2017

Under a scaled back 11-bill package of legislation passed by the House and Senate last week, local governments would need to submit a state approved plan on how to cover their employees’ and retirees’ pension and health care costs; Democrats in the state Senate have introduced legislation (SB 724-725) to reverse Michigan’s five-year old controversial right-to-work laws. The measures would allow a union to charge an agency fee for nonunion members who work in a public or private union; Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law legislation that would allow the Department of Corrections to hire a former felon to work in a state prison – if the hiring goes through an investigative process. The bill (HB 4065) is designed to create opportunities for previous offenders looking to become productive members of society; In an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic in Michigan, the House and Senate passed the last of two packages of bills; As contract negotiations with state employee unions are set to begin next year, Gov. Rick Snyder has named Cheryl Schmittdiel the new director of the Office of State Employer to replace Marie Waalkes who is leaving state government with plans to retire. Schmittdiel has worked both sides of the bargaining table. For more details on these and other end of 2017 legislative issues, see the December 2017 Karoub Report.

A package of bills (SB 584 – 586) passed the Senate that would allow adults with a proper license to carry a concealed weapon through almost all “gun free zones”; The Board of State Canvassers is tentatively planning to meet Jan. 10, 2018 for consideration of the Protecting Michigan Taxpayer’s prevailing wage repeal petition; A no-fault auto insurance reform bill falls 10 votes short of passage in the House; Gov. Rick Snyder appointed his chief legal advisor Elizabeth Clement to the Michigan Supreme Court. Clement is the Governor’s fifth appointment; For the second time, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission was unable to issue an interpretation of state law to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited forms of sex discrimination. For more on these and other legislative issues, click November 2017 Karoub Report.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) says he is determined to pass legislation to allow private police forces with the authority to make arrests at colleges, hospitals, and malls under SB 594 and SB 595; A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has introduced an 11-bill alternative to no-fault auto insurance package that would reduce rates by 20 to 30 percent without cutting benefits; A House resolution has been introduced that would eliminate the State Board of Education and give the governor power to appoint the state superintendent, who would oversee the Department of Education; The Senate passed its version of Driver Responsibility Fee (DRF) elimination bills which frees drivers with an unpaid DRF of six or more years; Dr. Eden Wells, the state’s top medical director, is facing two more charges - involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office - in connection with the Flint water crisis. Click here for the October 2017 Karoub Report which highlights these and other legislative issues.

The Senate passed legislation (SB 335 and SB 336) that would allow Super PACS to exist under state law. Super PACS are independent committees able to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions and other entities; A bipartisan coalition of 15 House members claim the “Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Package” will reduce auto insurance rates 20 to 30 percent without reducing benefits; After Dec. 15, 2017, medical marijuana dispensaries still operating could have trouble getting licensed, according to the emergency rules the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs plans to push forward; and Democrats have introduced a seven-bill package to create a plan to test water and air quality annually in Michigan schools and create an environmental task force. Click here for the September 2017 Karoub Report featuring more information on these and other legislative issues .

 

Fire departments represented by Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) are hosting events throughout September and October in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8-14, 2017. Fire Prevention Week is observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The fire began on Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871. This year the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire prevention week theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Visit National Fire Protection Association website for fire safety prevention tips.

Local Fire Prevention public events which begin this weekend include:

• Augusta Charter Township Fire Department Open House
Time: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
Location: 10985 Whittaker Rd., Whittaker, MI 48190
Contact: (734) 461-9500 or www.augustatownship.org
Fire trucks and Huron Valley Ambulance will be on display. The event will also feature Augusta Township Fire Pup and a smoke house where adults and children can learn fire safety, spray the fire hose and knock down a pretend fire. There will be free food and drink, literature and coloring books, raffles for gift cards and other items donated by community businesses.

Burton Fire Department Open House & Pancake Breakfast
Time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
Location: Fire Department Headquarters, Station #2, 1320 S. Belsay Rd., Burton, MI 48509
Contact: (810) 742-2158
All you can eat pancakes, served with sausage and orange drink, free bounce house, face painting and child ID. Meet firefighters, tour the station and trucks, receive free smoke detectors and batteries, fire safety handouts and view a reflective sign demonstration.

Chelsea Area Fire Authority Open House
Time: Noon - 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017
Location: 200 W. Middle St.
Contact: (734) 475-8755
The event will feature bounce houses, a petting zoo, jaws of life for children to cut cars, spray fire hose, face painting, balloon animals, fire truck tours, Red Cross and Huron Valley Ambulance on scene, popcorn, doughnuts and cider.

• Clay Township Fire Department Safety Town at Millside Elementary
Time: Thursday-Friday, Oct. 12-13, 2017
Location: Kindergarten through second grade classes at Millside Elementary School, 1904 Mill St., Clay Township, MI 48001
Contact: (810) 794-9347

• Flat Rock Riverfest – Fire Safety
Time: 4-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2017; 2–11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 and 12:30 - 6 p.m.. Sunday, Sept. 17.
Location: Huroc Park, 28700 Arsenal Rd. on the corner of West Huron River Dr. and Arsenal Rd.
Contact: (734) 789-2332
Flat Rock Fire Department is providing a free large fire safety/firefighting obstacle course at the Festival. Youngsters can crawl through smoke inside the obstacle course tubes, go to framed windows (donated by Wallside Windows) and practice opening them and getting out. The course also includes ramps and a hose they can use to pretend to put the fire out. The popular obstacle course is taken on the road to neighboring communities. Riverfest also features many free activities including bounce houses, music concerts, fireworks and more. Visit www.flatrockmi.org for more information. Flat Rock Fire Department also plans to visit area preschool and elementary classrooms this fall to talk about fire safety.

• 4th Annual Green Oak Day featuring Fire Department Open House
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.
Location: 9384 Whitmore Lake Rd. Main Station
Contact: (810) 231-3663.
Police and fire personnel will be available to talk to residents. There will be various fire prevention activities for children. Residents can view the fire trucks and a survival flight, weather pemitting.

 • Macomb Township Fire Department Open House
Time: Noon - 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017.
Location: Macomb Township Fire Department Station 3, 47711 North Ave.
Contact: (586) 677-1262.
The event will include station tours and blood pressure checks. Live demonstrations will include use of fire extinguishers, firefighters rescuing victims, vehicle extrication with the Jaws of Life and fire safety for children.

• Milford Fire Department Open House
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
Location: 325 W. Huron
Contact: (248) 684-2335.
The event will feature an extrication demonstration with the Jaws of Life, tours of the station, trucks on display, fire safety materials, and free popcorn, cider and doughnuts.