UPDATES FROM THE LEGISLATURE
Gaming Bill Package
This past week in the legislature, both the House and Senate voted on a legislative bill package that makes revisions to internet gaming and sports betting. The 11-bill package creates regulatory framework around things like sports betting and online fantasy gaming, along with updating criminal penalties, and establishes the distribution of any new revenue to the state. This bill package is the result of years of bipartisan work and includes criminal justice reform efforts to expand opportunities for returning citizens. The Michigan Department of Treasury estimates that gaming in the state will generate an additional $29.9 Million annually for our schools.
MDOC Parole Supervision Fees
HB 4031 & 4032
House Bills 4031 and 4032 reduces fees for probation and parole supervision. Currently, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) can collect a supervision fee of up to $135 per month. With the current fee, according to the MDOC, the compliance rate for supervision fees is less than 6%. HB 4031 would lower the fee to $30/month for an individual placed on supervision without an electronic monitor device and HB 4032 would lower the fee to $60/month for an individual placed on supervision with an electronic monitor device. Currently, the fee has been shown to be higher than many individuals can afford, therefore there is a high rate of non-compliance. The hope is that by reducing fees , compliance rates will increase and therefore barriers that many face when re-entering society after incarceration will be removed, increasing the total revenue the state is able to collect.
HB 4102 – 4107
This legislative bill package adds the definition of “cryptocurrency” into various sections of the Michigan Penal Code defining financial crimes. Various forms of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are not issued or regulated by the U.S. government, and create concerning loopholes for potential criminals.
These bills were created as a reaction to a recent case regarding dogfighting, in which the ringleader was prosecuted, but because participants placed bets using cryptocurrency instead of U.S. dollars, the prosecutor did not feel like he had the authority in statue to hold them accountable. By adding “cryptocurrency” into our existing laws prohibiting financial crimes, we can ensure that prosecutors are able to bring charges in cases that involve Bitcoin or other forms of digital currency.
Troy Athens Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team visits the Capitol
Last Wednesday, State Representative Padma Kuppa and I had the honor of recognizing the Division 1 Soccer State Champions from Troy Athens High School. Earlier this fall, the Red Hawks boys’ varsity soccer team won their first state championship title since 1997 in a 4-1 victory over Traverse City West. Thank you to the team, coaches, and Troy Athens Administration for making the trip to Lansing possible and allowing us to celebrate this remarkable win! This group of dedicated young athletes have generated great pride throughout our community and across the state of Michigan.
IN THE DISTRICT
I celebrated the holidays with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association at their annual meeting and holiday party at Meadowbrook Hall, where we discussed SB 613 – a bill that would require all businesses, both physical and digital, to clearly disclose their tipping policy, known as the ‘Door Dash’ bill. We introduced this bill in reaction to an expose that revealed companies like Door Dash were using digital tips to subsidize workers’ base pay, misleading customers thinking that 100% of their tips through the app would go to workers.
On Monday night, I joined Representative Michael Webber to present a tribute to Dr. Shaner, Superintendent of Rochester Community Schools. Dr. Shaner was awarded Michigan’s Superintendent of the Year as a result of his passion, dedication, and district-wide efforts to address mental health.
Meet Up with Mallory
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