On their last session day of the year before the holidays, the House and Senate sent a 10-bill package of Internet and sports betting legislation to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to sign them into law. The House and Senate also passed and sent to the Governor a deal between Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Whitmer for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. In addition to the $573.5 million in restored spending in two supplemental bills (SBs 152 and 154) Gov. Whitmer agreed to give the Legislature a 30-day heads up if the state Administrative Board attempts to move money around with departments (HB 5176). This notice gives the Legislature the ability to act pre-emptively. The Secretary of State is replacing 93 old kiosks with new user-friendly self-service stations and adding 57 more for a total of 150. New stations will be located in grocery stores, including Kroger and Meijer, where many customers already do business. Customers will pay a technology fee of $3.95 for every vehicle renewed at a self-service station. Gov. Whitmer is urging the Legislature to pass legislation to pause the implementation of Michigan Medicaid work requirements until the federal courts determine if they are legal. But Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told the press, “Nope, not necessary.” Cameras could be added to school bus stop-arms through HB 5041, which would allow for school buses to photograph or video the license plate numbers of cars that pass illegally while students are loading or unloading. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist has signed into law SB 174, requiring producers to make sure all Michigan egg-laying hens are in cage-free systems. The law takes effect in December 2024.

For more information on these and other legislative issues, please click here for the December 2019 Karoub Report.