LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Legislature started its lame-duck session Tuesday, and with Democrats taking control of both chambers in 2023 — they’re getting a head start on some ambitious goals.
A resolution in the House introduced by Democrats would create state-run utilities across Michigan.
If passed, a state public utility board would be able to purchase all of the electric and natural gas facilities in the state.
After the acquisition of those facilities, rates for customers would have to be lowered in 18 months, widespread electric vehicle infrastructure would be created and there would be more investments in renewable energy.
But that’s not the only thing House Democrats discussed that involved renewable energy.
A bill introduced Tuesday would set a timeline for the state’s power utilities to go green.
Currently, power companies must ensure their energy portfolios are at least 15% renewable.
The bill would raise that requirement to 25% by 2025, 50% by 2027 and at 100% by 2035.
Another Democratic bill introduced on Tuesday would fine corporate executives who make more than 50 times what is paid to their average employee.
Executives would be required to pay a surcharge to the state, equal to 5% of their tax liability.
The percentage would increase as the pay discrepancy increases, maxing out at 50% for those who make more than 500 times what they pay their workers.
Tax Cuts Below the Poverty Line
Additionally, Democrats want to cut taxes for people who make less than 150% of the federal poverty tax guideline.
Those with cut taxes would also be exempt from state income taxes, and would no longer be required to file a state tax return.
Michigan’s Role in Presidential Primaries
A Republican bill that cleared committee in the Michigan House would move Michigan to the front of the line for presidential primaries.
Currently, New Hampshire is traditionally first in the nation, holding its primaries on the second Tuesday in March.
If the passes, Michigan’s primary would be held in February.
The bill was discharged from the committee, a possible sign that lawmakers want it done quickly.
Another Republican bill that also cleared committee Tuesday would put new restrictions on investment fiduciaries.
A fiduciary is a person, or an organization, entrusted to act on behalf of a client’s best financial interest.
If passed, fiduciaries would only be allowed to consider monetary returns when making investment decisions, which would ban them from considering other things — like ideological, political or environmental concerns.