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 291, Final vote on repeal motorcycle operation: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
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. This vote sends the measure to Gov. Snyder for approval or veto.
Senate Bill 351, Earmark some sales tax money to roads: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
To earmark a specified portion of sales tax revenue to road projects. Depending on the average price of fuel, this would provide between $100 million and $140 million annually for road projects (or more if prices go higher).
Senate Bill 135, Revise abortion parental authority waiver: Passed 28 to 10 in the Senate
To require a court considering a petition from a minor for authority to get an abortion over the objection of her parents to consider the rebuttable presumption that a minor is not capable of providing informed consent for medical treatment. A waiver of parental denial could only be granted if the girl demonstrates a level of maturity based on various specified factors, or if her parents are neglectful or abusive. A girl whose petition was denied could not seek a waiver in another court division, but could appeal to a higher court. Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed a very similar bill in 2004.
House Bill 4803, Sell state fairgrounds: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To transfer the state fairgrounds in Detroit to a Michigan "Land Bank Fast Track Authority" created by the legislature in 2003, which has extensive powers to assemble and dispose of tax reverted property. Alternatively, the state could sell the property itself at fair market value, or give it to a local government. The property could not be used for a horse or auto race track, casino, prison or railroad freight yard. Part of the sale is in Senate Bill 515.
House Bill 4601, Limit certain asbestos liability: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
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.
Senate Bill 712, Ban welfare for big lottery winners
To include money won in lottery or other gambling as part of “countable income” and/or assets for purposes of determining eligibility for food stamps and other state welfare benefits. With this week's votes on this bill, Senate Bill 711 and House Bill 5033, bans on welfare for big lottery winners go to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval or veto.
To require a person to have photo identification when applying in person for an absentee ballot. A person with no I.D. could still get a ballot, but it would be considered "challenged" (meaning subject to confirmation of identity).
House Bill 5009, Exempt senior center poker from (private) gambling ban: Passed 106 to 4 in the House
To exempt low stakes card games (25-cent maximum “ante” and $5 maximum "pot" and initial "buy-in") in government (but not private) senior centers from state prohibitions on (private) gambling. Under current law the exemption applies only to senior citizen housing facilities.
Senate Bill 981, Authorize autism-mandate insurance company subsidies: Passed 84 to 26 in the House
To authorize state government subsidies to health insurance companies to compensate for the new coverage mandate proposed by Senate Bill 414, which would require insurers to include autism coverage in all policies. Any actual subsidy payments would have to be added to annual appropriations passed by the legislature.
Senate Bill 414, Impose autism insurance mandate: Passed 91 to 19 in the House
To impose a new coverage mandate that would require health insurance policies to include coverage for treatments related to autism, and ban higher deductibles or lower benefit levels for this than for other ailments. Senate Bill 981 would authorize state subsidies to insurance companies to cover the extra cost.
Senate Bill 1018, Ban unionization of contractors paid with government subsidies: 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 to being inducted into a government employee union. Such a scheme involving home day care providers was ended by the Snyder administration subsequent to a Mackinac Center legal challenge, and the bill would (eventually) end a still-ongoing one extracting SEIU union dues from home health care providers who are mostly relatives of disabled individuals.
Interested in a cumulative list of all weekly Roll Call Report Votes for 2012?
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, nonpartisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, nonpartisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.