The League of Women Voters of Michigan often takes positions on legislative or citizen initiatives and other proposed governmental policy or regulatory decisions. If an initiative reaches a legislative committee, a voting body or other decision makers, the League may take action (testimony, letters, phone calls, public statements, etc). The lack of public action is not indicative of the numerous decisions to support or oppose an issue that the League makes on a regular basis.
10-31-23: STANDARDS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY FACILITIES
The League supports HB 5120-23 which would move approval for large solar or wind projects to the Michigan Public Service Commission, the governing body that handles approval of all other commercial electric utility projects. The bills would create a certification process under which the applicant must prepare a site plan and present it at a public meeting in the township, county, city or village where the project is proposed, and provide information addressing any environmental impacts, community benefits, impact on drainage and other matters. The applicant would need to provide a bond for removal and restoration at the land end of the project’s useful life. These bills are needed to ensure consistent statewide regulation and approval process for the renewable energy facilities that Michigan needs to move forward with a clean energy future.
10-30-23: ACTION ALERT: COMPREHENSIVE DISCLOSURE LAWS NEEDED NOW
In 2022, the League and Michigan voters supported passage of Michigan Ballot Proposal 22-1 that changed term limits and required passage of laws to require financial disclosure for Michigan elected officials. League members and friends were asked to urge their Michigan legislators to pass strong financial disclosure legislation by December 31, 2023. Michigan is one of only two states in the nation that does not require its statewide officials to file a financial disclosure. It is one of the reasons why Michigan consistently ranks last for transparency in government. You can take action here.
10-24-23 ACTION ALERT: MENTAL HEALTH ACCESS ACT
The League sent out an Action Alert to members and friends to urge the Michigan Legislature to support legislation to provide health care coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment (HB 4707). Half of the people in our state are going without the mental health treatments they need, and the equivalent of 11 Michiganders die every day due to suicide or opioid overdose. We must do better. You can take action here.
10-23-23 ACTION ALERT: GUN LIMITS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS
An Action Alert was sent to members urging them to email their Michigan legislators about keeping firearms out of the hands of people convicted of domestic abuse (SB 471-472, 472 and HB 4945 -4946) . These laws can help keep guns out of the hands of abusive partners and are associated with reductions in both overall and firearm-involved intimate partner homicides, according to Gifford Law Center. Victims of domestic violence are five times more likely to be murdered if their abusers have access to a firearm. You can take action here.
10-17-23 ACTION ALERT: 100% CLEAN ENERGY PLAN
The League of Women Voters of Michigan urged members and supporters to contact their legislators to support legislation to implement a 100% Clean Energy Plan in Michigan. You may still take action by clicking here. We need your help to assure we address climate change in Michigan.
10-14-23 UTILITY COMPANIES SHOULD PRIORITIZE SPECIFIED GOALS
The League supports SB 502 which would require the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), in its regulation of utilities, to prioritize specified goals, such as goals to ensure equitable access to energy efficiency and compliance with renewable energy standards, and to promote public interest. It would also require EGLE to facilitate responsiveness to public interest by holding public input hearings concerning the rate cases and proceedings of specified utilities before the MPSC acted on those cases or proceedings.
10-3-23 SUPPORT JUVENILE JUSTICE FORMS
The LWVMI Board voted to support SB 418-437; HB 4624-4643 which will refocus the state’s criminal justice system around greater emphasis on rehabilitation and diversion for juvenile offenders, including additional funding for juvenile diversion programs, revised probation standards and increase accountability and transparency within the juvenile justice system.
10-2-23 ACTION ALERT: SUPPORT NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE
League members and friends were sent a request to contact their State Representatives and Senators to urge them to vote Yes on HB 4156/SB 126 to enact National Popular Vote in Michigan. “One person, one vote” should apply to our presidential elections and Michigan can help make that happen.
9-26-23 ACTION ALERT: SUPPORT THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT
Members and supporters were urged to contact their representatives urging support of the Reproductive Health Act which would repeal old laws that restrict access to abortion and are medically unnecessary, such as the ban on Medicaid funding abortions, the 24-hour waiting period, and the requirement that patients receive biased, medically inaccurate information. Click here to take action.
9-21-23 SUPPORT FOR FIREARM RESTRICTIONS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAILANTS
The LWVMI Board voted to support SB 471 and SB 472 and HB 4945 and HB 4946 which would give state prosecutors the tools to prevent those convicted of domestic violence from accessing firearms until certain conditions are met.
9-20-23 SPEAKER URGED TO TAKE UP NPV LEGISLATION
A letter from the League was hand-delivered to Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate’s office urging him to take up the National Popular Vote Compact legislation and get it passed in the fall session. Read the letter here.
