MichiganVotes.org Feb. 18 Weekly Roll Call Report

Every week, MichiganVotes.org sends a report on interesting votes and bills in the Michigan Legislature, and includes how each legislator voted. To find out who your state senator is and how to contact him or her go here; for state representatives go here.

House Bill 4158, Repeal item pricing mandate, passed 69 to 41 in the House
To repeal the state’s “item pricing” law, which mandates retailers place price tags on every item of merchandise, with certain exceptions. The measure was recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder in his first State of the State address.

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Senate Bill 100, Clarify local government Sunday morning liquor sales ban, passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To clarify the authority of local governments to ban alcohol sales on Sunday morning before noon. Under current law as amended by a 2010 bill, locals can ban alcohol sales all day Sunday, but not just for just Sunday morning.

Senate Bill 165 and House Bill 4287 (Ban project labor agreements)
Introduced by Sen. John Moolenaar (R) and Rep. Joseph Haveman (R), respectively, to prohibit project labor agreements in state, school and local public construction, road projects, etc., or as a condition of selective tax breaks granted for private projects. Project labor agreements require a contractor to mandate that each employee must join a union as a condition of working on a project. Note: Projects using any state money would still be subject to the “prevailing wage” law, which prohibits awarding government contracts to the lowest bidder unless the contractor pays so-called "prevailing wages" based on union pay scales, which are generally above actual market rates. Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 4224 would repeal “prevailing wage”. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 167 and House Bill 4249 (Allow two unmarried persons to adopt a child)
Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D) and Rep. Jeff Irwin (D), respectively, to allow two unmarried persons to adopt a child. Current law authorizes adoption by either “a person,” or a married couple.. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 166 (Repeal “bad driver tax”)
Introduced by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R), to repeal the “driver responsibility fees” (“bad driver tax”) that are assessed for various violations and must be paid for two consecutive years. These very expensive fees were originally adopted in 2003 to raise revenue so as avoid spending cuts in that year’s and subsequent state government budgets. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4254 (Require MEGA to seek info on competing firm subsidy impact)
Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to require the Michigan Economic Growth Authority to notify existing Michigan firms before granting selective tax breaks and subsidies to a competitor or potential competitor in the same business, and ask whether the special treatment will negatively affect their own hiring in the state. “Same business” is defined as falling under the same 5-digit North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4259 (Revise opening day of deer hunting)
Introduced by Rep. Kevin Cotter (R), to move the opening day of the firearm deer season to the second Saturday in November, rather than November 15. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4286 (Authorize energy efficient building business tax breaks)
Introduced by Rep. Bruce Rendon (R), to authorize a business tax credit equal to 50 percent of the cost to build or convert a building to “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) standards, up to a maximum of $50,000. Also, to authorize a business tax credit of up to 20 percent of cost of installing a generator that uses a fuel cell or “renewable” fuel, has a 150 kilowatt capacity or less, and is part of a “net metering” plan in which a customer both generates some electricity which is fed back into the power grid, and also buys some power from the utility. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4301 (Require 72 hour budget bill posting)
Introduced by Rep. George T. Darany (D), to prohibit the House or Senate from passing a budget bill unless the exact text is posted online for at least three days, not counting weekends or holidays. The House or Senate could waive the requirement with a two-thirds vote, but the budget would have to state, “the House or Senate has waived the people's right for a detailed review of this bill.” Amendments could not be considered unless posted at least 24 hours in advance, and 48 hours for substitute versions of the bill replacing the previous text with entirely new provisions (“striking amendments”). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4299 (Require state cross country ski trail user fee)
Introduced by Rep. Steven Lindberg (D), to require cross country skiers to purchase a permit to ski on state X-C ski trails. The permit cost would be $5 per day, $20 for an annual permit, or $40 for a three-year permit, plus a $1 transaction fee for license agents. The money would go into a new state skiways fund to pay for trail maintenance, grooming and acquisition (unless a majority of the legislature voted to used it for other government spending). Skiing on a state trail without a pass would subject to a $50 civil fine. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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.