Last update 4/17/18.  Check Facebook.com/RepJohnReilly for any more recent votes

Roll Call Number Date Bill Number Vote Type Vote Reason
1 1/11/18 SB 207 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 207, which would allow the director of Michigan State Police to provide limited arrest powers to state property security personnel on state property. They reportedly have this authority only for property in the city of Lansing and in Windsor Township located in Eaton County. In the rest of the state where state security personnel are not permitted, MSP has to use its own officers. Using these security personnel as authorized by MSP will save MSP time, make it easier for the state to do business outside of Lansing, and save the state money by using security personnel rather than MSP officers. It passed 61 – 45.
2 1/11/18 SB 525 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 525, which modifies the number of judges based upon the recommendation of the State Court Administrative Office. It would eliminate 2 judges by attrition, reverse 2 trial court judges pending elimination, convert a district judge to a circuit judge, and allow two district courts to merge. These reforms ensure judicial resources are distributed appropriately based on population trends and court caseloads across Michigan. It passed 63 – 43.
3 1/11/18 HB 4176 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4176, which would allow neighborhood watch vehicles to use flashing or rotating yellow lights, similar to those used on tow trucks. It’s helpful for these vehicles to be prominently visible, and with only amber lights they could not possibly be confused for law enforcement vehicles. It passed 106 – 0.
4 1/11/18 HB 5112 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5112, to designate a portion of road in Berrien County the Trooper Robert J. Mihalik Memorial Highway. Trooper Mihalik was killed while attempting to apprehend a suspect in 1984. The signage must be paid for by private sources, so there is no cost to taxpayers for this. It passed 106 to 0.
5 1/11/18 SB 702 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 702, which would prohibit a deed from permitting only certain uses of a property sold by a local governmental body, unless the deed permits educational purposes as well. When North Oakland Charter Academy attempted to purchase the Sherman Lifelong Learning Center. The building was on the market for several years at a real estate market value of $149,900. In 2013, North Oakland Charter Academy offered $100,000 for the proposed charter school but it was denied by the district. Brandon School District instead demolished the building at a cost of $47,027 to the district. Allowing the sale of a publicly funded building used for educational purposes is a relief for the taxpayers, and taxpayers should be forced to pay these costs just because a public school district doesn’t want competition. It passed 61 – 45.
6 1/16/18 HB 5227 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5227, which would make various changes to the extensive regulations on planting seed potatoes. The bill would take effect in 2021 and then become void in 2023. This would inevitably make it uncertain for potato farmers whether the regulations will be temporary or extended, and it’s not at all clear that seed potatoes need such detailed regulation and this isn’t just another guild protection bill. It passed 102 – 5.
7 1/17/18 SB 94 Override Veto Yes I voted to pass Senate Bills 94 and 95, which I voted for previously, to overrule the governor’s veto and accelerate the phase-in of a 2013 law to allow people buying a car, RV, or boat to deduct the value of their trade-in vehicle when calculating sales tax. I support allowing people to keep more of their own money, this is a broad savings that will be enjoyed by most people, and making it more affordable to own a newer vehicle is also a safety benefit (because newer cars are safer than older ones). They passed 85 – 23.
8 1/17/18 SB 95 Override Veto Yes I voted to pass Senate Bills 94 and 95, which I voted for previously, to overrule the governor’s veto and accelerate the phase-in of a 2013 law to allow people buying a car, RV, or boat to deduct the value of their trade-in vehicle when calculating sales tax. I support allowing people to keep more of their own money, this is a broad savings that will be enjoyed by most people, and making it more affordable to own a newer vehicle is also a safety benefit (because newer cars are safer than older ones). They passed 85 – 23.
9 1/17/18 HB 5144 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5144, which protects accountants serving medical cannabis businesses. The Senate added that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could establish monthly purchasing limits in additional to the power to establish daily purchasing limits that they already had. This allows them to establish limits without having to establish very onerous daily limits. Concurrence passed 95 – 13.
10 1/17/18 HB 4430 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4430, which would prohibit state agencies from furnishing data on Michigan citizens to federal agencies without a warrant. This is an essential protection from unlawful search and seizure according to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It passed 107 to 1.
11 1/17/18 HB 5284 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5284, authorizing the state to sell a tiny piece of state-owned property in Saginaw to Delta College. The property consists of ½ of a vacated right-of-way related to Baum Street between East Genesee Avenue and Tuscola Street. Not sure why the state owned the land to begin with. It passed 108 to 0.
12 1/17/18 HB 5001 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5001 and 5002, which would impose a new licensure mandate on foresters, with massive education and training requirements, and create a board that can deny an application to become a forester with no appeals process. This is another guild protection scheme to prevent competition for jobs, which will make it harder to get a job and raise the cost of forestry. They passed 98 – 10.
13 1/17/18 HB 5002 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5001 and 5002, which would impose a new licensure mandate on foresters, with massive education and training requirements, and create a board that can deny an application to become a forester with no appeals process. This is another guild protection scheme to prevent competition for jobs, which will make it harder to get a job and raise the cost of forestry. They passed 98 – 10.
14 1/18/18 HB 5198 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5198, which would expand a law allowing state emergency officials to enter agreements for mutual cooperation with other states for emergency preparation and response on issues other than just fires (as the law presently allows). It’s good to pool resources in this way to prepare for emergencies. It passed 108 – 0.
15 1/18/18 SB 409 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 409, which would essentially lower the fee for homeowners building a dock on a river or lake. Oddly, the bill was endorsed by the Department of Environmental Quality, which receives the money. I’m happy to reduce the cost of government. It passed 59 – 48.
16 1/18/18 SB 574 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 574, which would require that tax money taken taken by future “regional enhancement” property taxes levied by Intermediate School Districts and distributed to conventional public schools also be shared with public charter schools within the ISD district. Since all families in the district are forced to pay these taxes, it’s only fair that the children in charter schools enjoy their share of the money from these tax hikes on their families. (This bill only applies to such tax hikes in the future, not existing ones.) It passed 55 – 52.
17 1/24/18 HR 234 Passage Yes [UPDATE: Simon has resigned.]
I voted for House Resolution 234, which calls for the resignation of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, for her failure to prevent the terrible and ongoing sexual abuse perpetrated by gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 40-175 years today.
According to the university’s own records and the statements of over 100 victims, we know that numerous people, including a campus police detective and an official who is now MSU’s assistant general counsel, were aware of reports of Nassar’s sexual misconduct. At least 14 Michigan State University representatives knew of these reports.
President Simon was once the NCAA chairman, elected just one week after its executive committee sanctioned Penn State for its part in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. Of all people, she should have understood the seriousness of these reports.
On top of the life-long harm inflicted on the victims, MSU’s failure to proactively address the situation has damaged the university’s reputation immensely, causing unknown harm to students and faculty.
It’s too late for any policy changes at MSU to mitigate the situation. The only way to bring closure to this issue is for the president to resign. The resolution passed 96 – 11.
18 1/25/18 HB 5155 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5155 and 5156, which would clarify that our Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs will be administered by the Department of Natural Resources. These programs were created in 1994. In 2009, then-Governor Granholm merged the Department of Environmental Quality with the DNR; in 2011; Governor Snyder split them up again. Apparently because of this, each department thought the other was implementing the programs, when actually neither was. This was a needed clarification. The bills also eliminate contracting requirements that volunteer groups must care for the river or shoreline for not less than 2 years, which only serves to discourage participation. They passed 106 to 0.
