These reports primarily focus on the most politically revealing votes of the past week, plus the most important votes on matters of policy, so a cumulative list provides a useful reference source, if not a fully comprehensive one. The reports also include some votes that aren’t especially revealing or important, but are just interesting.

To find out who your state senator is and how to contact him or her go here; for state representatives go here.

 

Feb. 17, 2012 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call

2/17/2012 2:28 PM

MichiganVotes.org sends a weekly report to newspapers and TV stations around the state showing how state legislators in their service area voted on the most important or interesting bills of the past week.

Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting

 

Senate Bill 752, Ban “stealth conventions” by minor political parties: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

To require minor political parties to notify the Secretary of State of any upcoming county or state convention to nominate candidates. This would prohibit schemes like the “stealth convention” and candidate nominations organized by a fake “Tea Party” political party in 2010.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 750, Authorize criminal penalties for extreme campaign finance scofflaws: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize criminal penalties for candidates and campaign treasurers who fail to file mandated campaign finance reports more than two years late. Contributions and other assets of the campaign committee would be subject to state seizure. These sanctions would only apply to campaign committees with balances of more than $20,000.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 5085, Ban government sending payroll PAC money to union: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To prohibit the state, school districts and local governments from deducting money from an employee’s paycheck and contributing it to a union Political Action Committee (PAC). Government payroll systems could still be used to extract union dues and fees from employee paychecks and deliver them to the union.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 754, Regulate “third-party voter registration organizations”: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To require “third-party voter registration organizations” to register with the state, turn in late registrations within 24 hours, provide their “voter registration agents” with state approved instruction in proper procedures, and require their agents to sign a statement affirming receipt of this instruction. This measure was introduced in response to widespread reports of alleged vote fraud committed by the ACORN organization's voter registration arm. The bill would also require a person to show a photo identification when registering to vote.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 803, Require voters to affirm citizenship: Passed 30 to 8 in the Senate
To require voters to affirm that they are a U.S. citizen when voting or applying for an absentee ballot.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 602, Ban certain window blinds in child care centers: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To ban window blinds or other window coverings in child care centers if they have pull cords or inner cords capable of forming a loop and posing a risk of strangulation to a young child.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 603, Ban sale of certain window blinds: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To prohibit the sale of window blinds that do not include cleats, hardware, and instructions for installation in a way that lets cords be secured, and a warning about the danger of accidental hanging or strangulation from a window blind cord that is not secured.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 4601, Limit certain asbestos liability: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To limit the liability of a company that had acquired another company which may have produced or sold asbestos in the past. The bill would prohibit a court from imposing asbestos damage judgments that exceed the value of the acquired company. Under current law a court can order damages up to the value of the entire enterprise, even if the acquired subsidiary represents only a small part of the overall firm's value.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Feb. 10, 2012 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call

2/10/2012 3:32 PM

MichiganVotes.org sends a weekly report to newspapers and TV stations around the state showing how state legislators in their service area voted on the most important or interesting bills of the past week.

Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting

 

House Bill 5075, Court consolidation package: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To consolidate and reduce the number of judges in Michigan courts, as recommended by the State Court Administrative Office. This is one of several dozen bills reducing the number of Michigan judges in particular district, circuit and probate courts. Of little import to regular citizens, this is a matter of intense interest to county political establishments, which for more than a decade have succeeded in obstructing the reform despite widespread recognition the state has too many judgeships (and the costs associated with them). The bills are passing now with unanimous or near-unanimous votes.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 5125, Allow elimination of road commissions: Passed 63 to 41 in the House
To establish that a county road commission can be eliminated by a county board if the road commission's members are appointed, and eliminated by a vote of the people if they are elected. If either happens, the county board would assume the duty of managing the county's road system. Reportedly, Democratic opposition was (mostly) reversed when the Republican House Speaker made a deal to increase spending on government "early child education" programs by $12.5 million. 

 

House Bill 5142, Expand “corridor improvement” borrow/spend/tax authorities: Passed 100 to 6 in the House
To expand a 2005 law authorizing local “corridor improvement authorities” that can borrow for various government spending projects (generally but not necessarily related to mass transit), and then repay the loans with money levied in "special assessments" (property taxes), or with tax revenue "captured" from other local government taxing units by means of “tax increment financing" schemes. The bill would authorize multi-government versions of these authorities.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

 

 

Jan. 27, 2012 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call

1/27/2012 4:29 PM

Note: There will be no roll call report next week. Any noteworthy votes next week will be included in the Feb. 10 roll call report.

Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting

 

Senate Bill 204, Eliminate county commissioner vacancy special election requirement: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To eliminate a requirement that a special election must be held when a county commissioner vacancy occurs during an odd numbered year. Under current law, special elections already are not required if the vacancy occurs in an even-nubered year (a regular election year, that is).

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 721, Impose "plastic bulk merchandise container” transaction regulations: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To impose new recordkeeping and other regulations on the buying and selling of 10 or more "plastic bulk merchandise containers” such as those used by soft drink and bread manufacturers. Reportedly, people steal these and sell them to plastics recyclers.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 4658, Repeal prison store sales tax exemption: Passed 93 to 13 in the House
To eliminate the sales tax exemption on purchases by prisoners at prison stores.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 4116, Require review and posting of state agreements with feds: Passed 106 to 0 in the House
To require that before entering any memorandum of understanding, agreement, compact, or similar binding agreement between this state and the federal government or another state, a state agency must assert that the agreement does not violate the state constitution, and does not exceed the authority granted to the agency by the legislature. Information on each agreement would also be posted on a state web site. A requirement that the Attorney General approve each agreement was not included in the final bill.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 4653, Ban office-holder names on election materials: Passed 106 to 0 in the House
To prohibit the name of an elected or appointed official from being printed on any election-related material that is posted, displayed, or distributed in a polling place on election day, subject to fines of $100 to $250. House Bill 4656 would apply the prohibition to absentee ballot materials given or mailed to a voter, and passed by the same margin.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 130, Ban drivers license renewal if three unpaid parking tickets: Passed 58 to 48 in the House
To reduce the number of unpaid parking tickets a person can have before the Secretary of State will not renew a driver license from six to three, which then requires paying an additional $45 "clearance fee." This vote sends the bill to the Governor for signature or veto.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

 

Jan. 20, 2012 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call

1/20/2012 11:45 AM

This legislative week was dominated by the Governor's State of the State address, with mostly pro-forma sessions surrounding it. A few comparatively minor bills were passed on Thursday.

Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting

 

Senate Bill 778, Restrict ad hoc road-end “marinas”: Passed 30 to 6 in the Senate
To establish that unless a deed, easement, or other recorded dedication expressly provides for it, a waterfront road end may not be used for boat hoists or docks; for mooring between midnight and sunrise; or for any activity that obstructs access to a lake or stream. Local governments could ban or regulate uses that are not specified in property owners’ deeds, easements, etc.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

House Bill 4403, Revise jury duty detail: Passed 35 to 0 in the Senate
To require county jury boards to send a juror qualifications questionnaire to persons who previously failed to return the questionnaire. This would prevent jury duty dodgers from avoiding future calls to duty.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

Senate Bill 717, Create new “hunters helping farmers” program: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To create a new government program that matches farmers suffering excessive crop damage from deer with hunters who want to take more antlerless deer (as already permitted in specific cases for crop damage reduction purposes).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

Jan. 13, 2012 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call

1/13/2012 8:41 AM

The Legislature began the 2012 session in a pro-forma assembly on Wednesday during which no votes were taken, so this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest.

Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting

 

Senate Bill 775: Revise allowable deer hunting guns south of “rifle line”
Introduced by Sen. Michael Green (R), to revise the types of firearms allowed for deer hunting south of the “rifle line” in the Lower Peninsula. In addition to shotguns and muzzle-loading rifles, hunters could use a .35 caliber or larger pistol capable of holding no more than nine rounds, and a .35 caliber or larger rifle loaded with straight-walled cartridges and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches (in other words, not a high-power rifle cartridge). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.  

 

Senate Bill 779: Impose criminal penalties for making toy gun look real
Introduced by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D), to prohibit changing, altering, removing, or obliterating any coloration or markings on an imitation or toy gun that are required by any applicable state or federal laws, in a way that makes it look more like a real firearm, subject to up to18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

Senate Bill 802: Require state agencies post spending plans online
Introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), to require state agencies to post online a detailed spreadsheet with their proposed spending for the next fiscal year, before the deadline for the governor to submit a budget to the legislature. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

Senate Bill 803: Require voters to affirm citizenship
Introduced by Sen. Darwin Booher (R), to require voters to affirm that they are a U.S. citizen when voting or applying for an absentee ballot. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

Senate Bill 819: Restrict diesel idling
Introduced by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D), to prohibit heavy diesel trucks (over 8,500 pounds) from idling more than five minutes within a one hour period, or 15 minutes for loaded buses (or 30 minutes for ones waiting to unload), with certain exceptions, subject to fines of up to $500. Rather than the fine revenue going to public libraries as in other traffic violation laws (intended to prevent local governments and police agencies from using enforcement to raise revenue), it would instead go to local governments. Also, the measure could be enforced by local volunteer “parking officers”. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

Senate Bill 857: Ban barber pole display by unlicensed hair cutters
Introduced by Sen. John Gleason (D), to revise the law that prohibits a person from earning a living as a barber unless he or she gets a state license, so that it would prohibit a person who does not have the license from displaying a barber pole. Under current law, barbering is illegal without a license, and a new barber can’t get a license unless he or she has completed a 2,000-hour course of study at a licensed barber college, and met other requirements imposed by a board comprised of existing barbers who have received political appointments to this board. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

House Bill 5128: Create specialty “business courts”
Introduced by Rep. John Walsh (R), to create a new specialty “business court” division within local circuit courts, which would specialize in business and commercial disputes greater than $25,000. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

House Bill 5138: Create state “yellow dot” medical safety program
Introduced by Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R), to create a state “yellow dot” program to alert medical responders of medical information located inside a vehicle. Participants would get an easily-visible yellow dot decal to put on the driver’s side rear window, which alerts emergency responders to look in the glove compartment for a form with emergency contact information, physician information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and medications being used, etc. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

December 16 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

12/16/2011

Senate Bill 618, Eliminate charter school cap: Passed 22 to 16 in the Senate

To concur with the House-passed version of a bill to eliminate the cap of 150 on the number of charter schools that can be authorized by state universities, starting in 2015 (with 300 allowed in 2012 and 500 in 2013 and 2014). This vote sends the bill to the Governor for signature, which is expected.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5187, Revise Oakland County board reapportionment: Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate 

