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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

A Busy Year for the Michigan Legislature

Michigan_state_capitolGovernor Rick Snyder signed just under 280 bills into law in 2013, including controversial legislation expanding Medicaid in Michigan, a move connected to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. According to Gongwer News, the Medicaid bill was the top piece of legislation for 2013. Ranking second was an indigent defense bill, which supporters hope will give a needed boost to the system that provides lawyers to those who can’t afford one. Also approved was a controversial petition initiated bill that prohibits insurance companies from including abortions in traditional medical coverage, effectively allowing the coverage only as an extra rider to a policy. Ranking 4th was a bill moving the Michigan Court of Claims from the Ingham County Circuit Court — the home county to the Capital — to the Michigan Court of Appeals, with the judges appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court. The bill was hugely partisan, with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. The measure reforming Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield, converting it into a nonprofit mutual insurer, ranked 5th. Also approved was campaign finance legislation, which doubles the amount that can be contributed to candidates, and codifies a policy that allows recipients of funds contributed for so-called “issue ads” to keep the contributors identities anonymous. Rounding out sixth through tenth were: school dissolution bills aimed at financially troubled districts, a measure allowing a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula, a measure allowing a bit of a sales tax break for those who trade in a car when they buy a new one, and a measure requiring epinephrine injection devices in schools, which can save students who suffer severe allergic reactions.

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