19 1/25/18 HB 5156 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5155 and 5156, which would clarify that our Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs will be administered by the Department of Natural Resources. These programs were created in 1994. In 2009, then-Governor Granholm merged the Department of Environmental Quality with the DNR; in 2011; Governor Snyder split them up again. Apparently because of this, each department thought the other was implementing the programs, when actually neither was. This was a needed clarification. The bills also eliminate contracting requirements that volunteer groups must care for the river or shoreline for not less than 2 years, which only serves to discourage participation. They passed 106 to 0.
20 & 21 1/25/18 HB 5420-5421 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5420 and 5421, which would ensure that a tax filer can continue to claim the Michigan personal exemption in light of recent federal tax reforms and gradually increase that exemption, which is currently scheduled to increase to $4,300 by tax year 2018, to $4,800 by tax year 2020. Personal exemptions help reduce the overall tax liability for every individual regardless of income, and I support lowering taxes. They passed 105 to 1.
22 1/25/18 HB 5422 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5422, which allows seniors to claim a $100 credit on the state income tax returns. This only slightly offsets a 2011 law that eliminated a $2,400 exemption (the same year they voted to tax retirement pensions). It passed 100 – 6.
23 1/25/18 HB 5100 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5100, which would exempt bike racks, tow balls, and other hitching devices and attached objects from the prohibition on license plate obstructions. License plates are important for identifying vehicles in real time, but anybody intentionally committing a criminal act, and therefore by definition a criminal, might obstruct their license plates anyway. This simply prevents people from being pulled over and ticketed just because whatever they’re carrying or towing is blocking the plate. I can’t imagine it doing anything to encourage crime or prevent law enforcement from solving one. It passed 104 to 2.
24 1/25/18 HB 4479 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4779 and 4780, the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act, which would require the state follow the recommendation of the Uniform Law Commission in establishing a procedure for online legal material to ensure authenticity, preservation, and accessibility by the public. These bills only burden the government, and essentially just modernize and improve the quality and availability of legal materials. They passed 106 to 0. Edit: House Bill 4780 passed 105 to 1.
25 1/25/18 HB 4480 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4779 and 4780, the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act, which would require the state follow the recommendation of the Uniform Law Commission in establishing a procedure for online legal material to ensure authenticity, preservation, and accessibility by the public. These bills only burden the government, and essentially just modernize and improve the quality and availability of legal materials. They passed 106 to 0. Edit: House Bill 4780 passed 105 to 1.
26 1/25/18 HB 5257 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5257 and 5258, which would make it a felony to possess “ransomware” (viral software that hijacks a victim’s computer and allows the hijacker to free the victim once a ransom is paid) with intention to use maliciously. I understand the intention here, but extortion is already illegal, and although the bills do require evidence of malicious intent for someone to be charged with a crime under these bills, it is dangerous for someone who might be legitimately studying these programs for research or investigative purposes to have to rely on how his or her *intent* may be interpreted for protection against felony charges. When the ObamaCare website was launched, some hackers spoke out about its egregious security problems that put Americans’ confidential health information at risk, but many others did not come forward for fear of reprisal and charges for serious computer crimes. We shouldn’t be criminalizing possession of software or malicious intention, but rather the actual crimes committed against others, which are already covered by our extortion law. The bills passed 103 to 3.
27 1/25/18 HB 5258 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5257 and 5258, which would make it a felony to possess “ransomware” (viral software that hijacks a victim’s computer and allows the hijacker to free the victim once a ransom is paid) with intention to use maliciously. I understand the intention here, but extortion is already illegal, and although the bills do require evidence of malicious intent for someone to be charged with a crime under these bills, it is dangerous for someone who might be legitimately studying these programs for research or investigative purposes to have to rely on how his or her *intent* may be interpreted for protection against felony charges. When the ObamaCare website was launched, some hackers spoke out about its egregious security problems that put Americans’ confidential health information at risk, but many others did not come forward for fear of reprisal and charges for serious computer crimes. We shouldn’t be criminalizing possession of software or malicious intention, but rather the actual crimes committed against others, which are already covered by our extortion law. The bills passed 103 to 3.
28 1/25/18 HB 4472 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4472, which would allow pharmacists to dispense drugs interchangeable with the drug prescribed (eg generics instead of brand names). This expands health freedom to provide people more affordable access to prescribed medications. It passed 105 to 1.
29 1/25/18 SB 634 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 634, which would lengthen from 18 months to 24 the term of a Temporary Limited License in Psychology and allow students seeking a master’s degree in psychology a 24 month extension and those seeking a doctorate three more 24 month renewals. This rolls back occupational licensing restrictions and makes it easier for people to study for and obtain a medical degree. It passed 93 to 13.
30 1/30/18 HB 4464 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4644, which I voted for previously, to simplify permitting for vehicles carrying oversized equipment. The Senate modified it by giving the Department of Transportation two years to implement the changes and narrowed the bill to only apply to movement of construction equipment. It passed 96 – 12.
31-32 1/30/18 HB 4821-4822 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4821 and 4822, which I voted for previously, to reform the state public administrator system, which handles determination, collection, distribution, and distribution of assets in a decedent’s estate. The Senate shortened the timeframe for appointing a public administrator from 13 weeks to 9, and essentially limited fees on the sale of net proceeds to $3,000. They passed 108 – 0.
33 1/30/18 HB 4471 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to HB 4471, the Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act, which I voted for previously. The Senate added that the Michigan Court Rules would specify the procedure for the selection, appointment, removal, or compensation of a receiver. It passed 101 – 7.
34-35 1/30/18 SB 529-530 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills Senate Bill 529 and 530, which would require timely submission and reimbursement for Child Care Fund expenditures and prohibit the state and counties from seeking reimbursements that are not in an approved budget, except through a grievance process. These bills were the result of multiple meetings to address problems with the reimbursement system.
The CCF is the primary fund for delinquent, neglected, and abused youth. Each county has a specific account for their CCF, and the state supports the county’s CCF with a 50% reimbursement on eligible direct costs related to foster care and other services provided for court wards. An annual plan and budget must be approved by the state. These bills simplify the process of payments and billing between the state and counties, and having clarity on what is eligible for reimbursement will save time and money on the back-and-forth and could actually save money because under the bills there is more Department oversight of what is approved.
The bills passed 108 – 0.
36-37 1/31/18 HB 4118 – 4119 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4118 and 4119, which would make a new 4-year felony for detainees or prisoners for throwing, or attempting to throw, bodily fluids at facility employees. Crimes should be punished according the act, not according to the status of the perpetrator or victim, and assault and battery are already illegal. Furthermore, charging someone with a four-year felony for attempting to spit on somebody is excessive. They passed 86 to 23.
38-41 1/31/18 HB 4585, 4590, 4591 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4585, 4590, and 4591, which would make it a 2 year felony to commit, or attempt to commit, a violent felony in which the victim is targeted because he/she is a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, firefighter, or EMS worker. The sentence would be served consecutive to any prison sentence for the underlying felony. Punishments should fit crimes, not the status of the victim, and criminalizing an intention would require a court to determine what a person was thinking, which is legally dubious. They passed 93 – 16 and 94 – 15.
42 1/31/18 SB 543 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 543, to name a portion of I-94 in Kalamazoo County the “Ed Switalski, Fire Chief, Comstock Township Memorial Highway.” Chief Switalski was standing in the shoulder of I-94 near a fire truck when a sedan careened out of control and struck and killed him. State law requires that private funds pay for signage, so there is no cost to taxpayers. It passed unanimously.
43 1/31/18 HB 5284 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5284, which I voted for previously, to transfer a small piece of public land in Saginaw County to Delta college. The Senate eliminated the requirement that it be used exclusively for public use. Reportedly this was necessary because the public use requirement could hamper the bonding process for the capital outlay project for the Saginaw Center. Concurrence passed unanimously.
