This week in Lansing: Legislative Spring Break and What to Watch Next
The Michigan Legislature is on spring break until Tuesday, April 13th, so Michigan LCV’s Government Affairs team will also be resting and recharging for the action that will come after the Legislature reconvenes. We will look forward to catching you up on everything that happens the first week of the spring session on Friday, April 16th!
In the meantime, here’s a refresher on what we’re watching in Lansing:
- HB 4236, Representative Markkanen’s bill to eliminate the distributed generation cap, will likely see a committee vote after the legislature returns. Michigan LCV supports this bill as a way to create more jobs in the clean energy industry, increase energy security and reliability, decrease air pollution, and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- HB 4454-4461, a package to rewrite Michigan’s solid waste laws, was recently voted out of committee and is now on the house floor. Michigan LCV supports this package because it will increase recycling access across the state, reduce the need for landfills, and create economic opportunities for the recycling industry
- HB 4444, a bill to change Michigan’s bottle deposit law, also passed out of committee last week and awaits a vote on the floor. Michigan LCV opposes this legislation because it could take money from the contaminated site cleanup fund and redirect it towards tax breaks for bottle distributors and retailers.
- SB 273-313 is a massive package of election bills that, taken together, will make it more difficult for Michiganders to vote, decrease access to absentee ballots, and serve to depress voter turnout. The bills were introduced by Republican Senators late last week. Michigan LCV expects that many of the bills will eventually receive hearings in the Senate Elections Committee, but likely in thematic bunches.
- SB 271, HB 4313, and SB 342-348 are all bills seeking to expand access to clean, safe drinking water in Michigan, regardless of ability to pay. SB 271, introduced by Senator Chang, would extend the moratorium on water shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. HB 4313, introduced by Rep. Aiyash, would permanently place a moratorium on affordability-related shut-offs, and SB 342-348 is a bill package declaring and securing Michiganders’ basic human right to water.
In other news this week:
The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution urging their state lawmakers to pass HB 4236, a bill to eliminate the cap on distributed energy, on March 17th. Way to go Wash. Co.! You can read the full text of their resolution here.
Did you catch President Biden’s speech in Pittsburgh this week announcing his Build Back Better initiative, which centers our climate, justice, and jobs? Michigan LCV is looking for elected officials at all levels of government to sign on to a letter showing support for this historic investment in America. Contact [email protected] if you would like to add your name!
Check your Legislator’s Work with the Digital Accountability Suite:
We’re keeping our eye on what goes on in Lansing so we can keep you informed. Track your lawmaker’s progress on environmental legislation by using our accountability suite. Learn who values and acts to protect our land, air and water in our state government; hold elected officials accountable for their actions; and track decisions and legislation that impacts our natural resources and communities.