House Budget and excess property tax refunds
House Bill 4228, Final 2013-14 state education budget: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
The final House-Senate compromise version of the K-12 school aid, community college and university budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2013. This authorizes $13.361 billion for K-12 public schools (a record high in nominal terms), compared to $12.944 billion the previous year; $1.430 billion will go to state universities, compared to $1.399 billion the previous year; and $335 million to community colleges, up from $294 million. Of these amounts, $1.861 billion is federal money.
Some highlights include: A $30 per pupil "foundation allowance" increase for school districts, and $60 for ones whose spending is at the lower end. Spending on preschool programs will increase by $65.0 million to $174.6 million. Students in grades 5 to 12 will be allowed to take up to two online courses per term. Universities would get less money if they raise tuition more than 3.75 percent.
House Bill 4705, Refund excess property tax collected by school district on retired debt: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To require a school district (Stephenson in the Upper Peninsula) that collected a property tax millage for bonds that were already paid off (retired) to transfer the excess revenue it collected to the state. The overcharge would then be given back to local taxpayers by reducing the amount of state education property tax on their next tax bill.
House Bill 4743, Allow local holiday fireworks regulations: Passed 107 to 1 in the House
To allow local governments to ban the use of "consumer fireworks" between midnight and 8:00 a.m. on the day before, day of, and day after a national holiday (in larger communities the allowable deadline would be 1:00 a.m. on New Years). The 2012 law legalizing these fireworks (which include firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc.) essentially preempted local bans on their use at all hours during these holiday periods.
House Bill 4681, Repeal auctioneer registration mandate: Passed 84 to 21 in the House
To repeal a law that imposes a registration (licensure) mandate on auctioneers, which requires two years experience in the field and passing a test. A recent state report on occupational licensing recommended repeal, noting there have been no auctioneer-related public complaints to the state in the past three years. Nevertheless, existing auctioneers testified against the repeal, which among other things would remove an obstacle to new competitors entering the field.
House Bill 4228, Final 2013-14 state education budget: Passed 65 to 43 in the House
The final House-Senate compromise version of the K-12 school aid, community college and university budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2013. See description and Senate vote above.
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.