How They Voted

While the Legislature is on a summer break with no voting, the Roll Call Report continues its review of key votes from the 2015-2016 session.

Senate Bill 231, Ban selling “e-cigarettes” to minors: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on May 20, 2015

To ban selling or giving minors electronic vapor cigarettes, or any product or device that delivers nicotine. Violations would be a misdemeanor with a $50 fine, which also applies to giving a minor regular cigarettes. The House has not voted on this.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 240, Ban powdered alcohol: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on May 20, 2015

To ban the sale, use or possession of “powdered alcohol in Michigan.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 240, Ban powdered alcohol: Passed 102 to 3 in the House on October 13, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

Senate Bill 211, Authorize uncensored public school American heritage instruction: Passed 30 to 8 in the Senate on June 11, 2015

To require public school boards to permit instruction and reading of America’s founding documents including those related to the country’s “representative form of limited government, the Bill of Rights, our free-market economic system, and patriotism.” Districts could not censor or restrain reading that includes “religious references in original source documents, writings, speeches, proclamations, or records.” The House has not voted on this bill.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 328, Authorize more State Police officer grades: Passed 35 to 0 in the Senate on June 4, 2015

To create two new grades of State Police officer, called “inspector” and “recruit.” The current grades are colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, lieutenant, sergeant and trooper.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 328, Authorize more State Police officer grades: Passed 107 to 0 in the House on January 26, 2016

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

Senate Bill 165, Authorize pedal-powered beer bars: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on May 14, 2015

To establish that a “commercial quadricycle,” which is a pedal-powered mobile beer bar, is not considered a “motor vehicle” even if it has auxiliary power, and instead would be subject to much less onerous regulations. Passengers could have open beer or wine containers but drivers would have to have a blood alcohol level of zero.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 165, Authorize pedal-powered beer bars: Passed 96 to 13 in the House on June 18, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, No

Senate Bill 305, Preempt local knife regulations: Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate on June 9, 2015

To preempt local government ordinances or rules on the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, purchase, manufacturing, etc. of a knife or knife-making components. A similar preemption restricts local gun regulations. The House has not voted on this bill.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 414, Earmark some income tax revenue to road repairs: Passed 27 to 11 in the Senate on July 1, 2015

To earmark $350 million from state income tax collections to road repairs in 2016, and $700 million in subsequent years.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 414, Earmark some income tax revenue to road repairs: Passed 61 to 45 in the House on October 21, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

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Source: MichiganVotes.org.

How They Voted

While the Legislature is on a summer break with no voting, the Roll Call Report continues its review of key votes from the 2015-2016 session.

House Bill 4163, Relax licensure restrictions on residential lift installers: Passed 62 to 47 in the House on March 11, 2015

To permit a licensed residential homebuilder to install residential stairway lifts without imposing the onerous licensure provisions that apply to elevator contractors. This applies to one-story stair-climbing machines for elderly or handicapped individuals.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 4163, Relax licensure restrictions on residential lift installers: Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate on May 13, 2015

The Senate vote on the bill described above.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

House Bill 4195, Cap government “venture capital investment” program: Passed 107 to 3 in the House on April 15, 2015

To prohibit the state from pledging any more future tax revenue to guarantee investor returns under an “early stage venture capital investment” scheme authorized by a 2003 law.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 4195, Cap government “venture capital investment” program: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on October 29, 2015

The Senate vote on the bill described above.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

House Bill 4328, Authorize withholding state money from overspending school districts: Passed 58 to 51 in the House on April 23, 2015

To give the Department of Treasury the authority to withhold state school aid payments from an overspending school district that fails to submit an acceptable “deficit elimination plan,” or that then falls more deeply into financial trouble.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 4328, Authorize withholding state money from overspending school districts: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate on June 18, 2015

The Senate vote on the bill described above.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

House Bill 4364, Increase plumbers license fees: Passed 96 to 14 in the House on April 29, 2015

To extend for another four years certain “temporary” increases in plumbers’ license fees. This and several other fee increases enacted in 2015 were proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder as part of his annual budget recommendation.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 4364, Increase plumbers license fees: Passed 23 to 15 in the Senate on May 26, 2015

The Senate vote on the bill described above.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba , Yes

House Bill 4052, Preempt local employer wage, benefit or labor law mandates: Passed 57 to 52 in the House

