Due to late sessions and a crowded year-end agenda, some of this week's votes will be included in a supplemental roll call report next week. Except for pro-forma adjournment and "opening day" sessions on Dec. 13 and Jan. 8, respectively, the Legislature will not return for regular business until mid-January.
Initiated Legislation 1, Ban abortion coverage through federal health care law exchange: Passed 27 to 11 in the Senate
To prohibit health insurance policies sold in Michigan through the federal health care law’s “exchange” from including abortion coverage. Individuals could use their own money to purchase a policy “rider” for this outside the exchange if they choose, but no federal subsidy would cover the cost. The initiated legislation was placed before the legislature through a petition drive organized by Right to Life of Michigan, after Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed 2012 insurance legislation that contained the same provision. No approval from the Governor is required for initiated legislation to go into effect.
House Bill 4369, Codify “education achievement authority” for failed schools: Passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To codify in statute the powers and structure of a state “education achievement authority” (already created by means of an administrative “interlocal agreement”), which is an office in the Department of Education tasked with managing, overseeing or contracting-out the operations of public schools deemed to have failed academically. The Senate did not adopt a House-passed cap of 50 on the number of academically failed schools the EAA can take over, but did add an 18-month "embargo" on any additional schools being taken over.
House Bill 4593, Expand scrap metal regulatory regime: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To expand a scrap metal dealer regulatory regime authorized by a 2008 law that imposed new regulations and record keeping requirements on sales of nonferrous scrap metal, so that it also applies to sales of scrap iron (ferrous metals). The bill would require the scrap metal industry to create a real time database of each purchase by a scrap metal dealer of "scrapped" catalytic converters, air conditioners and stripped copper wire; until it did so the bill would impose a three-day delay on payments to individuals who sell these things. It would also require dealers to check sellers against this database, keep photographs of the purchased scrap metal, and more.
Senate Bill 661, Increase political contribution limits: Passed 56 to 52 in the House
To double the maximum campaign contributions allowed by state election law, index these to inflation, and require additional finance reports from candidates. The bill would also establish that organizations that run third party "issue ads" which do not "expressly advocate" for or against a candidate or ballot issue need not disclose the names and addresses of who paid for the ad (but do have to disclose the sponsoring organization), and require political "robocalls" that do not engage in "express advocacy" to include who paid for the calls.
Senate Bill 542, Permit more generous government employee health benefits: Passed 108 to 1 in the House
To increase from $11,000 to $12,250 the “hard cap” on the amount that a local government or school district can spend for an "individual-plus-spouse" employee health care policy under a 2011 law limiting the cost of such benefits.
Senate Bill 321, Exempt legal process servers from trespassing laws: Passed 57 to 27 in the House
To exempt legal action process servers from the state law against trespassing.
House Bill 4044, Ban mandating all health insurance go through "Obamacare“ exchange: Passed 72 to 37 in the House
To prohibit a state “exchange” created under the federal health care law from mandating that insurance companies must sell all health insurance policies through the exchange. The Michigan legislature elected to let the federal government create an exchange here rather than create a state-run version, so the measure would only have effect if that choice is later reversed.
House Bill 4816, Require insurers disclose “Obamacare” price hikes: Passed 67 to 42 in the House
To require bills sent to customers for health insurance policies to include an estimate of the amount that any price increase was caused by mandates and regulations imposed by the federal health care law.
Senate Bill 660, Authorize and regulate "pharmaceutical-grade cannabis": Passed 87 to 22 in the House
To establish a comprehensive regulatory regime for production and sale by pharmacies of “pharmaceutical-grade cannabis" to individuals with a debilitating medical condition, contingent on the federal government reclassifying marijuana from an illegal drug to a prescription drug. Michigan's voter-initiated medical marijuana law establishes a regulatory framework for patients or authorized caregivers growing their own; companies seeking “commercialized” distribution lobbied for this bill.
House Bill 5104, Authorize medical “marijuana infused products”: Passed 100 to 9 in the House
To authorize the use of “marijuana infused products” under the state’s medical marijuana law. This is defined to include any "topical formulation, tincture, beverage, edible substance, or similar product intended for human consumption in a manner other than smoking."
Initiated Legislation 1, Ban abortion coverage through federal health care law exchange: Passed 62 to 47 in the House
To prohibit health insurance policies sold in Michigan through the federal health care law’s “exchange” from including abortion coverage. Individuals could use their own money to purchase a policy “rider” for this outside the exchange if they choose, but no federal subsidy would cover the cost. No approval from the Governor is required for initiated legislation to go into effect.
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.