How They Voted
The legislature has scheduled intermittent session days through July that are likely to be mostly pro-forma, with no recorded roll call votes. Rather than votes this report contains some interesting or noteworthy recent bill introductions.
Senate Bill 251: Mandate universities admit students from charter schools they authorize
Introduced by Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D), to mandate that a state university that authorizes (charters) a public school academy (charter school) must admit any student who applies from that school, and provide “remediation” if the student is unable to perform at the same level as those who must meet the university’s usual admissions standards. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 262: Free marijuana prisoners
Introduced by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D), to adopt a “marijuana violation sentence reduction act” that would require courts and the state parole board to terminate the sentences of individuals in prison that were imposed for offenses based on the use, possession or distribution of marijuana that have been entirely decriminalized. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 310: Require merchants accept cash in face-to-face transactions
Introduced by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D), to define refusing to accept cash in a retail transaction that is conducted in-person as an “unfair trade practice” under the state consumer protection act. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4441: Repeal 65 mph truck speed limit on fast freeways
Introduced by Rep. Sarah Lightner (R), to repeal the 65-mph speed limit for trucks on freeways with 70 mph and 75 mph speed limits. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4464: Gov. Whitmer’s “Michigan opportunity initiative” scholarship
Introduced by Rep. Sheryl Kennedy (D), to authorize a community college grant program for individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent, with grants in the amount needed to cover tuition and fees for up to 60 credit hours of career-oriented classes at a community college. The bill does not specify a household income or age cap for this benefit. Also, to authorize a university grant program for individuals with household income of $80,000 or less, which would pay up to $2,500 of the amount that is not covered by other scholarships and government aid. This is the “Michigan opportunity initiative” program proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her 2018 State of the State address. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4483: Require officials create model cursive handwriting instruction
Introduced by Rep. Brenda Carter (D), to require the Department of Education to create a model program of instruction in cursive handwriting, and invite but not require schools to use it. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4502: Ban shooting and more while on marijuana
Introduced by Rep. Jim Lilly (R), to ban carrying, using or having a firearm “in possession or control” if a person has a tetrahydrocannabinol content of two nanograms or more per milliliter of blood. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4586: Increase carnival ride inspection fees
Introduced by Rep. Thomas Albert (R), to increase annual carnival and amusement ride inspection fees. These currently range from $20 to $115 depending on the kind of ride, which would increase to between $30 and $172. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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