9-13-23 SUPPORT FOR CHANGES TO PUBLIC HEALTH CODE TO SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
The LWVMI Board support SB 474-479. SB 474 would several changes to the Public Health Code to reflect the repeal of the state’s abortion ban. Sentencing guidelines under the Code of Criminal Procedure under SB 475 are amended also would reflect the abortion ban repeal. SB 476 would amend the Born Alive Infant Protection Act to define an abortion as “a medical treatment that is intended to terminate a diagnosable intrauterine pregnancy for the purpose other than to provide a live birth.” It also contains language stating an abortion does not include the use of using drugs or devices to prevent a pregnancy or medical treatments to remove a dead fetus whose death was due to spontaneous abortion. SB 477 language would be struck from statute banning an institution of higher education operating a pregnant and parenting services office from referring anyone for abortion services. SB 478 and 479 would allow low-income women whose insurance coverage is Medicaid to again have coverage for an abortion.
9-13-23 SUPPORT FOR ELIMINATION OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS BARRIERS
The LWVMI Board supports HB 4949-4959 which would repeal the ban on Medicaid coverage of abortion care and replace it with affirmative coverage for Medicaid patients. Remove laws .which impose medically unnecessary and financially burdensome regulations on abortion providers, severely limiting access to care, remove barriers to state and federal funding for health care entities that also provide abortion care. repeal laws that require patients seeking abortion care to receive biased, medically inaccurate information. repeal law requiring patients seeking abortion to undergo a state-mandated 24-hour delay. codify current standards of medical practice regarding which qualified health care professionals can provide abortion, prohibit criminal punishment of pregnant people for actions they take during pregnancy that would not otherwise be made criminal or punishable, and lift the ban on private insurance coverage for abortion care
9-9-23 CODIFY PROVISIONS OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
The LWVMI Board supports HBs 4619-4623 to codify provisions of the Patient Protection and affordable Care Act that have been challenged in federal court These provisions are critical to protecting the health of Michigan residents and acting proactively to protect them as the ACA is challenged in federal court is vital to ensuring that residents do not lose them.
9-9-23 PROVIDE MEDICAL AND FAMILY LEAVE
The LWVMI Board supports HB 4574, SB 332 and SB 333 to provide medical leave and family leave that would require employer and employee contributions among other provisions.
9-9-23 FAIR CHANCE ACCESS TO HOUSING
The LWVMI Board supports HB 4878 which would limit the use of criminal background checks in rental application processes, allowing Michiganders with conviction histories a chance to secure housing.
9-9-23 ELIMINATE CAPS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY GRANTS
The LWVMI Board supports HB 4839 and HB 4840 would eliminate the 1% cap on electricity generated by community or residential solar systems. The bills would require the Michigan Public Service Commission to develop a program to give owners of community and individual solar systems fair compensation for the energy generated. HB4840 provides for rebates for installing solar systems to low income individuals.
9-9-23 REQUIRE INSURERS TO COVER MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
The LWVMI Board supports HB 4707 which would amend the Insurance Code to require health insurers in Michigan to provide coverage for medically necessary treatment of a mental health or substance abuse disorder. The bill would set requirements for coverage of out-of-network services and emergency services, as well as requirements related to prior authorization, utilization review, and the determination of level of care for insured individuals.
9-9-23 REQUIRES INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR BEHAVIORAL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
The LWVMI Board supports SB 27, requiring an insurer that delivers, issues for delivery, or renews in this state a health insurance policy that would provide coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, at a level of benefits that is no less favorable than the level provided for physical illness.
7-6-23 MICHIGAN VOTING RIGHTS ACT
The LWVMI supports the Michigan Voting Rights Act established by SB 401. SB 401 is tie-barred to the passage of SB 402 and SB 403. SB 402 establishes a voting and elections database. SB 403 provides for language access under VRA and SB 404 provides for voting assistance for certain voters. Read more about Michigan’s VRA here.
6-16-23 AMICUS BRIEF SUPPORTING SoS RIGHT TO SET POLICY FOR ELECTION CHALLENGERS
The brief urges the Court of Appeals to reverse the Court of Claims decision that it was unconstitutional of Secretary of State Benson to issue a set of Instructions and guidance to prevent the misconduct of election deniers. SOS claimed she has the right but was ruled against in the lower court. This amicus is to support the Secretary’s appeal in the Court of Appeals, indicating that it is her constitutional duty to protect voters in 2022 and beyond from the unprecedented abuse of the challenge process that occurred in 2020.
