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Floor Action for FY 2016-2017 Budgets: This coming week, we expect both the House and Senate to act on their budget recommendations for community colleges. We would strongly encourage you to contact your legislators and encourage support for these budgets; in particular for the increased funding the House is proposing. As a reminder, the House Appropriations Committee recommended a bump in community college operations funding to an average of 3.4%, while the Senate Committee concurred with the Governor's recommendation to increase community college operations funding by an average of 2.4%. Both Chambers recommend using the performance funding metrics recommended by the task force, rather than the modified version in the Executive Recommendation. In addition, the Senate adopted an amendment (also included in the higher education budget) that calls for increased reporting on collaborative programs to promote degree completion, such as articulation agreements and university programs offered at community colleges.

 

Committee to Review Dark Stores: On Wednesday, April 27, the House Tax Policy Committee will take testimony on House Bill 5578 (Maturen), which would provide guidance to the Michigan Tax Tribunal in determining commercial valuations. The bill is a response to the so-called "dark store" strategy, whereby certain national chain retailers are using deed restrictions to limit their property tax assessments. This not only allows those retailers to shirk their support for local services, but grants them at an unfair competitive advantage over locally owned retailers.  

 

Senate Committee Questions Common Core: This past Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee held a first hearing on on  Senate Bill 826 (Colbeck). This legislation would prohibit Michigan from continuing to use the Common Core State Standards, or any aligned assessments. Instead, the state would use standards substantially similar to those used in Massachusetts during the 2008-2009 academic year. A second hearing on this bill has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 26 at 8:00 am, in Room 110 of the Farnum Building (125 W. Allegan Street, Lansing). The committee may vote on SB 826 during this hearing. The MCCA has historically supported the Common Core State Standards as a strong benchmark for Michigan students that will ensure they graduate from high school college and career ready. 

 

TIF Workgroups Continue: Over the past few weeks, MCCA staff have been participating in a series of workgroup meetings about tax increment financing reform, and a third meeting is scheduled for this coming Friday, April 29.The group is working to address perceived concerns about the current law, and to develop recommendations for any legislative or other solutions to those concerns.

 
 
 

 

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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