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Legislative updates for May 2024

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Date Posted: May 1, 2024

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

Agriculture Budget

The state House and Senate recently approved their versions of the 2024-25 budget for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on votes of 56-49 and 28-10.

Read our full news story with detail on program-specific funding, including the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. 

Separate from the MDARD budget, the House and Senate are recommending an increase of 3.3% and 2.5% respectively, for MSU Extension and AgBioResearch programs. 

Contact: Rebecca Park

Ag Commodity Marketing Groups 

Senate Bill 691, sponsored by Sen. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), would amend the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act to reduce auditing requirement for commodity organizations with collected producer assessments of less than $40,000 to only one audit per referenda (when producers vote to continue the program). Farm Bureau supports the bill that passed the House Agriculture Committee on May 16 and awaits a vote by the full House. 

Contact: Rebecca Park 


House Bills 5561-5562, introduced by Reps. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) and Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock), would prohibit a person from engaging in recreational activity on another person's property if, among other things, the property is marked with purple paint, with marks no more than 100 feet apart, and is readily visible to individuals approaching the property.

Contact: Andrew Vermeesch

Pesticide Notification Requirements

Senate Bill 645, sponsored by Sen. Sue Shink (D-Ann Arbor), modifies notification requirements for certain pesticides including:

  • Expanding notification requirements to within 500 feet of covered applications, 
  • Removing the requirement for individuals to have a documented medical condition to opt-in to notifications, and
  • Adds mosquito pesticides to be included in the Pesticide Notification Registry. 

MFB policy supports scientifically based standards and existing federal reviews of pesticide safety. MFB opposes the legislation and has been monitoring it especially closely given conversations around potentially expanding notification requirements to additional categories of pesticide application. The bill was referred to the Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee.

Contact: Ben Tirrell

Raw Milk Sales

House Bills 5602-5604, introduced by Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford), would allow the sale of raw milk and raw dairy products to consumers or retail food establishments, if certain label and other standards addressing chemical, physical, bacteriological and temperatures were met. The bills have been referred to the House Government Operations Committee.

MFB is opposed to the legislation because the organization’s policy opposes the sale of unpasteurized milk for human consumption. 

Contact: Rebecca Park

Environmental Oversight 

House Bill 5674, sponsored by Rep. David Prestin (R-Cedar River), would reinstitute the environmental rules review committee, which would have oversight over rules promulgated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. This bill introduction comes on the heels of Gov. Whitmer signing legislation into law in February to eliminate the committee. MFB supports the legislation that has been referred to the House Government Operation Committee.

Contact: Ben Tirrell

State Rules More Stringent than Federal

House Bill 5672 and Senate Bill 848, introduced by Rep. Jay Deboyer (R-Clay) and Sen. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) respectively, would place a ban state rules and standards that are stricter than relative federal requirements, except in situations deemed an emergency by an agency director. MFB supports the legislation that has been referred to the House Government Operation Committee and the Senate Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Contact: Ben Tirrell

Right to Work

House Bills 5677-5678 and Senate Bills 846-847, would reinstate so called "Right-to-Work" statues in the state of Michigan, limiting the powers of labor unions in several respects. MFB supports the legislation that has been referred to the House Government Operation Committee.

Contact: Ben Tirrell

PFAS Testing of Solid Waste

House Bill 5614, introduced by Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), implements mandatory testing and reporting of PFAS is biosolids and other solid waste. However, the bill also repeals the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s water quality rulemaking prohibition, which MFB policy strongly opposes. MFB opposes the legislation referred to the House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee. 

Contact: Ben Tirrell

Federal Issues

Farm Bill

House and Senate leaders recently released competing versions of the 2024 Farm Bill. House Chair GT Thompson published a summary of his bill that broadly describes each title. The House Agriculture Committee will hold a markup hearing on May 23. Senate Chair Stabenow released a 94 page section-by-section summary of a farm bill titled, The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act of 2024. 

Contact: John Kran  

Agriculture Workforce  

MFB worked with Rep. John Moolenaar to introduce H.R. 7046, Supporting Farm Operations Act. The bill would freeze the AEWR at the December 2023 level through the end of 2025 and create a primary duties test. The test would help address concerns with wage rate disaggregation for most workers. Reps. Bergman, Huizenga, McClain, Scholten and Walberg have cosponsored the bill. 

Read more on MFB’s work to address agricultural workforce challenges.

Contact: John Kran  

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Rob Anderson

Manager, Government Relations
517-679-5343 [email protected]