Bob Kefgen's blog

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The Past Week in State Politics – In 5 Sentences (or Less)

It was a busy week for education policy with the legislature debating student growth models and pupil count days, the House naming a new Chair for its Education Committee, and more MMC reform legislation being introduced in both chambers.

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Governor Snyder Touches on Truancy in Public Safety Message

As part of his Special Message to the Legislature on Public Safety, Governor Snyder spent some time focusing on the issue of truancy. In brief, the proposal calls for the Department of Human Services to:

  • Place additional Family Resource Center (FRC) social workers in the 135 public elementary schools located in Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac and Detroit.

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Union Dues Collection Ban Heads to Governor

HB 4929 passed the Senate Reforms and Restructuring Committee on Wednesday morning. Later that day, it passed the full Senate and was concurred in by the House the same afternoon. It has been presented to the Governor for signature and it’s assumed he will sign the legislation.

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More MMC Bills Introduced

Making career and technical education more accessible to more students may be heating up. Two more bills, HB 5456 and SB 1013, were introduced this week to allow students to substitute career and technical education for a portion of the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC). These bills come on the heels of a similar pair introduced in the House and Senate last week.

HB 5456, introduced by Representative Joel Johnson (R-Clare), would allow a student who successfully completes a yearlong planned program to:

  • Opt out of the MMC requirements for:
    • Algebra II
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Bill Shields Underage Drinkers Seeking Medical Treatment From MIP

On Tuesday, the House approved a bill to exempt minors from the criminal sanctions for underage drinking under certain conditions, including when seeking medical attention. The bill is intended to avert deaths from alcohol poisoning due to underage drinkers not seeking medical help for fear of arrest or other legal consequences.

Specifically, underage drinkers would be shielded from minor in possession (MIP) penalties when:

  • Seeking medical treatment for themselves;
  • Taking another person to seek medical treatment; and/or