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News From the Capitol, May 12, 2023
May 12, 2023 by MASB Government Relations
  • Sinking Funds for School Buses Signed by the Governor 
  • House and Senate Pass Budget Proposals
  • House Labor Committee Posts, Then Delays, Hearing on PERA
  • House Education Committee Begins Hearings on License Reciprocity 


Sinking Funds for School Buses Signed by the Governor 

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 63 as Public Act 26 of 2023. This bill expands the allowable uses for sinking funds to include school transportation. It also includes the acquisition of other vehicles to transport students, as well as the parts, supplies and equipment used to maintain those vehicles. 

MASB is excited to see this expansion finally happen. The new law will go into effect on August 7, 2023.

House and Senate Pass Budget Proposals

This week, the House and Senate each passed their budget proposals by party line votes. The bills now switch chambers. Budget negotiations will start behind the scenes while we wait for the official revenue estimates from the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference next week. 

No changes were made to the Senate K-12 budget during debate on the floor.  The only change made to the House version was to add funds for Algebra Nation.

You can find an up-to-date document comparing the Senate, House and Governor’s budget proposals on our website

House Labor Committee Posts, Then Delays, Hearing on PERA

The House Labor Committee was expected to hold its first hearing on a package of bills to repeal some of the prohibited subjects of bargaining currently in the Public Employment Relations Act. However, the time for House Session was changed to accommodate the budget votes and the bills were pushed back to next week. The hearing will now be held on May 18.

House Bill 4354 would repeal teacher placement, layoff and recalls, teacher evaluation, employee discharge or discipline, classroom observations, merit pay, and how to notify parents about ineffective teachers. House Bill 4356 would repeal privatization of noninstructional support services. House Bills 4555 and 4357 amend references to the Michigan School Code to reflect these changes. Removing these items from the prohibited subjects list means they would then be mandatory subjects of bargaining when working on a collective bargaining agreement.  

We, along with MASA, MAISA and others, have raised concerns with the bill sponsors, committee members and other representatives about repealing some of these issues, particularly teacher placement, layoff and recall, and discipline and discharge. MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba and MASA Executive Director Dr. Tina Kerr also wrote an OpEd piece about the proposal, sharing their opinion that legislators must equip school governance officials with the tools they need and not create policies that will negatively impact our most vulnerable students.

We urge you to reach out to your Representative and share the effect these bills will have on your district, the ability to make sure the right teachers are in front of the right students, and collective bargaining as a whole. We have an alert on our website you can use to find talking points and contact your legislator.

House Education Committee Begins Hearings on License Reciprocity 

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee began hearings on a pair of bills aimed at reciprocity for certain licenses between states. Senate Bill 161 would allow for reciprocity of a person’s teaching certificate from another state, country or Federally-recognized Indian tribe. Senate Bill 162 would do the same for school counselors. These bills previously passed the Senate overwhelmingly.

MASB supports the bills and further hearings are expected.

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