Cash for well being suppliers impacted by auto no-fault modifications advances in Michigan Legislature

The legislation is set to get over health care providers affected by an upcoming reimbursement change in car injury treatment that was unveiled in the legislature on Wednesday.

Last week, Michigan House voted through an amended version of Senate Act 28 to create a $ 10 million fund for acute brain and spine injury facilities and caregivers who are suffering structural losses due to the upcoming changes. On Wednesday, the Senate revised that number up and approved $ 25 million for the fund.

The amended version of the bill is now being returned to the House for further review.

Payments would be made on a first-come-first-served basis and providers could only get the funds if they can provide and demonstrate information about the fees for their auto and non-auto injury treatment services, that they are facing a “systematic deficit” caused by changes in the flawless system of the state.

Connected: Law passed by the House would create a fund for health care providers who care for car accident victims

In July, insurance company reimbursement for health care services for survivors of car accidents not covered by Medicare will be reduced by 45% under the fee schedule set in the 2019 Act. This change, say many current post-acute care providers, will either put them out of business or force them to stop providing services to auto-accident patients. And car accident victims fear losing access to quality care.

Some health care providers treating car accident victims have criticized the fund proposal, calling it too little and too late to help troubled businesses and survivors. The Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council said in a statement Wednesday that it is opposed to the program and is urging lawmakers to change the policy instead.

“This program, which is set out in Senate Bill 28, does not provide sufficient relief in time or to the extent necessary to allow vendors to keep payroll and operations going,” said Tom Judd, president of the council. “The inevitable result is the imminent disruption of supplies and the displacement of vulnerable casualties across Michigan.”

In 2019, Republican-led Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer voted to overhaul Michigan’s flawless auto insurance system to lower the state’s highest costs and signed bills that were passed with broad bipartisan support.

Part of that change was to allow drivers to choose their desired level of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which went into effect last summer – but another important part of the deal was putting in place a fee schedule for how much Fees for health care insurance providers in handling car accidents.

Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, said he doesn’t think $ 25 million will be enough to solve the problem, but believes it will provide a “bridge” for vendors while lawmakers do Debate continues.

“Do I think $ 25 million will be enough? Not even close, ”he said. “I believe this is a bridge to this body and the House trying to find an answer, and these families deserve nothing less than that.”

Connected: Accident victims, health care providers are shouting about the imminent change in medical fees for car accidents

House spokesman Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said last week the fund could help lawmakers determine any issues with current policy and what to do in the future, according to Gongwer News Service.

Proponents of the directive, due to come into effect in July, say the reimbursement fee law changes are an important part of the equation when it comes to lowering auto insurance rates. The Insurance Alliance of Michigan estimates that just by reducing the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association’s vehicle fee reduction, Michigan drivers saved more than $ 1 billion, excluding the individual saver drivers achieved by choosing different PIP coverage levels.

Average auto insurance rates have dropped significantly since the first phase of Michigan’s Auto Insurance Act came into effect, but it is still one of the most expensive places in the country to insure a car.

Related coverage:

Average auto insurance rates in Michigan are falling significantly, but they are still among the highest in the United States

Michigan’s new auto insurance law is causing a stir and concern

What to Consider When Buying Michigan Auto Insurance?

Will Michigan drivers change their policies once the new auto insurance law goes into effect? Many still don’t know

Why it is difficult to predict individual savings under the new Motor Insurance Act

Auto insurers in Michigan see “coronavirus windfall” as the driving force, accidents are decreasing

About half of Michigan’s insured drivers would not choose to opt out of faultless coverage, a survey found

Governor Whitmer signs Michigan auto insurance revision bill

Michigan orders auto insurance reimbursements for “extreme driving restrictions.”

Michiganders see another drop in auto insurance fees in 2021

Louisiana legislature refers two amendments to 2022 poll regarding investing state cash in shares and digital submitting and remittance of gross sales taxes

Louisiana legislature put two amendments to vote in November 2022 last week.

Louisiana Increase In Maximum Amount In Stocks For Certain SWF Change (2022)

This change would increase the proportion of money in certain sovereign wealth funds that could be invested in stocks (stocks) from 35% to 65%. The increase would relate to the following funds:

  • Educational Quality Trust Fund in Louisiana;
  • Artificial Reef Development Fund;
  • Endowment Fund for Lifetime Licenses;
  • Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Trust and Protection Fund; and
  • Russell Sage or Marsh Island Refuge Fund.