To give the Oakland County commission the authority to reapportion county commissioner districts, and to change the number of commissioners. Reportedly this is part of a plan to reduce the number of commissioners from 25 to 21. Under current law, the county's reapportionment is done by a five-member board.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 760, Lower pistol length definition to 26 inches: Passed 36 to 2 in the Senate
To change the law defining any firearm less than 30 inches in length as a “pistol,” making this 26 inches. Some rifles with folding stocks are less than 30 inches, and so under Michigan law are technically subject to the same purchase and other restrictions as pistols.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 865, Prepare "vehicle" bill for extending Emergency Manager law if referendum: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To pass a "shell" version of this bill with no substantive provisions, but which can be modified later to extend the Emergency Manager law passed earlier in 2011 if it is suspended in 2012 pending a potential referendum in November. This possibility was triggered by a statewide petition drive reportedly orchestrated by government employee unions unhappy with the power given to emergency managers appointed under that new law to throw out collective bargaining agreements they believe a fiscally failed municipality cannot afford.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5014, Adopt supplemental appropriation without "Obamacare exchange" money: Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate
To concur with a House version of a mostly non-controversial year-end supplemental appropriation that does not include $9.8 million added by the Senate to create a state "exchange” to administer federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” subsidies.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 855, Give particular firm $50 million state electric car subsidy: Passed 82 to 24 in the House
To authorize giving $50 million in state tax breaks and cash subsidies to a firm called “Townsend Ventures,” which wants to use the former Ford Motors Wixom plant to make systems related to electric car batteries. If enacted, this would be the second time the legislature has authorized a large cash subsidy for an outfit wanting to use this closed plant; the first deal fell through (see 2009 Senate Bill 777). The bill would also reduce by $25 million a similar subsidy for a Johnson Controls Corporation battery plant (which is also the beneficiary of almost $300 million in federal subsidies, and potentially up to $48.5 million in other Michigan subsidy/tax breaks).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 806, Revise unemployment insurance: Passed 61 to 47 in the House
To revise various elements of the state unemployment insurance social welfare system. This is part of the package authorizing state borrowing to pay off some $3.2 billion in unemployment system debt, owed because benefit payments exceeded payroll tax revenues. The bill would revise the formulas for assessing these payroll taxes on employers; require beneficiaries to accept alternative work at lower pay than currently required; increase required job-search disclosures and reporting by beneficiaries; clarify factors making an employee ineligible for unemployment benefits (like stealing or absenteeism); and more.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 569, Continue giving subsidies to film producers: Passed 92 to 15 in the House
To convert the state film incentive program into straightforward handouts to producers, rather than indirect ones paid through the expiring Michigan Business Tax, with payments of up 32 percent of a producer's Michigan payroll expense, plus some additional subsidies. For 2012, $25 million was appropriated for these subsidies, but nothing in the bill limits how much the Michigan film office can authorize, and once it does the state is obligated to pay. Reportedly the bill sponsor wants to increase the annual payouts to $100 million.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 484, Authorize state borrowing to pay off unemployment debt to feds: Passed 64 to 44 in the House
To authorize a state unemployment “obligation assessment” imposed on all employers to service the debt incurred through state borrowing to pay off some $3.2 billion owed to the federal government for unemployment benefits paid to residents over the past several years. Senate Bill 483 authorizes the borrowing ("bond sales").

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 618, Eliminate charter school cap: Passed 58 to 49 in the House
To eliminate a cap of 150 on the number of charter schools that can be authorized by state universities, starting in 2015 (with 300 allowed in 2012 and 500 in 2013 and 2014). The bill would also allow charter schools to operate the same grade levels at multiple sites; create more transparency and conflict of interest regulations for charters; exempt charters from property tax; and more.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

December 9 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

12/09/2011

House Bill 4701, Transition state employees to defined contribution retirement health benefit: Passed 23 to 13 in the Senate
To eliminate the current “defined benefit” post-retirement health insurance system for new state employees, and instead offer a “defined contribution” Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), with the state matching an employee’s deposits up to 2 percent of salary, plus an annual lump sum contribution. Employees hired since 1997 could choose to switch to this system and get a lump-sum contribution of the value of benefits they had already earned. Also, to require state employees hired before 1997 to contribute 4 percent toward their traditional “defined benefit” pensions (replacing a 3 percent contribution required under a 2010 law), or else have their benefit levels “frozen” at the current level, with the state instead making contributions going forward into an employee’s 401(k) account. The Senate stripped out a House-passed provision excluding overtime pay from the basis on which the older employees' conventional pension benefits are calculated (potentially enabling some degree of "pension spiking").

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5002, Revise workers comp benefits: Passed 20 to 16 in the Senate
To modify requirements and benefits in the law that mandates employers obtain insurance covering injured workers compensation benefits. Among other things the bill would revise the formula by which compensation levels are set, require workers still able to work to make a "good faith effort" to find work, and more. The most controversial provision bases an injured worker's compensation on pay levels for jobs that are "reasonably available," rather than the person's previous pay, even if the person can't find one of those "reasonably available" jobs. Some of the proposed changes reflect what courts have already ruled. The bill would not apply to police and firefighters.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 855, Give particular firm $50 million state electric car subsidy: Passed 30 to 5 in the Senate
To authorize giving $50 million in state tax breaks and cash subsidies to a firm called “Townsend Ventures,” which says it wants to use the former Ford Motors Wixom plant to make systems related to electric car batteries. If enacted, this would be the second time the legislature has authorized a large cash subsidy for an outfit wanting to use this closed plant; the first deal fell through (see 2009 Senate Bill 777).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 864, Impose utility surcharge for low income subsidies: Passed 34 to 2 in the Senate
To create a state fund to collect money from a proposed mandate that would require utilities to impose an extra surcharge on customer bills to subsidize paying the delinquent bills of low income households. Reportedly this will impose around $60 million in extra charges on consumer gas and electric bills. The House has passed a rival bill (HB 5189) to use federal welfare money to provide these subsidies this year.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4770, Ban government benefits for “domestic partners”: Passed 27 to 9 in the Senate
To prohibit the state, public schools, and local governments from providing medical benefits or other fringe benefits to an employee’s “domestic partner,” defined as someone who is not married to the employee and not a dependent or survivor. The Senate exempted state universities and community colleges from the bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5086, Ban government sending payroll PAC money to union: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To prohibit the state, school districts and local governments from deducting money from an employee’s paycheck and contributing it to a union Political Action Committee (PAC). The bill would grant residents the right to sue for violations. 23 Rep. Patrick Somerville R - New Boston Y; 82 Rep. Kevin Daley R - Attica Y; 108 Rep. Edward McBroom R - Vulcan Y.

House Bill 5187, Revise Oakland County board reapportionment: Passed 58 to 50 in the House
To give the Oakland County commission the authority to reapportion county commissioner districts, and to change the number of commissioners. Reportedly this is part of a plan to reduce the number of commissioners from 25 to 21. Under current law, the county's reapportionment is done by a five-member board. 23 Rep. Patrick Somerville R - New Boston Y; 82 Rep. Kevin Daley R - Attica Y; 108 Rep. Edward McBroom R - Vulcan N.

House Bill 5030, Ban state workplace regulations more stringent than federal: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To prohibit the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) promulgating rules more stringent than required by federal standards, unless specifically authorized by state statute. 23 Rep. Patrick Somerville R - New Boston Y; 82 Rep. Kevin Daley R - Attica Y; 108 Rep. Edward McBroom R - Vulcan Y.

House Bill 5190, Prohibit utility surcharge for low income subsidies: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To prohibit utilities from charging customers extra to pay the delinquent bills of low income households, which had been authorized in a provision of an earlier statute that was later repealed. Money the utilities have already collected for this would be returned to customers. House Bill 5189 appropriates $62 million in federal welfare money for the same purpose; Senate Bill 864 reauthorizes the repealed utility surcharges (see above). 23 Rep. Patrick Somerville R - New Boston Y; 82 Rep. Kevin Daley R - Attica Y; 108 Rep. Edward McBroom R - Vulcan Y.

 

December 2 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

12/02/2011

House Bill 4163, Require school bullying policies: Passed 35 to 2 in the Senate
To require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying, but not one enumerating specific characteristics, including gender, race and sexual orientation. The bill does not include an exemption previously added by the Senate to its own bullying bill, Senate Bill 137, for "a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction." That bill will be allowed to die in the House.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 484, Authorize state borrowing to pay off unemployment debt to feds: Passed 34 to 2 in the Senate
To authorize a state unemployment “obligation assessment” imposed on all employers to service the debt incurred through state borrowing to pay off some $3.2 billion owed to the federal government for unemployment benefits paid to residents over the past several years. Senate Bill 483 authorizes the borrowing ("bond sales").

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 806, Revise unemployment insurance social welfare program: Passed 23 to 11 in the Senate
To revise various elements of the state unemployment insurance social welfare system. This is part of the package authorizing state borrowing to pay off some $3.2 billion in unemployment system debt, owed because benefit payments exceeded payroll tax revenues. The bill would revise the formulas for assessing these payroll taxes on employers; require beneficiaries to accept alternative work at lower pay than currently required; increase required job-search disclosures and reporting by beneficiaries; clarify factors making an employee ineligible for unemployment benefits (like stealing or absenteeism); and more. It would also make employees in a “work sharing” program eligible for unemployment benefits.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5125, Authorize elimination of road commissions: Passed 66 to 40 in the House
To establish that a county road commission can be eliminated by a county board if its creation was originally authorized by the county board, and eliminated by a vote of the people if that's how it was originally authorized. If either happens, the county board would assume the duty of managing the county's road system.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 567, Create another corporate subsidy program: Passed 95 to 11 in the House
To authorize cash subsidies of up to $10 million for firms selected by political appointees on the board of the state government's “Michigan Strategic Fund,” who would have broad discretion to hand out these cash subsidies and subsidized loans to particular firms. This “Michigan Community Revitalization Program” would essentially replace subsidies provided through the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA), and also ones handed out under "brownfields" statutes, which were "open-ended," whereas this program will hand out around $100 million annually (that's the amount appropriated this year).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

