Votes on Electric Regulations, Asset Forfeiture, School Restraint Rules, More

December 16, 2016 MichiganVotes weekly roll call report

This will be the last roll call report for 2016. Next week this email will feature an annual Missed Vote Report on how many and which votes individual lawmakers missed in 2016.

House Bill 4629, Repeal bond requirement to contest asset forfeiture: Passed 29 to 8 in the Senate

To repeal a requirement that a property owner whose property has been seized by police and is subject to civil forfeiture must provide a cash bond in order to contest the taking, and if the challenge is unsuccessful, must pay all the expenses of the proceedings. Under civil forfeiture laws, police can seize and keep any property that may be associated with a crime and keep the property or proceeds even if the owner is never convicted or even charged with a crime.

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 6075, Require underfunded local government pension disclosures: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate

To require that if a local government’s pension system has less than 60 percent of the assets it should have to meet current and future benefit promises, it must disclose what steps are being taken to increase the funding level. The bill would also require more online disclosures by the state on these problems.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 5400, Expand scope of practice for nurses: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate

To expand the scope of practice allowed for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (including nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists), so they can provide more medical services without being under the direct supervision of a physician, including prescribing drugs and making house calls or "doctor's rounds" in a hospital.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 5120, Require timely notifications of municipal water system problems: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate

To require public water supply systems to notify users within 72 hours if the water does not comply with state standards, rather than the current 30 days.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 5413, Create statewide policy on seclusion and restraint in schools: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate

To prescribe documentation and reporting provisions in the uniform policy on seclusion and restraint in public schools proposed by House Bills 5409 to 5418. This bill would require schools to notify parents immediately if their child is secluded or restrained, with a written report within a week or less. The full package has now been sent to the Governor for approval.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 437, Centrally plan statewide power grid, require more wind turbines: Passed 33 to 4 in the Senate

To re-write the state law regulating electric utility monopolies. The bill replaces the current market-driven process for new power plant capacity and site decision with a more centralized process inspired by Obama-era regulations expected to be repealed in 2017. The bill also increases from 10 percent to 15 percent the amount of power that utilities must get from renewable sources, which could mean hundreds of additional industrial wind turbine towers in many rural communities. The final version appears to leave in place a small amount of electricity provider competition available to some commercial customers. The bill largely reflects the preferences of the state's regulated electric utility monopolies (who lobbied intensively for it), which will have to build new power plants to replace shuttered coal plants, on which they are guaranteed to make a profit under rate setting rules.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 437, Centrally plan statewide power grid, require more wind turbines: Passed 79 to 28 in the House

The House vote on the bill described above.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 992, Regulate drones: Passed 103 to 5 in the House

To authorize the use of aerial drones for commercial purposes in Michigan, if the operator is authorized or licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Recreational use would also be permitted subject to federal rules. The bill would preempt local government restrictions on drone ownership or operation, but allow local regulations on use within their jurisdiction. It would also prohibit improper use of drones, including privacy violations, and authorize misdemeanor penalties. Finally, the bill creates a state commission to develop more detailed rules.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 289, Authorize sanctions for bad faith patent infringement claim: Passed 107 to 0 in the House

To authorize damage awards for the target of a patent infringement claim that is made in bad faith. Actual damages plus exemplary damages of triple the actual loss would be authorized, plus costs. If the target demonstrates a “reasonable likelihood” that the claim is made in bad faith then the court could order the claim seeker to post a bond equal to the target’s likely legal expenses.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 564, Criminalize selling aborted fetuses or body parts: Passed 69 to 37 in the House

To make it a crime for physician or a person associated with a physician to knowingly benefit financially from or receive compensation for transferring or selling an embryo, fetus or neonate, including organs, tissues, or cells, if this was obtained as the result of an elective abortion.

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.


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