July 31 MichiganVotes Weekly Roll Call Report

Bills on school “adequacy,” secret corporate welfare, police shootings and more

The House and Senate are out for several weeks. Therefore, this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.


Senate Bill 291: Authorize wrongful imprisonment compensation

Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D), to authorize payment by the state of civil damages to a person wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he or she did not commit. The damages would be $60,000 for each year of wrongful imprisonment, plus “economic damages” including lost wages, plus reasonable attorney fees. Versions of this bill have been introduced in every legislature since at least 2005. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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Senate Bill 292: Disclose unfunded liabilities in state budget

Introduced by Sen. John Proos (R), to require the constitutionally required executive budget the governor must submit each year to include an accounting by department of the unfunded liabilities incurred to pay future pension and post-retirement health benefits promised to retired employees (legacy costs). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Bill 308: Authorize black "Greek letter organizations” specialty plate

Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young, II (D), to authorize a specialty license plate honoring several African American fraternities and sororities specified in the bill, with the premium revenue going to the United Negro College Fund. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Bill 311: Ban new charter schools without “certificate of need”

Introduced by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D), to prohibit any new charter schools from opening unless the state Board of Education grants a “certificate of need” as defined in the bill. Among other things this would require consideration of a new charter’s “impact on existing public schools” nearby, and impose more rigorous performance and oversight regulations on charter schools and their authorizers (usually state universities). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


Senate Bill 319: Repeal school “adequacy study” mandate

Introduced by Sen. Mike Shirkey (R), to repeal a law passed as part of the “log-rolling” to get Democratic votes on the since-defeated Proposal 1 tax increase initiative, that requires the state to pay a contractor to study and report on how much money per student is needed to teach public school students sufficiently well to meet state graduation requirements. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Bill 4419: Repeal mandatory minimum sentence for firearms felonies

Introduced by Rep. Kurt Heise (R), to repeal a law that mandates a minimum sentence of two years in prison for a felony firearms conviction, with no chance for parole or probation. Reported from committee, pending on the House floor.


House Bill 4422: Authorize Woodward streetcar property owner subsidies

Introduced by Rep. Andy Schor (D), to authorize “business improvement zone district” subsidies financed by a tax increment financing scheme for property owners near a proposed Woodward Avenue streetcar line in Detroit. This would “capture” from local governments the extra local property tax revenue that (supposedly) results from property value increases generated by the scheme’s selective subsidies and other spending, and use the money to repay the debt incurred by spending. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Bill 4428: Require biannual recertification for government employee unions

Introduced by Rep. Gary Glenn (R), to require government employee unions to be recertified by a majority of the employees in a workplace bargaining unit at least once every two years, as determined by a vote with a secret ballot. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Bill 4429: Exempt schools from "prevailing wage" mandate

Introduced by Rep. Gary Glenn (R), to exempt school construction projects from the state “prevailing wage” law, which prohibits awarding contracts to contractors who submit the lowest bid unless the contractor pays "prevailing wages," which are based on union pay scale reports in a particular geographic region. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Bill 4435: Mandate restaurant allergy notices

Introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido (R), to require restaurants to post a notice that is visible to the public and says, "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy”. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Bill 4466: Require detailed police shooting and use-of-force reports

Introduced by Rep. Stephanie Chang (D), to revise the monthly crime reports local police agencies are required to submit to the state police so that they include the number and type of use of force complaints made against officers; the number of shooting incidents involving officers; the disposition of use of force and shooting incident investigations; the racial, ethnic, and gender demographic data of individuals who made use of force complaints and individuals involved in police shooting incidents. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Bill 4475: Require disclosure of corporate “economic development” subsidy recipients

Introduced by Rep. Bill LaVoy (D), to require the Department of Treasury to disclose the names of particular businesses and developers granted subsidies and tax breaks under the Michigan Economic Growth Authority law repealed in 2011, and how much they’re getting.

The bill was introduced after it was revealed that these deals have generated $9 billion in unfunded taxpayer liabilities, payable over the next 20 years. Under current law, the identity of these corporate subsidy recipients is kept secret. 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 visithttp://www.MichiganVotes.org.


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