Every week, MichiganVotes.org sends a report to newspapers and TV stations showing how just the state legislators in each publication's service area voted on the most important and interesting bills and amendments of the past seven days. The version shown here instead contains a link to the complete roll call tally in either the House or Senate. To find out who your state senator is and how to contact him or her go here; for state representatives go here.

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Senate Bill 1227, School employee pension reform package, passed in the House (56 to 45)
To increase the contributions school employees are required to make to their post-retirement benefits by 3 percent, and deposit this money in an "irrevocable trust fund" to pay for retiree health care benefits (even though these benefits are not considered an enforceable obligation under current law). The bill would also increase by 6.6 percent the cash pension benefits of certain school employees who retire by September 1, 2010 (or 3 percent for some with less time on the job). New employees would be still be enrolled in a defined-benefit (traditional) pension plan, but one that pays benefits starting at age 60 rather than age 55 under the current system. See also House Bill 4073. 

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

Senate Bill 1227, School employee pension reform package, passed in the Senate (21 to 14)
To increase the contributions school employees are required to make to their post-retirement benefits by 3 percent, and deposit this money in an "irrevocable trust fund" to pay for retiree health care benefits (even though these benefits are not considered an enforceable obligation under current law). The bill would also increase by 6.6 percent the cash pension benefits of certain school employees who retire by September 1, 2010 (or 3 percent for some with less time on the job). New employees would be still be enrolled in a defined-benefit (traditional) pension plan, but one that pays benefits starting at age 60 rather than age 55 under the current system. See also House Bill 4073. 

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

Senate Bill 928, Appropriate federal "stimulus" money, passed in the Senate (36 to 2)
To appropriate $183.9 million in mostly federal "stimulus" money for various additional spending items the current year budget. Included is $25 million for a Blue Water Bridge Plaza expansion in Port Huron, $25 million toward a Detroit light rail project, $40 million for Amtrak stations and a Troy/Birmingham "Multi-modal Transit Center," $60 million for food stamps and related programs, plus some job training and Medicaid spending. 

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

House Bill 5999, Legalize certain fireworks, passed in the House (79 to 28)
To allow the sale of currently illegal "consumer fireworks" including firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc. ("APA standard 87-1" fireworks). A seller would have to get a license costing $5,000 and have a fixed location facility of at least 1,000 square feet. Non-profits could sell low-grade fireworks at temporary stands or tents. 

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

House Bill 6052, Authorize government "microenterprise business" subsidies, passed in the House (75 to 32)
To authorize state government subsidies for "microenterprise businesses." The subsidies could be zero-interest loans of up to $25,000 and grants of up to $10,000.

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

House Bill 6009, Let ISD superintendent also be regular school superintendent, passed in the House (104 to 0)
To allow an school district to contract with its Intermediate School District to let the ISD superintendent serve simultaneously as its own superintendent, or for the ISD to provide another person to serve as the district's superintendent.

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

House Bill 4580, Require school bullying policies, passed in the House (76 to 29)
To require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying that is "motivated by animus or by an actual or perceived characteristic."

Complete Roll Call Vote Tally

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 MichiganVotes.org.

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