CHECK IN at the Capitol

The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association has a new name and a new look, but the same voice. Together with partners and members throughout the state of Michigan, we journeyed to our new name and brand. We are now known as CHECK IN MICHIGAN! Representing Hotels and Lodging for Over 112 Years!

Michigan Legislature Passes Minimum Wage
and Paid Sick Leave Proposals

Minimum wage and paid sick leave laws were adopted by the Michigan Legislature last week. And, that’s a good thing! If the proposals had been on the ballot, they were predicted to pass by large measures.

The decision to adopt this language preemptively was strategic. While it may seem odd to advocate for policies that we oppose, this is the position initiated-law referendums leave us in. If the minimum wage and paid sick leave ballot proposals had passed in November, it would take a super majority (75 percent) of the Michigan Legislature to amend the laws in the future.

Some in the House and Senate plan to amend the laws during the lame duck session, following the elections. While there is the possibility of a legal challenge if the Legislature amends the laws during this session, CHECK IN MICHIGAN is joining business groups from across the state who are advocating for immediate changes. If nothing changes and these laws take effect in April of 2019, it would negatively impact our hotel and hospitality employers! Stay tuned for updates and grassroots alerts as the November 28 CHECK IN MICHIGAN Legislative Action Summit approaches.

Both proposals passed the House by a vote of 78 to 28 and Senate by votes of 24 to 13 and will not take effect until April 1, 2019, 90 days after the end of this legislative session

Initiated Law 3 provides one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees can use five days of paid sick leave and an additional four days unpaid per year. The largest problem with the new law is that it doesn’t require proof of sickness when employees are absent. Business leaders from across the state are concerned the proposal will leave employers in a position where they can be sued, even when dismissing employees for reasons not associated with no-call, no-show behaviors.

Initiated Law 4 increases the minimum wage to $12 over a period of years and eliminates the tip credit. Replacing the current tip credit system with a $12 minimum wage for servers will be detrimental, putting many restaurants and hotels and resorts that own restaurants out of business. Our partners at the Michigan Restaurant Association have created a calculator to show business owners the potential cost of this law.

Please make plans to join us for the CHECK IN MICHIGAN Legislative Action Summit on November 28!

The 2018 LAS is strategically scheduled for the first day of scheduled voting during the Lame Duck Session!

This lobby day is our opportunity to come together as an industry and join our voices with partners from across the state in an effort to have necessary changes made to the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws before they take effect next April!

As the date approaches and groups agree on language for a legislative fix to minimum wage and paid sick leave we will keep you updated. Stay tuned for action alerts and LAS registration details.

Labor Day School Start Waivers Like Pez Candy

During a House Education Committee meeting earlier this year, it was observed that the Michigan Department of Education was handing out waivers to the Post Labor Day School (PLDS) start law like Pez Candy. Recent data shows even more waivers were issued for the 2018-19 school year.

This year, at least 143 waivers were granted for schools to start before Labor Day. The total number of school districts could be much higher as many of the waivers were granted to Intermediate School Districts that can apply for some, or all of the school districts within the ISD.

As the number of waivers granted increases, the annual poll conducted by CHECK IN MICHIGAN reveals continued support for the post Labor Day school start law.

Consistent with results from last year, 72 percent support allowing local voters to decide on school start dates.

The majority of schools currently receiving waivers are only in session for 180 days. This is little more than a shell game that doesn’t improve educational outcomes; but does have a negative impact on tourism businesses. In most districts, early starts are not about educational outcomes, but about convenience.

Allowing the further erosion of PLDS would be bad for Michigan’s lodging and tourism businesses, bad for youth seeking summer employment, bad for families unable to make lasting memories and bad for our state!

Click here to view the press release CHECK IN MICHIGAN issued earlier this month.

Join us on November 28 in Lansing as we advocate to protect Michigan’s post Labor Day school start statute! 

Share STR Videos on Your Social Media

The coalition led by CHECK IN MICHIGAN to advocate for an equal playing field between short term rentals and traditional lodging has been active on social media this summer.

We are preparing for potential action during the lame duck session as we expect the Realtors to attempt a last push for action on these bills. It is important to use the next few months to share your story!

CHECK IN MICHIGAN has created a series of 5 videos that you can share on your social media sites. As guests are visiting your lodging business this summer, this presents an opportunity to show the benefits of staying in a safe venue that is respectful of Michigan communities.

Videos and additional information about the campaign is available at https://airbnbwatch.org/in-your-area/michigan/

Don’t forget to share your stories with CHECK IN MICHIGAN. We need to hear what’s happening across the state so that we can be your megaphone in Lansing and to help the public better understand this issue.