October 9, 2015 MichiganVotes Weekly Roll Call Report

Civil forfeiture reform, bully breeds, medical marijuana and more

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House Bill 4505, Increase civil asset forfeiture burden of proof: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

To require a more rigorous “clear and convincing” burden of proof standard for police agencies to take ownership of property that has been seized in connection with a possible crime, called "forfeiture." Under current law property may be taken under the least rigorous "preponderance of the evidence" standard, and owners need not be convicted or even charged.

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Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 4504, Require police civil asset forfeiture disclosures: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

To require law enforcement agencies to file annual reports on the number of civil asset forfeiture proceedings concluded, pending or “negotiated.” The reports would have to disclose details regarding the charges (if any) and outcome of the case; the property and value; whether any federal agencies were involved; how much the police agency realized from taking ownership of seized property, and more. The State Police would compile these disclosures and post a report on the internet.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 340, Increase penalties for tobacco sales to minors: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate

To increase the penalties for selling tobacco to minors, from $50 to $100 for a first offense, and $500 for a subsequent offense. The increased penalties would also apply to a minor who tries to buy or who possesses tobacco.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

Senate Bill 239, Ban local restrictions on particular dog breeds: Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate

To prohibit local governments from enforcing an ordinance that imposes regulations or restrictions on dogs based solely on their breed or type (such as pit bulls or dobermans).

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 4209, Authorize, regulate and tax medical marijuana dispensaries: Passed 95 to 11 in the House

To authorize a comprehensive regulatory and licensure regime for medical marijuana growers, transporters, testers, dispensaries and more, with civil and criminal penalties for violations. Also, to impose a 3 percent tax on retail sales. The state's voter-authorized medical marijuana law is ambiguous on dispensaries, which the bill would allow, though local governments could choose to ban them.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 4827, Create "seed to sale" medical marijuana database: Passed 99 to 7 in the House

To establish a comprehensive “seed-to-sale” tracking system for commercial marijuana, with information on each step including recording final sales to individual customers. This would all be contained in a computer database and would not be a public record, but could be used for enforcing the medical marijuana law, including tracking how much individual card holders purchase and from who.

Who Voted “Yes” and Who Voted “No”

House Bill 4581, Increase state payments to liquor distribution oligopolists: Passed 102 to 4 in the House

To increase from $7.50 to $10 the per-case fee that the three private companies granted a state oligopoly to warehouse and distribute liquor to retailers can collect from the state as a "reimbursement" for their distribution costs. According to the House Fiscal Agency the bill would have the effect of transferring some $10 million annually from taxpayers to these companies.

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.