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 569, Authorize cash film producer subsidies: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To convert the state film incentive program into straightforward handouts, rather than indirect ones, with payments to film producers of up 32 percent of their Michigan payroll expense, plus some additional subsidies. Reportedly the bill’s sponsor wants to increase the subsidies from $25 million already appropriated in 2012 to $100 million annually.

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Who Voted "Yes and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 8, Authorize local government consolidated service and tax authorities: Passed 25 to 10 in the Senate
To allow and specify procedures for two or more local governments (but not the state) to enter partnership authorities to provide particular government services; and allow an authority to impose up to 5 mills of property taxes, but only if the government bodies and voters in each jurisdiction separately approve these, and subject to statutory and constitutional caps (Headlee amendment) on each local jurisdiction’s property tax rates. An authority could supersede conflicting local ordinances, but not state statutes. The decision to enter such a partnership would not be subject to referendum. Each local government’s employee union could bargain over the terms of employment of transferred employees.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4309, Revise consolidated government employee transfer restriction: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
To establish that government employees transferred when local governments consolidate services would not automatically retain the same union contract and/or terms and conditions of employment, except for at least 180 days after being transferred. All transferred employees would be combined into a single seniority list for purposes of making assignments, lay-offs, etc., unless some other arrangment is mutually agreed.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 137, Require school bullying policies: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
To require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying “motivated by animus or by an actual or perceived characteristic,” but not one enumerating specific characteristics, including gender, race and sexual orientation. The bill would not prohibit "a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4005, Require school board elections be in November: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
To require school board elections to be held in November of even numbered years.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 291, Allow helmetless motorcycle operation: Passed 69 to 39 in the House
To repeal the mandatory helmet requirement for a motorcycle operator who is age 21 or older, has been riding for at least two years or passes a safety test, and has a personal injury insurance policy providing at least $20,000 in benefits.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4309, Revise consolidated government employee transfer restrictions: Passed 75 to 33 in the House
To revise the law governing tranfers of local government employees to consolidated service authorities; see description in Senate vote on the same bill above.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 5002, Revise workers compensation benefits and requirements: Passed 59 to 49 in the House
To modify the definition of workplace-caused disabilities in the law that imposes payroll taxes on employers to pay for workers compensation benefits. Among other things the bill would revise the formula by which compensation levels are set, require workers still able to work to make a "good faith effort" to find work, reduce the amount of time an injured worker must see a doctor selected by the employer, and more. A number of these proposed changes reflect what courts have already ruled in some controversial cases.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 8 Authorize local government consolidated service and tax authorities: Passed 72 to 35 in the House
To allow and specify procedures for two or more local governments (but not the state) to enter partnership authorities to provide particular government services. See Senate vote on the same bill above for details.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4701 Transition state employees to defined contribution retirement health benefit: Passed 63 to 45 in the House
To eliminate the current “defined benefit” post-retirement health insurance system for new state employees, and instead offer a “defined contribution” Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), with the state matching an employee’s deposits up to 2 percent of salary, plus an annual lump sum contribution. Employees hired since 1997 could choose to switch to this system and get a lump-sum contribution of the value of benefits they had already earned. Also, to require state employees hired before 1997 to contribute 4 percent toward their traditional “defined benefit” pensions, or else have their benefit levels “frozen” at the current level, with the state instead making contributions going forward into an employee’s 401(k) account. The bill would also exclude overtime pay from the basis on which the older employees' conventional pension benefits are calculated, and cancel a 3 percent pension contribution required from all employees under a 2010 law.

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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