The Legislature is on spring break until April 13. Rather than votes, this Roll Call Report describes some newly introduced bills of interest.
Senate Bill 62: Criminalize race-based false crime report
Introduced by Sen. Erika Geiss (D), to make it a crime to file a false report of a crime based solely upon the alleged perpetrator's race or ethnicity, subject to a $1,000 fine and 50 hours of community service with “a group or nonprofit whose mission is to advance equity and justice for historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed peoples.” A second offense would be subject to two years in prison. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 64: Mandate corporate board female membership quota
Introduced by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D), to mandate that publicly-held corporations (those that have sold stock to the public) must have a specified number of females on their board of directors. If the board contains four members the bill would mandate that at least one would have to be female, or two females on a five-member board, or at least three females on a board with six or more members. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 97: Create government experts panel to organize emergency supplies
Introduced by Sen. Jim Ananich (D), to create an “MI supply board” comprised of specified state officials, university experts and political appointees, with the duty to create an “infrastructure facility in this state to design, manufacture, assemble, warehouse, and distribute personal protection equipment, ventilators, flood remediation supplies, and other emergency equipment”. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 145: Give tax breaks to certain home buyers
Introduced by Sen. Kenneth Horn (R), to authorize an annual $5,000 state income tax deduction, and $10,000 for joint filers, if the income is contributed to a specialty savings account for home purchases by individuals who have not bought or owned a home in the past three years (dubbed by the bill a "first time home buyer"). The tax break is not mean-tested which means there is no limit how much a claimant can earn and still eligible. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates the bill could reduce state revenue by nearly $20 million. A version of this proposal was vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018. This version has been advanced by the Senate Finance Committee with a recommendation that it pass.
Senate Bill 147: Expand administrative agency rulemaking powers
Introduced by Sen. Sean McCann (D), to repeal the provisions of a 2018 law (House Bill 4205 of 2017) that prohibits a state department from promulgating rules more stringent than required by federal standards unless specifically required by state statute, or if the department director determines there is a "clear and convincing" need to do so. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4077: Restrict regulations on unattended self-service gas stations
Introduced by Rep. Beau LaFave (R) To prohibit state regulators from requiring unattended self-service gas stations to install measures to prevent public access, including locked dispensers, security fencing or other means. This would also subject these gas stations to state approval under rules specified in the bill. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4132: Make absent ballot interference a felony
Introduced by Rep. Pauline Wendzel (R), to make it a felony to knowingly submit an absent voter ballot application containing false information or a forged signature, or fill out and submit an absent voter ballot application in another person’s name, or submit an absent voter ballot application with the intent to obtain multiple absent voter ballots. The bill has been advanced by the House Judiciary Committee with a recommendation that it pass.
House Bill 4176: Make government employees pay union dues as a condition of employment
Introduced by Rep. Terry Sabo (D), to prohibit the state or local governments from entering a union contract that does not require their employees to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment. This would violate the 2018 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus vs. AFSCME, which held that requiring government workers pay union dues violates their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. The bill would also repeal a law that specifically prohibits using "force, intimidation, or unlawful threats" to "compel any public employee to...become a member of a labor organization," and more. The bill is sponsored or cosponsored by 49 of 52 Michigan House Democrats. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4193: Prohibit combining local millage votes into single question
Introduced by Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R), to prohibit combining more than one new property tax millage proposal, or reauthorization of an existing millage, with a second proposal or reauthorization into a single question on a local government ballot; and prohibit combining millages for two or more dedicated purposes into a single millage renewal or authorization.
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