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 7, Mandate 20 percent government, school employee health benefit contribution, passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To require government employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost of any health care benefits provided by their employer, with a number of exceptions and exemptions (local governments but not schools could waive the requirement with a two-thirds vote of their governing body). This amount would be reduced if the benefit is in the form of a Health Savings Account.

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 7, Warren amendment, let schools waive proposed employee health benefit copay, failed 15 to 23 in the Senate
To allow school districts to waive the 20 percent employee health insurance co-pay the bill would require with a two-thirds vote of the school board.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4152, Limit certain automatic government union employee pay hikes, passed 21 to 17 in the Senate
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, to require that any increase in health benefit costs above the former contract be borne by the employees, and establish that the wages and benefits under a new contract may not be made retroactive to the expiration date of the old one.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4152, Gregory amendment allowing certain retroactive school pay hikes, passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To strip out a provision in House Bill 4152 that would prohibit retroactive pay hikes, including retroactive seniority-based "step" increases, for local government and school employees when a new union contract is eventually adopted after a period when the previous contract has expired and no replacement is in place. On a second vote Sen. Mike Kowall switched and voted "no," causing the amendment to fail. The bill would also ban automatic "step" pay hikes when no contract is in place.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4152, Hopgood amendment to mandate collective bargaining for all employers, failed 13 to 25 in the Senate
To "tie-bar" House Bill 4152 to Senate Joint Resolution I, meaning it cannot become law unless that constitutional amendment does also. SJR I would require all private sector employers to engage in collective bargaining with unions, and prohibit repealing the law that mandates this for public schools and local governments.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 334, Expand “business improvement district” tax hikes, 35 to 3 in the Senate
To expand to townships the power of other local governments to impose “business improvement district” property tax hikes on nonresidential property in the district area, with the extra revenue used for spending that benefits businesses in the area.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4577, Use Natural Resource Trust Fund money to pay state land property taxes, passed 99 to 9 in the House
To require (rather than just allow) money for annual “payments in lieu of property taxes” (PILT) that the state makes to school districts and local governments on land it acquired using money from the state Natural Resource Trust Fund to come from the same fund. In other words, these PILT disbursements would have to come from the NRTF.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4156, Require municipal pension board expense reporting, passed 97 to 9 in the House
To require municipal pension systems to publish on a website their annual report, the system's annual budget, and a quarterly listing of all their expenditures, including but not limited to travel expenses incurred by pension board members. The bill was introduced following a 2009 Detroit Free Press expose' revealing that Detroit's city pension board members, lawyers and staff spent $380,000 in one year traveling to conferences in Singapore, Hong Kong, Scotland, San Diego, San Francisco, Scottsdale, San Antonio, Puerto Rico, Miami, New Orleans and Dubai. The pension board originally tried to charge the Free Press $41,000 to fill a Freedom of Information Act request for the information.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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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