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
The House and Senate are in the midst of a two-week break, so rather than votes, this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest.
Senate Bill 893: Impose children’s products regulatory regime
Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to require manufacturers and distributors of children’s products that contain substances deemed harmful by the Department of Environmental Quality to submit detailed annual reports to the state. The bill contains various exceptions and authorizes penalties of up to $150,000. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 900: Post legislator missed votes on legislature website
Introduced by Sen. Glenn Anderson (D) to require the legislature to post the names of each member who misses a vote or session, and the total number of missed votes and sessions for each member. Note: MichiganVotes.org currently provides this information, with links to plain-English descriptions of each vote (missed or otherwise). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 904: Require drug testing of welfare applicants
Introduced by Sen. Joe Hune (R) to require drug testing of applicants for various state welfare benefits if a welfare caseworker has a reasonable suspicion, and prohibit benefits if a person tests positive. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 939: Special treatment for firms entering “environmental leader” process
Introduced by Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R), to give special treatment in government contracts, “cap and trade” mandates, state subsidies, environmental permit processing, and more, if the firm submits to a government “environmental leader” process. A company would have to demonstrate it has no serious past environmental violations, submit to certain additional reporting mandates, participate in “workshops,” etc. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 875 and House Bill 5215: Authorize new local taxing districts
Introduced by Sen. Tupac Hunter (D) and Rep. Harvey Santana (D), to authorize new means by which local governments can incur new debt for projects chosen by a board of political appointees, and pay the debt with $300 “special assessment” property taxes in a specified area. This version would be called “neighborhood improvement districts” (current law already authorizes several similar schemes). A vote of the people would not be required to impose these. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5168: Back small businesses loans with state trust fund money
Introduced by Rep. Vicki Barnett (D), to allow up to 5 percent of the available money in some state trust funds (including the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund) to back loans to small businesses denied by commercial lenders and which have been selected to receive certain other government “economic development” benefits. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5196: Require high-cost government & school employee disclosures
Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to require schools and local governments to file annual reports listing all employees whose annual wages and benefits cost more than $100,000, and also the terms of any employee severance payment agreements. The bill comes in the wake of a Wayne County political-appointee severance pay scandal. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5200: Authorize business tax breaks for hiring unemployed person
Introduced by Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D), to give tax breaks of up to $3,000 to businesses for each employee they hire for at least a year who affirms that he or she has been unemployed for at least 60 days, subject to various conditions and restrictions. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5219: Require local tax hike votes be in even-year November
Introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R), to require all local property tax millage elections to be on the general election ballot in November of even years. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5227: Give $220 million to Detroit
Introduced by Rep. David Nathan (D), to give an extra $220 million in state tax revenue to Detroit, which would be styled as “payments previously authorized but not paid” under the state’s statutory revenue-sharing law. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 5238: Ban most government employees “severance pay” deals
Introduced by Rep. Patrick Somerville (R), to prohibit the state, schools or local governments from providing severance pay for government employees and contractors, with some exceptions. The bill comes in the wake of a Wayne County “severance pay” scandal. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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.