As of right now, 93% of Michigan insurance companies use credit scores in order to determine rates that people pay for insurance. The use of credit scoring was authorized by the Michigan Legislature in 1996, but now some people are fighting to eliminate the use of credit scoring.
On May 13, 2009 House Representative Barb Byrum along with several other Representatives proposed HB 4890 and HB 4891 which both deal with prohibiting STOLI (stranger originated life insurance). The basic issue of this legislation is if individuals with life insurance should have the option to sell their policy to a third party so they can access their money that was likely not going to be used for insurance purposes. Such transactions are known as "viatical settlement transactions". "The viatical settlement transaction uses an insurance product to be sold in a secondary market as the financial instrument on which the investment is based." (Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation OFIR) As today's economic times toughen it seems that more and more people are using the viatical settlement market to get cash when their life insurance policy is becoming less useful due to nonpayment of premiums.
The MEDC or Michigan Economic Development Corporation was formed in 1999 by the state of Michigan with the help of local governments and communities. It's primary purpose is to assist Michigan companies to stay alive in this competitive and ever changing global economy. The MEDC fulfills this purpose through several programs, each geared towards a specific goal but with the overarching goals of: business retention, expansion and relocation.
Commerce and Regulation
Fair Housing Changes Proposed for Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Written by P. Pamela Davies
Thursday, 25 February 2010 20:52
Currently, the federal Fair Housing Act and Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act do not protect individuals from housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. The two laws combined, however, protect many classes from discrimination: race, color, sex, age, marital status, familial status, religion, national origin, color, height and weight (michigan.gov). According to Michigan Fair Housing Centers, since federal and state laws fall short from protecting individuals with alternative lifestyles, many Michigan cities have adopted local ordinances: Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Lansing, Ypsilanti, Detroit. But the problem with local ordinances is that it lacks "teeth," according to Kristen Cuhran of Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan in a recent interview-especially, when fines for violations can be as low as $500.
House Bill 4224 proposes an amendment to the Michigan Vehicle Code pertaining to the proper towing of log slashers and log saw trailers. Section 719 of the Michigan Vehicle Code covers various issues with tractor-trailer towing length and height regulations. This bill would make it easier, and legal to tow both a log slasher and a log saw simultaneously on one vehicle. Currently, a truck cannot tow two trailers unless both trailers use a fifth wheel connecting assembly, a device composed of two metal plates that allows for rotational and vertical movement between the truck and the trailer (http://www.tpub.com/eqopbas/72.htm). The units would still be required to be no longer than 28 ½ feet individually and 58 feet total, and would have to be connected by a coupling device certified by the Motor Carrier Safety Act. Essentially this law would provide for the easier transportation of a slasher and a saw for those involved in the forestry and landscaping industry.
Telecommunications policy, specifically related to broadband internet access, has become an increasingly popular topic in Michigan within the last few months. Moving forward into this new century we should expect to see more policy initiatives in the broadband internet access arena.
Interview with Rob Fowler, Small Business Association of Michigan
Written by Prasannah Nathan
Friday, 11 December 2009 20:20
Interview - Rob Fowler, President/CEO of Small Business Association of Michigan
Q1: "I would like to begin by talking briefly about the history of the SBAM. When was it founded? Is it part of a bigger nationwide organization? And finally, what was the primary objective for the organization?"
A1: "SBAM, as we are called was founded in 1969, so we just celebrated our 40th anniversary. It was actually founded in Kalamazoo, MI by a group of small business owners who had found themselves struggling with issues regarding health care - providing health insurance for their employees, and also tax and regulation. Those tended to be the three categories. They just felt that they would have more influence together than any of them would have separately. And really, the primary mission hasn't changed much over the years. We continue to believe that together, we are more likely to have a greater influence on, certainly the public policy process, than any of our members by themselves. As far as a national organization, we have somewhat of a loose affiliation, that is to say we are not a chapter of the National Small Business Association, but rather a member of the National Small Business Association. However, we have several members in our organization who sit on the board of the NSBA. I sit on the board, so we do have a really strong relationship but it is a loose confederation of small business associations."
Mortgage Reform Legislation Passes in the Senate- Will it pass in the House?
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 22:37
There is a package of bills that has been approved in the Senate that will strengthen officer loan requirement laws.The package is supposed to help make loan officers more accountable for their actions.Many people have been tricked by loan officers into taking loans with higher rates, because banks have been paying off the loan officers, paying them more for the higher interest rate that a borrower chooses.
Many people believe that this package of bills will be very beneficial, and will stop loan officers from misleading people into thinking that they are getting a deal, when they really are getting their money taken from them.It will stop the agreements between the banks and the loan officers that pay loan officers into coercing people to take a loan with a higher interest rate. Loan officers are supposed to act on the borrower’s behalf, and negotiate lower interest rates for the borrower, but a lot of the time the borrower is actually acting on behalf of the bank.These high interest rate mortgages have actually caused a lot of middle-class American families to lose their homes, due to the fact that they really cannot afford the high level of interest rates.Many people want a house so badly that they try to make it look like their income is higher than it actually is.
No one has expressed strong opinions against this legislation, but a few groups believe that there shouldn't be more restrictions placed on mortgage brokers. They say that no amount of regulation will totally eliminate abusive practices from this industry. They believe that the industry is already very highly regulated, and this hurts the people who are actually doing their job honestly.
The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.
Marie Hallberg is the commerce & regulation correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network and a first-year student at Michigan State University. Currently, she is a no preference major, but is interested in either a teaching or communications degree. Marie is very excited to be attending MSU and anxious to explore the opportunities that are available to her. Marie is originally from Illinois and enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, reading, and being in band. Her career aspirations include a job focused on serving and working with people, possibly in the guest service area. She is very interested in using her experience on the Michigan Policy Network to help better her understanding of the Michigan government and how its policies ultimately affect the citizens of Michigan.