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.

House Bill 4214, Increase power of school and local emergency financial managers, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To greatly enhance the powers of Emergency Financial Managers appointed to manage fiscally failing municipalities and school districts. EFMs would have the power to cancel or amend existing government or school employee union collective bargaining agreements and other contracts. School EFMs would have authority over academic matters. An EFM could also order new borrowing, or put a property tax millage increase on the ballot.

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House Bill 4158, Repeal item pricing mandate, passed 24 to 13 in the Senate
To repeal the state’s “item pricing” law, which mandates that retailers must place price tags on every item of merchandise, with certain exceptions. The measure was recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder.

House Bill 4158, Give "immediate effect" to repeal of item pricing mandate
To allow the repeal of the item pricing mandate to go into effect immediately. Without this "immediate effect" vote, retailers will have to keep putting price tags on ever item until March, 2012. The Senate eventually compromised on Sept. 1, 2011.

House Bill 4152, Ban automatic government employee pay hikes under expired contract, passed 63 to 47 in the House
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. Also, that any increase in health benefit costs above the former contract be borne by the employee, and establish that the wages and benefits under a new contract may be made retroactive to the expiration date of the old one.

House Bill 4231, Authorize enforceable children sports liability waivers, passed 110 to 0 in the House
To explicitly state in statute that a parent or guardian of a minor who participates in sports or a recreational activity may release the organizer, sponsor or property owner in advance from liability for economic or noneconomic damages for injuries sustained by the minor. A recent Court of Appeals decision (Woodman v. Kera) determined that parents do not have the right to waive liability for their children.

House Bill 4111, Provide limited liability to volunteer conservation workers, passed 79 to 31 in the House
To establish that a volunteer working on a Department of Natural Resources wildlife habitat improvement project has the same immunity from civil liability as a state employee working on the project. A Democratic amendment to ban volunteers from doing work previously done by a full time government employee was defeated on a voice vote.

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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