Snyder Vetoes HICA Replacement

Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed legislation that would have ended the 0.75 percent tax on health insurance claims and established a way to replace the lost revenue. Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), lead sponsor of the bills, commented it is now up to the Snyder administration to create a new proposal. This veto marks Governor Snyder’s 54th veto during his almost six years in office.

DEQ Files Emergency Rules

The Department of Environmental Quality filed emergency rules on Thursday following the discovery of dioxane contamination near an existing plume outside Ann Arbor and a few other areas around the state. The rules package still needs to be presented to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules before promulgation. The water standard will then be set at 7.2 parts per billion and the residential vapor intrusion standard at 29 ppb.

Absentee Ballots Up

The number of completed absentee ballots are up compared to 2012 along with the number of applicants and ballots issued, state officials confirmed. The number of absentee ballots completed is up 36 percent, or roughly 165,000 more completed with 12 days before the election.

Appeals Court on Fetus

A fetus can be considered a victim in a ruling on Wednesday by the Court of Appeals. The case People v. Ambrose, the majority decision written by Judges Mark Boonstra and Kirsten Frank Kelly, held the law refers to “victims” and establishing a fetus as a person is unnecessary in order to consider it a victim. The case found Samuel Ambrose guilty of felonious assault after attacking his pregnant girlfriend, punching her in the abdomen, threatening her and holding her head under water. Mr. Ambrose challenged the sentence based on the law saying “threatening injury or death to between two and nine victims” with the fetus counting towards that number.