The final week of lame duck came to a close around 4:30am today, signalling the end of the work being done by the 96th legislature of Michigan. This final day did bring a flurry of issues though the House and Senate including money for a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings, replacement for the emergency manager law, repeal of the personal property tax, and the Detroit lighting authority just to name a few, lets take a look at the issues that will effect you:
The House Judiciary committee took up the tort reform bills that made their way from the Senate. Senate Bill 1115, 1117, and 1118 were considered in committee. The committee had a litany of legislation that it needed to consider on this past Wednesday. The committee finally was able to support 1115 and 1118 and sent them to the full House for their consideration. On the last day of session the House took up the remaining bills in the package and by 5:10pm, the House was sending to the Governor legislation that would be the most substantial tort reform that Michigan has seen for medical malpractice since the early nineties. Rumors have been floating around that the two other bills that did not make it through the process will be reintroduced in the coming term.
The House and Senate this week traded legislation, House Bill 5711, that addressed several issues surrounding abortion. One would make it illegal to perform an abortion on a woman who has been coerced into receiving one. Secondly there would be licensing requirement for those facilities that would perform abortions and would require reporting to the Department of Community Health. More information on the legislation can been seen at the link above.
The House Insurance committee considered Senate Bill 975 which would provide the protection to physicians who chose not to perform a certain procedure due to a religious or moral objection. MSMS submitted a letter to the committee expressing some concerns we had with the legislation but more importantly praised the efforts of the sponsor of the legislation with his willingness to work with the medical community to address those concerns. The legislation did make it out of committee but did not make it out of the House. MSMS expects to work again with the sponsor in the coming term on the legislation.
With the legislative term coming to a close, we will be taking a break for a little bit. Check in next week as we will have a review of the legislative term discussing the issues that MSMS has worked on for the past two years. Comments are always welcome and we want to hear from you. We have a comment section with every article, please feel free to leave one. Keep up with all advocacy efforts at http://www.msms.org/advocacy.