The change would also remove a provision in the Constitution that restricts the ability of lawmakers to increase the amount of money in the Millennium Trust that can be invested in stocks and instead allows lawmakers to provide for investment under common law.

Legislators passed House Bill 154 on June 2, 36-0 in the Senate and 100-0 in the House of Representatives. In Louisiana, a two-thirds majority is required in every chamber of the Louisiana state legislature to put an amendment to the vote.

Louisiana Creation of the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission Amendment (2022)

This change would create the state and local streamlined sales and use tax commission. The commission would consist of eight members. The purpose of the Commission would be to streamline the electronic filing and transfer of all sales and use taxes. It would also be responsible for promulgating regulations on all sales and use taxes levied by a state tax authority. The administration of the commission would be funded by sales and use tax revenues. The change would require a two-thirds majority (66.67 percent) of the state legislatures to legislate on the functions and funding of the commission. The commission would replace the Louisiana Distance Sales and Use Tax Commission and the Louisiana Uniform Local Sales Tax Board after one year, with all employees moving to the new commission.

This change was introduced as House Bill 199 (HB 199) on March 26, 2021. On April 21, 2021 the House passed HB 199 by 97 votes to 4 with three absent. The Senate passed the bill unanimously with amendments on May 12, 2021. The House of Representatives rejected the Senate’s changes and a conference committee was convened. Both houses unanimously passed the legislative version of the conference committee on June 3, 2021.

Possible election actions in Louisiana in 2021 and 2022

There are eight other constitutional amendments for the 2022 ballot and three changes for the 2021 ballot that have been passed by a chamber of the Louisiana Legislature. They would appear on the nationwide ballot when passed in the second chamber.

Louisiana Historic Ballot Statistics

From 2000 to 2020, a total of 132 constitutional amendments were voted on nationwide in Louisiana. A total of 96 amendments appeared on the ballot paper in the even years and 36 amendments appeared on the ballot paper in the odd years. The average number of amendments appearing on the nationwide ballot was 10 in even years and 4 in odd years. Voters approved 71.88% (69 out of 96) and rejected 28.13% (27 out of 96) of the changes in even years. Voters approved 69.44% (25 out of 36) and disapproved 30.56% (11 out of 36) of the changes in odd years.

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Religion leaders ask the Legislature to allot extra Covid-19 cash for housing

Vermont religious leaders want state legislation to allocate more Covid-19 money to housing, but lawmakers, trying to balance myriad other requests, say that is easier said than done.

Vermont Interfaith Action, a grassroots coalition of nearly 70 spiritual communities from Brattleboro to Burlington, has asked the budget and Senate committees to increase spending on affordable housing by a factor of five from a budget of $ 50 million at the suggestion of Governor Phil Scott.

“We will ask you to dream big and enable every Vermonter to have permanent, stable and safe housing,” the group wrote in a new article report. “It is not only morally right, but also economically right.”

The state is receiving nearly $ 200,000 a night in federal funding to house nearly 2,800 homeless people in hotels and motels during the pandemic. Faith leaders argue that allocating funds for permanent housing would cost significantly less than continuing the status quo.

“Providing stable housing will reduce the downstream costs of poor physical and mental health, substance use disorders, educational support for students whose main challenge is chaos and trauma, and ultimately the cost of our criminal justice and correctional systems,” they write in the Report .

The state’s growth rate for residential real estate is expected to decrease from 1.66% in the 1980s to about a tenth (0.18%) this decade at the latest Vermont Housing Needs Assessment.

“When a housing market offers new housing options to buyers and middle- and higher-income tenants, their existing apartments, which are likely to be cheaper than new apartments, will become available to other apartment hunters,” the review said. “In this way, declines in housing construction ultimately reduce the availability of affordable housing for lower-income Vermonters.”

Likewise, the state’s rate of growth for rental units has declined since 1990.

“What the pandemic has brought to light is the extent to which we have negligently invested too little in our housing system,” wrote the faith leaders. “We are now blessed with the opportunity to remedy this shortcoming.”

The House of Representatives budget proposal, which is currently under consideration by the Senate, could potentially add 1,200 housing units, the clergy said. But Scott’s suggestion, they estimated, could add 5,000 units.

