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Legislators would have the opportunity to vote on a prevailing wage repeal under a citizens' initiative proposal that was filed with the Secretary of State's office today.
The organization Protecting Michigan Taxpayers -- which assisted in the effort to vote "yes" on 2012's Proposal 1 and "no" on the other five ballot proposals that year -- is being jumpstarted back to life with the support of the Michigan Freedom Fund and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan (ABC).
The citizens' initiative process allows the group to collect roughly 252,523 signatures from registered voters after their language is approved by the Board of State Canvassers, which could theoretically happen as soon as Tuesday's meeting.
For the full article, see "Citizens Initiative To Repeal Prevailing Wage Filed With SOS", Inside MIRS Today, May 21, 2015.
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Much of the 2016 state budget agreement between Gov. Rick Snyder and state lawmakers was shrouded in unusual secrecy Thursday, but state universities were disappointed with the share they’ll get.
An industry spokesman said the 1.5 percent boost in state funding proposed for public universities — one of just two budget agreement details officials have made public — is below expectations. He said it could mean some schools can’t live with a disappointingly low 2.8 percent limit on tuition increases Snyder and lawmakers also propose.
“We were expecting more on both ends,” said Mike Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan. “We expected the (state revenue) increase to be north of 2 percent.”
Snyder’s original proposal in February called for a 2 percent increase in the $1.5 billion higher education budget. It would have spread an added $28 million among universities next fall.
Now they’re looking at a smaller increase coupled with a stringent limit on tuition increases. Boulus speculated some university governing boards may boost tuition more than 2.8 percent.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see one or two universities look at the numbers and say a 1.5 percent increase equals ‘X’; I can do a lot better by foregoing those appropriations dollars and increasing tuition more, as Wayne State (University) already has done once,” he said.
For the full article, see Gary Heinlein, "Snyder, lawmakers shroud budget pact in unusual secrecy", Detroit News, May 21, 2015.
Gov. Rick Snyder signs bills improving access to in-home stair lifts for Michigan residents
Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation that will give seniors, disabled veterans and mobility-impaired individuals greater access to in-home stair lifts.
“Expanding the pool of contractors who install residential stair lifts eases the burden on Michigan residents, especially those on a fixed income,” Snyder said. “Outdated regulatory restrictions imposed unnecessary costs and delays for Michiganders needing mobility assistance, and now they will no longer face those obstacles.”
House Bills 4162 and 4163, sponsored by state Reps. Aric Nesbitt and Al Pscholka, respectively, exempt residential stairway lifts from regulations written for commercial elevators and lifts and allow individuals who are not licensed elevator contractors to install lifts as long as they are certified by the manufacturer.
The bills expand the pool of qualified installers and lower the cost of installation. They are now Public Acts 34 and 35 of 2015.
Source : "Gov. Rick Snyder signs bills improving access to in-home stair lifts for Michigan residents", Michigan Newswire, May 21, 2015.
There are lot of Plan B’s for generating at least $1 billion more annually to repair Michigan roads.
But another sales tax increase ballot question won’t be one of them in the wake of votes’ resounding defeat of Proposal 1 on May 5, an influential GOP lawmaker said Thursday.
“Everything is on the table, except for something going back to the ballot,” said Rep. Jeff Farrington, chairman of a special House committee charged with finding a post-Proposal 1 alternative plan.
“Nothing will go back to the ballot. Because I think people really spoke, that was one clear message we got. They don’t want that.”
“That is the only thing I’m taking off the table,” said Farrington, R-Utica.
For the full article, see Chad Livengood, "Key lawmaker rules out another sales tax hike for roads", Detroit News, May 21, 2015.
For the last four years, Michigan courts have been using ignition interlocks to prevent convicted drunk drivers from becoming repeat offenders, with some positive results.
A four-year study of ignition interlocks and DWI/Sobriety Courts in the state found that people ordered to install the devices in their vehicles are less likely to drive drunk after completing probation and have higher treatment completion rates than those without the devices.
Ignition interlocks prevent a car from starting unless the driver blows into a breathalyzer and their blood alcohol concentration is below a set level. The devices require additional breath tests during the drive and also take the driver’s picture and the car with GPS.
For the full article, see Matt Mencarini, "Study: Devices lower repeat drunk driving rate", Lansing State Journal, May 21, 2015.
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