June 7, 2013, MichiganVotes.org Weekly Vote Report

Votes on National Guard pensions, hunting licenses

Senate Bill 173, Ban local mandates that private employers must grant employee leave: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To preempt local governments from adopting ordinances or policies that require private sector employers to provide paid or unpaid employee leave that is not required under state or federal law. This is related to a nationwide campaign promoted by left-of-center groups and unions to lobby for such local mandates.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4664, Allow pension double-dipping by some “retired” prison workers:
To repeal a Sept. 30, 2013 sunset on a 2012 law that “temporarily” allowed retired prison employees to simultaneously collect pension benefits and a regular paycheck for going back to work in a prison. Under current law, prison guards can retire and begin collecting pension checks as young as age 51 in some cases.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4465, Reduce rigor of high school graduation standards: Passed 81 to 26 in the House
To revise wording in the state's high school graduation curriculum requirements in ways that generally reduce the rigor of foreign language and math standards; and which also revises details of physical education and arts standards.
Under current law (and subject to many exceptions), to get a diploma a student must complete four credits in "English language arts," three in science including biology and either chemistry or physics; four in math including at least algebra I, geometry, and algebra II; three in social science including U.S. and world history and geography; one health and physical education credit; and one credit in visual, performing, or applied arts.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4234, Vehicle trade-in “sales tax on the difference”: Passed 100 to 7 in the House
To exempt from sales tax the value of a trade-in on the purchase of a new vehicle, recreational vehicle or titled watercraft. The buyer would only pay sales tax on the difference between the value of the trade-in and the purchase price of the new item. This vehicle part of this would eventually save new car buyers (and/or dealers) some $220 million annually when fully phased-in after six years. The bill does not specify what spending items would be cut or other taxes raised to make up this foregone revenue.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4669, Increase annual ORV tax: Passed 70 to 39 in the House
To increase the annual off road vehicle license tax from $16.25 to $26.25 for a license that does not authorize operation on state ORV trails, and $36.25 for one that does.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4665, Increase landfill tipping fees: Passed 62 to 47 in the House
To extend until Sept. 30, 2015 a “temporary” increase from 7 cents to 12 cents on the per-cubic yard state “tipping fee” tax imposed on dumping in landfills, which was authorized by a 2011 law.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4668, Revise, increase hunting and fishing license fees: Passed 77 to 32 in the House
To revise the structure of hunting and fishing license fees in a manner that would increase license fees for most sportsmen. For example, the cost for a resident to hunt deer would go from $15 to $31, and the minimum fishing license cost would increase from $15 to $26. The House Fiscal Agency reports this would extract an additional $19.7 million annually from sportsmen.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 175, Undo National Guard pension reform: Passed 91 to 14 in the House
To largely reverse a 2010 reform that eliminated "defined benefit" pensions for future state Adjutant Generals and Assistant Adjutant Generals, and instead provided 401k benefits. The bill would mostly restore the conventional pension benefits. It would also revise various other Michigan National Guard organizational details. The 2010 reform was adopted following reports of AGs being granted generous state pensions based on limited state service ($78,000 to $133,000 for 1.5 years to 13 years service). The House version slightly limits eligibility for these benefits compared to the pre-2010 system (but also contains several exceptions to the new limits).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


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.