MichiganVotes.org sends a weekly report to newspapers and TV stations around the state showing how state legislators in their service area voted on the most important or interesting bills of the past week. Because the legislature did not meet this week, rather than roll call vote results this report presents a sampling of recently proposed state laws.

House Bill 4409, Close welfare benefit time-limit loopholes: Passed 24 to 12 in the Senate
To eliminate some of the loopholes from a 48 month lifetime cap on the length of time a person can collect cash welfare benefits, and eliminate a 2011 sunset on imposing that cap. Among other things, this and House Bill 4410 would increase sanctions for violating certain welfare work or study requirements, no longer define 19 year old high school students as “children” eligible for welfare, require legal resident status be checked using the federal “e-verify” system in certain cases, require more frequent eligibility reviews, and more. The House and Senate Fiscal Agencies estimate this and House Bill 4410 would save the state around $60 million annually.

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4409, Gregory amendment, create welfare cap exception: Failed 13 to 23 in the Senate
To create an exception to a 48 month welfare benefit time limit for a person who lives in a county where the unemployment rate exceeds the state average by 25 percent or more. Time would not "toll" against an individual's limit during the months when unemployment was high. Republican Geoff Hansen joined all Democrats in voting "yes."

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4747, Shift road tax money from certain subsidies to road projects: Passed 32 to 3 in the Senate
To halt the planned earmark in 2012 of $12 million worth of road tax money to the state “Transportation Economic Development Fund," and instead use it for road building and repair projects. TEDF money is essentially a form of corporate subsidy in which the state pays for transportation infrastructure projects related to a particular firm's plant or development. The bill is required as part of the state budget passed in May.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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 http://www.MichiganVotes.org.