Every week, MichiganVotes.org sends a report on interesting votes and bills in the Michigan Legislature, and includes how each legislator voted. To find out who your state senator is and how to contact him or her go here; for state representatives go here.
House Bill 4623, Let Detroit keep imposing higher income
tax, passed 21-17 in the Senate
To allow Detroit to continue to uniquely impose an income tax of 2.5 percent on residents and 1.25 percent on nonresidents. Other cities are allowed to impose individual income taxes at 1 percent for residents and 0.5 percent for nonresidents; this is one of many laws that provides unique privileges or powers for "a city with a population greater than 750,000." The bill would lower that to 600,000 to accommodate Detroit's ongoing population decline.
House Bill 4624, Let Detroit keep imposing higher utility
tax, passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To allow Detroit to continue to impose a 5 percent utility tax on telephone service, natural gas and electricity. This is one of many laws that provides unique privileges or powers for "a city with a population greater than 750,000." The bill would lower that to 600,000 to accommodate Detroit's ongoing population decline.
House Bill 4625, Make it easier to dismiss ineffective
teachers, passed 70 to 37 in the House
To revise the standards for granting a public school teacher “tenure,” and streamline the procedures for taking it away. Among other things the bill would extend from four years to five years the "probationary" period before a new teacher is granted this privilege; require the dismissal of a probationary teacher who is twice rated “ineffective” in one school year; eliminate certain automatic presumptions that a teacher is “effective;” limit the number of “second chances” (and third ones) for ineffective teachers placed on probation; and more.
House Bill 4627, Ban laying off more effective but less
senior teachers first (“LIFO”), passed 68 to 39 in the House
To require public schools to make teacher layoff decisions on the basis of whether a teacher is more or less “effective,” and prohibit using seniority as the primary or determining factor(“last in first out,” or LIFO), with certain exceptions. Among other things, “effective” would be measured by evidence of increased student achievement. The provision would only go into effect after the current teacher contract has expired.
House Bill 4628, Ban school unions bargaining over staffing decisions,
passed 59 to 48 in the House
To prohibit public school employee unions from bargaining over staffing decisions, including assignments, promotions, demotions, transfers, layoffs, methods for assessing “effectiveness,” discipline and merit pay systems. Current law already bans bargaining over privatization, school schedules and several other items.
House Bill 4003, Ban “stealth" unionization of
independent contractors, passed 63 to 46 in the House
To establish that a person whose private employment compensation comes from a direct or indirect government subsidy is not considered a government employee, and so is not subject be being inducted into a government employee union. This would apply to the home day care providers who are the subject of a Mackinac Center lawsuit.
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, nonpartisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, nonpartisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit MichiganVotes.org.