February 14, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

House Bill 4808, End mandatory life for very serious offenses by minors: Passed 35 to 3 in the Senate

To revise Michigan's mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for certain very serious crimes committed by minors. The bill is linked to Senate Bill 319, which would make life without parole no longer automatic in these cases, but prosecutors could request it. Otherwise, the minimum sentence would be 25 to 40 years, and the maximum at least 60 years. This and SB 319 respond to the U.S. Supreme Court's Miller v Alabama decision. The bills would not apply the new standard retroactively to the approximately 350 current prisoners in this category, but include a provision authorizing parole hearings for them if a future ruling requires this.

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 719, Let troubled local governments renegotiate environmental/recreation debt: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

To allow local governments with financial problems negotiate more favorable terms on loans made to them by the state using money the state itself borrowed under the 1998 “Clean Michigan Initiative” ballot proposal, which authorized $675 million of new government debt (“bond sales”) for environmental cleanup and recreation projects.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


Senate Bill 396, Restrict replacement-construction property tax hikes: Passed 82 to 27 in the House

To revise a provision restricting property tax assessment increases on construction that replaces parts of a structure damaged by accident or an Act of God. The bill would prohibit an assessment hike as long as the construction is of substantially the same materials and square footage. This restriction would also apply to improvements that do increase property value but are undertake to meet current health, sanitary, zoning, safety, fire, or building code requirements.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4486, Authorize “involuntary assessment and stabilization” for substance abuse: Passed 102 to 8

To authorize relatives or other interested persons to petition a court to take an individual abusing drugs or alcohol into protective custody for involuntary assessment and stabilization, if there is reason to believe the individual is incapacitated, has lost the power of self-control, and is incapable of making a rational decision regarding treatment. The bill would also expand the authority police currently have to lock up ("stabilize") public drunks so it also includes people publically intoxicated on drugs.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 5274, Preempt local governments from restricting CO2 pipelines: Passed 99 to 11 in the House

To expand the law that gives the state Public Service Commission authority to regulate oil and gas pipelines so it also applies to pipelines carrying carbon dioxide used in hydrocarbon “enhanced recovery” operations. This law preempts local governments from restricting pipelines in their jurisdiction. This is related to House Bill 4885, which would cut the tax on oil and gas extracted using enhanced recovery.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 4885, Cut tax on oil and gas from "enhanced recovery": Passed 85 to 25 in the House

To reduce the “severance tax” or royalty paid to the state on oil and gas extracted from state land to 4 percent for hydrocarbons extracted using “enhanced recovery” technology, which injects carbon dioxide into wells to extract more product (this is different from hydraulic fracturing).

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"


House Bill 5255, Authorize eminent domain for oil well CO2 pipelines: Passed 69 to 41 in the House

To extend the state law authorizing eminent domain takings for gas, oil and other pipeline easements, so it also includes pipelines carrying carbon dioxide used to produce hydrocarbons in secondary or “enhanced recovery.” operations.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, 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 http://www.MichiganVotes.org.

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