The House and Senate opened the new year with a pro-forma session on Wednesday, as required by the Constitution, but no bills were voted on this week. This report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.
Senate Bill 626 and House Bill 4623: Repeal criminal penalties for marijuana possession
Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young (D) and Rep. Jeff Irwin (D), to repeal criminal sanctions on possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, and instead authorize a civil penalty of $25, and $50 to $100 for subsequent violations. The House version is cosponsored by four Democrats and two Republicans. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 631: Revise carrier pigeon licensure mandate
Introduced by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D), to prohibit a person from getting a state-mandated carrier pigeon license if his or her facilities do not meet regulations imposed by the local government. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 633: Allow community service to cover some “bad driver” fees
Introduced by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R), to allow a person to do 10 hours of “community service” in lieu of paying a state “bad driver fee” for certain offenses, including accumulating seven or more “points” within a two-year period, driving without a license and failing to produce proof of insurance. These very high, revenue-raising fees were originally imposed in 2003 to avoid spending cuts in that year’s and subsequent state government budgets. The bill would also earmark some of the revenue from these levies to a drunk-driver vehicle “interlock” program. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 654: Mandate front and rear license plates
Introduced by Sen. Tupac Hunter (D), to mandate that vehicles have both a front and rear license plate starting in 2016. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 655: Impose licensure on "applied behavioral analysis"
Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to impose licensure and regulation on the practice of “applied behavioral analysis,” with $90 annual license fees, apprenticeship mandates and more. Among others this would impact individuals who provide treatment for autism spectrum conditions. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 657 and House Bill 5199: Establish rental unit bedbug infestation procedures
Introduced by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R) and Rep. Andy Schor (D), respectively, these similar but not identical bills would establish the duties of both landlords and tenants related to a rental unit that is infested with bedbugs. Landlords would have to promptly hire a professional pest management company, and tenants would be required to follow pest control protocols. Both bills were referred to committee, no further action at this time.
2013 House Bill 4856: Authorize charges for rescuing negligent emergency victim
Introduced by Rep. Brandon Dillon (D), to charge a person for the cost of providing rescue and emergency services during a state of emergency, if the rescue was due to the individual acting in manner deemed “grossly negligent” as defined in the bill. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4868: Let Flint impose higher city income tax
Introduced by Rep. Woodrow Stanley (D), to allow Flint to raise its city income tax to 1.5 percent on residents and businesses, and 0.75 percent on nonresidents who work there. Under current law, cities are not allowed to impose individual income taxes higher than 1 percent for residents and 0.5 percent for non-residents (except for Detroit, which can and does impose a 2.4 percent/1.2 percent income tax rate). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4881: Make marriage name change provisions gender neutral
Introduced by Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D), to explicitly state in statute that the parties in a marriage are not required to use the same last name, and in general make this law “gender neutral.” A man could adopt the woman’s last name, a woman could adopt the man’s, either party could adopt a hyphenated name, or everyone could just keep their original last name. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4885: Cut tax on gas and oil "enhanced recovery"
Introduced by Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R), to reduce the 5 percent “severance tax” or royalty paid to the state on oil and gas extracted from state land to 3.3 percent for oil and 3 percent for gas if these are produced using “enhanced recovery” technology. This does not include hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4897: Use state agency to “facilitate” creating Detroit futures exchange
Introduced by Rep. John Olumba (D), to require the state financial and insurance regulation bureau to collaborate with other government agencies to “facilitate” creation of a Detroit “Mercantile and Commodities Exchange”. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4899: Impose new regulations on gas and oil “fracking”
Introduced by Rep. Sarah Roberts (D), to require the Department of Environmental Quality to hold a public hearing before issuing a permit for the extraction of natural gas or oil using "hydraulic fracturing," if local politicians or residents request a hearing. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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.