To preempt local governments, public schools, state colleges and universities, and other governmental authorities from imposing wage, benefit or leave time mandates on employers that exceed state or federal law.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, No

House Bill 4052, Preempt local employer wage, benefit or labor law mandates: Passed 22 to 16 in the Senate on June 17, 2015

The Senate vote on the bill described above.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, No

House Bill 4041, Ban welfare for persistent truancy: Passed 74 to 36 in the House on March 26, 2015

To withhold welfare benefits from a household with children who are persistently truant from school. A truant child age 16 and above could be removed from the household for this.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 4041, Ban welfare for persistent truancy: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate on May 26, 2015

The Senate vote on the bill described above.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

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Source: MichiganVotes.org

How They Voted

While the Legislature is on a summer break with no voting, the Roll Call Report begins a series that reviews key votes of the 2015-2016 session.

Senate Bill 34, Revise concealed pistol license procedures: Passed 28 to 9 in the Senate on February 3, 2015.

To eliminate county concealed pistol licensing boards and transfer their duties to the State Police and county clerks.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 69, Extend job training subsidies to some employers: Passed 35 to 1 in the Senate on February 25, 2015

To eliminate the 2018 sunset on a 2008 law that authorized state job training subsidies for particular employers provided through community colleges.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 86, Authorize more local pension obligation bonds: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on March 4, 2015

To extend for one year a 2012 law that allows local governments to incur long term debt to cover unfunded pension liabilities, but only if they close their traditional “defined benefit” pension system to new employees. The 2012 law also allows new debt to pay for retiree health insurance, which unlike pensions is not a legal obligation.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 139, Push-back against school bake sale restrictions: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate on March 19, 2015

To require the Michigan Department of Education (MDOE) to “take all steps necessary to ensure maximum state and local control over” school lunch nutrition mandates. Also, to limit to three per week the number of fundraising sales of food or beverages during school hours that do not meet mandated school lunch nutritional standards. The bill was introduced in response to federal and MDOE restrictions and bans on the sales.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba , Yes

House Bill 4189, Let adoption agencies refuse adoptions that violate moral convictions: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate on June 10, 2015

To specify in statute that a “child placing agency” (private adoption or foster care agency) is not required to assist or participate in an adoption or placement that violates its written religious or moral convictions, including adoptions of a child by a same sex couple. Also, to prohibit a state agency from discriminating or taking an “adverse action” against an agency for this reason.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

House Bill 4041, Ban welfare for persistent truancy: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate on May 26, 2015

To withhold welfare benefits from a household with children who are persistently truant from school. A truant child age 16 and above could be removed from the household for this.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 34, Revise concealed pistol license procedures: Passed 76 to 34 in the House on Feb. 25, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 4189, Let adoption agencies refuse adoptions that violate moral convictions: Passed 65 to 44 in the House on March 18, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

Senate Bill 86, Authorize more local pension obligation bonds: Passed 109 to 1 in the House on May 20, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

Senate Bill 69, Extend business job training subsidy program: Passed 104 to 5 in the House on June 18, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above. The House amended the bill to extend the program through 2023 rather than forever.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

Senate Bill 139, Push-back against school bake sale restrictions: Passed 66 to 43 in the House on May 13, 2015

The House vote on the bill described above.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

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Source: MichiganVotes.org

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 this year’s interesting or noteworthy bill introductions.

Senate Bill 718 and House Bill 5284: Mandate school music classes

Introduced by Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) and Rep. Erika Geiss (D), to require that public schools provide children in grades K-5 with 90 minutes of music instruction a week, taught by an instructor who has particular academic credentials specified in the bill. SB 718 would impose a quota of one of these instructors for every 400 children in a school, and in HB 5284 the quota would be one for every 650. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 720 and House Bill 5232: Tighten process for imposing “historic district” property owner restrictions

Introduced by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R) and Rep. Chris Afendoulis (R), to revise the procedure for establishing or eliminating local “historic districts,” whose appointed boards have the power to restrict the improvements that property owners may make to their buildings and land. The bill would require two-thirds of the property owners in the affected to give preliminary approval before the process of creating a district could be initiated, and a majority of voters in the community would have to approve it in an election before the district’s restrictions could be imposed. The bill would also put a 10 year sunset on these restrictions, which could be renewed only by another vote of the people. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 741: Revise healthcare facility rationing (“Certificate of Need”)

Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to revise the state “Certificate of Need” (CON) program, which rations the availability of health care facilities and technology. The bill would remove cone-beam dental imaging equipment from the list of items for which a company must get government approval before it can be installed in a Michigan facility. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 780: Make particular symbol the “emblem” of fallen service members

Introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R), to establish in statute that a symbol created by a particular private organization (“Honor and Remember, Inc.”) is the state’s official emblem for armed service members killed in the line of duty, and no other private organization’s symbol. Senate Bill 781 would give this group the privilege of raising money through state specialty license plate sales. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 810: Ban concealed pistol permit to people on federal terrorist watch list

Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to prohibit an individual on a federal terrorist watch list from getting a concealed pistol permit. Use of this list for other purposes has been criticized due to its high number of names that are reportedly false positives. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 811: Permit surrogate mother contracts

Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to permit “gestational surrogate parentage” contracts. A 1988 law banned all surrogate mother contracts that require a woman to “relinquish her parental or custodial rights” to a child she bears whether she conceived the child or an embryo was implanted. The proposed new law would permit the latter – contracting for a woman to bear and relinquish an implanted child to whom she is not related – subject to various conditions specified in the bill and with the approval of a court in advance. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5307: Expand school vision testing

Introduced by Rep. Amanda Price (R), to require public schools to give vision screening exams to all students in grades 3, 6 and 8. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5316: Close schools used as presidential polling place on election day

Introduced by Rep. George T. Darany (D), to allow schools that are used as polling places for a presidential primary election to close on election day without this counting against the number of days that current law requires them to be in session. See also House Bill 5153, introduced by Democratic Rep. George T. Darany, which would automatically close all schools used as polling places on any election day. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5353: Borrow $1 billion for water, sewer and other infrastructure projects

Introduced by Rep. Andy Schor (D), to place before voters in the November general election a proposal to borrow $1 billion for unspecified infrastructure improvements to water and sewer systems, and also other purposes such as improvements to government buildings. The state would commit its full faith and credit to repaying this additional debt. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 5366: Impose new regulations on gas and oil “fracking”

Introduced by Rep. Sarah Roberts (D), to ban issuing any new permits for the extraction of natural gas or oil using the hydraulic fracturing process unless the legislature enacts a more restrictive regulatory, disclosure and public notice regimes described in the bill. 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 again explores methods lawmakers use to associate their names with certain interests or causes: bills to grant select nonprofits privileges including state income tax fundraising privileges and property tax breaks.

House Bill 5225: Authorize income tax checkoff for prostate awareness group

Introduced by Rep. Paul Muxlow (R), to allow an individual to choose to automatically contribute $5 or more from his or her state income tax refund, which the state would give to a particular foundation named in the bill that does various things related to prostate cancer (PCUPS Foundation). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Bill 4817: Authorize income tax checkoff for Junior Achievement organization

Introduced by Rep. Brandt Iden (R), to allow an individual to choose to automatically contribute $5 or more from his or her state income tax refund to provide grants to local Junior Achievement organizations. Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on June 15.

House Bill 4647: Authorize income tax checkoff for Boy Scouts

Introduced by Rep. Phil Potvin (R), to allow an individual to choose to automatically contribute $5 or more from his or her state income tax refund to a state Scouts Fund. House Bill 4648 would convert an existing state Girl Scouts Fund into a Scouts Fund to benefit both organizations. Advanced from committee, pending before the full House.

House Bill 4892: Authorize Lions Club income tax checkoff

Introduced by Rep. Wendell Byrd (D), to allow an individual to choose to automatically contribute $5 or more from his or her state income tax refund to provide grants to the Lions Club organizations. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 428: Authorize Red Cross income tax checkoff

Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to allow an individual to choose to automatically contribute $5 or more from his or her state income tax refund to provide grants to the mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross. Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on June 15, 2016.

Senate Bill 570 and House Bill 5109: Give tax break to some conservation clubs

Introduced by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R) and Rep. Jim Tedder (R), to exempt from property taxes conservation clubs that allow their facilities to be used for charitable purposes at least 55 days a year. SB 570 has been advanced from committee and is pending before the full Senate.

Senate Bill 732: Exempt Masons lodges from property tax

Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to allow local governments to exempt property owned by Masons’ lodges from most property tax levies if the property is used for charitable purposes. Advanced from committee, pending before the full Senate.

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Source: MichiganVotes.org