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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Legislative Update for June 2023

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Date Posted: May 31, 2023

This update includes recently introduced bills and those moving through the legislative process. Michigan Farm Bureau’s positions are rooted in the organization’s member-developed policy. 

State Issues

Lab-grown Meat

Introduced by Rep. Jerry Neyer (R-Shepherd), House Bill 4653 amends the state’s food law to stipulate that laboratory-grown meat substitute cannot be labeled or identified as meat. Farm Bureau policy is clear that we oppose misleading or deceptive marketing, promotion and/or labeling claims, therefore we support the legislation. The bill awaits consideration by the House Agriculture Committee.

Contact: Rebecca Park 

Right to Repair 

Seven different bills have been introduced in the Michigan Legislature dealing with agricultural equipment repair. The legislation would give agricultural producers and independent service technicians access to diagnostics, information and parts that are available to equipment dealers. 

MFB does not have state policy on this issue; however, the organization is honoring an agreement with AFBF to refrain from promoting or engaging in federal or state right to repair legislation.  

The agreement recognizes commitments made through signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between AFBF and John Deere, CNH Industrial Brands, AGCO, CLAAS and Kubota. Specifically, the MOUs establishes a framework enabling farmers and independent repair facilities to access essential tools, manuals, product guides, and information necessary for self-diagnosis and self- repairs. It also establishes a mechanism for addressing farmers’ concerns and commitment to meet biannually to assess progress. 

The state-level bills introduced on right to repair include: SB 341 – Sen. Joe Bellino, Jr (R-Monroe), SB 342 – Sen. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), HB 4562 – Rep. Kevin Coleman (D-Westland), HB 4609 – Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), HB 4650 – Rep. Dale Zorn (R-Onsted), HB 4651 – Rep. Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit) and HB 4673 – Rep. Reggie Miller (D-Van Buren Twp).

Related: State House considers 'right to repair' legislation 

Contact: Andrew Vermeesch 

Agriculture Budget

In mid-May, both chambers of the Legislature passed state budgets on party line votes, including funding for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The budget bills will next be reviewed by conference committees where legislative leaders will determine if additional changes are needed. 

Read this update for details on MDARD programs and MSU Extension and AgBioResearch funding.  

Contact: Rebecca Park 

Driver Licensure 

Introduced by Sen. Stephanie Change (D-Detroit) and Rep Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) Senate Bill 267 and House Bill 4410 would allow individuals the ability to obtain a Michigan driver’s license without proof of legal presence. These bills simply remove language added in 2008 restricting licensure for undocumented persons. These bills both currently remain in committee. MFB’s Limited Purpose Operator’s License policy supports providing drivers licenses without proof of citizenship. However, this is contingent on standards for documenting state residency and penalties for providing fraudulent information, appropriate driver skills testing and safeguards against abuse of licenses in voting or federal programs. MFB supports the concept of the bills. 

Contact: Ben Tirrell 

National Popular Vote

A package of bills introduced in the House and Senate would allocate Michigan’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of who Michigan voters select as President. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Carrie Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor) and Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) includes House Bill 4156, House Bill 4440, Senate Bill 126, and Senate Bill 295. Farm Bureau opposes the legislation as the organization’s Elections Policy states, “We oppose: proposals to make popular vote the sole determinant of presidential elections.” The House Elections Committee passed HB 4156 and HB 4440 on June 6 and await further consideration on the House floor. SB 126 and SB 295 await consideration by the Senate Elections and Ethics Committee.

Contact: Rob Anderson 

School Start Date

House Bill 4671, sponsored by Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), would amend the Revised School Code to remove references to a requirement that schools not begin their school year prior to Labor Day unless they receive a waiver. Farm Bureau policy supports schools setting their own start and end dates and times and therefore supports the legislation. The bill awaits consideration by the House Education Committee.

Contact: Rebecca Park 

Federal Issues

Agricultural Product Distribution

S. 2019, the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act was introduced on June 15 and would: 

  • Preserve the rights of state and local units of government to regulate agriculture within their jurisdiction, free from interference from other jurisdictions, 

  • Create a federal cause of action to challenge the extra-territorial regulation of agricultural products, and

  • Help prevent increased food costs and food insecurity.

Farm Bureau supports the legislation that has been referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. 

Contact: John Kran  

Common Food Names Legislation  

H.R. 3423, the Safeguarding American Value-Added Exports Act, was recently introduced to define a list of common names for agricultural commodities and food products. The bill directs USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate with trading partners to defend the right to use common names for agricultural commodities in foreign markets. Common food names, like parmesan and bologna, are used around the world to describe products to consumers. The use of geographic indicators by the EU and their efforts to restrict use by U.S. companies of common food names, can block U.S. agricultural products being sold in international markets.  Farm Bureau supports the bill because policy opposes the use of geographic indicators as a non-tariff trade barrier.  

Contact: John Kran  

Agricultural Workforce  

S. 874, the Farm Operations Support Act, and its House companion, H.R. 3308, were recently introduced and would require that the AEWR that was in effect on December 1, 2022, remain through December 21, 2023. The House version is led by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-NC) and Dan Kildee (D-MI). Other Michigan supporters include: Reps. Bergman, Huizenga, McClain, Slotkin, Scholten and Moolenaar.  Farm Bureau supports the legislation.

Read more about Farm Bureau’s work on this issue.

Contact: John Kran  

Nicole Sevrey headshot

Nicole Sevrey

Public Policy Communications Specialist
517-679-5344 [email protected]