is on for Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics contractor that's considering building a U.S. factory.

House Speaker Tom Leonard said Tuesday he's concerned that Gov. Rick Snyder cut a deal with Democrats that would "undermine Republican caucus priorities." He declined to elaborate and said he's waiting for Snyder to return from a European trade trip to address House Republicans' concerns.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A Republican legislative leader is defending a quick vote to gradually eliminate Michigan's income tax after Governor Rick Snyder criticized the move.

Speaker Tom Leonard said Thursday the measure isn't a "difficult bill to understand" and it's well known cutting taxes is a priority for the House GOP.

When a committee advanced the tax cut Wednesday, the Republican governor who has concerns about the budget implications of a cut issued a rare rebuke of lawmakers by questioning the vote after one 90-minute hearing.