Every week, MichiganVotes.org sends a report on important or 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 4325, House vote on final 2011-2012 K-16 Education budget, passed 59-50
The final House-Senate agreement for the 2011-2012 school, community college and state university budgets. It appropriates $12.66 billion for K-12 public schools, compared to $12.17 billion originally recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder, and $13.13 billion the previous year (inflated by $420 million in “stimulus” and other one-time money). Per-pupil grants would be reduced by $300, but around $100 of that would be “given back” as a pension contribution subsidy, and another $100 to school districts that adopt specified reforms including requiring employees to pay 10 percent of health insurance benefits, refusing the policy terms of the teacher union's insurance company, competitive bidding on non-instructional services, consolidating some services and more transparency. The budget includes $133 million to cover potential transition costs of a possible school employee pension reform.

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The bill also appropriates $1.36 billion for state universities, compared to $1.58 billion the previous year, and more would be cut from universities that raise tuition by more than 7.1 percent. Community colleges would get $283.8 million, compared to $295.8 million last year. $395 million of the college and university budgets would come from tax revenue earmarked to the School Aid Fund, in the past mostly used just for K-12 schools.  

Republicans Patrick Somerville, Holly Hughes, Kurt Heise and Paul Muxlow joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4325, Senate vote on final 2011-2012 K-16 Education budget, passed 21 to 17
The Senate vote on the final House-Senate agreement described above for the 2011-2012 school, community college and state university budgets. Republicans Bruce Caswell, Geoff Hansen, Rick Jones, Mike Nofs and Tory Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4526, House vote on final 2011-2012 State Budget, passed 62 to 47
The final House-Senate agreement on the 2011-2012 state government budget. A separate budget authorizes school, college and university spending (House Bill 4325). This one would appropriate $33.14 billion in gross spending for everything else, compared to $32.77 the previous year. Approximately $17.52 billion of this budget is federal money, leaving $15.63 billion raised from Michigan sources, compared to $14.48 billion the previous year.

Highlights include: Welfare, Medicaid and other social welfare spending total $21.13 billion (compared to $21.07 billion the previous year), $6.5 billion of which comes from state taxpayers, with the rest federal money. Some welfare benefits are trimmed, such as clothing subsidies. There is a $250 million cut in state revenue sharing to local governments, but $200 million is given back to locals that adopt employee benefit and other reforms. Rather than using the tax code to provide selective corporate tax breaks and subsidies, the budget instead appropriates subsidies of around $100 million (including “Pure Michigan” tourism industry subsidies). Prison spending is $1.94 billion, vs. $2.01 billion the previous year, and a small “boot camp” type alternative corrections facility would be privatized, but no regular prisons. Republican Thomas Hooker joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4526, Senate vote on final 2011-2012 State Budget, passed 23 to 15
The Senate vote on the final House-Senate state budget agreement described above. Republicans Bruce Caswell, Mike Nofs and Tori Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 171, Community colleges budget, passed 21 to 16 in the Senate
The Senate vote on the 2011-2012 community colleges budget, which provides 4.1 percent less to colleges than the previous year. This budget was folded-into the final education budget described above. Republicans Patrick Colbeck, Goeff Hansen, Mike Green, Rick Jones and Tori Rocca joined all Democrats in voting "no."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4314, Repeal some land-line phone regulations, passed 37 to 1 in the Senate
To update the comprehensive regulatory regime for land-line telephone companies adopted in 1995 before cell phone service became widespread. Essentially, the bill would allow a land-line provider to discontinue service in certain parts of its service region if at least two cell or internet phone providers serve the area. It would also repeal a mandate that land-line phone companies provide telephone books to each customer.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No" 

House Bill 4371, Let children hunt in “mentored youth hunting program," passed 85 to 23 in the House
To allow a child less than age 10 to hunt if accompanied by an individual qualified under a new government “mentored youth hunting program” the bill would establish. A “mentor” would have to be at least age 21 and have previous hunting experience or have taken a government-approved “hunter safety” class.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 130, Ban drivers license renewal if three unpaid parking tickets, passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To reduce from six to three the number of unpaid parking tickets a person can have before the Secretary of State will not renew a driver license, which then requires an additional $45 "clearance fee."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.

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