November 11 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

11/11/11

Senate Bill 693, Create state "Obamacare exchange:" Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
To create as a state entity the "exchange" mandated by the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," the primary purpose of which will be to administer the insurance subsidies provided by that law to households up to 400 percent of poverty level (around $80,000 for a family of four in Michigan). Called the "MIHealth Marketplace," this non-profit agency would create a website on which individuals can select an insurance policy that complies with PPACA mandates, and have eligibility determined for the law's subsidies. If the state has not made "measurable progress" toward creating an exchange by the start of 2013, the federal government could choose to create its own version for the state. Among other things, this state entity would also determine whether particular individuals are subject to the PPACA's "individual mandate" to purchase insurance. It would not be subject to the state Freedom of Information Act, and its operations would be funded by imposing fees on insurance providers.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5014, Authorize more spending (including for "Obamacare exchange"): Passed 28 to 8 in the Senate
To appropriate an extra $366.3 million for several items, including $9.8 million from a federal grant to create a state "exchange” to administer federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” subsidies. Also included is $119 million that is nearly all federal money for incentive payments to health care providers and facilities to adopt state-approved electronic health care record systems. The bill also appropriates the money from a new 1 percent tax on health insurance claims designed to “game” the federal Medicaid system to get higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare system, and additonal amounts for related items.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Resolution 95, Declare "Obamacare" violates Constitution and urge repeal: Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate
To declare that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "violates the U.S. Constitution, including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and the constitutional principles of federalism and dual sovereignty on which this nation was founded," and urge its repeal or invalidation. Note: Republicans who voted for a state PPACA "exchange" all voted for this resolution, which has no force of law, and those who opposed the "exchange" bill voted against this gesture.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4293, Repeal fireworks ban: Passed 33 to 1 in the Senate
To establish a comprehensive regulatory regime for allowing the sale of currently illegal "consumer fireworks" including firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc. (but not M-80s, cherry bombs, etc.). The bill proposes a $1,000 permit fee for sellers, $600 for temporary location "tent" sellers, and a mandate that sellers carry a $10 million insurance policy. It would impose a 6 percent tax ("fireworks safety fee") in addition to the usual 6 percent sales tax. Local governments could prohibit using fireworks, but could not ban sales.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4573, Limit state regulation promulgation authority: Passed 27 to 9 in the Senate
To establish specific procedures state agencies must follow before promulgating to administrative law regulations, among other things requiring a formal “decision record," and a process for affirming that an appropriate and necessary policy and legal basis exists for a rule.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4326, Ban state regulations more stringent than federal standards: Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate
To prohibit a state department or agency from promulgating rules more stringent than required by applicable federal standards.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 637, Require school Pledge of Allegiance recitation: Passed 31 to 5 in the Senate
To require students in public schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day. However, the bill would prohibit compelling a student to recite the pledge if parents or the student complains, and would require schools to ensure that a student who doesn't say the pledge is not bullied for it. It would also requires flags in each classroom and over each school building.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4445, Whitmer amendment to spend extra tax revenue on public schools: Failed 14 to 22 in the Senate
To spend all the extra money the state received from higher than expected tax revenues during the end of the last fiscal year on public schools (rather than any for any other spending items, potential tax cuts or a "rainy day fund" deposit). The extra money would be allocated on a per-student basis.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 166 Repeal some but not all of "bad driver tax" penalties: Passed 107 to 0 in the House
To repeal some but not all of the “driver responsibility fees” (“bad driver tax”) imposed for various violations. Repealed are penalties for driving with an expired license, and failing to have insurance or proof of insurance. These very expensive fees were originally adopted in 2003 to avoid spending cuts in that year’s and subsequent state government budgets.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 275 Establish new limits on government permit delays: Passed 66 to 41 in the House
To limit the power of a state department to delay a required permit by claiming the application is not “administratively complete.”

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4326 Ban state regulations more stringent than federal standards: Passed 59 to 48 in the House
To prohibit a state department or agency from promulgating rules more stringent than required by applicable federal standards.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4163 Require school bullying policies: Passed 88 to 18 in the House
To require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying, but not one enumerating specific characteristics, including gender, race and sexual orientation. The House version does not include the exemption added by the Senate to its bullying bill, Senate Bill 137, for "a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

November 4 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

11/04/11

Senate Bill 569, Authorize cash film producer subsidies: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To convert the state film incentive program into straightforward handouts, rather than indirect ones, with payments to film producers of up 32 percent of their Michigan payroll expense, plus some additional subsidies. Reportedly the bill’s sponsor wants to increase the subsidies from $25 million already appropriated in 2012 to $100 million annually.

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 8, Authorize local government consolidated service and tax authorities: Passed 25 to 10 in the Senate
To allow and specify procedures for two or more local governments (but not the state) to enter partnership authorities to provide particular government services; and allow an authority to impose up to 5 mills of property taxes, but only if the government bodies and voters in each jurisdiction separately approve these, and subject to statutory and constitutional caps (Headlee amendment) on each local jurisdiction’s property tax rates. An authority could supersede conflicting local ordinances, but not state statutes. The decision to enter such a partnership would not be subject to referendum. Each local government’s employee union could bargain over the terms of employment of transferred employees.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4309, Revise consolidated government employee transfer restriction: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
To establish that government employees transferred when local governments consolidate services would not automatically retain the same union contract and/or terms and conditions of employment, except for at least 180 days after being transferred. All transferred employees would be combined into a single seniority list for purposes of making assignments, lay-offs, etc., unless some other arrangment is mutually agreed.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 137, Require school bullying policies: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
To require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying “motivated by animus or by an actual or perceived characteristic,” but not one enumerating specific characteristics, including gender, race and sexual orientation. The bill would not prohibit "a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4005, Require school board elections be in November: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
To require school board elections to be held in November of even numbered years.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 291, Allow helmetless motorcycle operation: Passed 69 to 39 in the House
To repeal the mandatory helmet requirement for a motorcycle operator who is age 21 or older, has been riding for at least two years or passes a safety test, and has a personal injury insurance policy providing at least $20,000 in benefits.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4309, Revise consolidated government employee transfer restrictions: Passed 75 to 33 in the House
To revise the law governing tranfers of local government employees to consolidated service authorities; see description in Senate vote on the same bill above.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5002, Revise workers compensation benefits and requirements: Passed 59 to 49 in the House
To modify the definition of workplace-caused disabilities in the law that imposes payroll taxes on employers to pay for workers compensation benefits. Among other things the bill would revise the formula by which compensation levels are set, require workers still able to work to make a "good faith effort" to find work, reduce the amount of time an injured worker must see a doctor selected by the employer, and more. A number of these proposed changes reflect what courts have already ruled in some controversial cases.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 8 Authorize local government consolidated service and tax authorities: Passed 72 to 35 in the House
To allow and specify procedures for two or more local governments (but not the state) to enter partnership authorities to provide particular government services. See Senate vote on the same bill above for details.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4701 Transition state employees to defined contribution retirement health benefit: Passed 63 to 45 in the House
To eliminate the current “defined benefit” post-retirement health insurance system for new state employees, and instead offer a “defined contribution” Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), with the state matching an employee’s deposits up to 2 percent of salary, plus an annual lump sum contribution. Employees hired since 1997 could choose to switch to this system and get a lump-sum contribution of the value of benefits they had already earned. Also, to require state employees hired before 1997 to contribute 4 percent toward their traditional “defined benefit” pensions, or else have their benefit levels “frozen” at the current level, with the state instead making contributions going forward into an employee’s 401(k) account. The bill would also exclude overtime pay from the basis on which the older employees' conventional pension benefits are calculated, and cancel a 3 percent pension contribution required from all employees under a 2010 law.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

October 28 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

10/28/11

Senate Bill 619, Passed restrictions on public "cyber schools:" Passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To eliminate a cap of two on the number of online public “cyber schools,” and also eliminate a cap of 1,000 on the total number of students that can be enrolled in all state cyber schools. Reportedly, there is now a waiting list of 4,500 students who want to get in but are not allowed. The bill would also reduce restrictions on entities contracted to run a cyber school, repeal a mandate that every cyber school operate all grades from K to 12, and more. Republican Senators Casperson, Kahn, Nofs, Caswell and Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 622, Repeal restrictions on non-public high school students taking some college courses: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To allow a home-schooled student or one at a non-public high school to participate in a “dual enrollment” program that allows a high school student to take some community college or university classes, with the cost covered by the state through the local school district. The bill passed on a party line vote.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4061, Revise microbrewer free samples restrictions: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To allow microbrewers or brewpubs to hold home brewer club meetings on their licensed premises at which samples of up to six ounces of beer produced by home brewers are shared, subject to various restrictions.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4071, Revise jail double-bunking restrictions: Passed 33 to 5 in the Senate
To eliminate or reduce certain restrictions and conditions on double-bunking inmates in county jails.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4582, Authorize farm equipment tax break: Passed 103 to 5 in the House
To exempt machinery used to install land tile on farm property from the personal property tax, which is a property tax imposed on the tools and equipment used by businesses. “Land tile” is defined as “fired clay or perforated plastic tubing used as part of a subsurface drainage system."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 502, Give liquor licenses to public university and colleges' commercial meeting facilities: Passed 105 to 3 in the House
To authorize liquor licenses for commercial facilities operated by any Michigan community college or state university, but only for alcohol served at activities that "further the college's or university's community or academic mission," and not "public and private gatherings or meetings that do not have a direct correlation" to the school's academic mission. This refers to commercial meeting facilities that some schools have created which compete with private sector facilities.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

October 21 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

10/21/11

Senate Bill 410, Newsworthy Committee action — Authorize new Detroit River bridge: Failed in the Senate Economic Development Committee, 2-3
To authorize a controversial Detroit River bridge (the “New International Trade Crossing,” a.k.a. the “Detroit River International Crossing”). According to news reports, Republicans voting “no” objected to details of Democratic Senators' demand for a bundle of patronage-like “community benefits” the proposed bridge authority would have to deliver to nearby residents, businesses and community organizations. Further attempts are likely to advance this project favored by Gov. Rick Snyder.