44 2/1/18 HB 4922 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4922, which would allow police agencies to use revenue from vehicle inspection fees to pay for equipment and road patrol services. Presently, the fees can only be used for activities relating to stolen vehicles. There’s no need to constrain the usage of the fees in this way. It passed unanimously.
45 2/1/18 SB 481 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 481, which would name a section of US-10 the “Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway”. Lance Corporal Burgess was killed in 2006 in combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was 21. Memorial signs are required to be paid for by private sources, so there is no cost to taxpayers. It passed unanimously.
46-47 2/6/18 HB 4752 & 4956 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments on House bills 4752, and 4956 which I voted for previously. See my previous vote explanations– the Senate changes were all insignificant.
48 2/6/18 HB 4813 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 4813, which I voted against previously. The Senate only made a minor technical fix, so I voted no again for the same reason as before.
49 2/6/18 HB 5200 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate on House Bill 5200, which I voted for previously, to allow the hunting of frogs. The Senate removed a provision prohibiting the use of large landing nets in trout streams during spring months, which would have conflicted with the current DNR order. It passed 85 – 23.
50 2/7/18 SB 616 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 616, which would allow an American Indian tribe in Michigan to receive Child Protective Services records for the purpose of placing Indian children with Indian families. They received this information previously, until a DHHS created a new policy in May of last year that prohibited the disclosures, citing child privacy concerns. This would increase the involvement of tribes in Indian child welfare cases, placing tribes in the best position to protect the interests of Indian children. It passed 105 – 3.
51 2/7/18 HB 5034 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5034, which would allow a surviving spouse to calculate pension and retirement income based on the age of an older deceased spouse if the surviving spouse is not remarried. This would prevent the death of a spouse from potentially raising one’s state tax burden dramatically. This will reportedly cost the State Treasury less than $5 million annually, and I’m in favor of people keeping more of their own money anyway. It passed 105 – 2.
52 2/7/18 HB 4528 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4528, which would expand the Health Professional Recovery Program to also cover emergency medical services (EMS) workers. The program offers treatment for drug addiction and mental illness, and reports those who fail to “satisfactorily participate” in treatment to DHHS. I’m not in favor of government-controlled, taxpayer-funded medicine, and this bill expands it. It passed 107 – 1.
53-54 2/7/18 HB 4486 & 4487 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4486 and 4487, which would increase sentencing guidelines for crimes of third and fourth degree child abuse. Fourth degree child abuse is when a parent “knowingly or intentionally committed an act that under the circumstances posed an *unreasonable risk* of harm or injury to a child, regardless of whether physical harm actually results.” This could potentially apply to many things (eg dangerous sports), and it’s inadequately specific what “unreasonable risk” means. It’s not clear to me that these enhanced penalties will actually deter child abuse, rather than just put more parents in jail. They passed 100 – 9.
55 2/8/18 HB 4705 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4705, which would require driver education to include training on what to do when pulled over by a police officer. A police encounter is always a serious and potentially dangerous situation; more people knowing how to handle the situation calmly may prevent potentially serious incidents and give police officers more peace of mind. It passed 109 – 0.
56 2/8/18 HB 5456 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5456, which would specify that plaintiffs in asbestos-related lawsuits provide a sworn statement that all claims they are making have been filed. There have been many fraudulent lawsuits filed relating to asbestos, and this bill would prevent “double dipping” lawsuits filed in multiple courts against multiple defendants. This is important transparency to prevent lawsuit abuse. It passed 58 – 51.
57 2/13/18 HB 4523 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4523, which I voted for previously, to repeal Michigan’s explosives law (explosives are already regulated federally). The Senate just added that the bill would go into effect 3 months after being signed into law. Concurrence passed unanimously.
58 2/13/18 HB 4665 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4665, which I voted for previously, to allow students enrolled in strict discipline academies to remain enrolled after they no longer meet the requirements for enrollment at their parent’s choosing. The Senate added that this also applies to unaccompanied or resettled minors. Reportedly this only applies to 10 or 12 students in the whole state, and the cost is negligible because it’s either that or they go to regular school. (House Fiscal Agency says the bill will have no fiscal impact to state or local governments.) Concurrence passed 105 – 3.
59 2/13/18 HB 4665 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5228, which would expand a financing scheme for schools to pay for “operational improvements” using the saving they would receive from the improvements, or pay out of pocket if the savings don’t appear.
Essentially, the scheme make two separate things seem like one thing: on one hand the school is paying for an improvement, payable in installments, while on the other, the school may experience savings from the improvement.
I voted last year to allow these agreements for energy efficiency programs, but this bill expands the scope to include any operational improvement, and this could easily get out of hand. Money for education should be spent primarily in the classroom, but this legislation incentivizes schools to make risky investments in trendy modernization techniques that the schools will be liable for if they don’t get the savings they expect.
It passed 106 to 2.
60 2/13/18 SB 393 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 393, which combines various laws on tax increment finance authorities (TIFAs) into a single act and establishes standard reporting processes and penalties for non-compliance. I don’t support TIFAs on principle, because they capture tax money and direct them to support particular programs (the biggest TIFAs are Downtown Development Authorities). In other words, the government picks winners and losers. But this bill doesn’t modify existing TIFA law and the reporting improvements are helpful. It passed 106 – 2.
61 2/14/18 SB 400 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 400, which would increase the 9-1-1 fees people pay on their phone bills for an additional $20 million per year. Reportedly this was to upgrade the system, although the bill contained no sunset for the increased cost and no evidence was presented in bill memoranda explaining the need for the upgrades. Technology is supposed to make things cheaper, not more expensive. It passed 99 – 10.
62 2/14/18 HB 4410 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4410, which would allow a decedent to exclude or limit the right of a child to claim exempt property. The would overturn a recent Court of Appeals decision that held: “[i]f the Legislature wished to extend the [decedent’s] intent in disinheriting a child to the child’s statutory right to exempt property, it could have expressly stated that intent in the statute. However, the statute is silent in this regard.” Well, now we’re not. People should have the right to decide how their property will be disposed when they die. It passed 101 – 8.
63-67 2/14/18 HB 5084, 5052, 5072, 5114, 5131 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5084, 5052, 5072, 5114, and 5131, which would remove references to elected county auditors in state election law. There are no such auditors, and haven’t been since 2005. They all passed unanimously except the last which had one “no” vote.
68-69 2/14/18 SB 613 & 625 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 613 and 625, which were leftover bills from the package to end Michigan’s “Driver Responsibility Fee” system. 613 is a technical fix to ensure that those previously subject to DRFs are eligible for a driver’s license after September of this year. 625 creates the workforce training program people could take if they couldn’t afford to pay a DRF. They both passed unanimously.
70-71 2/14/18 SB 748 & 750 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 748 and 750, which would allow a tax filer to continue to claim the Michigan personal exemption in light of recent federal tax reforms and gradually increase that exemption, which is currently scheduled to increase to $4,500 by tax year 2018, to $5,000 by tax year 2021 ($4,000-$4,500 in 2018, $4,600 in 2019, $4,700 in 2020 and $5,000 in 2021). Without these bills, the state would take an additional $1.4-$1.6 billion from the public. They passed 105 to 2.
72 2/14/18 SB 400 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 400, which would increase the 9-1-1 fees people pay on their phone bills for an additional $20 million per year. Reportedly this was to upgrade the system, although the bill contained no sunset for the increased cost and no evidence was presented in bill memoranda explaining the need for the upgrades. Technology is supposed to make things cheaper, not more expensive. It passed 99 – 10.
73-77 2/14/18 HB 5040, 5041, 5043, 5079, 5046 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to the bills to end Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fee penalties, which I voted for previously. The Senate made minor changes to the appropriation amounts, and required people to be enrolled in a payment plan to receive immediate forgiveness. They all passed unanimously.
