July 17 MichiganVotes Weekly Roll Call Report

Recent constitutional amendment proposals of general interest

The Senate did not meet this week, while the House convened but took no votes. This week’s Roll Call Report again examines some more recent constitutional amendment proposals of general interest.


House Joint Resolution E: Establish part time legislature

Introduced by Rep. Michael Webber (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would limit annual legislative sessions to 90 days. Legislative proposals to amend the constitution require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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House Joint Resolution I: Require property tax assessments to more quickly reflect market declines

Introduced by Rep. Lisa Lyons (R), to establish that if a property's assessed value has decreased, then the property taxes imposed on it must go down in proportion in the following year. Under current practice, assessors use a “moving average” of a property’s value over several years, so if values go down an owner could still be assessed more the next year. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution M: Ban “lame duck” legislative sessions

Introduced by Rep. Joel Johnson (R), to establish the first Monday in November as the final day of the legislative session in even years (general election years). In other words, to prohibit “lame duck” legislative sessions held after the election. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution T: Ban income tax on individuals or businesses

Introduced by Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R), to place in the constitution a prohibition on imposing a state income tax on individuals or businesses. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution U: Revise effective date of new laws

Introduced by Rep. Edward McBroom (R), to establish that, unless it specifies otherwise, a bill passed by the legislature goes into effect 90 days after the governor has approved it. Under current provisions, the “default” effective date of new bills is 90 days after the legislature adjourns for the year, which can be changed only with a supermajority two-thirds vote. This requirement sometimes is the cause of legislative gamesmanship and “log rolling.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution Z: Ban Obamacare exchange

Introduced by Rep. Todd Courser (R), to prohibit creating a state based version of the health insurance exchanges that are part of the federal health care law. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution G: Repeal constitutional ban on private school tuition tax credits

Introduced by Rep. Gary Glenn (R), to repeal a provision in the state constitution that prohibits the state from offering tax credits based on tuition paid to a non-public school. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Joint Resolution E: Ban giving charter school management contracts to for-profit companies

Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to prohibit operation of a public school from being contracted out to a for-profit education management company, which is a common way of operating charter schools. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Joint Resolution C: Allow NRTC funds for logging and mining infrastructure

Introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R), to include road infrastructure for natural-resource based industries in the things for which Natural Resources Trust Fund money can be used. This money comes from oil, gas, and mineral royalties and leases on state-owned lands, and currently may be used for state land acquisitions, and conservation and recreation projects. Some legislators have expressed concern that, theoretically, nothing prohibits the current constitutional mandate from requiring the state to eventually buy all the land within its borders. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Joint Resolution J: Increase maximum age of judges

Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D), to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to revise the current age limit on judges, from 70 to 75 years old. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Joint Resolution H: Ban welfare for illegal aliens

Introduced by Sen. Joe Hune (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to prohibit the state from giving any kind of “public assistance” to illegal aliens. 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.