A message from your NFIB Michigan State Director on issues in the fall legislative session.
September 19, 2019
A Message from your NFIB State Director in Michigan
The Michigan House and Senate returned from summer recess after the Labor Day weekend and went back into session on Wednesday, September 4.
After much political posturing, the Governor and Republican legislative leaders reached an agreement to complete the 2019-20 fiscal year budget separate from a road funding plan. Only days later, that agreement fell apart with the governor walking out of the negotiations. The legislature is moving forward with completing a budget that includes road funding increases without new taxes, while the governor has threatened to veto the budget. This new development increases the possibility of a state government shutdown if a budget isn’t finalized by October 1.
Lawmakers need to keep hearing that a 45 cent a gallon gas tax is unacceptable! If you haven’t already done so, please go to our Take Action website and send a message to your lawmakers. Be aware that you will receive a response email that you have to answer for the message to be sent – it will often be caught by your spam filter, so if you don’t receive it right away it is likely to be found there.
Here are some things NFIB will be working on and watching during the remainder of the year’s session:
”Good Jobs for Michigan” Renewal
In 2017, despite NFIB opposition, the “Good Jobs for Michigan” proposal was passed by the legislature and signed by then-Governor Snyder. The law creates a tax incentive program meant to attract large businesses to the state or reward an existing business for expanding and creating additional jobs. The program currently has a cap of $200 million in incentives and the legislation passed with a “sunset” provision which means that the law will expire at the end of this year if no action is taken to extend it. Legislation has been introduced to do so. Although NFIB opposed the legislation in 2017, that position was based on a member survey from 2009. A new survey-ballot has been sent to members to update our position. If you did not receive the survey, please contact Amanda Fisher in our office.
How about a “Department of Small Business”?
Another piece of legislation introduced would create a cabinet level position of “Small Business Director” to be appointed by the governor and a “Small Business Growth Board” with members appointed by the governor and legislative leaders. Bills have already been introduced with a Democrat sponsor for the Director appointment and a Republican sponsor for the Board. A member survey has been sent out to the members to determine the NFIB position. If you did not receive the survey, please contact Amanda Fisher in our office.
Paid Sick Leave – Minimum Wage Update
On July 17, the Michigan Supreme Court heard testimony on last year’s action by the legislature to adopt and then amend the Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage ballot initiatives. The Court held the hearing to determine if they should rule on the constitutionality of the NFIB supported legislative changes made during the end of last year’s legislative session. As of now they have made no decision. Until they do, the NFIB supported changes remain in place.
Elections Have Consequences…
During the last recession, Michigan’s Unemployment Benefit Trust Fund was bankrupt from claims. One of the changes supported by NFIB was to reduce state weekly benefit payments from 26 to 20 weeks. Now House Democrats have introduced legislation to restore the benefit payments to 26 weeks and raise the maximum weekly benefit to $542 from $362. In this job market, there is no excuse for requiring employers to pay an extra 6 weeks of higher benefits to anyone looking for a job.
We will let you know immediately of the outcome of our efforts on your behalf. Thank you for your support and we hope it has been a great summer for you and your family!