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House considers bill to limit local government power

Legislators in the Michigan State Capitol want to do away with the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Legislators in the Michigan State Capitol want to do away with the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The state House is considering a bill that would limit local governments’ powers to enact policies for employers.

House Bill no. 4052 would prohibit local governments from creating policies and ordinances regulating the relationship between an employer and its employees.

For example, the bill would not allow local governments to require a higher minimum wage, or mandate that employers provide more comprehensive leave benefits than required by the state or federal level.

State Rep. Earl Poleski, R-Jackson, sponsored the bill.

“Like any other employer, a city or local government can have its own employment rules,” Poleski said. “What it would prohibit is local government from imposing a broad requirement to businesses in its own jurisdiction.”

It would also nullify ordinances in 37 municipalities that protect people in the LBGTQ community from employment discrimination.

While 22 states have anti-discrimination laws for LBGTQ people, Michigan does not.

Sommer Foster is the director of public advocacy for Equality Michigan, a statewide organization that works to ensure equal rights for people in the LBGTQ community.

She said the organization is against the bill and preparing to testify at the hearing.

"It's a very broad bill that has the ability to do a lot of damage, particularly in the 37 municipalities that have non-discrimination ordinances,” Foster said. 

Poleski said he feels the state provides enough protection against discrimination and is confident the bill will pass.