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News From the Capitol, Mar 24, 2023
March 24, 2023 by MASB Government Relations
  • Prevailing Wage Law Headed to Governor
  • House Committee Begins Hearings on Sinking Funds for School Buses
  • Tell Your Legislator to Vote No on House Bill 4044
  • House Passes Repeal of A-F Ranking System
  • Senate Education Committee Approves License Reciprocity
  • Public Comment Open on Amending Governmental Immunity
  • Join Us for Behind the Scenes at the Capitol 
  • Legislature Heads into Spring Break


Prevailing Wage Law Headed to Governor

On Tuesday, the Legislature passed House Bill 4007 to reinstate the prevailing wage law that was repealed in 2018. This was a priority of the Democrats when they took the majority, and the bill is now headed to the Governor. She is expected to sign it.

During debate in the Senate, we were successful in getting an amendment to grandfather in current bonded projects. The language states that school projects funded with revenue from millages authorized before the effective date of the act would not be subject to the act. The new act will go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns for the year.

House Committee Begins Hearings on Sinking Funds for School Buses

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee began testimony on Senate Bill 63, which would expand the allowable uses for sinking funds to 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 testified in support of the bill and continues to encourage its quick passage. If your Representative sits on the Education Committee, you may wish to reach out and share your support of SB 63. We expect another committee hearing when the legislature returns from spring break.

Tell Your Legislator to Vote No on House Bill 4044

Last week, the House Labor Committee approved House Bill 4044 that would repeal Public Act 54 of 2011. This act states that upon the expiration of a contract, step increases and health care contribution amounts are frozen until a new contract is in place. It also states that wages shall not be applied retroactively unless required by an arbitration panel or included in a negotiated bargaining agreement.

MASB opposes this bill and sent an alert out on Monday to urge members to contact their State Representative, ask for a no vote on this bill and share examples of how repealing this law would affect their district.

The House is expected to bring up the bill for debate and a vote when it returns from spring break. Please contact your Representative and share your thoughts on the bill.

House Passes Repeal of A-F Ranking System

Also on Tuesday, the House Education Committee approved House Bill 4166, which would repeal Section 1280g of the Revised School Code, known as the A-F rating system for schools. This system does not meet federal requirements for an accountability system and is redundant to the system Michigan uses to meet those requirements. 

MASB and most education organizations support this bill. After approval by the committee in the morning, it was passed by the full House in the afternoon by a vote of 63-45. It is now under consideration by the Senate Education Committee.

Senate Education Committee Approves License Reciprocity

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee approved 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.

No opposition was raised on these bills in either committee hearing. They are now before the full Senate for consideration.

Public Comment Open on Amending Governmental Immunity

The Michigan Supreme Court is currently considering an amendment to Michigan Court Rules 7.202 and 7.209, which if adopted would negatively impact governmental entities as it relates to the defense of governmental immunity. More information about the proposed amendment and how it could adversely affect school districts can be found online. Public comment is being accepted through March 31 and we need you to act quickly. A sample letter is  available on our website for you to personalize and share with the court.

Join Us for Behind the Scenes at the Capitol 

Register today to join us at the spring Behind the Scenes at the Capitol event on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in the Anderson House Office Building from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is a great opportunity to come to Lansing and hear from legislators and budget experts who will provide a timely status summary. It also allows for networking between districts and an opportunity to learn from one another. 

Our agenda includes the chairs and minority vice chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees, the status of the state budget, sinking funds and the potential expansion to buses, and the status of changes to the teacher evaluation law.

We hope you will join us and take advantage of the opportunity to speak face-to-face with your legislators, their staff and your fellow board members from around the state on issues affecting your districts. 

Register today!

 Legislature Heads into Spring Break

The House and Senate both adjourned Thursday for a legislative spring break. Both chambers will return to their normal session schedule the week of April 3. At this time, there are no committee meetings scheduled either, so News From the Capitol will also be taking a break. If you have questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact us.

Happy Spring!

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