Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A bill that takes the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) out of the business of making land use decisions based on biodiversity has passed both chambers of the Michigan Legislature.
SB 0078 stems from a program the DNR had considered that included Biodiversity Stewardship Areas. Sponsor Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, said that the program would have restricted even private land use.
"They included almost 200,000 acres of privately owned land. So they were going to make a private citizen manage their land the same way under this biodiversity stewardship idea. We said that was way over the top and that was getting into the private sector. It's their own land," Casperson said.
The bill aims to prevent the DNR from reinstating that program by banning it from making or enforcing a rule that classifies an area of land specifically to achieve or maintain biological diversity.
For the full article, see Emily Lawler, "Is Michigan's biodiversity in jeopardy? Environmental group critical of bill soon to be on Gov. Rick Snyder's desk", MLive, December 18, 2014.
A bill that aims to give people cheaper health care options under so-called 'Obamacare' made it through both Michigan legislative chambers and is on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder.
Sponsored by Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, what SB 1033 technically does is specify that medical retainer agreements -- where a patient contracts directly with a doctor for primary care -- wouldn't be regulated as insurance products.
The idea is allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act. Theoretically a person could have a separate catastrophic health insurance plan for things like emergency room visits and a medical retainer agreement for primary care.
For the full article, see Emily Lawler, "Bill for cheaper health care under 'Obamacare' headed to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder", MLive, December 18, 2014.
The Michigan Senate tonight unanimously approved a bill that would give local governments more oversight of troubled mobile home parks within their borders.
The bill passed 38-0 without discussion during lame-duck legislative session. It now returns to the state House for concurrence on the Senate version before it heads to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.
State Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, introduced the bill after the February condemnation of Life O'Riley Mobile Home Park & Campground in Lansing. The Ingham County Health Department shut down the park due to unsanitary conditions, forcing the evacuation of more than 200 people in 10 days.
For the full article, see Lindsay VanHulle, "Michigan Senate OKs mobile home park oversight bill", Lansing State Journal, December 18, 2014.
A group that advocates for clearer disclosure of retirement liabilities for local governments says 10 Michigan cities are in poor financial condition with unfunded pension and other liabilities that they can't afford and aren't fully showing on today's balance sheets.
The nonprofit group Truth In Accounting claimed in a news release that the "hidden debt" of those cities range from $7 billion for the city of Detroit to $14 million for Kalamazoo.
Other cities on the list with what TIA calls their true debts are: Lansing, $612 million; Flint, $539 million; Saginaw, $318 million; Grand Rapids, $278 million; Midland, $114 million; Battle Creek, $110 million; Jackson, $101 million; and Holland, $43 million.
For more information, see Truth in Accounting Michigan Reports for 10 Michigan Cities
For the full article, see Ron Fonger, "Non-profit study: Michigan cities hiding debts, in poor financial condition", MLive, December 18, 2014.
Michigan falls short in its readiness to respond to outbreaks of infectious disease, such as Ebola, enterovirus or antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to a new report.
The Ebola outbreak exposes serious gaps in the country's ability to fight severe infectious disease threats, the report finds. And in a state-by-state analysis, Michigan ranks in the bottom half.
The report, "Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases," was released Thursday, Dec. 18, by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
It evaluated states and Washington, D.C., on 10 key indicators relating to preventing, detecting, diagnosing and responding to outbreaks. Michigan met five of the 10 indicators.
For the full article, see Sue Thoms, "Infectious disease threats: Michigan falls short in readiness to respond, report says", MLive, December 18, 2014.
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