Residential Levies for Business Subsidies, Truck Platoons, Baby Boxes and More

May 18, 2018 MichiganVotes weekly roll call report

Senate Bill 826, Impose licensure on naturopathic physicians: Passed 24 to 11 in the Senate

To impose licensure and regulation on naturopathic physicians, with license fees, education requirements and more. The bill defines naturopathic medicine as “a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals.”


Senate Bill 655, Create domestic violence confidential address program: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate

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To establish an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence crimes, with the state Attorney General giving a victim a “designated address” to which mail could be sent and then forwarded to the individual’s current location. This location would not be subject to disclosure under open records laws, and the person could also vote in elections using the designated address.


Senate Bill 969, Criminalize marijuana-infused alcohol: Passed 35 to 0 in the Senate

To make the use, possession and sale of marijuana-infused alcoholic drinks a misdemeanor crime.


House Bill 5775, Repeal obsolete lame horse law: Passed 99 to 9 in the House

To repeal a law dating back to 1913 that regulates the sale of a horse or mule which by reason of debility, disease, lameness or injury is permanently unfit for work.


Senate Bill 839, Revise mining permit amendment process: Passed 63 to 45 in the House

To establish streamlined procedures and timetables for a mining company getting revisions to restrictions in its state operating permit, with many exceptions. This would apply to determinations that a permit amendment does not “result in environmental impacts that are materially increased or different” from those specified in the original permit.


House Bill 5749, Allow truck platoons on highways: Passed 64 to 44 in the House

To exempt truck platoon operations from a traffic law requirement that trucks leave sufficient space between themselves for a vehicle to enter that space. "Platoon" is defined as vehicles "traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds." Under current law truck drivers must leave “sufficient space between the vehicle and another truck so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy the space without danger.”


House Bill 5750, Authorize surrendered newborn 'baby boxes': Passed 97 to 11 in the House

To revise a 2000 law that provides legal protections to a mother who anonymously surrenders a newborn to an emergency service provider, by allowing providers to install a “newborn safety device” similar in operation to a bank drive-up window or library book return slot, except it would be clean, safe, warm and designed to trigger a 911-call and a notice to staff within 30 seconds that there’s a baby inside.


House Bill 5638, Revise groundwater withdrawal permit regime: Passed 93 to 15 in the House

To revise a 2008 law that imposed a comprehensive regulatory regime and restrictions on industrial, commercial and agricultural groundwater uses that might have a negative impact. The bill would allow a more streamlined process for agricultural and other withdrawals that meet certain conditions, and establish deadlines for state officials to process permit requests. It would also repeal a requirement that landowners make public certain agricultural well use information.


House Bill 5325, Let local business subsidy entities tax residences: Passed 76 to 32 in the House

To expand the taxing power of local authorities created to deliver direct and indirect subsidies to business property owners in “principal shopping districts” and “business improvement districts,” by letting them impose property taxes styled as “special assessments” on home and residential property owners. Under current law residential property is excluded from the levies these entities are authorized to impose.


House Bill 5902, Allow residential "cross-subsidization" of solar cell maker's lower electric rates: Passed 77 to 31 in the House

To allow the indefinite continuation of special discounted electricity rates granted by Consumers Energy to the Hemlock Semiconductor subsidiary of Dow Corning, which under a 2010 law were exempted from a ban on cross-subsidization between residential and commercial/industrial customers (meaning residential customers pay more while Hemlock pays less). The styles the discount as a privilege potentially available to all industrial customers, but details that limit it to just this one company. Note: Hemlock makes photovoltaic solar cells, which were recently granted tariff protection against foreign competition by the Trump administration.


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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