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.

The House and Senate are in the midst of a two-week break, so rather than votes this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest.

Senate Bill 590;and House Bill 4898: Mandate employer grant leave for parent school events
Introduced by Sen. John Gleason (D) and Rep. Jim Ananich (D), respectively, to mandate that employers must grant an employee up to eight hours of unpaid leave per child, per academic year to attend academic activities. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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Senate Bill 603: Ban sale of certain window blinds
Introduced by Sen. Mike Kowall (R), to prohibit the sale of window blinds that do not include cleats, hardware, instructions for installation, and a warning about the danger of accidental hanging or strangulation from a window blind cord that is not secured. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 606: Ban requiring job applicants to be employed
Introduced by Sen. Morris Hood, III (D), to prohibit posting help wanted ads that require job candidates to be currently employed, subject to fines on job providers of up to $10,000. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 612: Ban abortion coverage in state "Obamacare“ exchange
Introduced by Sen. Mark Jansen (R), to prohibit any state “insurance exchange” created under the federal health care law from including coverage for abortion except through the purchase of optional rider. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 638 and House Bill 4906: Establish English as official state language
Introduced by Sen. Roger Kahn (R) and Rep. Kenneth Kurtz (R), respectively, to establish English as the official state language. This would apply to governmental communications, but not the private sector. It would establish that state agencies and local governments are not required to provide documents, public written materials, or website content in any language other than English, but would not prohibit them from doing so for specified purposes. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4896: Restrict hazardous waste deep injection wells
Introduced by Rep. Kurt Heise (R), to prohibit a multisource commercial hazardous waste disposal well (such as a controversial deep well injection facility in Romulus) from being located where more than 100,000 people live within a 10 mile radius. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4919: Impose plastic shopping bag tax
Introduced by Rep. Douglas Geiss (D), to impose a tax of one-cent per bag on plastic grocery and shopping bags, with some exceptions. Retailers would be subject to related record keeping and reporting mandates. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4927: Increase deer bait ban penalties
Introduced by Rep. Rick Olson (R), to authorize up to 90 days in jail and fines of $500 to $2,000 for using bait to hunt for deer in violation of a state order prohibiting this. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4980: Close state university tuition restraint loopholes
Introduced by Rep. Robert Genetski (R), to close a loophole exploited by universities in the language of the 2011-2012 state budget provision that reduces appropriations for schools who raise tuition by more than 7.1 percent. The bill also would cut 2011-2012 appropriations by $31 million (the amount of extra revenue two universities will get because of the loophole). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4983: Defund GOP presidential primary
Introduced by Rep. Fred Durhal, Jr. (D), to cut $10 million appropriated to pay for a 2012 state Republican presidential primary. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4985: Authorize “mobile barbershops”
Introduced by Rep. Fred Durhal, Jr. (D), to revise the law that prohibits a person from earning a living as a barber unless he or she gets a state license, so that it would explicitly allow a barber to operate a “mobile barbershop” in a vehicle or RV, if he or she gets permission from the state. Under current law, barbering is illegal without a license, and new barber can’t get a license unless he or she completes a 2,000-hour course at a licensed barber college, and meets other requirements imposed by a board of existing barbers. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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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