New State Legislative Session Begins

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capitol buildingThe new session for the 102nd Michigan Legislature kicked off during the week of Jan. 9 with swearing in ceremonies in both the House and Senate. Michigan Democrats in the majority started the session by introducing legislation to repeal right to work, reinstate prevailing wage requirements and several other bills intended to provide tax relief for working families. Committee assignments were also released, giving the MHA and its member hospitals an opportunity to begin conversations with key lawmakers about 2023 legislative priorities.

Much like previous legislative sessions, both the House and Senate will feature standing committees for health policy and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget. However, the House also created a new committee focused on behavioral health to provide a greater focus on the growing issue. Additionally, the MHA will be tracking new standing committees on labor issues created in both the House and Senate.

The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference convened Jan. 13 to revise revenue projections for the current fiscal year. Comprised of the House Fiscal Agency, the Senate Fiscal Agency and the Department of Treasury, their forecast calls for a year-over-year decrease of 1.1% in revenues from the 2021-22 fiscal year to 2022-23. For 2022-23, the General Fund is projected to decrease by $427.7 million year-over-year, with a forecasted total of $14.8 billion.

Included below is a comprehensive list of committee assignments that are particularly relevant for MHA members. If you have any questions about the new lawmakers in your district, committee assignments or other state legislation, please contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.

Senate Appropriations

  • Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) (Chair).
  • Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) (Vice Chair).
  • Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • Thomas Albert (R-Lowell).
  • Rosemary Bayer (D-West Bloomfield).
  • Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton).
  • Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Township).
  • John Cherry (D-Flint).
  • John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs).
  • Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores).
  • Mark Huizenga (R-Walker).
  • Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor).
  • Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe).
  • Kristen McDonald-Rivet (D-Bay City).
  • Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).
  • Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes).
  • Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).
  • Sue Shink (D-Northfield).
  • Lana Theis (R-Brighton).

*Senate DHHS Appropriations Subcommittee will be chaired by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).

Senate Health Policy

  • Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) (Chair).
  • Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) (Vice Chairs).
  • Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • John Cherry (D-Flint).
  • Erika Geiss (D-Taylor).
  • Roger Hauck (R-Mount Pleasant).
  • Mark Huizenga (R-Walker).
  • Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe).
  • Jim Runestad (R-White Lake).
  • Paul Wojno (D-Warren).

House Appropriations

  • Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) (Chair).
  • Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) (Vice Chair).
  • Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • Timothy Beson (R-Kawkawlin).
  • Ann Bollin (R-Brighton).
  • Ken Borton (R-Gaylord).
  • Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield).
  • Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township).
  • Cam Cavitt (R-Cheboygan).
  • Nancy DeBoer (R-Holland).
  • Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn).
  • Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale).
  • Phil Green (R-Millington).
  • Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids).
  • Thomas Kuhn (R-Troy).
  • Donovan McKinney (D-Detroit).
  • Jasper Martus (D-Flushing).
  • Denise Mentzer (D-Mount Clemens).
  • Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor).
  • Christine Morse (D-Texas Twp.).
  • Natalie Price (D-Berkeley).
  • Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton).
  • Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland).
  • Phil Skaggs (D-Grand Rapids).
  • Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland).
  • Will Snyder (D-Muskegon).
  • Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills).
  • Donni Steele (R-Orion Township).
  • Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park).
  • Jimmie Wilson (D-Ypsilanti).

*House DHHS Subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Twp.).

House Health Policy

  • Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) (Chair).
  • Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) (Vice Chair).
  • Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac).
  • Jennifer Conlin (D-Ann Arbor).
  • Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City).
  • Aalabas Farhat (D-Dearborn).
  • Graham Filler (R-DeWitt).
  • John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming).
  • Carol Glanville (D-Walker).
  • Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek).
  • Reggie Miller (D-Belleville).
  • Mike Mueller (R-Linden).
  • Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint).
  • Carrie Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor).
  • John Roth (R-Traverse City).
  • Kathy Schmaltz (R-Jackson).
  • Jamie Thompson (R-Brownstown).
  • Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores).

House and Senate Continue Health Policy Testimony

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Health policy committees met during the week of June 6 to continue action on three bills that would impact hospitals.capitol building

Further testimony was taken on legislation to create a new state-based exchange for healthcare insurance in the House Health Policy Committee. House Bill (HB) 6112, introduced by Rep. Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills), would create a new marketplace for Michigan consumers to buy healthcare insurance, opting the state out of the federal marketplace currently used. The new marketplace would be operated by a nonprofit whose board would initially be selected by the governor, Senate majority leader and speaker of the House. The nonprofit would be responsible for establishing bylaws for future replacement members. The MHA has not yet taken a position on the bill.

In the Senate, bills to allow Michigan to join the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) were up for a hearing. This compact is a legal agreement among states that creates an expedited pathway to licensure for psychologists who wish to practice telepsychiatry across state lines. HBs 5488 and 5489 were introduced by Reps. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian) and Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township), respectively, and are supported by the MHA. No vote was held June 9, and the MHA will continue to monitor any action.

For more information on these and other state bills related to healthcare, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

State House, Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Hospital Priorities

Hattam Schiffman

Marita Hattem-Schiffman, central region president for the MidMichigan Health SystemThe Michigan House Appropriations Committee reported out House Bill 4420 (H-3) April 29 and included two of the MHA’s top health funding priorities. If it becomes law, the legislation will appropriate $100 million to create a competitive grant program to increase the number of long-term pediatric psychiatric inpatient hospitals or centers. It would also appropriate $15 million to create a competitive grant program for infrastructure investments to improve behavioral healthcare provided through hospital emergency departments.

Marita Hattem-Schiffman, central region president for the MidMichigan Health System, testified at the committee hearing that the investment “in behavioral health with COVID-19 recovery funds — $100 million for pediatric behavioral health and $15 million to improve behavioral health treatment in Emergency Departments — is an excellent start toward creating the sustainable services these vulnerable patients need and deserve.” Hattem-Schiffman gave examples of the infrastructure costs of creating and maintaining behavioral health facility spaces and the enhanced need for behavioral healthcare due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full House of Representatives is expected to consider the legislation in the coming weeks as state budget negotiations continue. For more information about MHA behavioral health initiatives, contact Laura Appel at the MHA.

The Senate Appropriations Committee April 28 approved Senate Bill 36, which included a separate MHA priority of $160 million in COVID-19 relief funding for hospitals as they continue to respond to the pandemic. The MHA supports this funding, which will assist hospitals in maintaining the resources they need to improve the health of Michigan citizens. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.