The Michigan Legislature has entered a summer recess. Many bills were passed in the legislative sessions just before the break.
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting
Senate Bill 1129, Authorize local “pension obligation bonds”: Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate
To allow local governments to borrow money to cover unfunded employee pension liabilities if the local has closed its traditional “defined benefit” pension system to new employees. Unlike other local government borrowing (usually called “bonding” or “selling bonds”), no vote of the people would be required.
House Bill 5477, Increase corporate subsidy overhead cap: Passed 29 to 7 in the Senate
To increase from 15 percent to 25 percent a cap on the overhead expenses allowed for recipients under certain "Michigan Strategic Fund" corporate subsidy programs. Also, to require subsidy deals to contain more specific "claw-back" provisions requiring repayment of subsidies if specified performance measures are not met, the details of which would be open to the public. Finally, the bill would authorize investments or loans of taxpayer dollars to "micro-enterprise lenders."
House Bill 5414, Establish more “dark sky preserves”: Passed 26 to 10 in the Senate
To designate Wilderness State Park, a portion of Port Crescent State Park and certain state forestland in Emmet County as “dark sky preserves.” Also, to prohibit any "dark sky preserves" in the Upper Peninsula, or restrictions on motorized and other recreational use based on the designation.
House Bill 4116, Require review and posting of state agreements with feds: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To require that when entering any "memorandum of understanding," agreement, compact, or similar binding agreement between this state and the federal government or another state, a state agency must assert that it does not violate the state constitution, or exceed the agency's statutory authority. Information on each agreement would also be posted on a state web site.
House Bill 5468, Revise prepaid cell phone 9-1-1 tax: Passed 29 to 7 in the Senate
To replace current taxes imposed on pre-paid cell phone service to cover the cost of government 9-1-1 service, with a new 1.92 percent levy imposed at the point of sale (like sales tax). The current 9-1-1 service tax regime would still apply to other kinds of cell phone accounts.
House Bill 5714, Authorize temporary administrative law drug bans: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To give a state agency the power to ban a drug it says poses an “imminent danger” even though the legislature has not voted for a new law banning the drug, and to establish procedures for this.
House Bill 5164, End government inspections of non-motorized rental boats: Passed 31 to 6 in the Senate
To eliminate a requirement that rental boats that are non-motorized, including canoes, kayaks or rafts, must get government inspections. The bill would slightly increase the fees for annual rental motorboat inspections and revise other details of boat rental regulations.
Senate Bill 1146, Expand historic vehicle registration discount during Dream Cruise month: Passed 109 to 1 in the House
To establish that during the month of August all vehicles 25 years old or more which are owned solely as a collectors item and not used for daily transportation will be considered “historic vehicles” for purposes of obtaining a discounted vehicle registration. During August, use restrictions associated with the discounted licenses would be waived.
Senate Bill 789, Authorize temporary administrative law drug bans: Passed 107 to 0 in the House
To give a state agency the power to temporarily ban a drug they say poses an “imminent threat,” even though the legislature has not voted for a new law banning the drug.
House Bill 5701, Expand auto theft prevention authority: Passed 96 to 12 in the House
To expand the duties of a state automobile theft prevention authority to include insurance fraud related to unlimited medical benefits provided by Michigan's no-fault law, overhaul its structure and authorize $21 million in assessments (taxes) on insurers to pay for this.
House Bill 5302, Require local road agency reforms: Passed 63 to 45 in the House
To make state funding of local road agencies contingent on their adopting “best practices,” including requiring employees to contribute a certain amount to their health insurance fringe benefit; capping the cost of employee retirement plans (watered-down from requiring that new employees get 401[k] plans rather than "defined benefit" pensions); and adopting specified transparency and accountability measures.
Senate Bill 1085, Project labor ban “re-do”: Passed 63 to 44 in the House
To “re-do” the law passed in 2011 prohibiting “project labor agreements” in state, school and local public construction projects, so as to circumvent a union lawsuit that has prevented enforcement of PLA ban. Project labor agreements require non-union contractors bidding on a government project to pay employee union dues and contribute to union pension and health insurance benefit funds, even though their employees are not union members.
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.