Roll call Date Bill no. Type Explanation
1 1/9/2019 HR 1 Passage The new Legislature is in session! I proudly voted for Lee Chatfield for Speaker of the House, who was elected unanimously, in my first vote as a member of the historic one-hundredth Legislature at Lansing. Representative Chatfield has been a tireless advocate for Michigan as Speaker Pro Tempore throughout my first term of office, and I know he will continue to serve with distinction for all people of Michigan: to treat all of our colleagues fairly, to honor and uphold the legislative process, and to expand transparency.

It was my honor and privilege to support his nomination for Speaker of the House.

2 1/9/2019 HR 2 Passage I voted for House Resolution 2, to name Jason Wentworth as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives. Rep. Wentworth has been an honorable and trusted colleague, always acting in the interest of his constituents and all people of Michigan.

His nomination was supported unanimously.

3 1/9/2019 HR 3 Passage I voted for House Resolution 3, to name Gary Randall to another term as Clerk of the House of Representatives. Gary Randall, himself a former Representative, has served as Clerk of the House since before my term of office, and performed the duty impeccably in my first term. I’m honored to support him for another term.

His nomination was endorsed unanimously.

4 2/7/2019 HCR 2 Passage I voted for House Concurrent Resolution 2, to disapprove of Executive Order 2019-2, which would effectively repeal multiple laws passed in the previous term (PA 267, 268, and 269 of 2018) and therefore abolish the recently created Environmental Permit Review Commission, Environmental Science Advisory Board, and Environmental Rules Review Committee. These review committees provided important oversight of the Department of Environmental Quality and gave citizens long-overdue access to the rule-making process. More fundamentally, the governor does not have the power to abolish entities created by statute, and this Executive Order was, therefore, a violation of the constitutional separation of powers. There were, incidentally, other aspects of the Order I agreed with, such as abolishing the Michigan Agency for Energy and returning that authority to the Public Service Commission. But the bad far outweighed the good.

The resolution passed 58 – 51.

5 & 6 2/28/2019 HBs 4001 & 4002 Passage I proudly voted for House Bills 4001 and 4002, which would require a criminal conviction before proceeding with asset forfeiture in cases involving up to $50,000 in seized property (i.e. major drug busts). Civil asset forfeiture occurs when the government takes and keeps the property of an individual it suspects of having committed a crime. For the majority of the more than 6,000 forfeiture cases in Michigan, assets were taken from people who were never convicted of a crime. In 2017, Michigan law enforcement agencies reported confiscating $13.1 million worth of cash and property through civil asset forfeiture. In more than 200 cases, people who were later found not guilty were forced to forfeit their property, never to have it returned. In a staggering 736 cases, charges were never even filed. This is a serious violation of the due process rights of citizens and must be corrected.

The bills passed 107 – 3.

7 2/28/2019 HB 4061 Passage I voted for House Bill 4061, which would designate a portion of M-53 in Macomb County the Chief Petty Officer Jason Freiwald Memorial Highway. Jason Freiwald was a highly trained and decorated Navy SEAL, having received the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, to name a few. He died September 12, 2008, from injuries sustained during combat operations in Afghanistan. There is no taxpayer cost for memorial highway signage, which is privately funded.

The bill passed unanimously.

8 3/5/2019 HB 4101 Passage I voted for House Bill 4101, which would allow the CEO of a municipality to appoint a designee to his seat on a Downtown Development Authority board. DDA boards are required to include their municipalities’ CEO; I see no problem with allowing that person to designate someone else for that role.

It passed unanimously.

9 3/6/2019 HB 4119 Passage I voted for House Bill 4119, which would allow charter townships to reestablish free public libraries. This essentially legalizes the way things are currently done; a 1976 law had left this unclear but the Library of Michigan has assumed that previously existing libraries were lawfully established.

The bill is not expected to change any current conditions and it passed unanimously.

10 3/7/2019 HB 4244 Passage I voted for House Bill 4244, a supplemental appropriation for the Natural Resources Trust Fund: $26 million for 34 recreational development projects and 30 acquisition projects statewide. I worked with Rep. Webber to secure $228,400 to develop the Northern Trailhead for the Paint Creek Trail in Oakland Township, which will provide a new access point, parking and rest facilities for trail users to enjoy the scenic statewide Iron Belle Trail system. We also secured $300,000 for Orion Township to develop additional trail along the south side of East Clarkston Road to connect to the Paint Creek Trail near Kern Road. The project will fill a critical gap in the Iron Belle Trail route and connect the Polly Ann Trail with the Paint Creek Trail. A Transportation Alternatives Grant Program through the Michigan Department of Transportation will also be supporting the project. When complete, visitors will be able to roam pristine pathways and boardwalks over Oakland County’s most-cherished wetlands and forested land. The Paint Creek Trail junction will connect trail users to a variety of alternative paths and bring in more visitors to support Orion Township.

