While the Legislature is on a campaign season break from voting, the Roll Call Report continues a series reviewing key votes of the 2013-2014 session.

Senate Bill 821, Whitmer amendment to impose "Amazon" internet sales tax: Failed 12 to 26 in the Senate on March 4, 2014

To "tie-bar" a bipartisan personal property tax reform bill to Senate Bill 658, which would impose state sales tax on catalog or internet purchases made from sellers outside the state that have an affiliation with a different business located in Michigan, in the manner pioneered by internet retailer Amazon.com. The amendment would have required the internet sales tax legislation to become law for the personal property tax reform to do so.

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 783, Let landlords ban medical marijuana use: Passed 31 to 7 in the Senate on March 4, 2014

To prohibit the possession or use of medical marijuana on any portion of private property that is open to the public, or where it is banned by the property owner. The bill would also permit a landlord to refuse to rent a residence to someone who uses medical marijuana on the property. The House has not taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 878, Accommodate and regulate the “millionaire party” business: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on April 24, 2014

To revise the law governing charitable “millionaire party” gambling events that include casino games, in a manner that accommodates charities contracting-out operation of the fundraising events to a service that operates them for multiple charities at a single location, one event after another. This would recognize and accommodate a system that has evolved where on most days a person can gamble on casino-like games at a particular location, with the proceeds going to different charitable. The state Gaming Control Board had proposed restrictions on this. The House never took up the bill, and the dispute appears to have been successfully negotiated to permit the practice with some new regulations.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 768, Let state universities provide "unmarried partner" benefits: Failed 12 to 26 in the Senate on May 6, 2014

To adopt an amendment to the annual Higher Education budget offered by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer that would remove a prohibition on universities providing health insurance or other fringe benefits for "unmarried partners" of employees.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 774, Add spending for summer jobs program: Failed 12 to 26 in the Senate on April 30, 2014

To approve an amendment to the Natural Resources budget offered by Sen. Hopgood that would increase spending on a "Michigan Conservation Corps" from $4.1 million to $7.6 million. This is the state version of a New Deal era program created in 1933. The extra money would be for a summer jobs program.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 791, Revise, make permanent non-transportation 7/8th cent gas tax: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on May 21, 2014.

To eliminate the 2016 sunset on a 7/8ths cent-per-gallon gas tax that was originally supposed to expire in 1998 and only be used to clean up leaking underground fuel tanks, but which has been extended several times, and was diverted to other government spending by a 2004 “fund raid” enacted to avoid spending cuts in that and subsequent years' budget. This bill has not been taken up by the House.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 786, Give tax breaks to aquaculture and hydroponics: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate on March 26, 2014

To exempt aquaculture and hydroponics production facilities from property taxes, and instead levy an alternative tax equal to 25 percent of the regular tax paid by other property owners.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 934, Preempt $10.10 minimum wage initiative; hike mandated minimum: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate on May 15, 2014

To repeal the current state minimum wage law that makes it unlawful to employ a worker for less than $7.40 an hour, and replace it with a new law gradually increasing the mandated minimum to $9.20 an hour in 2017, and indexed to inflation thereafter.
As introduced the bill was seen as a Republican gambit to preempt a ballot proposal mandating that employers pay even higher minimums. It became a bipartisan gambit after concessions including inflation indexing brought most Democrats on board.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 850, Exempt public safety employees from no-contract "step pay hike" ban: Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate on June 10, 2014. Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate

To exempt law enforcement and fire department employees from a 2011 law that banned automatic seniority-based automatic pay hikes for individual government employees (“step increases”) during the time when a government employee union contract has expired and no replacement has been negotiated.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 910, Ban enforcement of new woodstove emissions limits: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate on June 11, 2014.

To prohibit the Department of Environmental Quality from imposing new state woodstove and wood heater regulations, or enforcing new federal ones. The bill was introduced following news reports that proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency rules would impose restrictive new limits on wood heat. The House has not taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 324, Require certification of federal health care law “navigators”: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on June 12, 2014

To require “certification” for the individuals and organizations acting as “navigators” authorized by the federal health care law (“Obamacare”) to assist individuals who apply for government-subsidized health benefits through the law's “exchange,” including criminal background check and training in a program that protects the privacy and security of Michigan residents' personally identifiable information. The bill authorizes administrative sanctions and fines for individuals and organizations who violate various rules, including “steering” a person toward a particular policy. The House has passed a similar bill (HB 4576), but neither has been approved by the other body.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 748, Revise protectionist Detroit "limousine" regulations: Passed 30 to 8 in the Senate on June 11, 2014.

To allow Detroit to expand the scope of a city regulatory regime on “limousines,” by extending it to vehicles that can carry eight people including the driver. The limousine regulations have the effect of limiting competition to the taxi cartels that are protected by the city. The bill is sponsored by Detroit Democrat Virgil Smith, Jr. and cosponsored by Oakland County Republican Mike Kowall. It has not been taken up by the House.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 934, Preempt $10.10 minimum wage initiative; hike mandated minimum: Passed 76 to 34 in the House on May 27, 2014

The House vote on the bill described above.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.