The teacher pension reform bill (SB 401), which will close the current “hybrid” plan in the Michigan Public Schools Employee Retirement System (MPSERS) to new enrollees, has been signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder. "A travesty” is how the Michigan Education Association described the new law; the Senate has put aside four bills (HBs 4416-4419) that would eliminate the need to get a special license to carry a concealed firearm for later review; Snyder vetoed $6.37 million in line items before signing the $56.5 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018; the “Good Jobs” tax package passed the Senate and House; the Department of Environmental Quality is suing the City of Flint in an effort to force the city to remain with the Great Lakes Water Authority, aka Detroit’s water system;  former Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Young, Jr. announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Debbie Stabenow (D-Delta Township) and Saginaw’s Dr. Jim Hines is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor in 2018. These issues and many more are discussed in the July 2017 Karoub Report.

Lawmakers are expected to have $292.2 million less in the General Fund to spend this year and on next year’s (FY) 2018 budget that starts Oct. 1, but $340.3 million more in the School Aid Fund (SAF) than expected; House Bill 466 would make it illegal to hold, talk or otherwise use a “portable electronic device” while driving, except for hands-free or voice-activated devices; the House has introduced legislation to ease gun registration and concealed carrying; the Senate passed legislation making Flint Michigan’s 11th Promise Zone to pool resources and use tax increment finances to help its students afford a college education; Gov. Rick Snyder signed a massive criminal justice reform package into law that supporters say will keep criminals from reoffending; and Geoffrey Fieger considers another run for Governor. These topics and more are highlighted in the May 18, 2017 Karoub Report.

State income taxes are not expected to be rolled back anytime soon; the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is seeking changes to the state's marijuana law; a battle appears to be looming over whether a $2.5 million state appropriation to private schools is constitutional; high school graduation requirement changes are approved by House; and criminal justice reform bills are signed into law. These topics and more are highlighted in the April 2017 Karoub Report.

Governor Rick Snyder has formed a task force to tackle local government retirement reforms; he expressed serious concerns about the proposed income tax rollback going before the House; with state revenues on the rise, he proposed a 2018 budget; and he appointed a Chief of Staff and Lottery Commissioner. These topics and more legislative issues are featured in the February 2017 Karoub Report.

House Republicans are proposing a roll back of the state’s 4.25 percent state income tax to 3.9 percent in 2018 and eventually eliminating the income tax completely; the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously elected Justice Stephen Markman as its new chief justice; and Gov. Rick Snyder has now appointed three of the four-members of the Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) - including former House Speaker Jase Bolger, the leading legislator behind the enactment of Right to Work in 2012. Click on the January 2017 Karoub Report for more information on these and other legislative topics.