Whitmer Signs Six Bills Changing Insurance, Snowmobile Rules

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed six bills into law ranging from boosting insurance transparency to letting shoe repair stores donate shoes left unclaimed for six months or more.

“Today, I will be signing six bipartisan bills, adding on to the over 800 bipartisan bills I have signed since taking office,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Today’s bills will make insurance benefit preauthorization more accessible, support winter recreation and shoe repair businesses, and amend the state bar admittance process. I am proud to sign these bills and will continue to work with anyone to get things done. Together, we can continue delivering on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michiganders, growing our economy, and creating good-paying jobs.” 

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Texas’ Elections Bill Clears State House, Setting Stage to Become Law

Texas State Capitol building

Texas’ controversial elections bill cleared the state House Friday afternoon, clearing its way to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk after a months-long battle that drove Democrats to flee the state in an attempt to block its passage.

Senate Bill 1 was lauded by Republicans as a means to better secure future elections, but was chastised by Democrats as an effort to restrict voting access following former President Donald Trump’s discredited claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. It passed on an 80-41 vote that fell largely along party lines.

The Texas House considered dozens of amendments during a marathon session Thursday, and the bill now heads to the Senate for the provisions adopted to be approved before heading to the governor’s desk. Abbott, a Republican who has championed the issue, has vowed to sign it.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs Driver’s License Extensions into Law

People in chairs at the DMV

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills dealing with the consequences of a 15-months backlog at the Secretary of State’s office extending the validation of state driver’s licenses and ID cards.

“The pandemic was tough on all of us, and these bills put Michigan drivers first by giving Michiganders the flexibility they need to renew their drivers license and IDs,” Whitmer said in a statement. “It is crucial that we continue to offer services at our Secretary of State that fit the needs of all residents as we move forward.”

The three bills add 120 days of validity for the documents expired between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

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Commentary: President Biden’s Tax Hike Hits Keep on Coming

Joe Biden

Just over three months into his presidency, Joe Biden has been nothing if not active. Fresh off proposing two bills that could end up costing taxpayers $5 trillion over the next decade, the President is now proposing yet another $1.5 trillion spending package. This plan, intended to fund expanded childcare and education initiatives, would include huge tax hikes that would act as yet another sucker punch to a still-rebounding economy.

About the only tax increases the President hasn’t supported thus far arewealth taxes and financial transaction taxes. But just because the tax hikes in this package are less exotic doesn’t mean they wouldn’t prove to be harmful.

In keeping with Biden’s ongoing efforts to undo the 2017 tax reform law, the first tax increase proposed is the restoration of the top tax bracket to 39.6 percent, the level it was at before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered the rate to 37 percent. The top individual rate isn’t the most influential piece of the tax code on economic growth — as the Tax Foundation estimated prior to the passage of the TCJA — but it’s also far from the only tax hike that Biden is proposing.

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New House Rules Carve-Out for ‘Climate Change’ Bills Exempted from Requiring Projected Price Tag

House Democrats blocked a Republican attempt on Monday to require any proposed climate change legislation to also include its projected cost.

Under the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) rule, any additional government spending proposed must be accompanied by tax increases or separate cuts. After a push from several lawmakers in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, however, the rules package for the 117th Congress states PAYGO will not apply to legislation relating to the necessary economic recovery or U.S. efforts to combat climate change.

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