Michigan Senate

wikimedia commons

Future of medical marijuana bills uncertain after clearing state Senate panel

Two bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan are one step closer to becoming law. A state Senate panel approved the legislation Wednesday.

But it is not clear what will happen to the bills now that they are going to the full Senate.

“Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.Com

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries could soon become legal, after GOP change of heart

The state Legislature returns this week for its only scheduled session day in July. A state Senate panel is likely to vote on bills that would relax restrictions on medical marijuana.

Raise Michigan
Raise Michigan

Legislature approves $9.25 Michigan minimum wage

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to quickly sign a bill increases the Michigan minimum raise as a petition campaign is about to file signatures to force the wage floor even higher.

That will cap days and weeks of feverish negotiations between Republicans and Democrats and business and labor groups that produced the compromise measure that cleared the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.

wikimedia commons

Senate Democrats do not support plan to fix roads

It looks like efforts to boost state road funding by about $1.4 billion dollars may have stalled in the state Senate. That's after Senate Democrats came out against the plan because it would significantly increase the state's gas tax.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, says increasing the amount people pay at the pump would disproportionately hurt the poor.

Andrew Cluley

State Senate could triple road funding increase passed by House

The Michigan Senate could vote this week on bills that would increase state funding for roads by $1.3-1.4 billion a year. That's almost triple the amount recently approved by the state House.

Under the Senate plan, people would gradually pay more taxes at the pump over the next few years.

The proposal was brought to light the same day the Michigan Chamber of Commerce unveiled a poll suggesting most Michiganders are ready to pay more for better roads.

wikimedia commons

State Senate votes to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $9.20 an hour

A bill to raise Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour by 2017 has cleared the state Senate.

The bill is really an attempt by Republicans in Lansing to kill a petition drive that would raise the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour - including for tipped workers.

theguardian.com

State Senate votes to delay statewide teacher evaluations… again

It looks like lawmakers could once again delay the implementation of a new statewide teacher evaluation system. The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to push back the deadline until the 2015-2016 school year.

State law requires the new evaluation system to be in place during the current school year. State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, says that clearly isn't going to happen.

senatorrandyrichardville.com

State Senate leader plans to up the ante on road funding in coming weeks

Until recently, it seemed like boosting the state's gas tax, vehicle registration fees, or other new sources of revenue to help fix Michigan's crumbling roads was off the table this year.

But now, state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, says he hopes to introduce such a plan in the coming weeks.

"It's just a matter of time," Richardville told reporters Tuesday.

Wikipedia

The state Senate returns this week after three weeks away from Lansing. 

http://www.senatorjohnmoolenaar.com/

Michigan lawmakers are working to draw more medical providers to low-resource areas by raising caps for a loan repayment program for health professionals in those areas.  

Metro Cannibis

    

The debate over reviving medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan starts up again in Lansing this week.  A state Senate panel will hear public testimony on House Bill 4271, which would let communities decide whether to allow dispensaries and how to regulate them. It is also expected to take up House Bill 5104, which would allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of cannabis.

The bills come in response to recent Michigan Supreme Court rulings that shut down marijuana distribution through dispensaries in the state and effectively outlawed any forms of medical cannabis other than smokable forms. 

Supporters of the legislation say reviving and regulating dispensaries will ensure patients have safe and consistent access to treatment. And they say patients who are children or who suffer from respiratory illnesses should not have to smoke marijuana.

e-cig
TheNorlo/Wikimedia Commons

State Senate votes to ban e-cigarette sales to minors

It could soon be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to children in Michigan. The state Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday meant to keep the smokeless devices out of the hands of minors. 

So-called "e-cigarettes" deliver a nicotine-laced vapor, but don't contain tobacco. That means the state cannot currently regulate them along with regular cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Wikipedia Media Commons

Legislation to repeal and replace a tax on business equipment has cleared the state Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bills seek to make sure local governments are not hit hard by a repeal of Michigan's Personal Property Tax (PPT). 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are looking to remove the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from state law.  The legislation in Lansing incorporates some recent recommendations from a mental health commission appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. 

Lansing Seeks Long-Term Medicaid Funding Fix

Feb 21, 2014

State lawmakers look to patch Medicaid shortfall, say long-term solution criticalBy Jake Neher Michigan's Medicaid program faces a budget shortfall this year of more than $100 million dollars. That's because a new tax on health insurance claims is not producing as much revenue as state officials expected. This week, the state Senate passed a mid-year budget bill that would patch that hole in the Medicaid budget.

The state Senate has approved a plan to fix and maintain roads being ripped apart by brutal winter weather. The Senate passed a mid-year budget bill Thursday that includes $100 million of emergency money for roads.


Michigan Senate

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Senate has voted to spend more for winter road maintenance and to adjust the budget to account for a delay in the expansion of Medicaid. The legislation includes $100 million to fix potholes and help governments with higher-than-usual salting and snow plowing bills. Expanding Medicaid to more low-income adults was supposed to occur in January before senators delayed  it until April.  

Lawmakers Consider Emergency Road Funding

Feb 18, 2014

Emergency road funding could be coming after nasty winterBy Jake Neher  A monster pothole season is upon us - and state lawmakers say they want to help.  A state Senate panel on Tuesday added $100 million for road repairs and maintenance to a mid-year budget bill to help communities fix potholes and plow roads. Lawmakers say local governments need the help to offset the costs of constant snow removal and efforts to fix potholes caused by the nasty winter weather. "That warming and freezing will add to the problems that our counties, our villages, and townships, and state ha

Landlords could ban tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana under billBy Jake Neher  Some Michigan medical marijuana patients and caregivers could soon be banned from smoking or growing cannabis where they live.  A state Senate panel approved a bill on Tuesday that would let landlords decide whether to allow tenants to grow or smoke medical marijuana. "We've had a lot of apartment owners that have people smoking marijuana or growing marijuana, doing damage to the apartments, creating danger for other residents," said state Sen.

Income tax reduction clears committee, goes to full state Senate
By Jake Neher

Plans to reduce Michigan's income tax rate are moving forward in the state Legislature. A state Senate panel approved a bill Wednesday that would phase in the tax cut over three years.

The income tax rate would go from 4.25% to 3.9% by 2017.

"This is a tax on work," said Scott Hagerstrom with the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity of Michigan. "You want more of something? Tax it less. We want more work and more productivity."

The Michigan Senate has restored funding to implement the Common Core educational standards. WEMU's Bob Eccles has reaction from one local school district.