IN FAVOR: Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) AGAINST: Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), Mike Kowall (R-White Lake Township), Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek) NOT VOTING: Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit), Virgil Smith (D-Detroit)

Senate Bill 269, Raise small claims court cap to $8,000: Passed 31 to 7 in the Senate
To increase the maximum amount that may be recovered in small claims court from $3,000 to $8,000.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5014, Authorize extra spending: Passed 103 to 5 in the House
To authorize spending $320.4 million for two items. The first is $119 million that is nearly all federal money for incentive payments to health care providers to adopt state-approved electronic health care record systems. The second appropriates the money from a new 1 percent health insurance claims tax designed to “game” the federal Medicaid system to get higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare system.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4293, Repeal fireworks ban: Passed 98 to 10 in the House
To establish a comprehensive regulatory regime for allowing the sale of currently illegal "consumer fireworks" including firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc. (but not M-80s, cherry bombs, etc.). The bill proposes a $1,000 permit fee for sellers, $600 for temporary location "tent" sellers, and a mandate that sellers carry a $10 million insurance policy. It would impose a 6 percent tax ("fireworks safety fee") in addition to the usual 6 percent sales tax. Local governments could prohibit using fireworks, but could not ban sales.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

October 14 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

10/14/11

Senate Bill 703, Add restrictions to importing lions, tigers and bears: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To prohibit importing or attempting to import a large carnivore into the state, including lions, tigers and bears, without a permit authorized by the bill, which among other things requires a microchip identification to be implanted under the animal’s skin.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4732, Revise youth employment limits: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To revise the law that restricts the maximum number of hours that minors age 16 and 17 who are in school can work. Under current law the maximum is 48 hours of combined school and work a week, and 48 hours of work during the summer. The bill would change this to a maximum of 24 hours of work when school is in session.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4875, Revise "bioreactor landfill" regulation: Passed 63 to 45 in the Senate
To eliminate the requirement that a "bioreactor landfill" must have a secondary liner and leachate collection system to monitor the effectiveness of the primary liner. In these landfills certain bulk liquids are added to accelerate breakdown of the solid waste.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4594, Restrict insurance company use of consumer credit scores: Passed 103 to 5 in the House
To prohibit insurers from using “credit information” under a broad definition of that term contained in the bill to deny, cancel or choose to not renew a policy. Also, to impose restrictions, plus requirements for credit-status confirmation, disclosures and more, on an insurer using credit or credit-based “insurance scores” to determine the price at which it will issue an insurance policy..

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4815, Assert "Michigan-made" incandescent light bulbs legality: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To establish that incandescent light bulbs of any wattage may be sold in Michigan if they are completely made in Michigan, notwithstanding a federal law phasing-in a ban on bulbs 40 watts and above starting in 2012. Congress claims authority to impose this ban based on the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause, so presumably a 100 percent Michigan bulb would be exempt.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

October 7 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

10/7/11

Senate Bill 618, Eliminate charter school cap, allow "privatized" teachers: Passed 20-18 in the Senate
To eliminate the cap of 150 on the number of charter schools that can be chartered by universities, and allow all community colleges to authorize charters outside their regular district. Also, to allow school districts to contract out the employment of teachers meeting the same qualifications. The bill would also allow charters to operate the same grade levels at multiple sites, exempt charter schools from property tax, and more.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4087, End retired legislator health benefits: Passed 37 to 1 in the Senate
To end the post-retirement health care insurance coverage provided to legislators, but only for those who have not completed at least six years in the legislature by January 1, 2013. Reportedly, this means 36 out of 38 Senators would still get the benefits, plus 14 out of 109 currently in the House. Under current law, former legislators who have served six years get full health coverage beginning at age 55.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4732, Revise youth employment limits: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To revise the law that restricts the maximum number of hours that minors age 16 and 17 who are in school can work. Under current law the maximum is 48 hours of combined school and work a week, and 48 hours of work during the summer. The bill would change this to a maximum of 24 hours of work when school is in session.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 644, Shift business tax break/subsidy dollars: Passed 35 to 3 in the Senate
To authorize using money appropriated for the “21st Century Jobs Fund” business subsidy program to instead pay for the corporate and real estate developer subsidies proposed by Senate Bill 567.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4721, Take "bridge card" of criminal warrant targets: Passed 36 to 2 in the Senate
To require the Department of Human Services to get arrest warrant data from the State Police, and revoke the welfare “bridge cards” of any warrant targets. “Bridge cards” are debit cards that have replaced food stamps and are also used for cash welfare payments.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 43, Create new residential mortgage fraud crime: Passed 109 to 0 in the House
To create a new crime of residential mortgage fraud covering various actions intended to obtain or benefit from someone else obtaining a mortgage loan under false pretenses, subject to penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4087, End retired legislator health benefits: Passed 96 to 11 in the House
To end the post-retirement health care insurance coverage provided to legislators, but only for those who have not completed at least six years in the legislature before January 1, 2013. Reportedly, this means 36 out of 38 Senators would still get the benefits, plus 14 out of 109 current House members. Under current law, former legislators who have served six years get full health coverage beginning at age 55.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

September 30 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

9/30/11

House Bill 4915, Increase fees on industries: Passed 26-12 in the Senate
To increase air pollution emissions fees imposed on industries. The House Fiscal Agency reports that this will extract an additional $840,000 annually from Michigan businesses.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4110, Send "partial-birth abortion" ban to Governor: Passed 29 to 9 in the Senate
This is the sentencing guidelines portion of the “partial birth abortion” ban proposed by Senate Bill 160. This week's votes complete legislative action and send the measure to the Governor.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 425, Convey closed prison to Wayne County Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
To transfer the closed Scott correctional facility property in Northville to Wayne County or another local government, and if they don’t want it, sell it at a market price.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 160, Send "partial-birth abortion" ban to Governor: Passed 75 to 34 in the House
To prohibit “partial birth abortions.” This week's votes complete legislative action and send the measure to the Governor.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 237, Spend "high speed rail" money, repay unemployment benefits debt, more: Passed 101 to 8 in the House
To increase state spending by $427.9 million, of which $398.1 million is federal money for "high speed rail" projects. Another $38.2 million is payment toward a $3.9 billion debt to the federal government incurred over years by paying out more in unemployment insurance benefits than collected from employer UI taxes. The bill also recognizes savings from ending a particular welfare training program.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

September 23 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

9/23/11

Senate Bill 567, Create another corporate & developer subsidy program: Passed 35 to 1 in the Senate
To authorize cash subsidies of up to 25 percent of a project’s cost up to $10 million, and also subsidized loans, for developers who create certain “community revitalization” developments meeting a broad definition contained in the bill. Essentially, the political appointees on the board of the state government's “Michigan Strategic Fund” would have extensive discretion to hand out these subsidies to particular developers as they see fit.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 160, Ban “partial birth abortion”: Passed 29 to 8 in the Senate
To prohibit “partial birth abortions” as defined in the bill, except to save the life of a mother. The bill does not specify a "health of the mother" exception. Abortion providers (but not mothers) would be subject to two years in prison and a $50,000 fine; the father could sue the physician for damages (but not the mother).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 237, Spend "high speed rail" money; repay unemployment debt; more: Passed 30 to 6 in the Senate
To increase state spending by $641.8 million. $358.9 million is federal money for "high speed rail" projects. Another $106 million is payment toward a $3.9 billion debt to the federal government incurred over years by paying out more in unemployment insurance benefits than collected from employer UI taxes. The bill also recognizes savings from ending a particular welfare training program.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4349, Expand law enforcement funding through drug forfeiture money: Passed 34 to 2 in the Senate
To repeal a prohibition on police departments using proceeds from drug-related civil asset forfeitures to pay for any law enforcement purpose, rather than using them only for law enforcement related to controlled substances violations.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4071, Reduce jail double-bunking restrictions: Passed 93 to 15 in the House
To eliminate or reduce certain restrictions and conditions on double-bunking inmates in county jails.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 584, Authorize “closed” GOP presidential primary on Feb. 28: Passed 63 to 45 in the House
To authorize a Republican presidential primary election on Feb. 28, 2012. This would be a “closed” primary, meaning voters would have to “declare” that they want a Republican ballot. The voter lists would become public information.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4915, Increase fees on industries: Passed 63 to 44 in the House
To increase air pollution emissions fees imposed on industries. The House Fiscal Agency reports that this will extract an additional $840,000 annually from Michigan businesses.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4109, Ban “partial birth abortion”: Passed 75 to 33 in the House
To prohibit “partial birth abortions” as defined in the bill, except to save the life of a mother. The bill does not specify a "health of the mother" exception. Abortion providers (but not mothers) would be subject to two years in prison and a $50,000 fine; the father could sue the physician for damages (but not the mother).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

September 16 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

9/16/2011

House Bill 4929, Ban using public school resources to deduct union dues: Passed 55 to 53 in the House
To prohibit school districts from using taxpayer resources (including their payroll processing systems) to deduct union dues or fees from employees’ pay, and then sending the money to a union. This practice is the current norm, so the bill would require unions to collect dues or fees from school employees on their own. Under a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling (MEA vs. Land), districts are already prohibited from deducting employee pay and sending it to a union political action committee.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4770, Ban government benefits for “domestic partners”: Passed 64 to 44
To prohibit the state, public schools, colleges and universities and local governments from providing medical benefits or other fringe benefits to an employee’s “domestic partner,” defined as someone who is not married to the employee and not a dependent or survivor.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4771, Ban government union bargaining over “domestic partner” benefits: Passed 64 to 44 in the House
To make “domestic partner” benefits a prohibited subject during government employee collective bargaining. House Bill 4770 bans domestic partner benefits for government employees.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 473, Revise "bioreactor landfill” regulation: Passed 24 to 13 in the Senate
To eliminate the requirement that a "bioreactor landfill" must have a secondary liner and leachate collection system to monitor the effectiveness of the primary liner. In these landfills certain bulk liquids are added to accelerate breakdown of the solid waste.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 584, Authorize “closed” GOP presidential primary on Feb. 28: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
To authorize a Republican presidential primary election on Feb. 28, 2012. This would be a “closed” primary, meaning voters would have to “declare” that they want a Republican ballot. The voter lists would become public information.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

September 9 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

9/9/2011

Senate Bill 472, Expand "development rights agreements": Passed 28 to 9 in the Senate
To require (rather than just allow) "development rights agreements" to be granted to the owner of a vacant parcel 15 acres or larger who requests this, and allow these to go into effect without legislative approval, which is required under current law. "Development rights agreements" give a landowner property tax breaks in return for foregoing future development.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 356, Authorize assett forfeiture for illegal animal fighting: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize the forfeiture of real property (land and buildings) used in the commission of illegal animal fighting.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4732, Revise youth employment limits: Passed 108 to 0 in the House
To revise the law that restricts the maximum number of hours that minors age 16 and 17 who are in school can work. Under current law the maximum is 48 hours of combined school and work a week, and 48 hours of work during the summer. The bill would change this to a maximum of 24 hours of work when school is in session.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4726, Allow "volunteer" firefighter pay while collecting unemployment: Passed 107 to 0 in the House
To not include up to $10,000 in compensation a person is paid as a “volunteer” firefighter from the formula used to determine the amount of unemployment benefits given to a laid-off worker. In other words, someone on unemployment could earn this money without affecting their benefits.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4721, Take “bridge card” of arrest warrant targets: Passed 97 to 11 in the House
To require the Department of Human Services to get arrest warrant data from the State Police, and revoke the welfare “bridge cards” of any warrant targets. “Bridge cards” are debit cards that have replaced food stamps and are also used for cash welfare payments.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

 

