Michigan Legislature

Prevailing wage repeal to move forward

May 31, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court won’t review issues against a ballot initiative to end prevailing wage, so the measure must move forward.

Lawmakers could vote on the measure as soon as next week.

Prevailing wage requires union-level wages be paid on state funded construction projects.

The Board of State Canvassers originally deadlocked on whether to approve the petition. There was a question about whether some signatures were valid. Now the board will meet on Friday to reconsider. Once it’s certified, the measure goes to the Legislature.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A group opposed to legalizing marijuana in Michigan is now asking the Legislature to adopt an initiative to do just that, saying it’s pretty much a sure thing at this point. 

Opponents actually want lawmakers to approve the measure because if they do, changes can be made to the law with simple majorities. But if voters adopt it, amendments will require super-majorities.

Mark Fisk with the opposition campaign says changes are needed.              

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan is looking to shore up its law that requires certain people to report suspected child sexual abuse to authorities to address gaps that were exposed after disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar admitted to sexually assaulting female athletes. 

Nassar's accusers are spearheading the initiative. They say he could have been stopped decades ago if coaches, athletic trainers or others at Michigan State University had listened.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Roads, flood damage repairs, and an investigation could get money sent their way soon. 

The Michigan Legislature sent a spending bill to the governor’s desk Thursday. Every lawmaker in the House and Senate voted in favor of the bill.

The big ticket item is roads – $175 million spread out to cities and villages, county road commissions, and state road preservation and projects.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard says the money is greatly needed.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Legislature is mandating more frequent sexual harassment training amid the national reckoning with sexual misconduct. 

Until now, lawmakers were required to receive anti-harassment training after they were first elected to the House or Senate. Starting next week in the Senate and in February in the House, all legislators and staff will be required to attend training once a year.

The Legislature so far has not seen lawmakers publicly accused by name of sexual misconduct like in other statehouses across the country.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Doctors will be required to check a prescription database before prescribing painkillers and other powerful drugs under legislation that has won final approval in Michigan's Legislature. 

The bill was passed Wednesday. Other bills winning passage would limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed and require a "bona fide" physician-patient relationship to dispense drugs.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Legislature has unanimously voted to cut high financial penalties for collecting excessive unemployment benefits while easing the ability for employers and claimants to report cases of identity theft.

The legislation was approved Wednesday and will soon reach Gov. Rick Snyder. The bills are a response to thousands of people being wrongly accused of fraudulently receiving benefits.

In many cases between 2013 and 2015, claimants did not commit fraud and were hit with interest along with penalties above the overpayment.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan legislators are proposing new laws designed to better protect victims of domestic violence and stalking. 

Bills introduced this past week would create an address confidentiality program, which supporters say exists in 37 states. Those subject to personal protection orders would have to relinquish their guns. Other measures are aimed at addressing housing- or job-related factors that keep victims with their abusers.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A bill advancing in Michigan's Legislature would eliminate or lengthen the statute of limitations for filing charges in sexual assault cases. 

The legislation approved unanimously by the Senate Tuesday would allow a prosecution at any time for second-degree sexual conduct if the victim was younger than 16. In cases of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, the statute of limitations would rise to 20 years after the offense or the victim's 31st birthday, whichever is later.

That's 10 years longer than now.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan would authorize and license midlevel "dental therapists" to do work now performed by dentists under a bill advancing in the Legislature. 

The legislation won Senate approval 21-15 Wednesday. The House will consider it next.

Under the bill, dental therapists could practice if they reach an agreement with a supervising dentist.

They could perform more common procedures than dental hygienists, such as filling cavities.