6-16-23 SUPPORT FOR ELECTION WORKER FILING, PRE-PROCESSING OF BALLOTS
SB 385 would allow county, city and township clerks to provide the option for individuals seeking to apply to be election inspectors to do so online. SBs 386-87 would modify the processing and tabulation of absent voter ballots and ballots issued to electors who registered to vote or updated their voter registration on election day. Senate Bill 387 would allow a city or township to establish election day vote centers, which could only tabulate ballots cast by electors who registered to vote or updated the voter registration on election day. The bill would allow an elector to tabulate the elector’s absent voter ballot in person at the elector’s polling place or an appropriate early voting site. It would also amend requirements for absent voter counting boards. Additionally, it would allow a city or township with a population of at least 5,000 to establish an absent voter counting board to process and tabulate absent voter ballots during specific hours on the eight days before election day, or the Monday before election day, and prescribe requirements for the processing and tabulation of absent voter ballots during the early voting period. Senate Bill 386 would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to update felonies related to disclosing how a ballot was voted or disclosing election results early before polls are closed.
6-10-23 PROVISIONS OF PROPOSAL 22-2 WOULD BE CODIFIED
The League supports the following bills:
SB 367/HB 4695 and SB 368/HB 4696. The bills would codify provisions of Proposal 22-2 into the Michigan Election Law the process for implementing and administering the constitutionally required nine consecutive days of early voting, for eight hours per day, for each statewide and Federal election. They also would allow a municipality to set additional days and hours of early voting beyond what is constitutionally required and to use early voting for elections that were not statewide or Federal. In addition, they would allow more than one municipality to jointly conduct early voting through a municipal agreement or a county agreement and prescribe the requirements of those agreements. The bills would make disclosing an election result from an early voting site before 8PM on election day a felony. Senate Bill 368 is tie-barred to Senate Bill 367 and establishes sentencing guidelines for certain early coting violations.
SB 369/HB 4699 would allow voters to submit one absent voter application to receive absent voter ballots for every future election, becoming permanent mail ballot voters and the requirements therein. Additionally, the bill would allow a permanent mail ballot voter. Also codified is the process for partisan primaries. The bill would allow all election returns, ballots containing a Federal office, and all presidential primary ballot selection forms to be destroyed 22 months post election,
SB 370/HB 4700 and SB 371/HB 4701 would delete many of the current required processes for absentee voter applications and ballots and establish new ones. The bills would also allow an application for an absent voter ballot to be made using an online application provided by the Secretary of State (SOS) and provide new requirements that a clerk would have to follow concerning the curing of ballots and the notifying of absentee voters about their applications and ballots. SB 370 is tie-barred to SB 339, which would require the SOS to establish an electronic tracking system that allowed each elector who voted by absentee ballot to track the application or ballot through a website or mobile application. S 371 is tie-barred to Senate Bill 370 establishing criminal sentencing guidelines for violations.
SB 372/HB 4697 The bill would require each city or township to install at least one absent voter ballot drop box for the collection of absent voter applications and ballots. It also would require a city or township to have one drop box per 15,000 registered electors. The Secretary of State would have to facilitate and fund the implementation of these requirements. The bill would modify current drop box security requirements.
SB 373/HB 4698 This bill details the “identification for election purposes” allowing a registered voter to vote. The list of allowable identification, for which requirements are detailed, includes a current school ID, driver’s license issued by MI or another state, local government ID, military ID and tribal ID.
6-10-23 LET LOCAL GOVERNMENTS REGULATE GRAVEL MINING
Opposing HB 4526-28, the League is aware that local units of government are already severely limited in what they can do to regulate gravel mining. If passed, these bills will remove any local regulation of dust, noise, damage to environmental resources, etc. Additionally, there are concerns about the effect that unregulated gravel pits will have on surface water, groundwater and other natural resources
6-10-23 ESTABLISH 100% CARBON FREE ENERGY STANDARD
The League supports SB 271-273, which would establish a 100% carbon free energy standard by 2035, with step ups starting in 2027, establish policies that conserve energy and reduce energy waste, require the MPSC to regulate big utilities for equity, public health, affordability and climate impacts, and keep justice and equity at the center.
6-10-23 REINSTUTE NET METERING FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS
The League supports SB 362-363 which would reinstitute net metering for alternative energy systems (rooftop solar), eliminate the 1% cap on net metering, and require the MPSC to hold full public hearings on a “fair value tariff” for energy produced by distributed generation.
