An Update on some of the Legislative Actions taken in the first half of 2013 by the Michigan House and Senate.
- Medicaid Reform: A vote was not taken in the Senate so now the discussion will continue this summer with the Michigan Senate setting up a working group and holding some hearings.
- Balanced Budget: For the Third time in as many years the budget was balanced by early June. The years $49.5 billion budget included a 3 percent increase for K-12 schools and another 2 percent for universities and community colleges.
- Blue Cross Transition: The transition allows for Blue Cross Blue Shield to transition into a nonprofit mutual insurer. This will allow the Blues to prepare itself for implementation of the federal health care law and level the playing field with all insurance providers who will be required to offer individual plans for pre-existing conditions and “insurer of last resort” The Blues will now pay taxes and contribute close to 1.56 billion dollars into a charitable mission non-profit.
- Emergency Dredging: Lawmakers moved quickly and provided $21 million for emergency dredging projects. These projects will take place at 58 public harbors and marinas across the state. The also provided a funding source for low interest loans for private marinas to also get funding for dredging projects
- Fire Works Law Change: An update to the state’s fireworks law that will give local governments an opportunity to create some new rules on number of days fireworks are allowed and gives them the power to ban overnight blasts.