In This Edition:
- Coffee Hour Reminder
- Legislative Update
- Budget Supplemental
- Free snowmobile weekend
- Substitute teacher changes
COFFEE HOUR REMINDER
As a reminder, I hold LIVE Coffee Hours on my social media channels at 10 a.m. every Friday during weeks that the Legislature is in session. With the Legislature not convening the next two weeks, there will be no coffee hours on April 1st or April 8th. Our next live coffee hour will be on April 15th at 10 a.m.
You can learn more and tune in to watch here. To watch any of our previous coffee hours, you can find a playlist here.
Last week, the Michigan Legislature passed a $4.8 billion supplemental funding bill, which included state and federal dollars. Some highlights within this spending bill are:
- $1 billion federal dollars for lead line replacement: $250 million for replacement of lead service lines from the curb to the house and $750 million from water providers to the curb.
- $100 million federal dollars for PFAS remediation grants: Provides grants for project orphan sites, $5 million to Michigan State University to establish a PFAS testing facility, and $15 million to eligible communities to help with remediation at former industrial sites.
- $100 million in federal dollars for stormwater, asset management and wastewater grants.
- $250 million to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to deposit into the Unemployment Compensation Fund to offset, as proponents state, some of the fraud and improper payments made during the pandemic.
In addition to these funds, Rep. Padma Kuppa and I were able to work with both appropriation chairs and the executive office to secure a $4 million investment for sound walls along Interstate 75 in Troy.
Both supplemental bills have been passed by each chamber and have been presented to the Governor for her signature.
Free Snowmobile Weekend
House Bill 4206 introduced by Rep. Steve Johnson passed the Senate last week. This bill would amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to require the DNR to offer one free snowmobile weekend each snowmobile season.
This bill passed the Senate and has been sent to the Governor for her signature.
Substitute Teacher Changes
Senate Bill 726 would make it easier to employ retired teachers as substitute teachers due to critical teacher shortages. The bill reduces the amount of time a retiree would have to be retired from teaching — from 12 to four months — before being reemployed as a substitute teacher without having their benefits reduced.
The bill also eliminates the requirement for schools to make the unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) payment if they employ a retiree as a sub. It removes the one third earnings cap for teachers who return to substitute. These changes in the law sunset after two years, in 2024. The bill also includes some reporting requirements for the Michigan Office of Retirment Services to consider the impact of these changes in their five year experience report.
Senate Bill 726 passed the Senate and has been referred to the House Committee on Education.
As always, our office can be contacted at SenMMcMorrow@senate.michigan.gov or through our contact form on our website here.