When tobacco companies settled claims with dozens of states in the late 1990s over the use of deceptive marketing tactics, trial lawyers took home billions of dollars in what remains a contentious example of lawyers’ fees for representing the government.
State lawmakers are pushing once again to expand civil rights protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as key legal cases on the issue sit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Republican-led state Legislature has rejected an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that would have abolished a pair of controversial environmental review boards.
Reforming Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system remains a high priority in Lansing after a proposal during the 2018 lame-duck legislative failed to gain the support needed to pass. State House leaders this month, soon after convening the new legislative session, formed a special committee to look at no-fault reform, and the first bill introduced in the Senate offers a basic outline for reforms.
Business and environmental groups were equally surprised at one of Rick Snyder’s final acts as Michigan governor: Signing a bill making it more difficult for state agencies to adopt rules stricter than federal regulations. But while environmental groups say the move jeopardizes natural resources and public health, business advocates downplay the concerns.
It’s been two years since the Legislature passed sweeping energy reform bills, yet the laws remain front and center for those working behind the scenes on energy policy.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, with more than 6,000 members that collectively employ 1 million people, stands as one of the more influential advocacy organizations in Lansing. As Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer prepares to take office in January with a legislature remaining in control of the Republicans, Michigan Chamber CEO Rich Studley says it’s unfair to pre-judge her as a friend or foe of business. Although the new governor and her party historically have been on the other side of business issues from the Michigan Chamber, Studley believes “she has the potential to keep our state moving forward with a different view than the current administration.”
Business and clean energy advocates are aligned in support of state legislation that clarifies the tax-exempt status of small-scale renewable energy systems.
Backers of a law mandating paid sick leave in Michigan say they’ll launch a new petition drive to put the issue on the 2020 ballot if lawmakers weaken it during the lame-duck legislative session in Lansing.
Bills to scale back new state laws mandating paid sick leave and increasing the minimum wage are top of mind for local and statewide business groups in this year’s legislative lame duck session.