MichiganVotes.org sends a weekly report to newspapers and TV stations around the state showing how state legislators in their service area voted on the most important or interesting bills of the past week.

Senate Bill 410, Newsworthy Committee action — Authorize new Detroit River bridge: Failed in the Senate Economic Development Committee, 2-3
To authorize a controversial Detroit River bridge (the “New International Trade Crossing,” a.k.a. the “Detroit River International Crossing”). According to news reports, Republicans voting “no” objected to details of Democratic Senators' demand for a bundle of patronage-like “community benefits” the proposed bridge authority would have to deliver to nearby residents, businesses and community organizations. Further attempts are likely to advance this project favored by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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IN FAVOR: Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) AGAINST: Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), Mike Kowall (R-White Lake Township), Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek) NOT VOTING: Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit), Virgil Smith (D-Detroit)

Senate Bill 269, Raise small claims court cap to $8,000: Passed 31 to 7 in the Senate
To increase the maximum amount that may be recovered in small claims court from $3,000 to $8,000.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5014, Authorize extra spending: Passed 103 to 5 in the House
To authorize spending $320.4 million for two items. The first is $119 million that is nearly all federal money for incentive payments to health care providers to adopt state-approved electronic health care record systems. The second appropriates the money from a new 1 percent health insurance claims tax designed to “game” the federal Medicaid system to get higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare system.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4293, Repeal fireworks ban: Passed 98 to 10 in the House
To establish a comprehensive regulatory regime for allowing the sale of currently illegal "consumer fireworks" including firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc. (but not M-80s, cherry bombs, etc.). The bill proposes a $1,000 permit fee for sellers, $600 for temporary location "tent" sellers, and a mandate that sellers carry a $10 million insurance policy. It would impose a 6 percent tax ("fireworks safety fee") in addition to the usual 6 percent sales tax. Local governments could prohibit using fireworks, but could not ban sales.

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 http://www.MichiganVotes.org.

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