August 26 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

8/26/2011 2:09 PM

Senate Bill 7, Mandate 20 percent government employee health benefit contribution: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To prohibit local governments and public schools from providing employee health insurance benefits whose premiums cost more (in the aggregate) than $5,500 for a single person, $11,000 for a couple and $15,000 for a family plan, or alternatively, require employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost. Most local governments but not schools could waive the requirements with a two-thirds vote of their governing body. Republican Tom Casperson joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 485, Limit future local government "minimum staffing" requirements: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To concur with the House-passed version of a bill that would prohibit local governments from adopting a charter or ordinance that imposes any minimum staffing requirements on themselves. The House stripped out a Senate-passed loophole allowing locals to impose these mandates on themselves through government employee union contracts. The bill is one of a package that applies to cities, villages, counties and townships.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4787, 9-1-1 service cell phone tax "fund raid": Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To continue earmarking $7 million from cell phone taxes intended to pay for 9-1-1 emergency services to instead pay for a State Police radio system; and also divert $150,000 of this money to the Department of Treasury.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4005, Require school board elections be in even-year Novembers: Passed 72 to 36 in the House
To require school board elections to be held in November of even numbered years.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 449, Increase landfill use tax: Passed 57 to 49 in the House
To increase from 7 cents to 12 cents the per-cubic yard state “tipping fee” tax imposed on dumping in landfills.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 348, Revise medical services taxes to get more federal Medicaid money: Passed 65 to 42 in the House
To repeal a 6 percent use tax on medical services health care providers, and replace it with a 1 percent tax on health insurance claims. These taxes are designed to “game” the federal Medicaid system in ways that result in higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare system.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 7, Mandate 20 percent government employee health benefit contribution: Passed 59 to 48 in the House
To prohibit local governments and public schools from providing employee health insurance benefits whose premiums cost more (in the aggregate) than $5,500 for a single person, $11,000 for a couple and $15,000 for a family plan, or alternatively, require employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost. Most local governments but not schools could waive the requirements with a two-thirds vote of their governing body. Republicans Foster, Goike, McBroom, O'Brien and Pettalia joined all but one Democrat in voting "no;" Democrat Tim Melton joined all but five Republicans in support.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

July 15 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

7/15/2011 12:00 PM

House Bill 4409, Close welfare benefit time-limit loopholes: Passed 24 to 12 in the Senate
To eliminate some of the loopholes from a 48 month lifetime cap on the length of time a person can collect cash welfare benefits, and eliminate a 2011 sunset on imposing that cap. Among other things, this and House Bill 4410 would increase sanctions for violating certain welfare work or study requirements, no longer define 19 year old high school students as “children” eligible for welfare, require legal resident status be checked using the federal “e-verify” system in certain cases, require more frequent eligibility reviews, and more. The House and Senate Fiscal Agencies estimate this and House Bill 4410 would save the state around $60 million annually.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4409, Gregory amendment, create welfare cap exception: Failed 13 to 23 in the Senate
To create an exception to a 48 month welfare benefit time limit for a person who lives in a county where the unemployment rate exceeds the state average by 25 percent or more. Time would not "toll" against an individual's limit during the months when unemployment was high. Republican Geoff Hansen joined all Democrats in voting "yes."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4747, Shift road tax money from certain subsidies to road projects: Passed 32 to 3 in the Senate
To halt the planned earmark in 2012 of $12 million worth of road tax money to the state “Transportation Economic Development Fund," and instead use it for road building and repair projects. TEDF money is essentially a form of corporate subsidy in which the state pays for transportation infrastructure projects related to a particular firm's plant or development. The bill is required as part of the state budget passed in May.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

July 1 MichiganVotes.org Weekly Roll Call Report

7/1/2011 12:00 AM

Senate Bill 348, Amendment to spend more on targeted government health programs: Failed 17 to 21 in the Senate
To appropriate $5.9 million from a revised Medicaid health care tax to a "Healthy Michigan Fund" that was defunded in the 2012 budget. This tax is levied to "game" more federal Medicaid money for the state, and the revisions are promised to be "revenue neutral." Republicans Hansen, Hildenbrand, Nofs, Rocca and Schuitmaker joined all Democrats in supporting the extra spending.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4625, Make it easier to fire ineffective teachers: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
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; allow but not require the dismissal of a probationary teacher at any time (the House version required dismissal for serial "ineffective" ratings); and make various procedural changes. See also House Bills 4626 to 4628.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4626, Rocca amendment making it harder to fire ineffective teachers: Failed 17 to 19 in the Senate
To strip from a teacher tenure reform bill a provision allowing a teacher to be fired “for a reason that is not arbitrary and capricious," rather than requiring the employer to demonstrate the firing is for a "reasonable and just cause." Republicans Brandenburg, Caswell, Marleau, Nofs and Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "Yes."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4627, Ban laying off less-senior teachers over "ineffective" ones (“LIFO”): Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate
To prohibit public schools from using seniority as the primary or determining factor when making layoff or recall decisions (“last in first out,” or LIFO), and prohibit giving preference to a teacher rated "ineffective" over ones rated "minimally effective" or above, according to a detailed and complex rating system. Unlike the House version, principals could not refuse to accept an "ineffective" teacher assigned to the school. Republicans Casperson, Caswell, Green, Hansen, Jones and Kahn joined all (present) Democrats in voting "No."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 166, Repeal some but not all “bad driver tax” penalties: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To repeal some but not all of the “driver responsibility fees” (a.k.a. “bad driver tax”) imposed for various violations. Repealed are penalties for accumulating 7 or more driving record "points," driving without a license, and failing to have insurance or proof of insurance. A $1,000 surtax for driving with a suspended or revoked license was NOT repealed. These costly surcharges were adopted in 2003 to avoid spending cuts in that year’s and subsequent state budgets.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4792, Allow spending-down underfunded retired legislator health benefits fund: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate, Passed 99 to 11 in the House
To repeal a provision that prohibits spending money in a retired legislator health benefit prefunding account (now around $15 million) until its unfunded liabilities are covered, and instead start using the money now to pay current costs. According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, many new legislator retirees (they can collect starting at age 55) and a 30 percent cost increase means that $4.2 million appropriated for the benefits this year won't cover it. Reportedly, a less costly insurance policy is coming, but this won't necessarily cover the unfunded liabilities either.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No" in the Senate

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No in the House

House Bill 4349, Expand law enforcement funding through drug forfeiture money: Passed 81 to 26 in the House
To repeal a prohibition on police departments using proceeds from drug-related civil asset forfeitures to pay for any law enforcement purpose, rather than using them only for law enforcement related to controlled substances violations.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4503, Authorize “sporting swine” shooting ranches: Passed 61 to 47 in the House
To authorize, establish regulations, impose license fees, and grant favored “agricultural” property tax status for commercial “sporting swine” livestock and shooting ranches.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 485, Limit future local government "minimum staffing" requirements: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To prohibit local governments from adopting a charter or ordinance that imposes any minimum staffing requirements. The House removed a Senate-added provision allowing locals to continue imposing these mandates on themselves through government employee union contracts. The bill is one of a package that applies to cities, villages, counties and townships.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 7, Cap government employee health benefits: Passed 56 to 52 in the House
To prohibit the state, local governments, public schools, colleges and universities from providing employee health insurance benefits whose premiums cost more that $5,500 for a single person, $11,000 for a couple and $15,000 for a family plan (indexed to the "medical price index"), or alternatively, require employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost. Most local governments but not schools could waive the requirements with a two-thirds vote of their governing body.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org June 24 Weekly Roll Call Report

6/25/2011 12:00 AM

Senate Bill 449, Increase landfill garbage tax, passed 31-6 in the Senate
To increase from 7 cents to 12 cents the per-cubic yard state “tipping fee” tax imposed on dumping in landfills.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 495, Increase various vehicle registration taxes and more, passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
To increase various vehicle registration taxes between Oct. 1, 2011 and 2015, and continue diverting around $114 million from various driver-license and vehicle registration fees and surtaxes away from road project funding. Instead, this money is being used to pay Secretary of State administrative expenses. The bill also increases fees and various regulations on commercial motor vehicles and commercial drivers licenses.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 8, Authorize local government consolidated service authorities, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To specify procedures for two or more local governments to enter partnerships to provide particular services, and give these authorities the power to levy up to 5 mills of property tax. Whether to enter a partnership would be a prohibited subject for collective bargaining with government employee unions, but they could still negotiate the prospective labor contract terms. The decision to enter such a partnership would not be subject to referendum.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 485, Limit future local government "minimum staffing requirements," passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To prohibit local governments from adopting a charter, ordinance, or resolution that imposes any minimum staffing requirements, except for "a resolution involving a collective bargaining agreement" with a government employee union (an exception that was adopted in an unrecorded voice vote). The bill “grandfathers” existing minimum staffing requirements, and is one of a package that applies to cities, villages, counties and townships.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 400, Revise regulations on the MEA school union's insurance company, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To require school districts to be the actual insurance policyholder, or else to be given quick access by the actual policyholder to claims and cost information. This involves the device by which the MEA school employee’s union’s insurance subsidiary (MESSA) structures its coverage, making MESSA the actual policyholder, and Blue Cross Blue Shield the underwriter. Unlike the introduced version the bill does not dismantle this arrangement, which is one of the requirements schools must meet to get extra money under the 2011-2012 budget.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 248, Limit state government land ownership, passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
To cap the amount of state-owned Department of Natural Resources land at 4,650,000 acres, with some exceptions; require the DNR to post on its website how much land it owns; and require land the DNR received through the delinquent tax reversion process to be auctioned if it can't be sold within six months.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4533, Revise new young driver passenger restrictions, passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To revise the recent ban on inexperienced young drivers transporting more than one non-family member under age 21 unless the driver’s parent or a "designated" adult is also present. The bill create exceptions to the 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. ban on these drivers, for driving "in the course of employment" (rather than just to or from work), for going to or from an "authorized activity" (meaning school events and some non-school or nonprofit events), or in emergencies.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4394, Amendment to extend unemployment benefits, failed 46 to 63 in the House
To repeal a recent law (House Bill 4408, now Public Act 14 of 2011) that reduced from 26 weeks to 20 weeks the maximum period a person is eligible for state unemployment benefits

