MI Legislative Agenda

The National African Business Association State of Michigan Legislative Agenda 2016-2018

A. NABA Initiatives

1. To authorize a bill that prohibits the garnishment of wages from creditors with the exception of child support, IRS and Student Loans with residents who reside in the State of Michigan. Only Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina have this law in effect. However, wages may be garnished if an employee works for an out of state employer. For example, a person who works in Ohio or for other companies based out of state, and their wages are subject to garnishment.

2.  An act to provide a refundable income tax credit to Qualified Michigan Cybersecurity Companies (QMCCs) that secure investment from investors. The purpose of this new program is to incentivize and attract cybersecurity companies to startup in or move to Michigan; and to attract investment to cybersecurity companies in order to help them grow, create jobs and retain intellectual property in Michigan.

3. An act to amend the Michigan School Code to allow cities who have lost their traditional school district to dissolution to authorize their own charter school board with populations under 75,000 residents. The mayor of the municipality would have the ability to make recommendations for potential charter school operators but all charters must be approved by the charter school board. There are certain criteria for charters to be authorized under a charter school board. (a) The school must be high performing and have a track record of success (b) the charter school cannot be managed by a for-profit company; (c) The charter must have a SEVIS designation.

4.An act that expedite the process or other incentives that should allow and encourage the development of model neighborhood designs that adhere to clear, specific, and consistent standards and regulations. These maximize market appeal, elicit more efficient land use, encourage protection of environmental assets, and maximize efficient infrastructure investment. Zoning should target area-wide densities, not minimum individual lot sizes.

5. An act that allows real estate brokers to participate in offering multiple real estate settlement services. This includes advocating full written disclosure of controlled business arrangements and support legislation to create adequate separation of settlement services for the protection of the consumer.

6. An act to mandate financial literacy lessons in Michigan Public Schools. Requires the state Board of Education to develop curriculum content for a course in financial literacy; requires each local board of education to implement the financial literacy curriculum content developed by the state Board in every high school in the county; and requires students in K-12 to complete a course in financial literacy in order to graduate from high school; requires the Michigan School Code to include mandatory financial literacy in core curricular content of economics;

7. A resolution recognizing Michigan K-12 Institutions as Global Education Zones to enhance global education learning in our schools.

8. A resolution recognizing September as African Heritage Month in Michigan.

B. Current Bill Watch

2016 Senate Bill 1026: Consolidate “tax increment finance authority” laws

Introduced by Sen. Kenneth Horn (R) on June 8, 2016, to consolidate laws authorizing seven different kinds of “tax increment finance authorities” (TIFA) into a single law. A TIFA "captures" the “increment” of extra local property tax revenue that supposedly will result from it spending borrowed money on various subsidies and projects within its jurisdiction. The tax revenue “captured” from other public bodies is used to pay off the debt. Downtown Development Agencies are the best known type. The bill would increase and make uniform TIFA reporting requirements, include in the reports information on the debt they have incurred and direct or indirect subsidies granted, provide sanctions for authorities that fail to make required reports, and prescribe what information they must post on their websites. NABA Position: Support

2015 Senate Bill 620: Exempt library taxes from DDA’s tax increment “capture”

Introduced by Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R) on November 10, 2015, to exempt library property taxes from being “captured” under a downtown development agency’s tax increment finance scheme (which is how these authorities pay for their various projects and subsidies). The bill would give library boards the option of whether to allow their property tax millage revenue to be “captured” by a DDA, with some specified exceptions. NABA Position: Against

2016 House Bill 5524: End property takings for DDAs

Introduced by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R) on March 24, 2016, to repeal the power of local government to take a person’s property under eminent domain and turn it over to a downtown development authority.  NABA Position: Against

C. Bills That Should Be Revitalized

2015 House Bill 4278: Revise homestead income tax credit

Introduced by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R) on March 4, 2015, to increase and index to inflation certain income and home value caps that limit the principle residence property tax credit that homeowners can claim on their state income tax.  NABA Position: Support

2015 House Bill 4519: Eliminate renewable energy utility surcharge

Introduced by the late Rep. Julie Plawecki (D) on April 23, 2015, to eliminate a provision that allows electric utilities to impose a surcharge on customer bills to pay for the mandate imposed by a 2008 law that electric utilities generate at least 10 percent of their power from “renewable” sources.  NABA Position: Support

 2015 Senate Bills 169-170: Authorize high school “STEM” diploma

Introduced by Sen. John Proos (R) on March 3, 2015, to require the state Department of Education to “issue and transmit” a high school diploma “endorsement” for a student who completes the science, technology, engineering, and math courses (STEM) specified in Senate Bill 170.  NABA Position: Support

D. National African Business Association Executive Goals for 2016-2018

1. Sister city/Sister State Relations

The Commission will also foster global awareness and increase the level and consistency of open dialogue and exchange between Michigan's citizens and institutions and their international counterparts. Therefore, we will help establish the Sister States Program between Michigan and various states in West Africa to help provide a forum for the promotion of international cooperation and understanding.

2. Opening Trade and Investment between West Africa and the State of Michigan.

Partnering with entities such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) will help facilitate trade and investment between West Africa and the State of Michigan. Currently, Michigan trade with Canada, China, Mexico, Germany and Singapore just to name a few. It is our anticipation and goals to open the doors of imports and exports between Michigan and West Africa to develop a viable community.