“With what we now know of the true numbers of people living in shelters and motels,” they wrote, “the budget of the house is well below need and Governor Scott’s desire is to create 5,000 units a very reasonable goal. “

In response, Senate leaders said writing a budget was a balancing act.

“Housing construction is important, but only part of the story,” Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, D-Windham County, told the group recently Online meeting. “If we don’t put in the right supports, people can easily lose them for a variety of reasons.”

As a result, lawmakers also want to provide money for rental and mortgage assistance, as well as mental health and addiction services for newly housed tenants.

“I totally agree with the concern for the homeless, but the grants committee is a very consultative process,” said Senator Alice Nitka, D-Windsor County. “A lot of things have to be weighed.”

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Jacksonville faces problem in Legislature for septic tank cash

Jacksonville is facing a rise in state law for money that would help the city fulfill a 2016 promise to turn the page on septic tanks in three northwestern boroughs of Jacksonville.

The city sought $ 6 million from the legislature But as it stands, the House version of the budget for next year has nothing for Jacksonville to clean up septic tanks, and the Senate version only has $ 250,000.

However, as long as the Senate has the money in its version, the project will stay alive if the House and Senate leaders negotiate a final budget later in session.

“The good news is that if it makes that final cut (in the Senate) there is a chance.” said State Senator Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, who sponsored the Jacksonville inquiry on the Senate side.

More:Curry: It’s time to worry about getting the sewers into the septic tank districts once and for all

Jacksonville: List rates neighborhoods based on money that would drain thousands of septic tanks

Mayor Lenny Curry and Some city council members have said the city must finally address the high costs Extension of the JEA sewer pipes to parts of the city that have been dependent on septic tanks for decades. Curry has spoken out in favor of building hundreds of millions of dollars in sewerage for this purpose.

Phase one would be to fully fund the sewage service for three neighborhoods – Biltmore, Christobel and Beverly Hills – The city promised in 2016 would be remodeled from a decades-long dependence on septic tanks.

The city council unanimously voted on March 23 to allocate $ 14.4 million in new city funding and $ 12.5 million from JEA to the canal construction projects, which will cost more than original estimates. The third leg of the finance stool would be $ 6 million from the state.

JEA is already doing the job in the Biltmore neighborhood and would drive next to Christobel and then to Beverly Hills.

Curry has said that one way or another the city will get enough money to travel to all three boroughs.

“We will definitely complete these projects,” he said in February when he announced the plan for the additional spending with JEA. “That’s a fact. It will happen.”

He has personally met with state lawmakers about the city’s funding request and will continue to do so, according to the mayor’s office.

Getting the full $ 6 million from the state in next year’s budget will be a huge challenge.

Bean, who is temporarily president of the Senate, said that on a scale of zero to ten, with ten being the greatest chance of government funding, “the chance it’ll go away at $ 6 million is probably one. The chance that.” it goes away. ” with a little money is a 6. “

“I think the Jacksonville project is scalable, which means they’ll make the most of whatever is available,” said Bean.

He said Legislators’ awareness has increased on the environmental risks of aging septic tanks.

“It’s gaining momentum and more people are buying in what’s in our favor,” he said.

On the house side, a new rule for this session was that for a member-sponsored project that makes it into the house version of the budget, the dollar amount must be at least 50 percent of the amount originally requested.

Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville, said the rule is aimed at stopping cases where lawmakers have inflated requests many times beyond what they actually needed for a project.

In the case of Jacksonville’s motion, the new rule meant that the legislature that made the budget for the House should have paid at least $ 3 million for what would have been a large sum for a single project, Duggan said.

He said the rule does not apply to the final budget, which was negotiated in a House-Senate conference to make Jacksonville more flexible.

He said that as long as the Senate has money for Jacksonville in its budget, “it means they want to keep it in play for conference calling.”

The Senate’s proposed budget includes dozens of water projects across the country. These include $ 250,000 for Atlantic Beach for flood control in Hopkins Creek, $ 250,000 for rainwater improvement in downtown Fernandina Beach, $ 250,000 for draining American Beach wells and septic tanks in Nassau County and $ 250,000 for septic tank exit in Jacksonville.

The proposed budget for the home is $ 250,000 for Hopkins Creek, $ 600,000 for American Beach, $ 150,000 in St. Augustine for a septic tank sewer program in West Augustine, and $ 347,000 in beach resilience in St. Augustine Beach for the Ocean Walk subdivision .