78 2/15/18 HB 5235 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5235, which would allow employers paying wages on a monthly basis to pay wages on the first through the 16th of the month. Currently, monthly wages are required to be paid on the 1st. The government has no business imposing this condition on private contracts, so I support relaxing this law. It passed 70 – 39.
79 2/15/18 SB 645 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 645, which would codify a 2003 executive order that created the Office of Rail within the department of transportation and designated it the safety oversight board for public railroads as required by federal law. This board already exists, so it doesn’t really change anything. It passed unanimously.
80 2/15/18 HB 5220 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5220, which would increase the maximum amount of OC in pepper spray from 10 to 18 percent and allow for the use of ultraviolet dye to help police bring an attacker to justice. The right to self-defense is fundamental, and I view the restriction as unconstitutional, so I support relaxing it. Especially in light of yesterday’s horror, where once again the government left citizens helpless at the hands of a murderer. It passed 88 – 21.
81 2/15/18 HB 5091 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5091, to require employers send employees their withholding statements by January 31 instead of February 28. This is the same day the federal statements are required, so having it all done by one date is simpler. It passed unanimously.
82 2/15/18 HB 5261 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5261, which would require a taxpayer file only one statement for the personal property tax exemption if the property is less than $80,000. A lot of small businesses were not filing annually as they were supported to, and eliminating the annual form saves everyone time and money. It passed 106 – 3.
83-86 2/20/18 SB 419-421 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 419 – 421, which would revise or eliminate several statutory grounds for the termination of parental rights to address recent court decisions. Prior to terminating parental rights, the court would have to assess a parent’s financial ability to provide care for the child and/or whether a parent has rectified the conditions that led to a removal or prior termination. The Court of Appeals recently held that it is unconstitutional to terminate parental rights based solely on a prior termination, without determining whether a parent rectified the conditions that led to the prior termination, because it violates a parent’s due process rights. The Court urged this legislation to “adequately protect a parent’s fundamental liberty interest in the raising of children.” In another case, the Supreme Court held that efforts at reunification of a parent and child cannot be reasonable unless DHHS modifies its services as reasonably necessary to accommodate a parent’s disability. These bills resolve these issues. They passed 104 – 4, 103 – 5, and 107 – 1.
87 2/21/18 SB 551 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 551, which would create a panel of an unspecified number of designees from the governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority Leader to review proposed spending by the Natural Resources Trust Fund before it submitted a budget recommendation. If we need to dedicate ourselves to keeping a closer watch on NRTF spending, let’s just have the lawmakers on the appropriate committees do so; why create another board? It passed 56 – 53.
88-90 2/21/18 HB 4298-4300 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4298 – 4300, which would require forensic interviews of children at child advocacy centers to be videotaped, providing conditions for their use and penalties for misuse. It’s important to have a documentary record of these interviews, particularly because children may be vulnerable to being manipulated by an interviewer. There was at least one case where this happened and the father was exonerated only because a video of the interview was available. They passed, 91, 92, and 93 to 18, 17, and 16 respectively.
91 2/21/18 HB 4321 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4321, which appropriated $175 million for road repairs. This winter has been brutal to the roads, and it’s best we start fixing them sooner instead of waiting for next year’s budget. It’s our job to fix the roads. The bill passed unanimously.
92-94 2/21/18 HB 4536-4538 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 4536, 4537, and 4538, which I voted for previously. The Senate simply removed unused enacting clauses that might have tie-barred the bills to another. Concurrence passed unanimously for all three bills.
95 2/22/18 HB 4053 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4053, to make English the official language of Michigan. This would require that English be the language used in public records, meetings, and official acts of the state. A state agency or local unit of government could use or print official documents and forms in other languages as well as English, but not in foreign languages only.
It’s important that a singular language be used in public documents, and obviously sensible that English be that language. It is “our common medium of speech,” as Justice Louis Brandeis said.
Furthermore, a Department of Labor study found that immigrants learned English more quickly when there was less native language support around them. Increasing the incentive to learn English encourages immigrants to make the most of the American experience and to enrich themselves and our country.
It passed 62 – 46.
96 2/22/18 HB 5190 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5190, which would allow the Professional Golf Association Tour to get a liquor license in Michigan. Apparently some legal defect was in the way. It passed unanimously.
97 2/27/18 HB 4699 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4699, which would allow totally disabled veterans to purchase any specialty license plate for the same price as the disabled veteran license plate. Veterans who were disabled in service of our country should be permitted to obtain any type of license plate for the same price as the disabled veteran plates they are already entitled to. It passed unanimously.
98 2/27/18 SB 582 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 582, which would allow physical therapists to certify disabilities for obtaining disabled license plates and placards. This allows people to work with their therapists rather than having to go back to their doctors to obtain the certification. It passed 105 – 3.
99 2/27/18 HB 5355 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5355, which would adjust how the Public School Employees Retirement Act pays down unfunded liabilities. The bill gradually reduces the payroll growth assumption over the next ten years to create a “level dollar” payment for the schools over that period. This wold prevent payments from spiking in the future and potentially taking money out of the classroom. It passed unanimously.
100 2/27/18 HB 5010 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5010, which would extend the statute of limitations for armed robbery from 6 years to 10, as it is for kidnapping, extortion, manslaughter, and first-degree home invasion. There already is a burden on prosecutors to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and if evidence shows a suspect is guilty of armed robbery they should be charged. It passed 92 – 16.
101-102 2/27/18 HB 4666 & 4670 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4666 and 4670, which would make it a felony for a process server to lie to a court with a false declaration of service and revises the procedure for making proof of service. The bills made the penalty for false proof of service match the penalty for perjury, which makes sense because both are acts of lying to a court. They passed 96 – 12.
103 2/27/18 HB 5282 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5282, which would clarify that a court does not retain jurisdiction after determining that a license is to be restricted to order it reinstated. That’s because the constitutional authority is with the Secretary of State. The bill passed unanimously.
104 2/27/18 HB 4614 Passage Yes I voted for HB 4614, which would repeal a requirement that teachers with a provisional certificate obtain a professional certificate if their have a single non-renewable two-year extension following a lapse of their provisional certificate. This would allow a teacher to renew the standard certificate in perpetuity. This is important for teachers that can’t be evaluated because they work in a hospital setting, preschool programs not affiliated with a K-12 school, or on temporary leave. It passed unanimously.
105-106 2/28/18 HB 4667-4668 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4667 and 4668, which would change the Grape and Wine Industry Council to the Michigan Craft Beverage Council and be expanded to include beer makers and distillers. The council would direct the agriculture department to award certain grants for industry research. Industries should form their own private associations and the government should have no role in any of this. They passed 107 – 2.
107 2/28/18 HB 5379 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5379, which would allow sunscreen to be used in school. I can’t believe it was prohibited. It passed 108 – 1.
108 2/28/18 SB 522 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 522, which would require local governments determine the compensation of a community center’s board of directors. Current law says members of a community center’s board of directors for townships with a population of 10,000 or less must serve without compensation. This would increase the cost of government. It passed 104 – 5.
109-111 2/28/18 HB 5243, 5244, 5246 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5243, 5244, and 5246, which would require that psychological evaluations for parole be completed on a timely basis and provides court remedies if deadlines aren’t met. Establishing requirements for psychological reviews prior to trial and parole board inquiry will limit unnecessary delays and costs. They passed 107 – 2 and 108 – 1.
112 2/28/18 HB 5439 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5439, which would create a registry for psychiatric beds and require hospitals maintain current information on their vacancies. The government shouldn’t need to tell hospitals to provide marketing services, and a patient in search of a bed will unlikely have any easier time researching information in this registry than just calling a hospital and asking. It passed 106 – 3.