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4496, Authorize certain community college bachelors degrees, passed 67 to 43 in the House
To allow community colleges to grant bachelor degrees in nursing, cement technology, maritime technology, energy production technology or culinary arts.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4749, Restrict pseudoephedrine sales, passed 105 to 5 in the House
To prohibit sales to a person of medications containing more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine within a 24 hour period, or 9.0 grams in a month, and impose other restrictions and procedural requirements. The bill is linked to Senate Bill 333, which would require “instant check” on recent customer purchases.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4522, Require public safety arbitrators consider ability to pay, passed 107 to 1 in the House
To revise the criteria that must be considered by “PA 312” binding arbitration panels, which have the power to impose contract terms between municipalities and public safety unions in the event of a collective bargaining impasse. The bill reflects the terms of a House Republican majority compromise with government employee unions. It would expand the scope of this law to consolidated multi-government service authorities; place a 180 day deadline on the process; and require arbitrators to consider the financial ability of the community to pay, and the pay and benefits of comparable private sector employees, in addition to other government employees. Arbitrators would not be prohibited from considering the community's ability to impose additional taxes.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4700, Revise regulations on the MEA school union's insurance company, passed 80 to 30 in the House
To require school districts to be the actual insurance policyholder, or else to be given quick access by the actual policyholder to claims and cost information. This involves the device by which the MEA school employee’s union’s insurance subsidiary (MESSA) structures its coverage, making MESSA the actual policyholder, and Blue Cross Blue Shield the underwriter. Dismantling this arrangement is one of the requirements schools must meet to get extra money under the 2011-2012 budget.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4087, End retiree health coverage for legislators, passed 107 to 3 in the House
To end the post-retirement health care insurance coverage provided to legislators, but only for those who first took office on or after Jan. 1, 2007. (Reportedly, just eight current lawmakers would still be eligible.) Under current law, former legislators who have served six years get full health coverage beginning at age 55. Note: In the past decade 26 bills have been introduced to end or reduce this benefit, and different versions have passed the House and Senate five times, but never the same version.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4572, Cap government and school employee health benefit costs, passed 58 to 51 in the House
To prohibit the state, local governments, public schools, colleges and universities from providing employee health insurance benefits whose premiums cost more that $5,500 for a single person, $11,000 for a couple and $15,000 for a family plan, indexed to the medical price index, effective when existing government employee union contracts with costlier coverage expire. Government employers who break the cap would get less state money.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org June 17 Weekly Roll Call Report

6/17/2011 12:00 AM

Senate Bill 165, Ban project labor agreements, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To prohibit "project labor agreements" in state, school and local public construction, road projects, etc., or as a condition of selective tax breaks granted for private projects. Project labor agreements require a contractor to mandate that each employee must join or pay fees to a union as a condition of working on a project.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 409, Amendment rolling back partial repeal of pension tax exemption, failed 18 to 20 in the Senate
To repeal the provision of Gov. Rick Snyder's business tax cut and personal income tax revision package that partially eliminated some of the state's income tax exemptions for pension income.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 409, Amendment linking pension tax to federal "Ryan Budget," failed 16 to 22 in the Senate
To automatically repeal the provision of Gov. Rick Snyder's state tax changes that partially eliminated the exemption for pension income, if the U.S. Congress adopts the Republican "Ryan budget" and associated Medicare changes affecting those age 55 and under.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 138, Authorize $339.9 million in extra spending, passed 36 to 2 in the Senate
To authorize $339.9 million in supplemental appropriations, of which $246.6 million is federal money. $30.9 million and $98.7 million would be for extra Welfare and Medicaid spending, respectively; $137.0 million is for a Medicaid electronic health record incentive, program; and smaller amounts go to an airport project, State Police disaster responses, and revenue sharing adjustments.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 383, Revise film and other corporate subsidy programs, passed 104 to 4 in the House
To empower the state government film office to grant smaller tax break/subsidies less than the 42 percent of a producer’s Michigan expenses currently authorized by the state's unlimited film subsidy program. The program will be replaced next year by $25 million appropriated by the Legislature to hand out to film producers. The House added unrelated provisions extending certain "brownfield" and related corporate and developer tax breaks and subsidies that are scheduled to end with the repeal of the Michigan Business Tax.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4326, Ban state regulations more stringent than federal, passed 60 to 48 in the House
To prohibit a state department or agency from promulgating rules more stringent than required by applicable federal standards. The bill also requires systematic review of existing rules, establishes that agency bulletins, interpretative statements, etc. do not have the force of law, and more.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org June 10 Weekly Roll Call Report

6/10/2011 1:49 PM

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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org June 3 Weekly Roll Call Report

6/3/2011 3:00 PM

Senate Bill 383, Revise state film subsidy program, passed 37 to 1 in the Senate
To revise details of the state’s unlimited film subsidy program, now limited by Gov. Snyder’s tax system overhaul (plus, the Legislature has appropriated a "pot" of $25 million that can be handed out to film producers). Under the bill, the state government film office could still grant “refundable tax credits” of up to 42 percent of a producer’s Michigan expenses, which in most cases likely results in the state writing checks to producers. However, the agency could also choose to give smaller credits to a particular producer.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4111, Provide liability waiver to volunteer conservation workers, passed 33 to 3 in the Senate
To establish that a volunteer working on a Department of Natural Resources wildlife habitat improvement project has the same immunity from civil liability as a state employee working on the project.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4111, Gleason amendment, ban replacing DNR conservation workers with volunteers, failed 10 to 26 in the Senate
To prohibit allowing volunteers to do work on Department of Natural Resources conservation projects that previously was done by paid full-time government employees.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 331, Repeal certain liquor tax, passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To eliminate a 1.85 percent tax imposed on the retail sale of liquor for off-premises consumption. The money from this tax is earmarked to the Liquor Control Commission, which oversees the state's liquor price controls and the regional liquor wholesaler and distributor monopolies the legislature has authorized for particular business owners.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4623, Let Detroit keep imposing higher income tax, passed 56 to 53 in the House
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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4624, Let Detroit keep imposing higher utility tax, passed 57 to 52 in the House
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.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org May 27 Weekly Roll Call Report

5/27/2011 2:35 PM

House Bill 4325, House vote on final 2011-2012 K-16 Education budget, passed 59-50
The final House-Senate agreement for the 2011-2012 school, community college and state university budgets. It appropriates $12.66 billion for K-12 public schools, compared to $12.17 billion originally recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder, and $13.13 billion the previous year (inflated by $420 million in “stimulus” and other one-time money). Per-pupil grants would be reduced by $300, but around $100 of that would be “given back” as a pension contribution subsidy, and another $100 to school districts that adopt specified reforms including requiring employees to pay 10 percent of health insurance benefits, refusing the policy terms of the teacher union's insurance company, competitive bidding on non-instructional services, consolidating some services and more transparency. The budget includes $133 million to cover potential transition costs of a possible school employee pension reform.

The bill also appropriates $1.36 billion for state universities, compared to $1.58 billion the previous year, and more would be cut from universities that raise tuition by more than 7.1 percent. Community colleges would get $283.8 million, compared to $295.8 million last year. $395 million of the college and university budgets would come from tax revenue earmarked to the School Aid Fund, in the past mostly used just for K-12 schools.  

Republicans Patrick Somerville, Holly Hughes, Kurt Heise and Paul Muxlow joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4325, Senate vote on final 2011-2012 K-16 Education budget, passed 21 to 17
The Senate vote on the final House-Senate agreement described above for the 2011-2012 school, community college and state university budgets. Republicans Bruce Caswell, Geoff Hansen, Rick Jones, Mike Nofs and Tory Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4526, House vote on final 2011-2012 State Budget, passed 62 to 47
The final House-Senate agreement on the 2011-2012 state government budget. A separate budget authorizes school, college and university spending (House Bill 4325). This one would appropriate $33.14 billion in gross spending for everything else, compared to $32.77 the previous year. Approximately $17.52 billion of this budget is federal money, leaving $15.63 billion raised from Michigan sources, compared to $14.48 billion the previous year.

Highlights include: Welfare, Medicaid and other social welfare spending total $21.13 billion (compared to $21.07 billion the previous year), $6.5 billion of which comes from state taxpayers, with the rest federal money. Some welfare benefits are trimmed, such as clothing subsidies. There is a $250 million cut in state revenue sharing to local governments, but $200 million is given back to locals that adopt employee benefit and other reforms. Rather than using the tax code to provide selective corporate tax breaks and subsidies, the budget instead appropriates subsidies of around $100 million (including “Pure Michigan” tourism industry subsidies). Prison spending is $1.94 billion, vs. $2.01 billion the previous year, and a small “boot camp” type alternative corrections facility would be privatized, but no regular prisons. Republican Thomas Hooker joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4526, Senate vote on final 2011-2012 State Budget, passed 23 to 15
The Senate vote on the final House-Senate state budget agreement described above. Republicans Bruce Caswell, Mike Nofs and Tori Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 171, Community colleges budget, passed 21 to 16 in the Senate
The Senate vote on the 2011-2012 community colleges budget, which provides 4.1 percent less to colleges than the previous year. This budget was folded-into the final education budget described above. Republicans Patrick Colbeck, Goeff Hansen, Mike Green, Rick Jones and Tori Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4314, Repeal some land-line phone regulations, passed 37 to 1 in the Senate
To update the comprehensive regulatory regime for land-line telephone companies adopted in 1995 before cell phone service became widespread. Essentially, the bill would allow a land-line provider to discontinue service in certain parts of its service region if at least two cell or internet phone providers serve the area. It would also repeal a mandate that land-line phone companies provide telephone books to each customer.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No" 

House Bill 4371, Let children hunt in “mentored youth hunting program," passed 85 to 23 in the House
To allow a child less than age 10 to hunt if accompanied by an individual qualified under a new government “mentored youth hunting program” the bill would establish. A “mentor” would have to be at least age 21 and have previous hunting experience or have taken a government-approved “hunter safety” class.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 130, Ban drivers license renewal if three unpaid parking tickets, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To reduce from six to three the number of unpaid parking tickets a person can have before the Secretary of State will not renew a driver license, which then requires an additional $45 "clearance fee."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org May 20 Weekly Roll Call Report

