If you haven’t contacted your Senator about HB 4111 NOW is the time..
We don’t want to give them the excuse they did not know the wishes “of the people.”
*The rules were suspended bumping up HB 4111 to a probable vote tomorrow
Wednesday, March 6, 2013…
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HB 4111 Rep. Haveman
Appropriations; zero budget; supplemental appropriations; provide for fiscal year 2012-2013.
Creates appropriation act.
I.E. House, February 28, 2013.
House substitute (H-1).
Rules suspended, placed on General Orders, Tuesday, March 5.
Apparently any deal cuts with Democrats is a win win for them..They get Obama Care..Gov Snyder gets his Exchange (the tool to usher in ObamaCare) and a high probability of his Medicaid expansion too. Isn’t bi-partisanship great?
You can watch the Senate proceeding tomorrow on Senate TV HERE starting at 10:00am.
However, there is a little item in HB 4111 that hasn’t gotten much attention, Memorandums Of Understanding (MOA)
Pg 4 Line 6 b) The project will be accomplished by state employees, contracts, memoranda of understanding, and other such agreements as established by the department of licensing and regulatory affairs.
if you recall, last year we supported a bill HB 4116
BACKGROUND: HB 4116 is the bill that addresses the lack of transparency of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) are legally binding, written documents entered into by officials in state government agencies with other parties with “uncertain statutory basis” or any central oversight, in a every increasing manner. Think of MOUs as a type of “shadow government.”
The bill wound its way through both Houses with some changes and finally voted on. HB 4116 passed WITHOUT any no votes
But wait! it goes to the governor’s desk and he vetos it! His reasons are below.
Inside Michigan Politics Editor Bill Ballenger said he “couldn’t recall a situation in recent memory where a Michigan governor vetoed legislation that passed without a single “no” vote. He then goes on to say .”This was really sort of weird,” Ballenger said regarding Gov. Snyder’s veto. *“One problem is that we just haven’t seen any good explanation for why he vetoed the bill.”
An override of the Snyder’s veto of the bill would require super-majority two-thirds votes in both the House and Senate. There has been talk in the legislature about possibly overriding the veto.
Rep. Richard LeBlanc, D-Westland, said there have been veto override discussions.
“Both caucuses in the House, Democrats and Republicans believe in transparency,” Rep. LeBlanc said. “The Legislature has a legitimate interest in agreements entered into by the the state of Michigan. It should be made aware of them and advised about them.
“A lot of us in the Legislature were naturally curious when the governor vetoed a bill that did not receive a single ‘no’ vote,” Rep. LeBlanc said.
Yes Rep. LeBlance so were we.
Maybe The Governor knew that having no transparency or oversight for MOAs would come in handy some day….like HB 4111?
Could Snyder use a MOA to accept the next step up from the Level One Federal Grant that HB 4111 appropriates to a Level Two Federal Grant “designed to provide funding through December 31, 2014 to applicants that are further along in the establishment of an Exchange.?”
Who knows? But considering the speed at which HB 4111 is going through both Houses, an argument could be that Michigan is certainly trying to be “further along in the establishment of an Exchange.”
The following veto message from the Governor was received and read:
Executive Office, Lansing, June 28, 2012
Michigan House of Representatives
State Capitol Building
Lansing, Michigan 48913
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Today I am returning to you Enrolled House Bill 4116 without signature. While I support the bill’s objective of increasing transparency and openness in government, the bill raises separation of powers concerns by directing executive
Furthermore, the legal analysis the bill would require might be costly and difficult for an agency lacking internal legal counsel to conduct. Enrolled House Bill 4116 requires that before entering into a “cross boundary memorandum of agreement” a state officer or governmental unit forward the agreement to the Attorney General with a preliminary review that addresses whether it is legally binding or enforceable. For those agreements that “appear to be” legally binding or enforceable, the unit of government or state officer must also provide to the Attorney General a “written full review” that includes an analysis “state and federal constitutional requirements and limitations” and the existence of statutory authority for the agreement, among other things.
The agreements the bill covers involve the exercise of inherent executive branch power and responsibility. Undertaking an extensive legal review of those agreements should be left to the sound discretion of the agency in carrying out its executive role and purpose. Imposing such a requirement through legislative action invades the proper role of the executive branch in “executing” the law. Simply put, executive branch agencies should be left to determine when such a review is proper or necessary, as they are constitutionally charged with carrying out the law and following the dictates of the constitution in doing so.
Furthermore, the bill puts executive branch agencies in the odd position of appearing to have to justify their actions to their own lawyer, namely, the Attorney General. By requiring that the agencies submit a legal review of legally binding or enforceable agreements to the Attorney General, the bill places the client agency in the odd position of supplying a legal analysis to its own attorney.
In addition to the requirement of a legal analysis, Enrolled House Bill 4116 would require the Office of the Great Seal to create a central repository for all such agreements and eventually make them publicly available on the internet. I whole-heartedly support this effort to create more openness and transparency in government and would be happy to work with you on a bill to achieve this laudatory objective. In the meantime, I will work with the Secretary of State to achieve the goal of greater transparency set forth in Enrolled House Bill 4116, whether that goal is statutorily required or not.