Senate approves Marleau legislation to protect taxpayers


LANSING— Legislation that prevents local taxpayers from having to foot the bill when funds are mismanaged by local school districts, school boards or superintendents was approved by the Michigan Senate on Wednesday, said sponsor state Sen. Jim Marleau.

“This is common sense legislation that I introduced to protect the hardworking taxpayers across Michigan,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Under proposal A, taxpayers are protected from having operational costs passed along to them.”

Marleau sponsored this legislation due to an issue with the Pontiac school system that is in his Senate district.

The Pontiac school district had an agreement that MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) be their health care administrator at the cost of $500,000 per month. For approximately eighteen months, MESSA provided the service, even though the district had stopped making payments. MESSA sued the Pontiac school district and a judge awarded them a judgment of $7.8 million and ruled that this money could be raised by a millage.

“Taxpayers have already paid for this service once, the idea that they should pay for them a second time is ridiculous,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion.

Senate Bills 442 and 443 now advance to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.