5/20/2011 12:00 AM

Senate Bill 7, Mandate 20 percent government, school employee health benefit contribution, passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To require government employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost of any health care benefits provided by their employer, with a number of exceptions and exemptions (local governments but not schools could waive the requirement with a two-thirds vote of their governing body). This amount would be reduced if the benefit is in the form of a Health Savings Account.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 7, Warren amendment, let schools waive proposed employee health benefit copay, failed 15 to 23 in the Senate
To allow school districts to waive the 20 percent employee health insurance co-pay the bill would require with a two-thirds vote of the school board.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4152, Limit certain automatic government union employee pay hikes, passed 21 to 17 in the Senate
To establish that when a government employee union contract has expired and no replacement has been negotiated, any seniority-based automatic pay hikes for individual employees (“step increases”) may not occur. Also, to require that any increase in health benefit costs above the former contract be borne by the employees, and establish that the wages and benefits under a new contract may not be made retroactive to the expiration date of the old one.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4152, Gregory amendment allowing certain retroactive school pay hikes, passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To strip out a provision in House Bill 4152 that would prohibit retroactive pay hikes, including retroactive seniority-based "step" increases, for local government and school employees when a new union contract is eventually adopted after a period when the previous contract has expired and no replacement is in place. On a second vote Sen. Mike Kowall switched and voted "no," causing the amendment to fail. The bill would also ban automatic "step" pay hikes when no contract is in place.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4152, Hopgood amendment to mandate collective bargaining for all employers, failed 13 to 25 in the Senate
To "tie-bar" House Bill 4152 to Senate Joint Resolution I, meaning it cannot become law unless that constitutional amendment does also. SJR I would require all private sector employers to engage in collective bargaining with unions, and prohibit repealing the law that mandates this for public schools and local governments.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 334, Expand “business improvement district” tax hikes, 35 to 3 in the Senate
To expand to townships the power of other local governments to impose “business improvement district” property tax hikes on nonresidential property in the district area, with the extra revenue used for spending that benefits businesses in the area.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4577, Use Natural Resource Trust Fund money to pay state land property taxes, passed 99 to 9 in the House
To require (rather than just allow) money for annual “payments in lieu of property taxes” (PILT) that the state makes to school districts and local governments on land it acquired using money from the state Natural Resource Trust Fund to come from the same fund. In other words, these PILT disbursements would have to come from the NRTF.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4156, Require municipal pension board expense reporting, passed 97 to 9 in the House
To require municipal pension systems to publish on a website their annual report, the system's annual budget, and a quarterly listing of all their expenditures, including but not limited to travel expenses incurred by pension board members. The bill was introduced following a 2009 Detroit Free Press expose' revealing that Detroit's city pension board members, lawyers and staff spent $380,000 in one year traveling to conferences in Singapore, Hong Kong, Scotland, San Diego, San Francisco, Scottsdale, San Antonio, Puerto Rico, Miami, New Orleans and Dubai. The pension board originally tried to charge the Free Press $41,000 to fill a Freedom of Information Act request for the information.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org May 13 Weekly Roll Call Report

5/13/2011 12:00 AM

House Bill 4361, Gov. Snyder's business and personal income tax overhaul, passed 19 to 19 in the Senate (Lt. Gov. Calley broke tie)
To replace the Michigan Business Tax with a 6 percent corporate income tax; eliminate several corporate tax breaks and subsidies; repeal a gradual cut in the personal income rate from 4.25 percent to 3.95 percent; scale-back the current income tax exemption for pension income; reduce the Earned Income Tax credit for low income workers by 70 percent; eliminate or reduce other income tax deductions and credits including the homestead property tax credit, personal exemption and dependent child credit; and make many other tax code revisions. The Senate version preserves some corporate tax breaks and subsidies.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4325, Advance school and other budgets, passed 23 to 14 in the Senate
To advance budgets to conference committee. Both the House and Senate voted this week on budgets already passed by the other body, essentially replacing all of each other's appropriations with $100 "placeholders" as a means to advance the process into House-Senate conference committees to negotiate compromise spending plans. The measures passed on mostly party-line votes, with some Senate Republicans joining Democrats in voting "no," generally as a statement against the cuts already approved by both bodies. This roll call vote is from the K-12, university and community colleges budget, which has generated the most controversy.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 333, Require pseudoephed purchase “instant background check," passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To require retailers selling pseudoephedrine cold medications to perform an “instant background check” on each customer using the “National Precursor Log Exchange” (Nplex) administered by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), to confirm if the buyer is exceeding daily purchase limits. Pseudoephed can be used to make methamphetamine.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 28, Allow state tax payment with credit card, passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To allow state income and business taxes to be paid by credit card. Under current law, these must be paid by bank draft, check, cashier's check, certified check, money order, cash, or electronic funds transfer.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4409, Close welfare time limit loopholes, passed 72 to 39 in the House
To eliminate some of the loopholes from a supposed 48 month lifetime cap on the length of time a person can collect cash welfare benefits. Among other things, the bill would increase sanctions for violating certain work or study requirements, no longer define 19 year old high school students as welfare-eligible “children,” require that legal resident status be checked using the federal “e-verify” system, and more. According to the House Fiscal Agency, this and House Bill 4410 would save the state $60 million annually.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4361, Concur with Senate version of Gov. Snyder's tax overhaul, passed 57 to 51 in the House
To concur with the Senate version of Gov. Snyder's tax system overhaul. The Senate voted to preserve some corporate tax breaks and subsidies, to and cut the Earned Income Tax Credit for low income workers by 70 percent rather than eliminate it.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org May 6 Weekly Roll Call Report

5/6/2011 12:00 PM

House Bill 4325, Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Education Budget, passed 57 to 53 in the House
The House version of the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 school aid, community college and university budgets. A separate House budget authorizes the rest of state government spending (House Bill 4526). This bill would appropriate $12.26 billion for K-12 public schools, compared to $12.17 billion recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder and $13.13 billion the previous year (which was inflated by $420 million in “stimulus” and other federal money, including required state matching funds). Per-pupil grants would be reduced by around $270 (exact amount varies by district), vs. a $300 reduction proposed by the Governor, and a $170 cut passed by the Senate.

The bill also appropriates $1.36 billion for state universities, the amount recommended by the Governor, compared to $1.58 billion the previous year. Community colleges would get $251.9 million, vs. $295.8 million last year, which was also the amount recommended by Gov. Snyder. $795 million of the college and university budgets would come from tax revenue earmarked to the School Aid Fund, which in the past has mostly been used just for K-12 funding. The House concurs with the Governor’s proposal to cut more from universities that raise tuition by more than 7.1 percent. In contrast, the Senate-passed budget uses less School Aid Fund money for colleges and universities, and does not have the university tuition restraint penalties. The House also penalizes universities that provide domestic partner benefits to unmarried employees.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4526, Fiscal Year 2011-2012 State Budget, passed 62 to 48 in the House
The House version of the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 state government budget. A separate House budget authorizes school, college and university spending (House Bill 4325). This one would appropriate $32.522 billion in gross spending for everything else, compared to $32.778 the previous year and $32.775 billion recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder. Approximately, $17.31 billion of this budget is federal money, leaving $15.21 billion raised from Michigan sources, compared to $14.48 billion the previous year.

Highlights include: Welfare and Medicaid spending total $20.78 billion (compared to $21.07 billion this year), $6.4 billion of which comes from state taxpayers, with the rest federal money. The House imposes higher welfare recipient work requirements, and eliminates some benefits such as clothing subsidies. It concurs with Gov. Snyder’s $250 million cut in state revenue sharing to local governments ($200 milllion of which will be given back to ones that adopt employee benefit and other reforms), and his plan to stop using the tax code to provide selective corporate tax breaks and subsidies, and instead directly appropriate subsidies totalling $75 million (including “Pure Michigan” tourism industry subsidies).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 272, Limit state department rulemaking authority, passed 27 to 11 in the Senate
To prohibit a state department from promulgating rules more stringent than required by federal standards, unless specifically authorized in statute. This is part of a multi-bill Senate Republican regulation reform package.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org April 29 Weekly Roll Call Report

4/29/2011 10:00 AM

House Bill 4361, Gov. Snyder's business and personal income tax overhaul, passed in the House 56 to 53
To replace the Michigan Business Tax with a 6 percent corporate income tax; eliminate several corporate tax breaks and subsidies; repeal a gradual cut in the personal income rate from 4.25 percent to 3.95 percent; scale-back the current income tax exemption for pension income; replace the Earned Income Tax credit with a $25 per child payment to low income parents; eliminate or reduce other income tax deductions and credits including the homestead property tax credit, personal exemption and dependent child credit; and make many other tax code revisions.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4361, Don't repeal Earned Income Tax Credit, defeated in the House 48 to 59
Amendment to House Bill 4361 offered by Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D), to retain the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), rather than replacing it with a $25 per child payment to low income parents. The EITC is a refundable tax credit (or “reverse income tax”) that sends checks to low income workers. Under it, more than $300 million worth of Michigan tax revenue is redistributed annually to workers with low incomes.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4415, Allow pension "double dip" for DNR firefighters and legislature's lawyers, passed 108 to 0 in the House
To allow Department of Natural Resources retirees to collect a pension while also being compensated on a per diem basis for wildfire suppression. The bill was amended to also allow the lawyers who draft bills for the legislature to retire and collect a pension even if they return to work and are on the payroll ("double dipping").

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 183, 2011-2012 School Aid budget, passed 19 to 19 in the Senate (Lt. Gov. Calley broke tie)
The Senate version of the 2011-2012 school aid budget. The largest area of state spending, this would appropriate $12.398 billion, which is $225 million more than recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder. It would reduce per-pupil foundation grants by $170, compared to a $300 reduction recommended by the Governor.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 178, Higher Education budget, passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
The Senate version of the 2011-2012 higher education budget. This would appropriate $1.362 billion in gross spending, compared to $1.578 billion the previous year. The Senate did not adopt Gov. Rick Snyder's recommendation to cut more from universities that increase tuition by more than 7.1 percent.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 173, Department of Corrections budget, passed 23 to 15 in the Senate
The Senate version of the 2011-2012 Department of Corrections budget. This would appropriate $1.906 billion in gross spending, compared to $2.007 billion the previous year. The reduction reflects fewer prisoners, privatization of mental health services, plans to close some prisons, and other changes.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4248, Allow Houghton DDA to borrow longer at higher net cost, passed 37 to 1 in the Senate
To allow the downtown development authority of the City of Houghton to extend the duration of debt it incurred to pay for certain past spending, thereby reducing its current payments at the expense of imposing greater overall interest costs on city taxpayers over time. Essentially, the bill exempts the city from a ban on debt extensions that leave taxpayers in a worse position.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 207, Create “mentored youth hunting program," passed 30 to 6 in the Senate
To allow a person under age 10 to hunt if accompanied by an adult approved by a new government “mentored youth hunting program” the bill would establish.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

MichiganVotes.org April 15 Weekly Roll Call Report

4/15/2011 10:15 AM

House Bill 4059, Ban putting union stewards on public payroll, passed 59 to 47 in the House
To ban government or school employee union contracts that pay employees who are union officials for time they spend on the job conducting union business. Among other government employers, many public school districts give local union officials full teacher salary and benefits but do not require them to teach or perform any other educational function. Reportedly the City of Detroit pays $4 million annually to these union officials.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, Reject health benefits for state employees' live-in partners, failed 66 to 41 in the House (two-thirds majority required)
To reject the state Civil Service Commission's extension of health benefits to the live-in partners of state employees. The measure failed because a two-third supermajority is required to over-rule a CSC determination.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4445, Adjust current year school appropriations, passed 86 to 24 in the House
To reduce current-year school aid appropriations by approximately $180 million to reflect lower student enrollment, revised revenue estimates and other detail changes. Democratic amendments to grant approximately $270 million more to school districts this year were defeated on a voice vote.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 109, Restrict welfare “bridge card” cash ATM withdrawal in casino, passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To require state agencies to work with ATM cash machine suppliers to establish a way to stop a welfare recipient’s “bridge card” from being used to withdraw cash in a casino. “Bridge cards” are debit cards that have replaced food stamps and cash welfare payments.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Noteworthy Committee Action:

A Senate committee reported Senate Bill 7, which would require government employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost of any health care benefits provided by their employer, with a number of exceptions and exemptions.

