Every week, MichiganVotes.org sends a report on interesting votes and bills in the Michigan Legislature, and includes how each legislator voted. To find out who your state senator is and how to contact him or her go here; for state representatives go here.

Senate Bill 144, Expand 21st Century Jobs Fund corporate subsidies, passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize “21st Century Jobs Fund” business subsidies in the form of cash grants and loans for certain information technology and agricultural processing firms selected by state “economic development” officials.

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House Resolution 19, Ask Congress to stop EPA carbon dioxide regulations, passed 65 to 44 in the House
To send a note to Congress stating that the Michigan Senate and House think it should ban the federal Environmental Protection Agency from unilaterally imposing greenhouse gas emission regulations, strip the agency's funding for this, and impose a two-year moratorium on new air, water, and waste management regulations except for emergencies. The measure has no force of law.

Some committee action and newly introduced bills of interest:

Senate Bill 26 (Trim post-retirement health coverage for new legislators)
Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to revise the post-retirement health care insurance coverage provided to legislators, but only for those elected after November 1, 2010. Under the bill, lawmakers who spend 10 years in office would have 30 percent of their post-retirement insurance costs covered, and an additional 3 percent for every additional year. Under current law, former legislators who have served six years get full health coverage beginning at age 55. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports that the average "family plan" coverage of former legislators costs the state $22,000 per year. Committee hearing on March 2, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4152 (Limit certain automatic government union employee pay hikes)
Introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R), to establish that when a government employee union contract has expired and no replacement has been negotiated, any seniority-based automatic pay hikes for individual employees (“step increases”) may not occur. Reported by committee on Feb. 1, pending on House calendar.

Senate Bill 221 (Impose licensure mandate on home health care agencies)
Introduced by Sen. Mark Jansen (R), to impose licensure, regulation and fees on “in-home service agencies” that “provide home health services or private duty home care services directly or through a contractual arrangement to patients or clients.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4358 and Senate Bill 217 (Ban spending state money on governor’s spouse staff)
Introduced by Rep. Deb Shaughnessy (R) and Sen. Rick Jones (R), respectively, to prohibit spending taxpayer dollars for the office and staff of the spouse of the governor. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4371 and Senate Bill 207 (Create government “mentored youth hunting program” and mandate)
Introduced by Rep. Peter Pettalia (R) and Sen. Joe Hune (R), respecively, to prohibit a person under age 18 from hunting unless accompanied by an individual approved by a new government “mentored youth hunting program” the bill would establish. A “mentor” would have to be at least age 21 and have taken a government-approved “hunter safety” class. The bill would also eliminate the minimum hunting age, and establish modest hunting license fees for children less than age 10. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4353 (Extend to 500 feet ban on political activity near polls)
Introduced by Rep. Richard Hammel (D), to revise the restriction on political activity within 100 feet of a polling place by increasing it to 500 feet. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4352 (Remove cap on contributions from candidates parents)
Introduced by Rep. Richard Hammel (D), to allow unlimited state legislator campaign contributions from a candidates parents. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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 MichiganVotes.org.

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