Michigan's Lame Duck Session
The Michigan Senate and House of Representatives are planning to finish up their respective legislative sessions before December 18. This will conclude the 2014 legislative year, and will be the last session before the newly elected legislators take office. In past years this “lame duck” period has been a time in which legislation can come up unexpectedly and be voted on very quickly, so it’s important for advocates to be paying close attention.
The Advisory Council of the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is watching three issues which would impact seniors – transportation, catastrophic auto insurance, and independent advanced practice nurses. A transportation solution is currently being negotiated by leaders of both chambers and the Governor, and will hopefully provide adequate and sustainable funding for roads across the state. Catastrophic care auto insurance is less likely to arise yet this year, but would negatively impact seniors and others if the unlimited lifetime benefit for medical and personal care following an auto accident were taken away. A senate bill that would create a designation for independent advanced practice nurses is in the House of Representatives, and would potentially impact the way medical care is delivered in Michigan. This bill could very well come up in the House and be passed very quickly.
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan will publicize an Advocacy Alert in the case that one of these issues requires immediate attention and advocacy. In the meantime, please click here for this month’s Advocacy Update for more details on these legislative issues, watch for news from the lame duck sessions