How They Voted

The House and Senate held pro-forma sessions this week with no votes. Therefore, this report continues its series of describing some of the interesting bills that have been introduced in the current Legislature.

Senate Bill 642: Allow more municipal debt for home efficiency loans

Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to allow local governments to take on general obligation debt to pay for a program authorized by a 2010 law that allows them to lend money to a property owner for energy efficiency improvements or a renewable energy system. The bill would also remove a requirement that a homeowner’s mortgage lender must agree to the taking on the additional burden. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 645: Ban misclassifying employees

Introduced by Sen. Mike Kowall (R), to prohibit an employer from “misclassifying” an employee as an independent contractor, as defined by a 20-factor test announced by the Internal Revenue Service. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 662: Require Detroit school district forensic audit

Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young, II (D), to require a forensic audit of the Detroit school district’s financial operations and records. A “forensic audit” means an audit designed to determine whether there has been any violation of law or generally accepted accounting principles. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 664: Authorize more college subsidies

Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young, II (D), to authorize a pilot program that would have the state pay a student’s tuition at a state college or university if the student signs a contract to repay this by turning over a percentage of his or her gross income for a specified number of years after graduation. The colleges and universities would get the full tuition and fee payments from the state up front, but would be at risk if the student fails to graduate or make a decent living afterwards. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 678: Let Detroit water system “cross subsidize” residential customers

Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young, II (D), to allow the Detroit water and sewer water authority to charge higher rates on customers who use higher volumes of water. This would be a method of subsidizing residential customers by charging business and industry more per gallon. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 703: Repeal new restrictions on taxpayer-funded tax hike electioneering

Introduced by Sen. Dale W. Zorn (R), to repeal a provision of a law passed in 2015 that prohibits taxpayer-funded communications from local governments and school districts that reference their own property tax hike or other ballot measures during the 60 days before the election. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5171: Require drivers over 75 to renew license at SOS office

Introduced by Rep. Ben Glardon (R), to require drivers age 75 or older to renew their license in person at a Secretary of State office. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5180: Give subsidies to some grocery stores

Introduced by Rep. David Pagel (R), to authorize selective state subsidies for grocery stores in “underserved” communities. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5200: Repeal concealed pistol “gun-free zone” provision

Introduced by Rep. Lee Chatfield (R), to repeal the “gun-free zone” provision of the concealed pistol permit law, which prohibits those who have received a permit after meeting the background check and training requirements, from carrying a pistol in schools, day care facilities, sports stadiums or arenas, bars, restaurants, places of worship, colleges, hospitals, casinos, entertainment facilities and courts. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5209: Exclude emergency managers from liability waiver

Introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido (R), to require emergency managers appointed to run fiscally failed municipalities or school districts to post a performance bond, and to not include them in the immunity from personal lawsuits that generally apply to other school and local government officials acting in their official capacity. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5218: Give new school employees 401(k), not pensions

Introduced by Rep. Tim Kelly (R) to close the current “defined benefit” pension system to new school employees, and instead provide 401(k) benefits. Employees could contribute up to 5 percent of salary to their account, and the local school district would have to contribute an amount equal to 80 percent of this. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5234: Exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax

Introduced by Rep. Sarah Roberts (D), to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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Source: MichiganVotes.org,

How They Voted

The House and Senate are on a summer and primary election season break. Therefore, this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.

Senate Bill 563: Ban “sky lanterns”

Introduced by Sen. Dale W. Zorn (R), to ban the use or sale of “sky lanterns,” which are miniature, candle-fired hot air balloons made of paper and sold as a novelty item. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 574: Mandate specified nurse-patient ratios

Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to mandate that hospitals maintain detailed staff-to-patient ratios specified in the bill. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 584: Let assisted living facilities sell drinks to residents

Introduced by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R), to allow up to 20 “homes for the aged” (assisted living facilities for seniors) around the state to get a liquor license that lets them sell drinks to residents and “bona fide guests.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 611: Repeal 2006 “stand your ground” law

Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to repeal the 2006 law signed into law by Gov. Jennifer Granholm establishing a “home is my castle” and “stand your ground” self defense doctrine, under which an individual need not first flee from a threatening attacker before resorting to deadly force. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 634: Exempt police body camera recordings from disclosure

Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to exempt police body camera recordings from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Note: House Bill 4229 would mandate these cameras for Michigan police. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5101: Assert “right” to drinking water

I Introduced by Rep. Julie Plawecki (D), to assert in statute that each person has a right to “safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water” for cleaning, cooking and drinking. The bill does not specify upon whom would fall the duty to pay the water bills of a person can’t or won’t do so. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5103: Prohibit and define “aggressive solicitation” (begging)

Introduced by Rep. Michael McCready (R), to prohibit various actions and behaviors by people who are begging for money or other things of value, as specified in the bill, subject to a $100 civil fine. This would replace the current criminal sanctions, which House Bill 5104 would repeal. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5114: Make election days a government holiday

Introduced by Rep. Adam Zemke (D), to establish that the three regular state dates for all elections in May, August, and November are state holidays, which among other things would probably result in most government employees getting the day off. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5154: Require schools provide suicide warning sign training

Introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido (R), to require that public schools provide student instruction and staff training in warning signs for suicide and depression. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5160: Require high schools to provide CPR and defibrillation classes

Introduced by Rep. Thomas Hooker (R), to mandate that public and private middle and high schools provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and awareness of automated external defibrillation, and prohibit a student from graduating unless he or she has successfully completed this instruction. Reported from committee, pending before the full House.

Source: MichiganVotes.org