After the recent passage of the 2024-25 fiscal year budget, advocacy groups, agencies, and organizations mostly praised the spending plan.

Monique Stanton, president and CEO of the Michigan League of Public Policy, said in a statement the budget agreement is "big and broad," but what the organization is celebrating the most is the changes to the cash assistance program, making the first "meaningful improvements" to the Family Independence Program since 2008.

Stanton said the organization will continue to advocate for ongoing improvements outside the budget to "counteract the years of disinvestment."

Stanton said in the statement the budget will help one in five Michigan children and 13 percent of Michigan households living below the poverty line.

"This budget invests in things these households need – like better access to healthy foods, health insurance for kids and parents, and support for child care – is critical to boosting outcomes for Michigan kids and families," Stanton said in a statement.

A key proposal from Governor Gretchen Whitmer that made it into the final plan, the "community college guarantee" was praised by the Michigan Community College Association.

MCCA President Brandy Johnson said the final budget’s inclusion of free tuition for Michigan students heading to community college was "the very best of each proposal," between the executive, House and Senate.

"We’re very grateful to each legislator who worked to understand the potential impact of the Community College Guarantee and ensured this tuition-free path for in-district students, a capped last dollar award for those not eligible for in-district tuition, and an additional $1,000 for students who qualify for the federal Pell Grant to cover non-tuition costs of attendance like textbooks and transportation," Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson also said she is hopeful for further conversations on increased costs for community college operations and infrastructure in the fall.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board  received $1.9 million to add staff for regulatory operations in internet gaming and sports betting to enhance protections against legal activity.

"I extend my deepest gratitude to Governor Whitmer and the Legislature for their commitment to enhancing the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s operations with their support of additional FTE positions, underscoring their dedication to strengthening the agency and it’s regulatory efforts," Henry Williams, executive director of the board, said in a statement.

The board’s Compulsive Gambling Prevention Fund and its programs will also receive $3 million to expand the 24/7 Gambling Disorder Helpline as part of the DHHS and support research on gambling addictions while another $3 million for the "Don’t Regret the Bet" responsible gaming messaging campaign.

"Together, we are safeguarding the integrity of the industry while prioritizing the well-being of Michigan citizens," Williams said in a statement.

Michigan Health and Hospital Association released a statement saying the budget "champions crucial health care funding" while also protecting healthcare services.

Brian Peters, CEO of the association, said in a statement that the funding pools that support rural access to hospitals, obstetrical services, the Healthy Michigan plan, a health coverage plan for certain Michiganders, and Michigan’s Medicaid populations will "maintain access to care for underserved populations" across the state.

Peters also applauded the new funding for recovery coaches in hospitals to expand substance use disorder services.

"These individuals are specifically trained to provide advanced peer recovery support services and are proven to help patients overcome obstacles in their substance use disorder recovery," Peters said in a statement. "Michigan joins the more than 38 other states in supporting this model of providing needed care."

The Michigan Hospitality and Tourism Alliance said in a statement that the organization was appreciative of the doubling of the funding to the Pure Michigan campaigns to $30 million in the coming year.

"Pure Michigan is one of the few investments that has a direct positive impact on large and small cities alike," Trevor Tkach, vice president of the alliance and president and CEO of Traverse City Tourism, said in the statement. "It helps local businesses thrive and keeps Michiganders fully employed."

The statement thanked the Michigan Hospitality and Tourism caucus, Sen. John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs) and Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-Saint Clair Shores) as well as Rep. Will Snyder (D-Muskegon) and Rep. Nancy De Boer (R-Holland).

The statement said the funding, now at "appropriate levels," is overdue.

"We are ecstatic that the Michigan Legislature has taken the lead to move funding for the highly successful Pure Michigan campaign back toward the level fitting of the travel and tourism industry’s impact on this great state," John Lindley, treasurer of the Michigan Hospitality & Tourism Alliance and president and CEO of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds, said in the statement.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network applauded the increase in the budget to fund programs addressing tobacco use, but also called for more.

"Michigan is tied for last place in funding tobacco prevention and programs that help people quit tobacco," Molly Medenblik, government relations director for the network, said in a statement. "The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is thankful for the increase in the budget, but more must be done to reduce the toll of tobacco in our state."

Medenblik said investing in more measures to combat the $308.4 million per year tobacco companies are spending on advertisement is needed to push back against big tobacco.

"If we want Michigan to be a healthier and less cancer-stricken state, we must do better," Medenblik said in a statement. "ACS CAN looks forward to continuing to work with the governor and lawmakers to take substantial steps forward."

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy moved one step closer to being able to make administrative rules governing water resources protection for the first time in nearly two decades after legislation was voted on Wednesday in the Senate to make the change.

In a 20-18 vote along party lines, the Senate passed SB 663 , which would delete a provision of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act banning the department from promulgating rules to carry out its duties under Part 31 of the act.

As currently written the department may promulgate rules it deems necessary for carrying out its duties. The act prohibits EGLE from promulgating any further rules under Part 31, the Water Resources Protection, after December 31, 2006. Rules promulgated before January 1, 2007, have and will remain in effect unless rescinded. The bill would delete these provisions.

"These restrictions have put the state of Michigan in jeopardy of losing some of its delegated authority to manage its waters due to falling out of line with federal requirements," bill sponsor Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield Township) said. "By passing this bill, EGLE will regain authority to make rules that protect the public from harmful chemicals released into our waterways and that find their way into our drinking water, our wildlife and into our own bodies, where they can cause serious consequences for our health."

If signed into law, EGLE would be able to promulgate additional rules or updates to existing regulations including the federal Clean Water Act implementation, permitting, spill prevention, and notification and containment.

Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) rose in opposition, questioning what residents or businesses have asked for additional rules and regulations by the state.

"Who here seriously believes that somehow the department is lacking in power, that any of our administrative departments are lacking power?" McBroom said.

He said the department has a long history of clamping down on local businesses and homeowners over very specific regulations.

"Why did we even run for office if we’re not willing to do our own jobs and legislate when necessary?" McBroom said. "Why give up the power to the administrative state?"

Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) countered that there have been examples of excesses by departments in the past. However, he said the department needs the ability to be flexible when necessary in quickly responding to an environmental issue.

"Sometimes the Legislature isn’t quick to act," Irwin said. "Sometimes there are powerful forces that prevent the Legislature from acting."

He used the example of the administration of former Governor William Milliken’s administration working to preserve Lake Erie in the 1970s from extreme pollution.

McBroom in response said the department is not without opportunities, including emergency rulemaking powers to address such situations.

Another bill that passed 20-18 along party lines was SB 740 , which would set the jobsite ratio for electrical journeymen to registered apprentices from one to three to one to two. It would also require a jobsite ratio of one master plumber to not more than two apprentices.

Other legislation passed Wednesday with bipartisan support.

Passing 34-4 was SB 688 , which would enable researchers to submit research requests for juvenile records to the State Court Administrative Office or an individual court. If approved, the parties would be able to negotiate date use agreements for the information provided.

Under current statute access to the data is prohibited due to the minor status of the case subjects. The data would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act under the bill.

Legislation that would modify the definitions relating to brands and brand extensions for certain alcoholic beverages (SB 868 ) passed 37-1. Legislation that would ease inspections on barbershops and barber colleges saw wide bipartisan support (HB 4647 ) also passed 37-1.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle think it’s time to modernize Michigan’s marijuana industry and bring the medical and recreational systems under the same regulatory umbrella.

Last week, Rep. Graham Filler (R-Duplain Township) and Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr. (D-Ypsilanti) introduced HB 5884 and HB 5885  to merge regulations for recreational adult-use and medical marijuana into the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act and repeal the older medical marijuana law.

"It’s the same cannabis. It’s going through the same process," Filler said, "But they run on different tracks, which is just an additional licensing fee. It’s an additional regulatory structure built into CRA. I mean, there’s a whole division there – why do we need that?"

Currently, marijuana licensees in Michigan are regulated under two different state laws: the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, created by the Legislature in 2016 to oversee facility regulation and licensing, and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, passed by voters in 2018.

The dual system means that marijuana licensees must renew both a medical and recreational license annually to grow, process, transport, or sell marijuana.

By condensing the licensing, Filler said medical marijuana patients would also gain access to the new products being developed for recreation.

"If I’m an investor, if I have a new kind of edible or a new flower, where am I going to spend my money? Medicinal? Or rec? I’m going to go rec, because everybody’s doing rec right now," Filler said.

Filler said protecting medical marijuana patients was an important part of the legislation, and that he and co-sponsor Wilson were aiming to keep the bills simple.

"No Christmas tree gifts," he said. "It’s modernization. It’s saving people money. It’s expanding access."

Communities that haven’t approved recreational sale would be grandfathered in under the new legislation, Filler said.

"That’s the best way to do that," he said. "If you approved one and didn’t approve the other, then we’re not forcing you to now sell something, we’ll be aware of that as an issue. Medicinal patients use a card. They can still use that card to get the discount."

Changing the way Michigan does licensing will make the state’s cannabis market more stable, Wilson said in a statement.

"This is about making Michigan an attractive and stable place for marijuana businesses to thrive," he said. "A single, cohesive regulatory framework will support our growing economy, ensure the safety and quality of marijuana products, and maintain access for medical marijuana patients. This is a forward-thinking approach that positions Michigan as a leader in the industry."

Filler also talked about stability.

"If someone says, ‘It seems like Michigan has a very modern statute and a CRA that’s easy to deal with and very clear with their administrative rules – it’s not going too far one way or the other,’ I think all that gets put together," Filler said.

Caregivers have also been included in the conversation of drafting these bills, Filler said, which is different than how similar legislation has been approached in the past.

The biggest outstanding question, Filler said, is whether there will be the political will to take the bills up in the fall. In contemplating his own question, Filler said he thinks leadership will want to take up the bills.

"And I’ll tell you why: It’s Taylor Swift," he said referring to the bill package he worked on with Rep. Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park) to ban bots from buying event tickets en masse. "It’s because when you put good, bipartisan legislation together, that’s actually been worked on instead of just, ‘Here’s a bill. I’m on the right side of the chair today,’ it allows the Democrats, the Republicans and the stakeholders who have worked so hard on this (to come together). And there’s not going to be opposition."

The bills were referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee  for consideration.

DCD is once again proud to be a premier sponsor of the 7th Annual Salute our Warriors Event.  This event raises money for the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund.

The mission of the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund™ (FWSF) is to support Michigan-based soldiers who serve and protect our country.

Founded in 2006, the organization is dedicated to supporting Michigan-based soldiers and their families. Proceeds from corporate and private donations as well as events are used to support the organization’s mission. The organization is wholly staffed by business people and volunteers who believe in giving back to our armed forces and their families. 











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DCD continues to exist as the premier resource helping municipalities navigate the waters of cannabis policy. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding medical or recreational cannabis policy, procedure, and more. DCD is available for presentations to municipal boards, for one-on-one meetings, and for consultations.

We are here to help you with: municipal lobbying, license application writing and assistance, business plans, state required operations manuals and compliance, facility design, corporate structure, and design and branding. 

We are experts in both medical and recreational cannabis policy and have been in the space for over ten years.  We welcome any opportunity to work with you in the future!


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