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MLA Advocacy - November 29, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

NARCAN Bills Head to Senate Floor

SB 828 and 829 cleared the Senate Health Policy Committee this week and are headed to the Senate floor. The bills would offer liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron. Recently, the Senate Health Policy Committee took testimony on SB 828 and 829, and as a result of testimony headed up by MLA President Kristin Shelley, the committee chair requested an amendment to the legislation which would protect all public locations from liability including libraries. While this delayed the legislation briefly the broader implications for public safety are tremendous. We fully expect legislation to be signed into law by the end of this legislative session.

During committee testimony Kristin gave an excellent overview of why the bills are needed. She also provided a heart wrenching story of a death that occurred at a library where she worked years ago. The committee heard firsthand how a life might have been saved if naloxone had been available then.

Library of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education and MLA have been working together to see this protection added for our libraries.

Providing Narcan would not be a requirement for libraries. SB 828 and 829 would allow libraries and library employees or agents to purchase, possess, distribute or administer in good faith an opioid antagonist without possible subject to criminal prosecution. The law would provide immunity to libraries like that provided to public schools.

For a recent NPR Stateside interview about public libraries' response to the opioid crisis with Kalamazoo Public Librarian Kevin King and MLA Executive Director Gail Madziar visit the Stateside page of the MichiganRadio.org website.

Fox news reached out to Grand Rapids Public Library for more information on the bills. Here is an interview with Assistant Library Director Marla Ehlers: https://fox17online.com/2018/11/27/bill-seeks-to-allow-libraries-to-stock-opioid-antidote/

Read Senator Jones' news release on the bills here. https://www.senatorrickjones.com/senate-panel-oks-bills-to-help-stop-overdoses-in-libraries/

Utility PPT Exemption Bill Not Expected to Pass

SB 1301 that exempts DTE Energy and Consumers Energy from paying personal property taxes (PPT) isn't expected to see any action this year. While not likely to have an impact on libraries, MLA monitors these types of bills carefully for any amendments.

Gift Giving to Michigan Elected Officials

As you gear up for new legislator meet and greets, questions may arise about the appropriate limits on your VIP swag bag or other gifts. Following is some information for Michigan elected officials:

  • A public officer or employee shall not solicit or accept a gift or loan of any thing of value for the benefit of a person or organization, other than the state, which tends to influence the public officer or employee. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.342.

  • "Gift" means a rendering of anything of value which exceeds $25.00 in any 1-month period, unless consideration of equal or greater value is exchanged. Includes anything to aid the defense of an official against legal action not directly related to the governmental duties of the official. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 4.414.

  • Gift does not include: A campaign contribution otherwise reported. A loan made in the normal course of business by a financial institution, in the normal course of business. A gift from a family member. Food and beverage provided for immediate consumption. A contribution to a registered legal defense fund whose purpose is to defend an elected official against any action that arises from an official's governmental duties. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 4.414

This website may have additional information if you are interested: www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-table-gift-laws.aspx

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