The Legislature remains on a summer and primary season break, with a tentative session scheduled for Aug. 15, and regular sessions resuming Sept. 5. Rather than votes, this report contains some interesting or noteworthy recent bill introductions.
Senate Bill 1061: Require state to allow some cremated remains depositions in state parks
Introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R), to require the Department of Natural Resources to cooperate with certain associations in allowing the cremated remains of deceased individuals to be buried in a designated part of a state park. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 1063: Authorize local mail-in elections
Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D), to allow local governments to hold elections for local officials or local ballot measures by mail. This would not apply if any state offices or statewide measures are on the ballot. Local clerks would send a ballot to every registered voter, who could return it by mail, or at designated drop-off points on election day. The bill would establish comprehensive rules for the process and authorize the Secretary of State to administer them. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 6043: Require report to state of disclosures on prospective school employees
Introduced by Rep. Cara Clemente (D), to expand a law that requires individuals who apply for a school job to sign a document that authorizes the applicant’s current or former employers to disclose any unprofessional conduct to the school. The bill would require the school to report to the Department of Education any information obtained this way about sex or other crimes involving a minor, or inappropriate conduct involving a minor. The bill would also require this if a school receives similar information about a current employee from a credible source. The department would be required to keep these reports for six years. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 6049: Increase tax assessor training requirements
Introduced by Rep. James Lower (R), to revise many details of the functions, qualifications, restrictions and requirements on property tax assessors and local tax assessor offices, the effect of which is generally to further professionalize these functions. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 6052: Get independent review of business subsidy efficacy
Introduced by Rep. Thomas Albert (R), to require the state to contract with a consultant, nonprofit entity or academic institution to evaluate whether government economic development incentives are effective at growing the state economy and employment. This would apply to programs that grant tax breaks or actual cash subsidies to certain companies selected by state officials and political appointees. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 6058: Authorize pre-occupational licensure disqualification determinations
Introduced by Rep. Scott VanSingel (R), to establish a process where an individual seeking one of the many occupational licenses that are mandated by the state as a condition of earning a living in a particular profession could get a preliminary determination of whether any court judgments against him or her would likely result being denied a license under provisions in these laws that require “good moral character” in an applicant. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 6064: Create new corporate subsidy program
Introduced by Rep. Jason Wentworth (R), to authorize up to $50 million in annual state subsidies to some private businesses selected by state officials through a device the bill would create called a “rural development fund.” Reported from committee, pending before the full House.
House Bill 6069: Ban smoking in parks and playgrounds
Introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido (R), to ban smoking or vaping tobacco in state parks, municipal beaches and public playgrounds. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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