New York state legislature passes invoice to legalize leisure marijuana

New York lawmakers passed a law to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, and Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would sign it.

The Senate voted 40-23 to pass the laws. Later that evening, the State Assembly voted 100-49 for the bill.

If the bill is signed, the Empire State, along with the District of Columbia, will be the 15th state in the country to legalize the drug for recreational use.

“For too long, the cannabis ban has disproportionately targeted color communities with harsh sentences, and after years of hard work, this landmark piece of legislation provides justice for long-marginalized communities, embraces a new industry that is growing the economy, and creates significant security for the public” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement Tuesday evening after the bill was passed.

“I look forward to including this legislation in the law,” he said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supported legislation based on racial justice. “I think this bill goes a long way. I think there is more to be done, but it goes a long way,” said de Blasio aloud WDTV ABC 11.

Black and Latino New Yorkers combined accounted for 94% of marijuana-related arrests by the New York Police Department in 2020, although city statistics show the proportion of white New Yorkers who use marijuana is significantly higher than that of Latino or black residents. According to a survey by the New York Department of Health 24% of white residents reported using marijuana, compared with 14% of black and 12% of Latin American residentsthe most recent data available for the 2015-2016 biennium.

The vote to legalize weeds recently came after the neighboring state of New Jersey legalized the facility. The aim of the legislature was to pass the law as part of the state budget before April 1st.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger and Congregation Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. The Senators debated for three hours, with Republicans claiming the bill was dangerous and not what all New Yorkers wanted.

“We met endlessly with everyone who asked us,” replied Krueger during the procedure. “The truth is, I’m not sure I have ever met such a diverse group of people as in the seven years my chief of staff and I worked on this bill.”

The legalization is expected to ultimately generate billions in revenue for the state, and New York City in particular, with a hefty 13% tax that includes a 9% state tax and 4% local tax. The measure also includes a potency tax of up to 3 cents per milligram of THC, the natural psychoactive component of marijuana that supplies the plant high.

An estimate by Cuomo’s office predicts that annual tax revenues from legal weed sales could add $ 350 million a year and 60,000 jobs to the state once the industry is fully established.

The measure allows possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana and 24 ounces of marijuana concentrate, and allows up to six plants to be grown at home.

The legislation also provides equity programs to provide loans and grants to people, including smallholders, disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

“My goal in implementing this legislation has always been to end the racially diverse enforcement of the marijuana ban that has weighed so heavily on color communities in our state, and to use the economic wind of legalization to heal and repair those same communities to contribute. ” “” Said Kruger in a press release.

“I’ve seen such injustices and for young people whose lives have been destroyed because they did something I did as a kid,” Krueger said as she recorded her voice for the measure. “Nobody put a gun to my head and nobody tried to put me in jail for being that nice white girl.”

Some officials are straight request for the bill to fund universal basic income and home ownership programs for communities hardest hit by the drug war.

“With the upcoming legalization of marijuana, we have the opportunity to legislate locally to make the concept of redress through a UBI and home ownership a reality for Rochester and its families.” said Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren, according to

The bill will clear the criminal records of tens of thousands of people, has a goal from 40% reinvestment in color communities and 50% licenses for adult use to social justice claimants and small business owners.

The law also “creates a well-regulated industry to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are getting when they buy cannabis”.

The move creates a cannabis management bureau, which is an independent agency working with the New York State Liquor Authority. The agency would be in charge of regulating the recreational cannabis market and existing medical cannabis programs. The agency would also be overseen by a cannabis oversight committee made up of five members – three appointed by the governor and one each appointed by the Senate and the State Assembly.

Police groups and the New York Parent-Teacher Association have openly expressed concern about the bill.

“Absolute travesty. All of the research submitted shows it is harmful to children and makes the streets less safe,” said Kyle Belokopitsky, New York State PTA executive director. ABC 7 New York reported. “And I have absolutely no idea what lawmakers think when they think they want this to happen now.”

New York officials are launching an education and prevention campaign to reduce the risk of cannabis use in school-age children, and schools can participate in drug prevention and awareness programs. The state will also start a study looking at the effects of cannabis on driving.

The law allows municipalities to pass laws that prohibit cannabis dispensaries and consumption licenses. The deadline is nine months after legalization.

If the bill is signed, legalization of the facility would take effect immediately, but legal recreational sales would not be expected to begin for a year or two.

– CNBC’s Lynne Pate contributed to this report.