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News From the Capitol, June 9, 2023
June 9, 2023 by MASB Government Relations

House Education Committee Considers Labor Day Start Repeal  

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee began consideration of House Bill 4671, which would repeal the requirement that schools start after Labor Day unless they receive a waiver from the Michigan Department of Education. As usual, the support and opposition broke down between education and tourism groups. 

MASB testified in support of the bill as we have long supported allowing a pre-Labor Day start. Districts should be able to decide locally when the school year should start. We will continue to push for these decisions to be put in the hands of local districts and we urge you to contact your Representative and ask them to make this the district’s decision, not the state’s.

Further hearings are expected next week. 

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Personal Information Disclosure 

The Senate passed Senate Bill 169 on Wednesday by a 20-18 vote. This bill requires a public employer to share the personal information of a new employee including personal email, address, phone and other information, including wages with the union bargaining unit. While we understand the desire for a union representing these employees to be able to know who they are, we oppose the bill as an unwarranted invasion of privacy.  

MASB turned in testimony explaining that under the U.S. Supreme Court Janus Decision, public employees are still under “right-to-work” laws and therefore do not have to join a union. Forcing a school district to turn over an employee’s personal information to an organization they may not want to be a part of puts the district in a difficult position with a brand-new employee. Instead, we suggest changes to state that the employee must give consent and share their preferred method of communication. From there, a union can ask them for more information. 

The bill is now before the House Labor Committee.

House Begins Hearings on Senate Sexual Misconduct Package 

The House Criminal Justice Committee began testimony this week on House Bills 4482-4487. This legislation will expand criminal and civil statutes of limitations for sexual misconduct crimes; allow for  retroactivity; as well as eliminate governmental immunity if the governmental entity knew or should have known of the sexual misconduct and failed to report it to law enforcement. Testimony on the package will likely continue next week with a possible committee vote. 

Due to concerns with the large increase in the statute of limitations, including allowing for retroactivity, and the possibility of loss of governmental immunity for an incident a school “should have known” about, we, along with local governmental units, have been requesting that the Legislature take some time on this package to allow it to be fully vetted.

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