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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
November 3, 2017
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Safe Delivery Update Becomes Law
  • Prohibition on Local Excise Taxes for Food Becomes Law
  • POST Package Continues Forward to Governor's Desk
  • Michigan Legislature Continues Discussion and Movement on Opioid Measures
  • Unemployment Insurance Package Clears House Committee, Continues to Full House
 
  Safe Delivery Update Becomes Law  
 
House Bill 4311 became law this week, which will update Michigan's Safe Delivery Act. Previously under the law, mothers could legally surrender their newborns to emergency services providers like fire stations, hospitals, and police stations up to 72 hours after birth. House Bill 4311, sponsored by Representative Hank Vaupel (R-Fowlerville), allows for this type of surrender to continue, but also enacts greater confidentially provisions. Under this legislation, the parents of the child would be listed as "unknown" on the birth certificate and the infant would be listed as "Baby Doe." Michigan Catholic Conference supported this pro-life measure throughout the process as it received wide, bipartisan support. Governor Snyder signed House Bill 4311 into law as Public Act 142 of 2017.
 
  Prohibition on Local Excise Taxes for Food Becomes Law  
 
Governor Snyder signed House Bill 4999 into law this week to prevent local governments from imposing taxes or fees on the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of food. Michigan Catholic Conference supported the measure during its consideration in the Michigan Legislature, as these types of taxes and fees have a disproportional effect on the poor and vulnerable. House Bill 4999, sponsored by Representative Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker), now becomes Public Act 135 of 2017.
 
  POST Package Continues Forward to Governor's Desk  
 
This week, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed a package of bills to create the Michigan Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) program. The program helps health care professionals honor the wishes of their seriously ill patients who voluntarily document their treatment decisions on the standardized POST form. House Bills 4170, 4171, 4173, and 4174, sponsored by Representatives Jim Tedder (R-Clarkston), Laura Cox (R-Livonia), Hank Vaupel (R-Fowlerville), and Leslie Love (D-Oak Park), allow for discussion and certain medical decisions to be made prior to a crisis so that a patient's wishes can be followed regarding treatment or non-treatment. The measures now proceed to the governor for further consideration. Once enacted, the new law calls for the convening of a task force to create the POST form. 
 
  Michigan Legislature Continues Discussion and Movement on Opioid Measures  
 
Numerous legislative measures received consideration this week to address the opioid epidemic, a critical issue facing this state. These measures, which have generally passed with wide bipartisan support, include:
  • Senate Bill 360, sponsored by Senator Margaret O'Brien (R-Portage), would allow pharmacists to use their professional judgement to decide whether to fill additional refills for a 30-day prescription at the time they fill the initial prescription, except in the case of controlled substances that contain an opioid. This bill has passed both chambers of the Michigan Legislature and continues now to Governor Snyder for his signature.
     
  • House Bill 4403, sponsored by Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing), which would allow the Medicaid program to include medical detox, inpatient care, or care in a residential treatment facility for opioid use disorder. The Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously passed this measure, which now continues to the full Senate.
 
  Unemployment Insurance Package Clears House Committee, Continues to Full House  
 
The House Committee on Oversight approved a package of bills this week to reform Michigan's unemployment compensation system. House Bills 5166-5172 address imposter unemployment claims, amend penalties for fraud, and provide access to advocacy services for those accused of fraud. The package also creates a mechanism in the Michigan Employment Security Act for employees and employers to report fake claims of unemployment and prevent the issuance of benefits, which does not currently exist in the law. This package of bills is tie-barred, which means that to be enacted into law, all the bills must be approved (one cannot go into effect without another).

DON'T FORGET: Tuesday, November 7 is Election Day! Go to www.mi.gov/vote to view what issues and candidates are on your ballot. 

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940, publicpolicy@micatholic.org