Legislature Moves Abortion Care, Gun Safety Bills PDF Print Email
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Thursday, March 16, 2023 03:10 PM

Legislature Moves Abortion Care, Gun Safety Bills

After several weeks of cancelled sessions following the tragic violence at Michigan State University and the ice storm, the Michigan Legislature ramped up work over the last two weeks.

Supplemental Bill

During the week of March 6, the House approved a $1.34 billion supplemental bill and sent it to Gov. Whitmer for her signature. Much of this supplemental is focused on economic development incentives. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will receive $241.3 million; of that, $191.8  is federal funding and $75 million is allocated for healthcare workforce recruitment, retention, and training.

Abortion Care Legislation

Both the House and Senate passed legislation that would remove references to the criminalization of physicians who provide abortion care, often referred to as the 1931 abortion laws in Michigan. Following voter approval of Proposition 3 in the Nov. 2022 election, these laws were deemed unenforceable and in contrast to the new changes in the Constitution. House Bill 4006 and Senate Bill 2 were passed through the first chambers, with HB 2 adopted by the Senate and advancing to Gov. Whitmer for her approval. 

Firearm Safety Bills

Committees in both the House and Senate heard testimony and voted on a firearm safety bill package that has been introduced in each chamber. House Bills 4138-4148 and Senate Bills 76-86 call for universal background checks on all firearm purchases, safe storage that would require firearms to be securely locked in a safe or through attachment locking mechanisms like trigger locks, and “red flag” laws that would establish an Extreme Risk Protection Order and a process for reviewing cases where an individual may pose a safety risk to themselves or others. The House moved the universal background check pieces through committee and the full chamber. The Senate committee advanced the bill package, but the full Senate has not yet called the bills for a vote.

Protection Against Discrimination

The Senate started another priority piece of legislation in Senate Bill 4, which expands the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression protections against discrimination. The House also approved SB 4, sending it to the Governor for her signature.

Michigan Family Medicine Week: March 19-25

Looking ahead to next week, Michigan Family Medicine Week kicks off on Sunday, March 19. The focus is on the importance of all individuals and families having a family physician as a usual source of care for better health, better, care, and lower costs; but to make that happen, increased investments in primary care and workforce recruitment and retention are needed. Click here for more information about the week-long celebration of you and your specialty, and how you can get involved. Watch for media coverage throughout the week, as MAFP is hosting a #MIFamMed media roundtable with journalists and reporters from across the state on March 20.

Michigan Family Medicine Advocacy Day: March 22

Next week also marks the sold-out Michigan Family Medicine Advocacy Day, taking place on March 22. More than 150 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students will convene in downtown Lansing to talk with legislators about access to care and public health issues. Discussions will focus on the need for:

  • Investment in the primary care workforce, namely through MIDOCs and the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program
  • Increased Medicaid payment rates, to keep family medicine practices solvent and open for patient care
  • Preservation of telemedicine policies and payment, to protect access to care
  • Preservation of physician-led, team-based care. to protect patient health and safety
  • Gun violence prevention laws founded on research and evidence-based strategies

If you aren't attending this year's Advocacy Day, you still have a role in connecting with your state legislators. Click here to welcome your new or returning state senator and representative to the 102nd Michigan Legislature and introduce yourself as resource on healthcare / primary care topics. #AdvocacyMatters