MichiganVotes.org Jan. 21 Weekly Roll Call Report

The House and Senate took no votes on legislation, so this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest, including ones to cut government employee pay, restrict government union use of public facilities, grant permits to new coal generating plants, ban "ergonomics" regulations, replace the MBT, authorize more special tax breaks, ban partial birth abortion and more.

Senate Joint Resolution B (Cut government employee pay by 5 percent)
Introduced by Sen. John Pappageorge (R), to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to cut state and local government, public university and school employee pay (including lawmakers) by 5 percent from the rate in effect on Jan. 1, 2012, for a three year period beginning Oct. 1, 2012. This would override existing collective bargaining agreements.

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House Bill 4052 (Ban unions from using government email for politics )
Introduced by Rep. Al Pscholka (R), to prohibit government employee union members from using a government email or facility for political activities, fundraising, campaigning, union organizing activities, etc. If members of the general public can rent or borrow a public facility, government unions would not be prohibited from doing the same under the same terms and conditions.

House Bill 4059 (Ban putting union stewards on public payroll)
Introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R), to ban government employee union contracts that pay employees who are union officials for time they spend on the job conducting union business. Among other government employers, many public school districts give local union officials full teacher salary and benefits but do not require them to teach or perform any other educational function.

House Bill 4081 (End post-retirement health coverage for new legislators )
Introduced by Rep. Dian Slavens (D), to end the post-retirement health care insurance coverage provided to legislators, but only for those who were not in office after Jan. 30, 2009. Under current law, former legislators who have been in office for six years get full health coverage beginning at age 55.

House Bill 4044 (Require cost/benefit analysis for new environmental regulations )
Introduced by Rep. Greg MacMaster (R), to prohibit the Department of Environmental Quality from promulgating any new state environmental regulations unless a cost/benefit analysis has been performed on the rule.

House Bill 4045 (Ban new occupational licensure administrative rule making )
Introduced by Rep. Greg MacMaster (R), to prohibit the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth from promulgating any new regulations related to the scores of professional occupations the state has prohibited citizens from pursuing without first getting a government license that is subject to DELEG regulations. If the bill became law, any new regulations would have to be written into statute by the legislature, not imposed by this state agency.

House Bill 4049 (Give tax break to developers )
Introduced by Rep. Jim Stamas (R), to grant residential real estate developers a $2,000 business tax break for each structure they build that meet specified energy efficiency levels.

House Bill 4099 (Impose sales tax on services)
Introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (D), to extend the state sales tax to services, and lower the rate to 5 percent. The bill would not tax business-to-business services.

House Bill 4107 (Facilitate new coal generation plant permits)
Introduced by Rep. Peter Pettalia (R), to automatically grant the permit required under state environmental law to a proposed coal-burning generating plant if the permit has not been denied within six months. However, regulators at the Department of Environmental Quality could extend this time period indefinitely by claiming that the permit application is not “administratively complete.”

House Bill 4109 (Ban “partial birth abortion”)
Introduced by Rep. Kurt Heise (R), to prohibit “partial birth abortions” as defined in the bill, unless in a physician's reasonable medical judgment a partial-birth abortion is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury. The bill does not specify a "health of the mother" exception.

House Bill 4128 (Ban imposing new business ergonomic regulations)
Introduced by Rep. Brad Jacobsen (R), to prohibit the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) or other state agencies from imposing rules and regulations regarding workplace “ergonomics.” During the Granholm administration, a “workgroup” kept meeting for several years to draft such rules.

House Bill 4091 (Replace MBT with corporate income tax)
Introduced by Rep. Ken Horn (R), to eliminate the “modified gross receipts tax” component of the Michigan Business Tax, and change the rate of the remaining corporate income tax portion to 6 percent. This is what Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed, and would result in a substantial net reduction in state business tax levies.


SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, nonpartisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, nonpartisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit MichiganVotes.org.