News Story

I'm Just a Bill

Allow Spartan Stores (but not competitors) to hold wine tastings
Introduced by state Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Gaines Township

The bill would allow the Spartan Stores grocery chain (but not other grocery chains, such as Meijer, Kroger, etc.) to hold wine tastings in its stores.

Restrict Attorney General from joining certain lawsuits (like federalized health care)
Introduced by state Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing

The bill would prohibit the state Attorney General from initiating or intervening in any federal court or tribunal, or one in another state or country, unless this is requested by the governor. The bill was introduced after the current Attorney General joined in several lawsuits against the implementation of federal health care law signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

Impose regulations on amateur mixed martial arts competitors
Introduced by state Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville

The bill would extend to amateur mixed martial competitions the same regulations, licensure mandates and fees as professional events. The bill establishes a new comprehensive regulatory regime.

Strengthen "protectionist" auto dealer contract regulations
Introduced by state Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac

(Note: This bill has become law — Public Act 138 of 210)
The law imposes additional restrictions on auto manufacturers seeking to downsize their dealer networks, including a 50 percent increase in the size of protected dealer "territories." Other provisions in this and Senate Bill 1309 would prohibit manufacturers from having dealer contracts that have a disparate impact on low-volume dealers. In general, the bills would strengthen provisions in this state's dealer protectionism laws, which essentially create a de facto "entitlement" for existing new car dealers to retain their status, regardless of market changes or impacts on consumer choice. They would also make litigation cost awards to a dealer who wins a complaint under this law optional rather than required.

Increase licensure fees on nurses
Introduced by state Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville and state Rep. Alma Smith, D-Salem Township

The bill would increase license fees on nurses from $20 to $30, and also increase application and other related fees.

Authorize unionization of home personal assistance providers

Introduced by state Rep. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit

The bill would codify in statute a scheme begun in 2004 by which the state has unionized 42,000 individuals hired by elderly or disabled Medicaid recipients to provide personal care services in their homes. These providers are not employees of the state, so the scheme uses the legal device of creating a shell government "employer" (the "Michigan Quality Community Care Council") that transfers some $6.6 million in Medicaid money annually to the SEIU union (considered the "union dues" for these workers).

Increase marriage license and earmark more to "family counseling"
Introduced by state Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing

The bill proposes to increase the cost for a license to get married from $20 to $40, and increase the amount of marriage license fees that go to government-funded "family counseling services" from $15 to $25.