May 13, 2016 MichiganVotes Weekly Roll Call Report

Transit subsidy taxes, ban bag bans, alien drivers, grass seed warning font size

Senate Bill 739, Authorize 2-mill DARTA property tax and limit: Passed 32 to 5 in the Senate

To specify that the property tax that the Detroit Regional Transit Authority may collect under a 2012 law may be for up to 2 mills but not more, which at that rate would reportedly extract an additional $300 million annually from Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne County property owners. Also, to exempt this tax from being skimmed by a “tax capture” authority’s tax increment finance scheme (for example a downtown development authority).

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Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 739, Warren amendment to allow higher DARTA property tax: Failed 10 to 27 in the Senate

To allow up to 4 mills in property tax to be imposed on metro area property owners by this entity, rather than the two mills proposed by Senate Bill 739.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 853, Preempt local grocery bag bans: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate

To preempt local governments from imposing regulations and restrictions on plastic grocery bags or other "auxiliary containers," defined as a disposable or reusable bag, cup, bottle or other packaging. At least two counties are reportedly considering bag bans.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 738, Require more state pensions disclose amount of underfunding: Passed 108 to 0 in the House

To require that state pension systems include an executive summary of the system’s unfunded liabilities in annual reports they are already required to produce. This would apply to the separate systems for judges, State Police, state employees and school employees.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 5512, Extend sunset on welfare heating subsidies: Passed 108 to 0 in the House

To extend for another three years the 2016 sunset on a state home heating welfare subsidy program.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 5447, Cap the number of fund-raising specialty license plates: Passed 90 to 18 in the House

To cap the number of specialty fund raising license plates at 10 and revise details of this program including the amount an interest must pay to get this privilege, and how many of their plates must sell each year to keep it.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 5442, Authorize Amber Alert type system for active shooter: Passed 106 to 2 in the House

To require the State Police to establish procedures for rapidly disseminating useful information to radio and television stations, and text messages to cell phones, regarding a "clear, present, persistent, ongoing, and random threat to public safety."

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 637, Expand grass seed seller regulations: Passed 99 to 9 in the House

To revise details of a law that imposes a testing and labeling mandate on grass seed sellers. The bill would require cool season lawn and turf seed and mixtures to include a sell by date, and ban selling them if a state-mandated germination test was more than 15 months earlier. The bill would also require a larger font size be used on a required warning label.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 501, Require alien drivers have visa or passport while driving: Passed 90 to 18 in the House

To require resident aliens who drive a vehicle in Michigan to have both a valid drivers license issued by their native land and a passport or valid visa. Current law only requires a valid driver's license. (A legal alien can also get a Michigan driver's license.)

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

SOURCE:, 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

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