The Legislature continues a summer break with no sessions scheduled until Sept. 6. Rather than votes this report contains some interesting or noteworthy bills introduced during the first half of the year.
Senate Bill 443: Revise definition of school bullying
Introduced by Sen. Darwin Booher (R), to revise the definition of “bullying” in a state law mandating that schools adopt response policies, by expanding it to include an action that “involves a real or perceived power imbalance between pupils.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 475: Mandate 50 percent of Michigan electricity come from renewables
Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to mandate that at least half the electricity consumed in Michigan be generated from renewable sources. Nationwide, not counting hydro-power from dams, renewable sources provide 8.4 percent of U.S. electricity. In Michigan adding renewable sources primarily means more wind turbines, of which there were nearly 900 when the bill was introduced. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 477: Define “reduce and maintain a safe speed”
Introduced by Sen. Dale W. Zorn (R), to amend a law that requires drivers to move over or "reduce and maintain a safe speed" when passing police or emergency vehicles on the side of the road. The bill would define “reduce speed” as slowing down by at least 10 miles an hour. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 487: Ban “Redskins” team name in public schools
Introduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R), to prohibit public school groups or teams from being named “Redskins.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 488: Establish foster care alternative
Introduced by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R), to establish a potential alternative for court-ordered foster care that would allow a parent or guardian to sign a “safe families” power of attorney form delegating to another person the care, custody or property of a minor child for up to 180 days with no intimation of “abandonment,” subject to rules prescribed by the bill including background checks, home inspections and more. Unlike foster home providers, the delegated caretaker would not get per diem payments from the state. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4621: Earmark more income tax to schools, repeal EITC
Introduced by Rep. James Lower (R), to increase the share of state income tax earmarked to public schools. Also, to eliminate the state earned income tax credit, which grants recipients an amount equal to 6 percent of the federal EITC, which is a refundable tax credit (or “reverse income tax”) that sends checks to low income workers. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4622: Establish vehicle insurance verification systems
Introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido (R), to require vehicle insurers and state officials to establish a system for verifying the insurance status of vehicles in something closer to an ongoing “real time” basis, for purposes of enforcing the state’s mandatory no fault insurance regime. House Bill 4623 would cancel the vehicle registration (license plate) if the system indicates the vehicle is not insured. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4645: Prohibit independent corporate subsidy agency revenue sources and spending
Introduced by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R), to no longer allow the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (and its parent agency the "Michigan Strategic Fund") to automatically get Indian casino gaming compact revenue and other "off budget" sources. These agencies' staffers and political appointees select particular firms and developers to receive direct and indirect subsidies. Under the bill, all of these agencies' revenue and assets would be “declared public money and assets” and could only be disbursed through an appropriations bill passed by the legislature. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4686: Authorize local rent control mandates on landlords
Introduced by Rep. Stephanie Chang (D), to give local governments the power to impose a rent control mandate on landlords, requiring them to limit rent for tenants who are disabled or older than age 70 to no more than 50 percent of their income. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4720: Ban investigating or enforcing immigration law violations
Introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D), to prohibit state or local law enforcement agency funds, personnel or resources from being used to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest individuals for immigration enforcement purposes. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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 www.MichiganVotes.org.
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