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May Revenue Estimates Revised Upward: The administration, House Fiscal Agency and Senate Fiscal Agency have revised combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue upward for fiscal year 2015-16 by $217. 6 million at its May Revenue Estimating Conference. Fiscal year 2016 revenues for combined General Fund and School Aid Fund were also revised upward by about $147.8 million.  While this is generally positive news, it remains to be seen if and how the Legislature distributes the new General Fund revenue, or makes up the shortfall in the School Aid Fund. Both of these decisions could impact funding for Community Colleges next year. 

 

House Republicans Reveal Road Plan: After the dramatic failure of the May 5 ballot proposal to fund transportation infrastructure, much of the discussion in Lansing has turned to next steps. This week, House Republicans revealed their plan to pump additional funding into roads, which relies largely on assumed growth as well as redirecting funds from Michigan's film incentives and certain economic development tools. The response from the Snyder administration was lukewarm at best, signaling difficult times ahead for reaching an agreement. Meanwhile, the Senate has scheduled regular session weeks throughout the summer to work on the road funding issue. 

 

Senate Moves Prevailing Wage Repeal: The Senate this week voted in favor of three bills, Senate Bills 1 - 3, that together would repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law. Of particular note to colleges, Senate Bill 3 (Robertson) would repeal the requirement to pay a prevailing wage on projects involving state funds. The bill now goes to the House Commerce Committee. 

 

House Considers Local Prohibition: Meanwhile, the House Commerce Committee took testimony this week on House Bill 4052 (Poleski), which would prohibit local governments (including community colleges) from creating any policies or ordinances governing wages and benefits above the level currently required by state and federal law. While the sponsor's intent is to exempt a local government's OWN employees, it is not currently clear whether the bill would allow a local government to set requirements for companies with whom it holds contracts. MCCA staff are working to make that change and also toward the possibility of exempting community colleges altogether. 

 

 Reminder...Hearing Set for Baccalaureate: MCCA staff has learned that Senate Commerce Committee chair Wayne Schmidt has agreed to hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 20, on Senate Bill 98 (Shirkey). That bill would expand community college baccalaureate authorization to include nursing, ski area management, wastewater treatment, allied health, manufacturing, and information technology. If you have employers in your area that would be willing to submit a letter of support for SB 98, please get those to Erin Schor at your earliest convenience. It is not yet clear whether the chair plans to hold a vote or just to take testimony on May 20. 

 

House Approves Non-Contiguous Annexation: The House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously supported House Bill 4265 (Price), which would allow annexation of an area that is not geographically contiguous into a community college district. The bill now goes to the Senate for their consideration. 

 

PPT Gets Another Look: On Wednesday, the House Tax Policy Committee reported out House Bills 4553 - 4558. Together, the bills would make a number of technical changes to implement the personal property tax reforms that were passed in 2014. The bills now go to the full House of Representatives. 

 
 

 

HELPFUL LINKS

Michigan Legislature’s website (bill tracking and committee meetings)

Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan Senate

Community College Legal Authority (Michigan Constitution)

Community College Act of 1966

 

For the map of the community college districts, click here.

 

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