113 2/28/18 HB 5524 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5524, which would require teacher continuing education include mental health training. It doesn’t specify what education this will displace. This is more government micro-management with good intentions but probably not significant results. It passed 107 – 2.
114 2/28/18 HB 5097 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5097, which would cap the permit fees a county road commission may charge a phone/Internet/video provider for doing work on a county road in counties with less than 250,000 residents (all but 9 counties). Current law already says a county road commission may only charge the amount of the commission’s necessary and actual costs related to the permit. Placing a hard cap on permit fees prevents a commission from recovering its costs and forces taxpayers to subsidize the additional cost of broadband projects in their communities. It passed 68 – 41.
115-116 2/28/18 HB 5435-5436 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5435 and 5436, which would allow property owners to request the removal or reinstatement of certificates under the Commercial Rehabilitation Act and the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act. Basically these are special tax breaks: they allow for the “freezing” of a property’s value, so developers can pay the lower tax rate after redeveloping them. This is another example of government picking winners and losers, propping up some chosen entities at the expense of everyone else. They passed 96 – 13 and 100 – 9.
117 3/1/18 HB 4430 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4430, which I voted for previously, to prohibit all governments in Michigan from providing electronic data on people to federal agencies without a warrant or the person’s consent. The Senate limited the bill by saying that any data the government collected legally (for example, data collected in a crash investigation) may be shared. This may be a little broad, but the bill’s sponsor and the governor supported the change. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
118 3/1/18 HB 5112 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate changes to House Bill 5112, which I voted for previously, to name a section of a road. The Senate change was purely technical and concurrence passed unanimously.
119 3/1/18 SB 596 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 596, which would expand the amenities that “Pure Michigan Trails” can provide to users and allow for multi-jurisdictional trailway councils to provide guidance and receive input on possible allowed uses of trails (eg for e-bicycles). This provides the needed flexibility in the law to get the most out of our trails. It passed unanimously.
120 3/1/18 HB 4840 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4840, which would expand the definition of school zones (where speed limits are lowered to 25 mph during certain school hours) to include highways, even if the highways have pedestrian overpasses. Reportedly at some schools students try to cut across the highways instead of using overpasses. This is a problem parents and schools should address locally, not by punishing motorists and causing traffic issues. It passed 108 – 1.
121-122 3/1/18 HB 4030-4031 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4030 and 4031, which would provide an income tax checkoff for the Lions Foundation of Michigan. I support the Lions’ good work but I can’t support any legislation that actually names a particular organization in statute for special treatment. They passed 105 – 2.
123 3/1/18 SB 638 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 638, which would update the law on credit for reinsurance to conform to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners guidelines. For example, a credit for reinsurance would only be allowed to the extent it is consistent with certain rules promulgated by the state department (DIFS).
It’s best for the industry when states tend to have uniform policies. It passed 108 – 1.
124 3/1/18 HB 4633 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4633, which would require law enforcement submit information to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Ensuring this national database has up-to-date inform could lead to cases being solved and increasing the chance families of missing persons get answers or closure. It passed unanimously.
125 3/1/18 HB 5438 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5438, which would expand the definition of coercion in the context of human trafficking to include controlling or facilitating access to drugs. This is one of the more common forms of coercion to keep people engaged in prostitution. It passed 108 – 1.
126 3/1/18 HB 4321 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4321, which I voted for previously, appropriating $175 million for roads. The Senate added $1 million to investigate sexual misconduct at Michigan State University, $2 million for flooding and disaster needs, and $400,000 for state police needs. Concurrence passed unanimously.
127-128 3/6/18 HB 4545-4546 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to HB 4545 and 4546, which would allow the sharing of certain employment data for the purpose of research and planning education programs to meet Michigan’s employment needs. The Senate revised various technical details, such as removing Intermediate School Districts from the bills because they are now working with the Department of Education and Unemployment Insurance Agency directly on this issue. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
129 3/6/18 HB 4973 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4973, which I voted for previously, which would exempt critical energy infrastructure and cybersecurity-related information from public disclosure. The Senate added certain road-related data to the list, citing concerns from MDOT that as driverless vehicles use roadside devices, these could potentially become a cybersecurity issue as well. Concurrence passed 104 – 4.
130 3/6/18 HB 5417 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5417, which would allow the transportation and carrying of bows, crossbows, and slingshots without requiring they be unstrung or locked in a case. Being unloaded is sufficiently safe and we shouldn’t endanger law-abiding citizens with prosecution just because they have a strung bow in their car. It passed 99 – 9.
131 3/6/18 HB 5259 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5259, which would revise signage rules for taxis, limos, and transportation network vehicles. Basically this is to revise a quirk in the law affecting companies with outsourced dispatch systems. Specifically, it allows a vehicle to display the signage of its affiliated dispatch system provider so long as it also displays the taxi’s cab’s registration number. This bill gives customers information they need if they want to lodge a complaint about a transportation company. It passed 105 – 3.
132 3/7/18 HB 5234 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5234, which would allow counties to place an inmate in county jail on medical probation and release him if the inmate is expected to die within the next six months. It would require a court conduct a hearing to determine if release was prudent and proper and would not apply to violent offenders. Currently a county jail cannot release a prisoner who is terminally ill with a short life expectancy. Instead, the county is required to provide the medical treatment for the terminally ill prisoner, and is required to deal with the post mortem procedures when the prisoner inevitably perishes in the jail. Non-violent prisoners who are expected to perish in the near future due to a terminal illness should not have to do so within the confines of a county jail. It passed 99 to 9.
133-136 3/7/18 HB 5234, 4101-4103 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5245 and 4101 – 4103, which would allow a parole board to parole “medically frail” prisoners to a medical facility for the length of their parole term, including those that have not yet served the minimum sentence imposed by the court, and making it a crime to assist or aid a parolee attempting to flee the medical facility. “Medically frail” is defined to exclude anyone that would be a threat to society. These do not release prisoners prematurely; they simply allow medically frail prisoners to finish their sentences at a medical facility. A judge would be required to review the parole if an objection was filed, and any victims would be notified if medical parole was being considered.
The average health care cost for a prison inmate has been estimated at $5,801 per year. The cost, however, increases with an inmate’s age, from $11,000 for ages 55-59 to $40,000 for ages 80 and above. We can ease up our strained corrections budgets by not paying the high health care costs of those with severe health problems. They passed 98 – 10, 94 – 14, 95 – 13, and 101 – 7.
137-138 3/7/18 HB 4887 & Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4887 and 5256, which would create a process for law enforcement officers to place a 90-day “hold” on items at pawn shops and secondhand and junk dealers when officers have probable cause to believe the property is stolen. (Pawnbrokers are already required to hold property for at least 90 days before selling it.) Only a court could extend the hold. A dealer could not be held liable if stolen property in their possession is seized and unable to be returned. This clears up ambiguity in the law on how to handle what is believe to be stolen property. They passed 107 – 1.
139 3/7/18 SB 442 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 442, which passed unanimously, to make various updates the Business Corporation Act, mostly due to technology, to reflect model legislation used nationally. The changes were technical in nature and it helps to have standard rules across the country.
140 3/7/18 SB 353 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 353, which would prohibit local governments from enforcing ordinances that prohibit employers from asking certain questions in job interviews, e.g. criminal history. Studies found that well-intentioned “Ban the Box” laws meant to encourage businesses to give all applicants a “fair chance” ended up leading to widespread demographic discrimination. More fundamentally, employers should be free to screen employees by any means they desire, subject to federal and state anti-discrimination and other civil rights laws. I support local control and smaller government but that does not mean allowing local governments to restrict the rights of citizens, or associations of citizens. It passed 62 – 46.
