Each week, The Michigan Daily will be publishing a wrap-up of the most important bills proposed in Michigan Legislature over the past seven days:
This past week, Michigan legislators have been busy debating auto insurance reform. On Thursday evening, HB 5013, which would have reduced insurance premiums, was defeated in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority of Democrats and some Republicans, 45-63.
The bill would have allowed drivers to choose between $250,000, $500,000 and unlimited lifetime coverage for medical expenses resulting from auto crashes. Under current law, Michigan is the only state with such that mandates unlimited coverage.
Opponents to the bill state it doesn’t guarantee rate reductions because car insurance companies can get an exemption from the state if they couldn’t make money with the reduced rates.
Democrats would like to address the nondriving-related factors, including zip codes, credit scores and education attainment, which disproportionately affect urban drivers. House Minority Leader Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, voted no on the legislation, along with 41 other Democrats.
“We have a plan that brings down costs and doesn’t force people into bankruptcy,” Singh told the Free Press. “I am committed to coming back next week and taking a look at the bills that are still in committee and making sure they get a fair hearing.”
The bills address several aspects of petitioning, including allowing the removal of a name and signature from a ballot question or recall question, banning anyone that has been convicted of an election crime from collecting petition signatures and requiring petition circulators be paid per hour and not on commission.
The bills were put forth by Robert Kosowski, D-Westland, following another election bill from the Senate being approved in the House earlier this week. The bill, HB 5012, make election recounts much more expensive for those that request them.
Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, proposed the bill, which was prompted by the recount requested by Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate during the 2016 presidential election.
“Jill Stein exploited our state laws to force a recount, even though she lost by more than 2 million votes,” Lilly said in a press release. “My legislation eliminates the ambiguity in the law that allowed her recount charade to temporarily obstruct the election process and cause an expensive legal battle.”
Under this bill, recounts would cost double for candidates who have little to no chance of winning. In the 2016 election, Stein only received 1 percent of all the votes casted in Michigan.
Robert Kosowski, D-Westland, proposed the bill that will change the age that someone can be charged for prostitution to 18-years-old from 16-years-old.
The bills come on the heels of news of several Federal Bureau of Investigation stings in Michigan to arrest suspected pimps and rescue sex-trafficked juveniles, including in mid-October, August and November of last year.
HB 5184: This bill would raise the fine for a false report to police from $2,000 to $4,000, not amending the possibility of four years of imprisonment in addition to the fine.
Kosowski, proposed the bill earlier last week. This past year, at the University of Michigan and in the surrounding areas, there have been numerous false reports made to police.
Most recently, the Ann Arbor Police Department declared an armed robbery near campus to be false in early September. Last December, the AAPD said an alleged hate crime in which a man told a woman to take off her hijab or he would light her on fire, did not occur.