November 22, 2013, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

The House and Senate are in the midst of a two week recess, so rather than votes this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.

Note: The will be no Roll Call Report next week (Thanksgiving week). The next report will go out as usual on Friday, Dec. 6.

Senate Bill 509: Authorize new state Senate office building
Introduced by Sen. Randy Richardville (R), to authorize the sale of the Farnum Senate office building in Lansing and construction of a new building for Senators’ offices. Reported from committee, pending before full Senate.

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Senate Bill 515: Declare blueberry as the official state fruit
Introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R), to establish in law that henceforth the blueberry (Vaccinium Cyanococcus) shall be designated as the official State of Michigan fruit. Note: At present, Michigan does not have an official state fruit. Past bills have proposed designating the cherry as the official state fruit, and apple cider as the official state beverage. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 523: Authorize seizing delinquent child support payer’s IRA
Introduced by Sen. Mike Nofs (R), to allow assets in a delinquent child support payer’s Individual Retirement Account to be seized to make up the arrearage. Reported from committee, pending before full Senate.

Senate Bill 552: Exempt oil and gas well machinery from business tools tax
Introduced by Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R), to exempt machinery, pipelines, tanks, and other equipment used in drilling and operating oil and gas wells from the state property tax imposed on business tools and equipment (“personal property tax”). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 560 and House Bill 5095: Ban large puppy breeders
Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D) and Rep. Michael McCready (R), respectively, to prohibit commercial puppy breeding operations that have more than 50 female dogs over four months of age, and impose a number of other new regulations on animal breeders, shelters and pet shops. Among other new regulations, shelters would have to hold an animal for at least one week and make efforts to identify the owner before euthanizing it, selling it, making it available for adoption, etc. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 604: Mandate criminal background check to adopt a pet
Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D), to mandate that animal shelters must check a government criminal records database before letting a person adopt an animal, and prohibit adoptions if the records show a person committed an animal cruelty offense in the past five years. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4774: Mandate state permit/license for all private gun purchases
Introduced by Rep. Jim Townsend (D), to expand to all gun purchases, including rifles and shotguns, a state pistol purchase “license” mandate. This pistol permit regulatory regime was repealed for purchases from licensed gun dealers by a 2012 law (dealers already run buyers through a federal database check), but still applies to private person-to-person handgun sales.

House Bill 4778: Ban off-shore Great Lakes windmills
Introduced by Rep. Ray Franz (R), to prohibit electricity-generating wind turbines from being located in the Great Lakes. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4796: Impose children’s products regulatory regime
Introduced by Rep. Alberta Tinsley Talabi (D), to require manufacturers and distributors of children’s products that contain substances deemed harmful by the Department of Environment Quality to submit detailed annual reports to the state regarding the products and the chemicals in them. The bill contains various exceptions and authorizes penalties of up to $150,000. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4816: Require insurers disclose “Obamacare” price increase in customer bills
Introduced by Rep. Mike Shirkey (R), to require bills sent to customers for health insurance policies or HMO plans to include an estimate of the amount that any price increase was caused by mandates and regulations imposed by the federal health care law. Reported from committee, pending before full House.

House Bill 4832: Give tax break to energy-efficient new home buyers
Introduced by Rep. Jon Switalski (D), to authorize a $5,000 income tax credit for a person who buys a new home (but not an existing one) that has been deemed a “green structure” by a particular private entity specified in the bill, and a $2,000 credit for renovations that meet criteria determined by this entity. The credit would not be “refundable” (that is, would not be a potential cash subsidy), but the amount exceeding the person’s tax liability could be “carried forward” and used against future years’ tax liability. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4849: Ban sanctions on schools with student group “achievement gaps”
Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to prohibit the state Department of Education from “imposing any measures” on a public school that has an “achievement gap” between “any cohort of its highest achieving pupils and any cohort of its lowest-achieving pupils.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4852: Authorize local “trap-neuter-release” programs for feral cats
Introduced by Rep. Adam Zemke (D), to let local governments establish programs to trap, neuter or spay, and then release feral cats. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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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