141 3/7/18 HB 5260 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5260, which passed unanimously, and would members of a club (e.g. Elks, American Legion) to purchase alcoholic drinks at other posts or locations of the same club to which they are a member. This relaxes an excessively strict rule.
142 3/7/18 HB 5215 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5215, which deletes references to a particular girl’s school that no longer exists. Legislation should [edit: NOT] affect particular named entities. It passed unanimously.
143-144 3/7/18 HB 5412-5413 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5412 and 5413, which would update the Freedom of Information Act to include newer types of electronic media in which records can be made available. The law previously referred to “discs, tapes or other digital or similar media.” It wasn’t clear whether this covers electronic publications. They passed 106 – 2 and 107 – 1.
145 3/8/18 HB 5407 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5407, which would require convicted defendants remain in the courtroom while victim impact statements are given. Criminals should have to bear the burden of knowing what harm they have done to their victims. In the Lawrence Nassar case, the judge forced him to listen to his over 150 victims despite his claim that he could not bear to hear any more. In another case, a judge granted a convicted murderer’s request to return to jail because he didn’t want to hear from the parents of the woman he murdered. Leaving the courtroom, the killer turned to the grieving family and blew a kiss at them. It passed 105 – 2.
146-148 3/8/18 HB 5530-5532 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5530 through 5532, which would prevent juveniles convicted of sex crimes from returning to the same school as their victims, expand restraining orders to cover this, and require schools expel students who commit sex crimes against another student enrolled in the same school district. This is all common sense protection for victims. In a recent case, a 16-year-old pled guilty to 6 counts after being charged with 31 felonies, including sex crimes, but was only sentenced to 45 days at a youth facility and then allowed to return to school, to the daily agony of his victims. This has to be stopped. 106 – 1, 93 – 14, and 106 – 1.
149-150 3/8/18 HB 5402-5403 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5402 and 5403, which would allow recorded forensic interviews of children be used for training purposes in other counties, if authorized by the county prosecutor where the interview was made and with the written consent of the minor’s non-offending parent or guardian. Presently, these recordings may only be used in the counties where they were made. This simply makes it easier to train interviewers and it protects people’s rights. They passed 105 – 2 and 106 – 1.
151-152 3/8/18 HB 5463-5464 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5463 and 5464, which make it a civil infraction to sell nitrous oxide cartridges to minors. Nitrous oxide is used in dentistry as an anesthetic, in race cars for speed, and in cooking for whipped cream (though notably, only professional chefs need it in quantity where it isn’t easier just to buy pressurized whipped cream containers). It can also be used to get high and this is surely the reason minors buy them. I wouldn’t support this legislation if it didn’t apply only to minors. They passed 104 – 3.
153 3/13/18 HB 4811 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4811, which I voted for previously, which would adopt the recently enacted federal food safety rules. The Senate added a definition for “micro markets” (fancy vending machines). Concurrence passed 101 – 8.
154 3/13/18 HB 4643 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4643, which would expand real estate transfer tax exemptions to allow new home builders to use the value off the improvements to the land, rather than the plot itself. A seller whose home has lost value generally doesn’t have to pay the state’s real estate transfer tax. This bill would extend the same exemption to someone who bought vacant land, built a house, and now is selling the house after it lost value. It passed 96 – 13.
155 3/13/18 HB 4084 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4084, which removes a course requirement in diagnosing and remediating reading disabilities for professional teacher certification. The requirement is a burden on those studying to become teachers and I don’t support government mandates like this. It passed 102 – 7.
156 3/13/18 HB 5394 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5394, to designate a portion of Business Route 127 in Clare County as the SPC Robert Friese Memorial Highway. Signage must be paid for by private sources, so this does not cost taxpayers money.  It passed unanimously.
157 3/13/18 SB 589 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 589, which would allow police to use three-wheeled motorized vehicles on sidewalks.  The vehicles are as wide as a sidewalk. This could pose a safety hazard to pedestrians and I don’t see a compelling need for this.  It passed 106 – 3.
158-161 3/13/18 SB 590-593 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 590-593, which would allow local governments to take on more debt.  There is a debt cap based on the assessed value of real and personal property in the community; the bills would allow expected revenue from personal property taxes and state revenue sharing payments to county toward the assess value and thereby raise their debt limit. Municipalities shouldn’t be going into debt and putting taxpayers on the hook for interest.  They passed
162 3/13/18 HB 5609 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5609, which would increase the limit on gifts from property-casualty insurers and agent to applicants and customers from $10 to $50. Insurers shouldn’t be threatened with losing their licenses if they happen to give a customer $11 worth of branded merchandise. There’s nothing wrong with giving out branded merchandise.  It passed 107 – 2.
163 3/14/18 HB 5430 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5430, which would allow electronic delivery of insurance documents (i.e. via email) with a customer’s permission.  The customer could withdraw permission at any time, and notice would have to meet the requirements of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and any applicable HIPAA requirements. People are increasingly conducting business electronically and this is a common sense modernization. It passed unanimously.
164 3/14/18 HB 5536 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5536, which would authorize state grants to counties for “veteran service operations,” defined as helping veterans, dependents, and survivors get federal assistance and benefits.  Each county with a veteran service office that satisfies the requirements of the bill would receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county (the number of veterans per county will be based on the most recent GDX report published by the V.A.).  The fund would be created within the department of treasury, but would be administered by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). In other words, the state pays the county to help the person get the federal funds.  It’s a government assistance program for a government assistance program.  The bill sponsor is seeking a $5 million appropriation in the upcoming fiscal year to fund these grants. I’m all for supporting our veterans but this seems like a very bureaucratic and cumbersome way to do so, especially when we could simply increase funding to the Veterans Service Organizations that already exist to provide benefits services to veterans. It passed 107 – 1.
165 3/14/18 HB 5591 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5591, which would create a statute of limitations of 18 months for Occupational Code claims against real property appraisers.  (It does not affect claims of negligence or breach of contract).  18 months is in line with deadlines for claims against residential builders and real estate licensees. These limitation laws exist to prevent lawsuit abuse in cases where the facts become difficult to prove because so much time has gone by.  Currently there is no statute of limitations on this.  It passed 107 – 1.
166 3/14/18 HB 5618 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5618, which would allocate library funds based on the number of Michigan residents they serve. The Interstate Library Compact (which I voted against having Michigan join) creates a situation where Michigan libraries can be providing services to other states. This could allow libraries to claim nonresidents for funding purposes. Funding should be based on Michigan residents served because that is whom our tax dollars are intended to benefit. It passed 80 – 28.
167 3/15/18 HB 5180 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5180, which would allow the Department of Natural Resources to issue orders allowing the use of pneumatic guns for hunting where firearms are allowed. These guns are a based on new technology and are easier to handle and use than firearms.  The laws should be updated to allow their usage; hunting rules were not intended to favor combustion over compressed air as a means of propulsion. It passed 59 – 47.
168 3/15/18 SB 662 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 662, which is substantially similar to another bill we passed unanimously last week, to allow members of social clubs (eg the VFW or Elks) to drink at any club location, not just the particular post or location to which they belong. This is a basic freedom issue. It passed unanimously.
169 3/15/18 HB 5278 Passage Yes I voted for on House Bill 5278, which would update references in law to a domestic violence prevention board to include sexual violence as well as domestic violence and gives the board power to administer relevant grants. It’s not clear to me why domestic violence doesn’t legally include all forms of sexual violence, but given that was probably the intent, it makes sense that the board cover this similar type of violence as well.  It passed unanimously.
