legislation

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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.

Supporters say the legislation would help ensure treatment for more patients in underserved populations, including in rural areas.

Michigan won’t limit how much money corporations and unions can spend to influence elections in the state – under legislation that’s cleared the state senate.

In 2010 the US Supreme Court said corporations and unions could spend as much money as they wanted on political campaigns. Seven years later, Michigan lawmakers are putting that standard into state law.

Arlan Meekhof is the Senate Majority Leader. He voted in favor of the bills, “Because everybody should have free speech and the Supreme Court has said that free speech equals money in what you give.”

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says Michigan is facing such a shortage of skilled tradespeople that Congress should provide federal matching funds to help community colleges and businesses provide training to more students. 

A recent medical study lead by a Michigan State University doctor found that skull fractures and other head and facial injuries from motorcycle trauma have doubled since that state of Michigan relaxed its motorcycle helmet laws. The study was led by Michigan State University College of Human Services and Spectrum Health Dr. Nicholas S. Adams.  

Michigan Senate to vote on letting vehicles run unattended

Jun 13, 2017

Legislation up for a vote in the Michigan Senate would let residents legally leave a vehicle running unattended on private property. The bill , which won House approval last month, was proposed after a Detroit-area man was ticketed $128 for leaving a car running in his driveway as the vehicle warmed up. A state rule requires people to stop the engine and remove the ignition key before letting a vehicle stand unattended. 

The legislation would keep the prohibition in place only for vehicles parked on public streets, but not if they are equipped with a remote-start feature.

Certain employees retired from government work would get a tax break under legislation up for likely approval in the Michigan Senate. The bill scheduled for a vote Wednesday would aid retirees born after 1945 who receive retirement or pension benefits from employment with a government agency that was not covered by Social Security. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Ken Horn of Frankenmuth, says his measure would help police officers. 

A panel is recommending that Michigan restore the pay of statewide elected officials to levels that were in place before a 10 percent cut was imposed in 2010. The State Officers Compensation Commission said Friday that the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and secretary of state should receive 10 percent pay hikes. It also said Supreme Court justices should receive their first raise since 2002. 

The Peninsula

Bills that would give tax incentives to developers for cleaning up brownfield sites are going to the Michigan governor's desk.

The Senate voted 32-6 Tuesday to approve House changes. One change calls for 35 percent of redevelopment projects to be located in cities with under 100,000 people.

The legislation would let developers keep $40 million of taxes generated annually from jobs and residents at the sites and $200 million in construction taxes over the program's life.

The money would help cover the cost of cleaning up brownfield sites.

The Peninsula

A package of Michigan bills that would ease the financial burden of cleaning up brownfield sites goes to the governor's desk.

Republican Sen. Ken Horn introduced the legislation that would let developers keep a portion of taxes after they redevelop a brownfield site.

The taxes would be collected from businesses and residents moving into the site.

The bills passed the House Thursday after a lukewarm response from some lawmakers, who called it crony capitalism.

The main bill passed 85-22.

Bill protects privacy of parents who surrender newborn

Apr 25, 2017

Legislation up for a vote in Michigan would protect the confidentiality of parents who give up their newborn by leaving the child at a hospital or with emergency responders. The Safe Delivery of Newborns Law, enacted in 2000, allows parents to surrender a newborn who is no more than 72 hours old. 

The bill scheduled for House approval Tuesday would keep intact birth certificate requirements if a birth occurs in an institution. But if a newborn is surrendered under the baby drop-off law, parents would be listed as "unknown" and the child as "Baby Doe."

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