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House Finalizes Data Bills: After several months of advocacy, on March 6 the House of Representatives concurred in the Senate changes to House Bills 4545 & 4546, which would allow community colleges better access to student data! The bills now go to Governor Snyder for his signature. Many thanks to all of our colleges who advocated for these bills.


Labor Prohibitions Reappear: On March 6, the Senate Education Committee took testimony on two bills with implications for community colleges. Senate Bill 795 (Knollenberg) would prohibit any public employer (including a community college) from paying for release time for employees to conduct union business. Senate Bill 796 (Knollenberg) would sunset the ability of Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) members to accrue pension time during professional services leave or release time, even if the member reimburses the system for payments during that time. Both bills are up for a Committee hearing again this coming Tuesday, March 13.


Michigan New Jobs Training Bill Introduced: On March 7, Representative Chris Afendoulis introduced legislation (House Bill 5697) that extends the authority on bonding under the Michigan New Jobs Training Program (MNJTP) through December 31, 2023. Currently, bonding authority expires after December 31, 2018. HB 5697 was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.


Capital Outlay Hearing: On March 7, the Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee continued its deliberations by hearing testimony on 4 projects; 3 university projects and a community college project for Henry Ford College.


Budget Subcommittee Hearings: On March 9, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Colleges met at Grand Rapids Community College for a tour and subcommittee hearing. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees are expected to meet again the week of March 19 when they will report subcommittee recommendations.


Part Time Student Retirement: Many of you are aware that a recent audit has raised questions about how community colleges should treat employees that are also part-time students for purposes of retirement. The Michigan Public Employees Retirement System Act exempts full-time students from enrollment in the retirement system even if they are also college employees, but does not clarify how colleges should treat part-time students. In response to this question, two bills were introduced this week that would clarify that part-time students also should be exempt from enrollment in the retirement system, subject to certain limits. Although the MCCA would still like to see technical changes to House Bill 5679 (Miller) and Senate Bill 888 (Proos), enough colleges voted in support that the MCCA now formally supports both bills.


Sexual Assault Legislation: All indications are that bipartisan legislation (Senate Bills 871 - 877) that would strengthen penalties in sexual assault or abuse cases and eliminate government immunity while lengthening the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases will come before the full Senate this coming week. Although the MCCA does not have a formal position on the bills, we have numerous concerns about their implications for colleges. MCCA staff are in regular communication with the Senate sponsors and their staff as well as other interested parties.


State Reviewing School Safety: In light of recent events both at Central Michigan University and across the nation, the MCCA staff participated in a meeting last week focused on school safety. The meeting involved numerous stakeholders including the Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General's office, as well as several other education entities. While conversations are still ongoing, colleges might wish to review the variety of planning templates made available by the Michigan State Police as you review your current emergency operations policies and procedures.




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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