170 3/15/18 HB 5644 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5644, which would codify the Secretary of State’s present practice providing a procedure for absentee voters to request their ballots be “spoiled” and replaced (for example, if they made a mistake when voting) and requiring the usage of paper ballots for tabulation. YES–having a paper trail is critical to ensure the integrity of an election. It passed 105 – 1.
171 3/15/18 HB 5646 Passage Yes I voted for house Bill 5646, which would require the Secretary of State to check the statewide Qualifed Voter File against the Social Security Administration’s death master file and require the SOS to participate in multi-state voter registration verification programs.  These are all sound practices to minimize election fraud and are the SOS’s present practice.  It passed 101 – 5.
172 3/15/18 HB 5669 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5669, which would codify the current list of acceptable IDs for election purposes: a state-issued ID, US passport, federal photo ID, military photo ID, tribal photo ID, or student ID issued by a high school or accredited college. Voters who do not have acceptable picture ID or forgot to bring acceptable picture ID to the polls can still vote by signing an affidavit. It’s proper to encourage current best practices are continued by defining what is a valid ID.  It passed 62 – 44.
173 3/15/18 HB 5678 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5678, which would address a flaw I foresaw in a recent law. I voted no on Senate Bill 270 of 2017, to require a “bona fide prescriber-patient relationship” for opioid prescriptions. In my explanation I wrote: ” What about in an emergency? This bill diminishes from doctors medical freedom and would prevent people from receiving urgently needed medicine.” The bill became a law, and sure enough, it turned out that the law would have prevented people in hospices from receiving urgently needed pain medicine for end-of-life care.  HB 5678 would allow the prescriber to delegate reviewing patient records and completing medical assessments to another licensed professional.  It passed 104 – 2.
174 3/21/18 HB 5456 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5456, which I voted for previously, to increase transparency in asbestos lawsuits.  The Senate version says the plaintiff must make the required filings 6 months before trial rather than within 1 month of filing, and that trust claims materials may be used to prove alternative causation or responsibility, and other minor changes. Concurrence passed 83 – 25.
175 3/21/18 HB 4922 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4922, which I voted for previously, to give police agencies more discretion in how revenue from inspection fees is used.  The Senate added that the specially trained officer performing the salvage inspection cannot also be the licensed mechanic that certifies the work performed on the vehicle. It passed 107 – 1.
176 & 180 3/21/18 HB 4360 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4360, which would prohibit local governments, universities, and law enforcement agencies from operating impound lots.  Existing facilities would be grandfathered. These lots are not a public good that only government can provide, so there is no need for those entities to own and operate those facilities to directly compete with private enterprise. It passed 81 – 27.
177 3/21/18 SB 623 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 623, which would extend a particular “renaissance zone” (business and individual tax exemptions) in Saginaw. I don’t support corporate welfare and special treatment for government-selected projects, so I don’t support extending them. It passed 91 – 17.
178-179 & 181 3/21/18 HB 5230 & 5231 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5230 and 5231, which would allow state employees and public school employees the option to receive an annuity retirement plan instead of a 401(k).  The annuity is similar to the defined-benefit pension program we just closed, but in an annuity the fund is held by the individual, not the employer, so the people of Michigan aren’t liable for unfunded liability. School and state employees should have the extra options, and because there is no match requirement as with a 401(k) this would not raise costs for the state’s retirement systems. They passed 73 – 35 and 71 – 37.
182 & 183 3/21/18 HB 5652 & 5653 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5652 and 5653, which would reform the determination of actuarial equivalent retirement allowances for judges and state employees, respectively. 5652 is my bill!  This is similar to the MPSERS reforms we passed last year, to allow the state actuary to determine the assumed interest rate rather than having it fixed at 8% and relying on mortality tables defined in 1983.  Our bills passed 107 – 1.
184 3/21/18 HB 4198 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4198, which would require 1 hour of driver education time be dedicated to safety for bicyclists and other “vulnerable” users.  Out of 24 total hours of classroom instruction, 1 hour sounds like a lot for bicycle awareness, and this inevitably would displace other material that might be more important. It passed 106 – 2.
185 3/21/18 HB 4265 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4265, which would require cars maintain a 3-foot distance when passing a bicyclist, or at a safe distance and speed if 3 feet is impractical.  It also allows vehicles to pass in the oncoming lane, even in a no-passing zone, as long as it is safe to do so. 3 feet is very little distance and this is a reasonable rule of the road. Cyclists have the same right to the road as motorists. It passed 98 – 10.
186 3/21/18 SB 712 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 712, which would clarify that the Statewide Records Management System is not responsible for processing FOIA requests on reports submitted by subscribing agencies, but rather the agency itself.  Under current law the state police are required to produce records for FOIA requests on any data that is stored on the SRMS application, even if the data in question was originally produced by a subscriber. The system was intended to encourage data sharing but not make multiple entities responsible for these requests.  This bill would ensure the specific public body that produced the data or report is the entity that will be required to respond to a FOIA request. It passed 106 – 2.
187 3/21/18 SB 727 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 727, which would eliminate the requirement that an individual must pass the SAT when pursuing an Interim teaching Certificate and change the 3.0 GPA requirement to a cohort grade point average of candidates within a program. I don’t support artificial barriers to employment thrown up by the state; school districts should set their own rules for who is qualified to teach. This will help people become teachers.  It passed 85 – 23.
188 3/21/18 SB 081 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 801, to make Tianeptine Sodium a schedule 2 controlled substance (illegal except with a prescription). Michigan would be the first state to do so. Reportedly the drug is an addictive antidepressant; however, the drug not being Schedule 2 in any other state, nor at the federal level, leaves me with concerns that this might unduly impact people’s medical freedom. The House Fiscal Agency memo on this bill did not note any medical organizations or doctors that endorsed the bill and the only group testifying in support of the bill was Michigan State Police. I find this insufficient evidence for banning a drug.  It passed 102 – 6.
189 & 190 3/21/18 HB 4106 & 5676 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4106 and 5676, which would grant high school credit to a high school student for completing an internship or on-the-job training and ensure that these students count as full-time pupils. Real-world learning is commendable and students should receive appropriate credit for doing so. I believe 4106 was the first bill I cosponsored in my term of office. Thank you, Representative LaFave! They passed 104 – 4 and 106 – 2.
191 & 193 3/22/18 HB 5017 & 5018 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5017 and 5018, to criminalize cyberbullying as a misdemeanor and a felony if the victim is seriously injured. There are already sufficient laws against stalking, harassment, etc. and there is nothing unique about the Internet as a medium for these crimes to require special laws.  We don’t need to put another crime on the books, and given the widespread political censorship occurring on social media it’s likely this law could encourage attacks on people’s First Amendment rights. They passed 91 – 17 and 92 – 17.
192 3/22/18 HB 5257 Concurrence No I voted against concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5257, which I voted against previously, to criminalize the possession and use of “ransomware”.  The Senate amendment was purely technical and the essence of the bill is the same. As I said before, extortion is already illegal and this could expose legitimate researchers to legal risk.  Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
194 & 195 3/22/18 HB 5152 & 5153 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5152 and 5153, which would allow patients, guardians, and advocates to submit a “do not prescribe opioids” directive, similar in nature to a “do not resuscitate” directive.  Medical directives or orders help an individual keep control of his or her medical care and convey wishes of life-sustaining measures or treatment. Health professionals would be immune from liability for following the directive. This is a health freedom issue and may help prevent people from being prescribed opioids unnecessarily.  They passed 108 – 1.
196 3/22/18 HB 5487 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5487, which would create a universal Medicaid credentialing process for those providing medical services. Instead of having to become credentialed through each health plan, DHHS would develop a singular process.  It does not impact other credentialing processes.  This simply streamlines a cumbersome process and the bill passed unanimously.