6-10-23 DESIGNATION OF ELECTORS UNDER NPV
HB 4440 would amend the Michigan Election Law to reflect changes to Michigan’s presidential election process that would be made by entering into the National Popular Vote. Under the bill, if the compact becomes effective, then the electors representing the political party of the presidential candidate that won the national popular vote at the next November election would be considered Michigan’s presidential electors under the Michigan Election Law. The bill is tie-barred to House Bill 4156, a bill that would enter Michigan into the National Popular Vote compact, meaning that House Bill 4440 would not go into effect unless HB 4156 were also enacted. Both are supported by LWVMI.
5-22-23 SUPPORT FOR BILLS IMPLEMENTING PROPOSAL 2
Additional legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to codify the voting rights included in the passage of the Promote the Vote Ballot Proposal passed in November, 2022. The LWVMI Board approved support of HB 4567, which would remove references to a challenged ballot, HB 4568 which would remove the prohibition on the hiring of transportation assistance to the polls, HB 4569, which would allow preregistration to vote at age 16, HB 4570 which would allow on-line application for an absent voter ballot and HB 4594 which would allow the tracking of an absentee ballot application and an absentee ballot.
4-20-23 LOCAL CLERKS NEED ADEQUATE FUNDING TO RUN ELECTIONS
LWVMI joined other voter protection groups in sending a letter to Sen. Jeremy Moss, Chair of the MI Senate Elections and Ethics Committee demanding sustainable and consistent funding for local clerks. “Implementing the Constitution’s new requirements is not discretionary, and the Secretary of State and clerks have emphasized that it will require significant work by and resources for election officials. These resources are necessary to provide the locations, access, staff, training, technology, transparency, audits, and other procedures that ensure the integrity of our elections leading to greater access to the ballot for all Michigan voters.”
4-17-23 MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS SHOULD HAVE 6 DAYS TO RETURN BALLOTS
LWVMI supports SB 259, a bill that allows the military to file electronically. Paper ballots from both the military and other overseas voters would have 6 days beyond election day for their paper ballot to be received in order to be counted.
4-17-23 DRIVER’S LICENCES AND STATE IDS FOR IMMIGRANTS
SB 275-267 and HB 4410-12, supported by the League of Women Voters, would allow immigrants to get driver’s licenses and state IDs. There would no longer be a citizenship requirement or legal presence requirement.
4-13-23 AMICUS BRIEF SIGN-ON: OPPOSING “ADOPT AND AMEND”
LWVMI joined other pro-democracy groups to sign on to an Amicus Brief opposing the ‘adopt and amend’ procedure that was used by the Legislature to gut the citizen-led referendums that would have raised the minimum wage and guaranteed earned paid sick leave.
APRIL 8, 2023 SUPPORT FOR STATE ID TO PAROLEES
LWVMI supports HBs 4191-94 that would provide driver’s license and sate identification cards to parolees. These bills will allow incarcerated individuals to reenter and contribute to their communities immediately upon their release, reducing their chances of being reincarcerated.
APRIL 8, 2023 SUPPORT FOR ELECTRONIC VOTING FOR MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS
SB 177 would allow military and other people overseas to submit absentee ballot electronically.
APRIL 8, 2023 SUPPORT FOR BILLS TO REPEAL OLD ANTI-ABORTION LAWS
SB 93 would repeal Section 15 of the Michigan Penal Code (MPC), which states any person who advertises, publishes, or sells any pills, powder, drugs or combination of drugs, designed expressly for the use of females for the purpose of procuring an abortion is guilty of a misdemeanor unless the drug or medicine was sold upon the written prescription of a practicing physician, and the dealer or druggist registered certain information pertaining to the purchaser, medicine, and physician in his or her records. SB 147 The bill would amend the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to delete a provision specifying that the prohibition against an employer treating an individual affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition differently from another individual does not apply in the case of a nontherapeutic abortion not intended to save the life of the mother.
HB 4006 would repeal Sections 14 of the MPC which prescribes a felony for administering to a pregnant woman any medicine, drug, or substance, or employing any instrument or other means, with intent to procure a miscarriage, unless it is necessary to protect the life of the mother, and Section 15, which prescribes a misdemeanor penalty for a person who advertises, publishes, or sells any pills, powder, drugs or combination of drugs, designed expressly for the use of females for the purpose of procuring an abortion.
MARCH 14, 2023 SUPPORT FOR JUVENILE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT AND DETENTION CENTER IN GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY
The League of Women Voters of Michigan supports the creation of a facility within Grand Traverse County to house and treat youth who are acting in an unsafe manner to themselves or to their community. It is imperative that there be a facility in northern Michigan so juveniles can be close to their homes and families. Read the letter here.
