Senate Bill 269, Extend $75 million annual earmark to corporate subsidy program: Passed 33 to 4 in the Senate
To extend through 2019 an annual $75 million earmark to a "21st Century Jobs Fund" program created by the previous administration, which provides various subsidies to particular firms or industries chosen by a board of political appointees. (The subsidies can include the state taking partial ownership of selected companies.) This money comes from a tobacco company lawsuit settlement, which the legislature may otherwise appropriate for any state spending, or use for tax cuts. Under current law, the earmark expires in 2015. Under current law, the annual earmark expires in 2015.
Senate Bill 652, Establish state Appeals Court as venue for suits against the state: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
To establish that the venue for all legal claims against state agencies, commissions, boards, etc. (the state “court of claims”), will no longer be the Ingham County circuit court, and instead will be the state Court of Appeals (which consists of 24 judges elected in four regional elections).
Senate Bill 553, Further extend already-extended renaissance zone tax breaks: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate
To authorize an eight year extension of the extensive tax breaks granted to residents and businesses in a particular "renaissance zone" located in Saginaw County. This would be in addition to a previous seven-year extension.
Senate Bill 443, End automatic school tax increases to pay union and other contract lawsuit judgments: Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate
To revise a provision that requires school property taxes be raised to pay off lawsuit-related judgments against a school district, by establishing that this does not apply if the lawsuit was to enforce a school employee union contract or other contract that specifically relates to school operations (including construction and procurement contracts).
Senate Bill 582, Authorize enhanced penalties for drive-by shooting: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize up to life in prison for intentionally discharging a firearm from a vehicle or at a dwelling when this causes death (as in a “drive-by” shooting), and 15 to 20 years if someone is injured. These penalties would be on top of any imposed for assault, attempted murder, etc. The bill also increases the maximum penalty if no one is hurt from four years to 10 years.
House Bill 4593, Expand scrap metal sales regulatory regime: Passed 98 to 9 in the House
To expand a scrap metal dealer regulatory regime authorized by a 2008 law that imposed new regulations and record keeping requirements on sales of nonferrous scrap metal. This and House Bill 4595 would apply this to sales of scrap iron (ferrous metals), and also add new regulations, including: a three-day delay on payments to individuals selling "scrapped" catalytic converters, air conditioners and stripped copper wire; require dealers to examine the identification of individual sellers; require dealers to keep photographs of the purchased scrap metal; and more.
House Bill 4713, Revise school emergency drill mandate: Passed 82 to 26 in the House
To revise the number and scheduling of required school safety drills, and establish reporting requirements, so that 10 drills would be required each year: five fire drills; two tornado drills; and three school "lockdown" drills. This would mean one fewer fire drill and one additional lockdown drill. Also, schools would have to post documentation of completed school safety drills on their websites within five business days.
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.