197 & 198 3/22/18 HB 5620 & 5621 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5620 and 5621, which would allow those who fail to claim a sales or use tax exemption to file a claim with the Department of Treasury to reclaim their money. Allowing the purchaser to claim a refund for their failure to provide the Certificate of Exemption at the time of purchase streamlines the process by eliminating the middle man (the seller). It should be the buyer’s job, not the seller, to reclaim this money. (Currently it is the seller’s responsibility to prove the sales and use tax should not have been charged to the buyer when the buyer fails to provide exemption information. They passed unanimously.
199 3/22/18 HB 5283 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5283, which would modify the brownfield developer subsidy deal to revise the definition of “demolition” to cover a particular concrete-clearing needed in a particular brownfield.  I oppose these subsidies, so I don’t support expanding them. It passed 66 – 43.
200 3/22/18 HB 4871 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4871, which would allow “business improvement zones” (“BIZs”) to levy special assessments against certain pieces of private property for a more flexible period (7 to 10 years, instead of only 10).  BIZs are created by a vote of business owners and can levy special assessments on certain pieces of private property.  In other words, a majority of businesses can vote to impose fees on the minority.  These shouldn’t exist at all, so I’m not voting to give them more flexibility. It passed 107 – 2.
201 3/22/18 HB 5626 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5626, which would allow school districts that would receive additional tax money if a millage ballot proposal passes to be listed as “public schools” instead of listing each school district on the ballot. Wayne RESA has 33 school districts and over 100 charter schools within the ISD, so this is cumbersome for clerks and confusing for voters. It’s not necessary to list every school district receiving the funds.  Thank you, Representative Noble, for your leadership on this issue.  It passed 56 – 53.
202 3/22/18 HB 5090 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5090, which would make failing to stop at a weigh station a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor. It also exempts towing trailers from having to stop at them. Small businesses are typically nowhere near these weight limits and the State Police, supporting the bill, noted that they rarely enforce this law for light-duty vehicles. It passed 88 – 21.
203 – 205 3/22/18 HB 5335, 5406, & 5408 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5335, 5406, and 5408 which would create the Michigan Infrastructure Council, Water Asset Management Council, and Transportation Asset Management Council, which would maintain a statewide infrastructure asset management plan. Michigan’s infrastructure is a sad state and this implements the recommendation of the governor’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission to eliminate the current siloed configuration of statewide infrastructure and provide a unified plan of how to best spend infrastructure funding. Commission members would not be compensated.  They passed 107 – 2, 107 – 2, and 83 – 26.
206 3/22/18 HB 5494 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5494, which would make drone use considered an extension of the individual’s  regard to criminal activity. In other words, using a drone to trespass and spy on someone is the same as if the person was actually trespassing and spying directly.  This is a logical and simple way to extend the law to cover drones without having to amend dozens of criminal laws. It passed 108 – 1.
207 & 208 3/22/18 HB 5495 & 5498 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5495 and 5498, which would make it a crime to use a drone to “interfere” with the operations of a “key facility”. Key facilities include certain manufacturing plants, electric and gas utilities, law enforcement facilities, and so on.  “Interference”, however, is undefined.  There are already lots of federal regulations regarding drones, and with interference undefined, it could potentially be interpreted broadly to mean any annoyance. They passed 104 – 5 and 102 – 7 respectively.
209 3/22/18 HB 5496 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5496, which would require the Michigan Aeronautics Commission within the Department of Transportation to oversee drone issues.  There’s no additional cost and the office indicated that the additional workload would be nominal and could be accomplished with existing resources, so this is fine. It passed 107 – 2.
210 3/22/18 HB 5497 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5497, which expands those considered “public safety officials” to include corrections employees and all law enforcement officials, not just police officers, in the law prohibiting drones being used to “interfere” with such officials. Again, I am concerned that “interfere” could be interpreted very broadly to include any annoyance and be used to charge people for, say, recording video where an official might not want to be recorded. It passed 106 – 3.
211 3/22/2018 HB 5678 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5678. The original bill would allow prescribers to delegate newly-required medical assessments to other professionals to establish a “bona fide” relationship for prescribing opioids. The Senate version eliminated this to instead change the requirement to not start until the health department implements a rule to decide who should be exempt from this requirement. This is an alternative fix for an unforeseen problem in a recent law intended to curb excess opioid prescriptions, which I anticipated having unforeseen consequences.  Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
212-213 4/11/2018 HBs 5508-5509 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5508 and 5509, which would allow summer resort and park associations to convert to nonprofit corporations. These are similar in structure and function to homeowners’ associations, so they should have the same classification and be considered nonprofits. They passed 108 to 1.
214 4/11/2018 HB 4522 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4522, which would allow a taxpayer who experiences a stillborn birth to claim an additional dependency exemption for one year. This is a reasonable offset for a grieving mother who has to bear the costs of a funeral as well as a pregnancy. It passed unanimously.
215 4/11/2018 SB 521 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 521, which would make it a ticketable offense to not treat a traffic light experiencing a power failure as a four-way stop sign. I don’t know why we need to legislate this minutia; a traffic light outage typically means traffic is backed up in all directions and almost everybody always waits their turn. Plus a rolling stop is safe if everyone else is backed up. It passed 99 – 10.
216 4/11/2018 SB 809 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 809, which revise or eliminate various obsolete provisions in election law. This was based on the recommendation of the Bureau of Elections. It would remove provisions that have expired, and eliminate provisions under which a person convicted of cheating on a civil service exam is barred from various public offices for 20 years. It would also require special elections be held at least 45 days after a special primary, rather than 20 days. These were all seen as minor updates requested by the Secretary of State. It passed 107 – 2.
217, 218 4/11/2018 HB 4561, 4564 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4561 and 4564, which I voted for previously, to clarify what agricultural equipment is exempt from sales tax. The Senate made corrections to keep with the intention of the original bills, to not change tax rates but update the code to match how the law was being interpreted. Concurrence passed 87 – 22 and 86 – 23.
219, 220 4/12/2018 HB 4562, 4563 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4562 and 4563, which I voted for previously. The amendments are only technical changes: the Agricultural Disaster Loan Origination Program Act had to be re-enacted because the bill wasn’t signed into law before the act expired. Concurrence passed 97 – 11 and 91 – 17.
221-225 4/12/2018 SB 810-814 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 810 through 814, which would update various election laws for the changes made in SB 809 and eliminate various other obsolete provisions. These were all considered technical, inconsequential changes and they all passed unanimously.
226 4/12/2018 HB 4971 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4971, which would raise the amount of reward money a county can offer for information leading to the arrest of a criminal from $2,000 to $20,000. A county should be able to offer any reward it deems reasonable, worthwhile, and affordable. It passed unanimously.
227 4/12/2018 HB 4891 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4891, which would allow parents/guardians/foster parents to eavesdrop on their minor children’s phone conversations. Parents are legally responsible for their children’s behavior and they have a duty to police their behavior. Also, Michigan’s eavesdropping law, which defines it as hearing anything without someone’s permission, is absurdly broad. It passed 105 – 3.
228 4/17/2018 SB 841 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 841, which would protect members of Limited Liability Partnerships from personal liability except for negligence or other wrongful acts.  This is the same protection offered for Limited Liability Corporations and puts us in line with 46 other states. It passed 107 – 1.
229 4/17/2018 HB 5321 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5321, which would put a moratorium on new permits for the sterilization of game animals while Ann Arbor continues to conduct research into the viability of sterilization as a means of population control.  So far it has been shown to be ineffective at reducing deer population and a big waste of taxpayer money.  It passed 69 – 40.