Republicans Jansen, Colbeck, Casperson and Robertson voted in favor.
Democrats Young and Warren voted in opposition.
Republican Mike Kowall abstained ("present").

A House appropriations subcommittee voted to strip from next year's budget $25 million that Gov. Rick Snyder recommended be appropriated in place of the currently unlimited film subsidy program. Presumably, legislation will also be passed repealing those unlimited subsidies, but this has not happened yet (and this week a new film called "AWOL" was approved for a $1.8 million subsidy). The same budget bill includes many other substantive changes, including attaching "strings" to some of the revenue sharing money the state gives to local governments, requiring them to adopt various fiscal and employee benefit reforms recommended by Gov. Snyder. This is just the first step in a lengthy process for this bill, House Bill 4274.
No roll call vote data available on subcommittee votes.

MichiganVotes.org March 25 Weekly Roll Call Report

3/25/2011 8:30 AM

House Bill 4408, Reduce future unemployment benefits, passed 24 to 13 in the Senate, passed 65 to 44 in the House
To reduce from 26 weeks to 20 weeks the amount of time that laid off employees can collect state unemployment insurance benefits (beginning in 2012); retroactively include current beneficiaries under a 20 week federal benefit extension (from 79 to 99 weeks); and use money recovered from fraud investigations to pay for new overpayment prevention measures. Note: Over several years Michigan has borrowed $3.8 billion from the federal government to pay these benefits, and reducing future benefits means less money need be extracted from employers to repay this debt.

House Bill 4311, Repeal consolidated government employee transfer restrictions, passed 63 to 47 in the House
To repeal a law that prohibits the consolidation of services between local governments unless any transferred employees keep the same same pay, status and benefits that they previously had. The bill would not require a consolidated service arrangement to be bound by the transferred employees' previous union contract, wages, pension provisions, insurance benefits, work rules, seniority, etc. Employees would keep any accrued pension benefits, as required by the state constitution.

Senate Bill 140, Appropriate $102 million for state land acquisitions, passed 99 to 10 in the House
To appropriate $102 million from the state Natural Resources Trust Fund for various land acquisitions and recreation projects. State oil and gas well royalty money is earmarked for this fund.

Senate Bill 144, Expand "21st Century Jobs Fund" corporate subsidies, passed 104 to 5 in the House
To authorize granting “21st Century Jobs Fund” corporate subsidies in the form of cash grants and loans to certain information technology and agricultural processing firms selected by state “economic development” officials.

House Bill 4248, Allow Houghton DDA to borrow longer at higher net cost, passed 102 to 7 in the House
To allow the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Houghton to extend the duration of debt it incurred to pay for certain past spending, thereby reducing its current payments at the expense of imposing greater overall interest costs on city taxpayers over time. Essentially, the bill exempts the city from a 2001 law that only allowed such debt extensions when they leave taxpayers in a better position, not a worse one. Houghton's DDA says it needs the exception because lower declining property values and tax collections make it unable to make its currentloan payments.

MichiganVotes.org March 18 Weekly Roll Call Report

3/18/2011 12:00 AM

House Bill 4214, Increase power of school and local emergency financial managers, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To greatly enhance the powers of Emergency Financial Managers appointed to manage fiscally failing municipalities and school districts. EFMs would have the power to cancel or amend existing government or school employee union collective bargaining agreements and other contracts. School EFMs would have authority over academic matters. An EFM could also order new borrowing, or put a property tax millage increase on the ballot.

House Bill 4158, Repeal item pricing mandate, passed 24 to 13 in the Senate
To repeal the state’s “item pricing” law, which mandates that retailers must place price tags on every item of merchandise, with certain exceptions. The measure was recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder.

House Bill 4158, Give "immediate effect" to repeal of item pricing mandate
To allow the repeal of the item pricing mandate to go into effect immediately. Without this "immediate effect" vote, retailers will have to keep putting price tags on ever item until March, 2012. The Senate eventually compromised on Sept. 1, 2011.

House Bill 4152, Ban automatic government employee pay hikes under expired contract, passed 63 to 47 in the House
To establish that when a government employee union contract has expired and no replacement has been negotiated, any seniority-based automatic pay hikes for individual employees (“step increases”) may not occur. Also, that any increase in health benefit costs above the former contract be borne by the employee, and establish that the wages and benefits under a new contract may be made retroactive to the expiration date of the old one.

House Bill 4231, Authorize enforceable children sports liability waivers, passed 110 to 0 in the House
To explicitly state in statute that a parent or guardian of a minor who participates in sports or a recreational activity may release the organizer, sponsor or property owner in advance from liability for economic or noneconomic damages for injuries sustained by the minor. A recent Court of Appeals decision (Woodman v. Kera) determined that parents do not have the right to waive liability for their children.

House Bill 4111, Provide limited liability to volunteer conservation workers, passed 79 to 31 in the House
To establish that a volunteer working on a Department of Natural Resources wildlife habitat improvement project has the same immunity from civil liability as a state employee working on the project. A Democratic amendment to ban volunteers from doing work previously done by a full time government employee was defeated on a voice vote.

MichiganVotes.org March 4 Weekly Roll Call Report

3/4/2011 9:45 AM

Senate Bill 144, Expand 21st Century Jobs Fund corporate subsidies, passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize “21st Century Jobs Fund” business subsidies in the form of cash grants and loans for certain information technology and agricultural processing firms selected by state “economic development” officials.

House Resolution 19, Ask Congress to stop EPA carbon dioxide regulations, passed 65 to 44 in the House
To send a note to Congress stating that the Michigan Senate and House think it should ban the federal Environmental Protection Agency from unilaterally imposing greenhouse gas emission regulations, strip the agency's funding for this, and impose a two-year moratorium on new air, water, and waste management regulations except for emergencies. The measure has no force of law.

Some committee action and newly introduced bills of interest:

Senate Bill 26 (Trim post-retirement health coverage for new legislators)
Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to revise the post-retirement health care insurance coverage provided to legislators, but only for those elected after November 1, 2010. Under the bill, lawmakers who spend 10 years in office would have 30 percent of their post-retirement insurance costs covered, and an additional 3 percent for every additional year. Under current law, former legislators who have served six years get full health coverage beginning at age 55. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports that the average "family plan" coverage of former legislators costs the state $22,000 per year. Committee hearing on March 2, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4152 (Limit certain automatic government union employee pay hikes)
Introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R), to establish that when a government employee union contract has expired and no replacement has been negotiated, any seniority-based automatic pay hikes for individual employees (“step increases”) may not occur. Reported by committee on Feb. 1, pending on House calendar.

Senate Bill 221 (Impose licensure mandate on home health care agencies)
Introduced by Sen. Mark Jansen (R), to impose licensure, regulation and fees on “in-home service agencies” that “provide home health services or private duty home care services directly or through a contractual arrangement to patients or clients.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4358 and Senate Bill 217 (Ban spending state money on governor’s spouse staff)
Introduced by Rep. Deb Shaughnessy (R) and Sen. Rick Jones (R), respectively, to prohibit spending taxpayer dollars for the office and staff of the spouse of the governor. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4371 and Senate Bill 207 (Create government “mentored youth hunting program” and mandate)
Introduced by Rep. Peter Pettalia (R) and Sen. Joe Hune (R), respecively, to prohibit a person under age 18 from hunting unless accompanied by an individual approved by a new government “mentored youth hunting program” the bill would establish. A “mentor” would have to be at least age 21 and have taken a government-approved “hunter safety” class. The bill would also eliminate the minimum hunting age, and establish modest hunting license fees for children less than age 10. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4353 (Extend to 500 feet ban on political activity near polls)
Introduced by Rep. Richard Hammel (D), to revise the restriction on political activity within 100 feet of a polling place by increasing it to 500 feet. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4352 (Remove cap on contributions from candidates parents)
Introduced by Rep. Richard Hammel (D), to allow unlimited state legislator campaign contributions from a candidates parents. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

MichiganVotes.org Feb. 18 Weekly Roll Call Report

2/18/2011 12:00 AM

House Bill 4158, Repeal item pricing mandate, passed 69 to 41 in the House
To repeal the state’s “item pricing” law, which mandates retailers place price tags on every item of merchandise, with certain exceptions. The measure was recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder in his first State of the State address.

Senate Bill 100, Clarify local government Sunday morning liquor sales ban, passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To clarify the authority of local governments to ban alcohol sales on Sunday morning before noon. Under current law as amended by a 2010 bill, locals can ban alcohol sales all day Sunday, but not just for just Sunday morning.

MichiganVotes.org Feb. 11 Weekly Roll Call Report

2/11/2011 3:29 PM

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 4160, Spend more on state tourism industry subsidies, passed 95 to 13 in the House
To authorize spending a total of $20 million from the “21st Century Jobs Fund” business subsidy program to pay for promotional subsidies for the tourism industry (“Pure Michigan” ads) this year, in addition to $5.4 million from another source. In effect, the bill adds another $10 million to what's already been committed.

Senate Bill 53, Expression of sympathy not a liability admission, passed 35 to 0 in the Senate
To prohibit considering an expression of an expression of sympathy, compassion, commiseration, or a general sense of benevolence with regard to the pain, suffering, or death of an individual as evidence of liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Senate Bill 19, Authorize jail for willfully disrupting a religious service, passed 34 to 2 in the Senate
To authorize up to 93 days in jail, a $5,000 penalty and 100 hours of community service for willfully disrupting a religious service or obstructing a person's entry. The bill was introduced after homosexual activists disrupted services in a Lansing area Christian service in 2008.

Senate Bill 20, Ban imposing new business ergonomic regulations, passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
To prohibit the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) or other state agencies from imposing rules and regulations regarding workplace “ergonomics.” During the Granholm administration, a “workgroup” met over several years to draft such rules.

 

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