Among other actions this week, the House and Senate in effect rejected all the budgets passed by the other body the previous week, which is a procedural means of getting these into conference committees to work out the differences. The goal is to complete work by June 1 on budgets for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting
Senate Bill 315, Require kindergartners be 5 by Sept. 1: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To require children to be age 5 by Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten, rather than by Dec. 1 under current law. This earlier age cut-off would be phased in one month at a time over three years, starting in 2013. A child who would have been eligible under the current requirements could still attend if the parents "opt in" by notifying the school by June 1. The phase-in and "opt-in" was negotiated because school districts get money from the state for each kindergartner, whose numbers would be reduced during the transition period.
House Bill 4594, Restrict insurance company use of consumer credit scores: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate
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.
Senate Bill 802, Require state agencies post spending plans online: Passed 27 to 11 in the Senate
To require state agencies to submit and get approval within 60 days of their annual budget's enactment of a spending plan that includes a "schedule" or list of programs covered under each line item, and the amount they plan to spend on each.
House Bill 4925, Expand allowable ORV road-shoulder riding locations: Passed 84 to 26 in the House
To expand a law that allows counties in the northern part of the state to allow off road vehicles to be driven on the shoulder of some or all streets and roads, so that it would be available to all counties statewide. The bill would also eliminate a 2013 sunset on this law.
Senate Bill 269, Raise small claims cap: Passed 107 to 2 in the House
To gradually increase the maximum amount that may be recovered in small claims court from $3,000 to $7,000, with the increase coming in several steps from 2012 through 2024. In small claims court actions a lawyer is neither required or allowed, which makes them more accessible to regular people; as introduced the bill would have increased the cap to $10,000 immediately.
House Bill 5468, Revise prepaid cell phone contract 9-1-1 tax: Passed 106 to 3 in the House
To replace current taxes imposed on pre-paid cell phone service to cover the cost of government 9-1-1 service, with a new 1.92 percent levy imposed at the point of sale (like sales tax). The current 9-1-1 service tax regime would still apply to other kinds of cell phone accounts.
House Bill 4851, Revise medical marijuana law regulations: Passed 105 to 4 in the House
To prohibit a doctor from prescribing medical marijuana unless there is a “bona fide physician-patient relationship,” as defined in the bill. This would require the doctor to get the patient's medical history, perform a physical and keep records. The bill also requires medical marijuana grown outside to be securely locked in a fenced area, and when transported to be in the trunk or a case inaccessible to vehicle occupants.
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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.