Senate Bill 393: Give tax break to businesses afflicted by virus lockdowns: 19 to 16 in the Senate
To authorize tax relief for a business that was forced to close for at least six weeks due to an executive or emergency order that cost the business to lose 25% of its gross receipts for the year. The bill would authorize a business income tax credit equal to the business' property tax liability for the year. Businesses that rent would get a comparable credit based on lease costs. This applies to restaurants, taverns, hotels and motels, health clubs, entertainment facilities and other such “public facing” enterprises.
Senate Bill 507: Waive drivers license late fees until Secretary of State fully open: Passed 25 to 10 in the Senate
To prohibit the Secretary of State from charging drivers license renewal late fees until all its branch offices are open “on a consistent basis” for a minimum of 25 hours per week for in-person services with no appointment or preregistration requirement. Also, to require the department to submit to the legislature a detailed report on how it plans to get caught up on renewals delayed by branch office closures and open-hour limitations in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Senate Bill 486: Allow only Yoopers on wolf council until wolves are in LP: Passed 19 to 16 in the Senate
To require that members of a state wolf management advisory council to all be Upper Peninsula residents, unless winter tracking surveys and genetic testing show wolves are present in the Lower Peninsula, at which time a majority of the members of the council would have to be residents of the Lower Peninsula.
House Bill 4733: Let state employees use retirement account contributions to purchase annuity: Passed 105 to 4 in the House
To allow state employees who receive matching retirement fund contributions to their tax-deferred (403b) retirement accounts to also use these to purchase a fixed or variable annuity with that the bill would direct the state to contract with an insurance company to provide. House Bill 4734 would also authorize this for school employees. Unlike traditional government pensions, the company that sells the annuities would be liable for their promised benefits, not the state (and its taxpayers).
House Bill 4684: Impose (unpublished) financial disclosure mandate on legislators: Passed 65 to 44 in the House
To impose a mandate on state legislators to file detailed annual personal financial disclosure reports, called "conflict of interest reports." The reports would go to the legislative ethics committees created by House Bill 4680. The reports would not be public records and would be exempt from disclosure under the state's Freedom of Information Act laws.
House Bill 4685: Impose financial disclosure mandate on state officers: Passed 64 to 45 in the House
To impose a personal financial disclosure mandate on state officers, defined as the governor and lieutenant governor, the Secretary of State, Attorney General, state treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, members of the liquor control and civil service commissions, members of the State Board of Education and of state university governing boards.
To place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would to empower a two-thirds majority of the state House or Senate to suspend part or all of the salary and expense allowances of a member who acts unethically or is excessively absent from regular sessions. Also, to require record roll call votes on giving a new law "immediate effect" when it is passed. The state Constitution requires a two-thirds House and Senate majority vote for a new bill to go into effect immediately rather than after a specified period, and in the House this is usually done by "hammering through" the requirement using a voice vote only, not a record roll call vote.
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