MARCH 14, 2023 ACTION ALERT TO SUPPORT FIREARM SAFETY BILLS
League members and friends were asked to send emails to Michigan legislators urging passage of SB 76-86 and HB 4138-4148. These bills would extend the criminal background check to all firearm sales, require safe storage of firearms and would provide a pathway for ‘Red Flag’ orders that temporarily prohibit a person who is at risk of harming themselves or others from buying a firearm.
MARCH 7, 2023 TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF NPV
At a public hearing held by the Michigan House Elections Committee, Judy Karandjeff testified in support of National Popular Vote. See testimony here.
MARCH 1, 2023 ACTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY NEEDED AFTER MICHIGAN’S DEVASTATING POWER OUTAGE
LWVMI has signed on to a letter initiated by Michigan Energy-Michigan Jobs to demand swift action across Michigan government in response to the February ice storm that left nearly a million residents without power, some for a week. Michigan residents pay the highest energy rates in the midwest for the least reliable service. “That is why we call on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Public Service Commission to continue holding utilities accountable and advancing policies that address climate change while prioritizing equity, health and affordability.”
FEBRUARY 24, 2023 ACTION ALERT FOR NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE
On February 24th, LWVMI sent out an Action Alert to its members and supports to urge their legislators to join the National Popular Vote Compact which supports electing the President by the national popular vote. Action can still be taken here.
FEBRUARY 23, 2023 SUPPORT FOR ABORTION DRUGS
The League of Women Voters of Michigan supports SB 2, SB 37, SB 38 and SB 39 which remove penalties for administering drugs that might cause a miscarriage/abortion.
FEBRUARY 20, 2023 SUPPORT FOR SAFE STORAGE OF FIREARMS
The League of Women Voters of Michigan supports SB 79, 80, 81 and 82. SB 79 would provide penalties for storing or leaving a firearm where it can be accessed by a minor. SB 80 would establish penalties for violating safe storage. SB 81 would remove the sales and use tax when purchasing a safety device and SB 82 would amend the tax code to allow for this change in the sales tax.
FEBRUARY 20, 2023 SUPPORT FOR FIREARM BACKGROUND CHECKS
LWVMI supports SB 76, SB 77, SB 78 which would provide for background check for purchasing a firearm and include changes in the penal code and criminal code for enforcement.
FEBRUARY 20, 2023 SUPPORT FOR “RED FLAG” LAWS
The League supports SB 83, SB 84, SB 85, SB 86 which would provide for extreme protection orders (ERPO) under certain circumstances and penalties for violating the orders. ERPO is a court order to remove guns from the hands of those who have exhibited behaviors that indicate they are likely to harm themselves or others.
FEBRUARY 17, 2023 SUPPORT FOR PROHIBITION OF FIREARMS AT POLLING PLACES
The LWVMI Board voted to support HB 4127, HB 4128, HB 4129 and HB 4130. HB 4127 and 4128 would prohibit possession of firearms at polling places, or within 100 feet of an absentee ballot counting board. HB 4129 would prohibit the intimidation of an election inspector or preventing an election inspector from performing his/her duties and HB 4130 would provide criminal penalties for violating these prohibitions.
FEBRUARY 15, 2023 ACTION ALERT FOR AMENDMENTS TO CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.
LWVMI sent out an Action Alert to our members and friends of the League urging them to contact their legislators to support the amendments to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression. Action can still be taken here.
FEBRUARY 11, 2023 LWVMI SUPPORTS SB 3 – EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
The LWV believes that one of the goals of social policy should be to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families and that most effective social programs are those designed to prevent or reduce poverty. Under this bill, the EITC would increase to 30% for tax years that begin after Dec.. 31, 2025.
FEBRUARY 11, 2023 LWVMI SUPPORTS ADDING SEXUAL ORIENTATION FOR PROTECTION UNDER ELCRA
LWVMI supports HB 4003 and SB4, which would add sexual orientation, gender identity and expression to Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
FEBRUARY 11, 2023 LWVMI SUPPORTS BILL TO REPEAL 1931 ABORTION BILL.
LWVMI supports HB 4006 which would repeal PA 328 of 1931 that bans abortion in Michigan
FEBRUARY 11, 2023 LWVMI SUPPORTS PRISONER POPULATION COUNT IN PRISONS TO BE THEIR HOME ADDRESS
SB 33, supported by LWVMI, would report the residency of an individual who is incarcerated in a correctional institution operated by the department as their home address. That information relates to a population count that is used for the establishment of a voting district in the census that takes place every 10 years.
FEBRUARY 7, 2023 LWVMI CONTINUES TO OPPOSE EXPANSION OF CAMP GRAYLINGLWVMI sent a letter to Governor Whitmer opposing the proposed expansion of Camp Grayling to double its current size.