The bill passed unanimously.

11 & 12 3/7/2019 HBs 4066 & 4067 Passage I voted for House Bills 4066 and 4067, which would allow schools to install manual fire alarms further inside the schools where there is a vestibule. Schools that have a vestibule or waiting area may currently be out of compliance if the manual fire alarm is installed inside the main part of the school and not in the vestibule. Requiring a manual fire alarm to be located in a potentially small waiting area by an exit could slow down the evacuation process in the event of an emergency.

This is a common sense rule fix and it passed unanimously.

13 3/7/2019 SB 87 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 87, which would restore the 95A district court in Menominee County, which was slated for removal. The 2012 Judicial Resources Recommendation called for its removal but local felony caseloads have risen since that recommendation. Under the bill, the county would retain its 1 district judge instead of sharing one with two other counties.

It passed unanimously.

14 3/12/2019 HB 4112 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4112, which would require alcohol licensees post a sign “informing” the public that drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects. This is totally unnecessary (alcohol already has warning labels) and insulting to the public. The insult is compounded by the required condescending wording: “Pregnancy and alcohol do not mix.”

It passed 100 – 10.

15 3/12/2019 HB 4286 Passage I proudly voted for House Bill 4286, which would appropriate $10 million for the compensation of victims of wrongful imprisonment and require quarterly reports from the Attorney General on payments made, settlements, denied claims, and the balance of the fund. The state owes the wrongfully convicted the compensation that state law demands.

It passed unanimously.

16 – 19 3/12/2019 HBs 4129 – 4132 Passage I voted for House Bills 4129 – 4132, which would allow parole boards to parole “medically frail” prisoners to a medical facility for the length of their parole term. These are elderly prisoners with chronic or severe health conditions that require constant expensive care, currently funded by the Department of Corrections. It’s far more cost effective to take care of someone inside a medical facility than a prison, and under the bill, they would likely qualify for Medicaid. This would save taxpayers money (an estimated $4,000 per prisoner per year). The bills include protections to ensure public safety, protect victims’ rights, and restrict the option to only those prisoners that pose a minimal public safety risk. It also allows the prosecuting attorney or victim to object to the parole board’s decision and appeal to the sentencing judge. Prisoners would not have their sentences ended prematurely; they would complete their sentences in a nursing home or hospital rather than a prison.

The bills passed 104 – 6, 104 – 6, 110 – 0, and 108 – 2.

20 3/19/2019 HB 4055 Passage I voted for House Bill 4055, which would require that property taxes be paid on a parcel before being divided. Currently, local governments may have difficulty collecting delinquent property taxes when a parcel is split and new parcel numbers are created.

It passed unanimously.

21 3/19/2019 HB 4060 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4060, which would designate a portion of M-10 in Detroit the “Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway.” Highway memorial bills are to honor our fallen heroes, soldiers and police officers, whose names might otherwise slip from our collective memory but whose sacrifice should be remembered. Aretha Franklin was a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and is among the top-selling recording artists of all time. She will be a part of Detroit history forever. I don’t support the Memorial Highway Act being used in this way.

The bill passed 101 – 6.

22 – 30 3/19/2019 HBs 4007 – 4016 Passage I voted for House Bills 4007 through 4016, which are similar to bills passed in 2017, that would create a new Legislative Open Records Act to provide for public inspection of records of the legislature and the governor beginning next year. As they did two years ago, all of the bills passed unanimously. (The package did not pass the Senate in the previous term.) The bills largely mirror current provisions in the Freedom of Information Act, with some reasonable exceptions. This would greatly expand transparency for both the legislature and governor. As President James Madison said, “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both.”

The bills passed unanimously.

31 3/19/2019 SB 3 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 3, which would allow court officers and deputy sheriffs to execute writs of restitution (eg evictions) and specifies the procedure for removing occupants and personal property from the premises. Current law does not specify who can be authorized to carry out the eviction or what to do with the property. Often property left on the curb and is frequently stolen. This will ensure evictions are executed by court officers trained in proper procedure.

It passed 106 – 1.

32 3/20/2019 HB 4077 Passage I voted for House Bill 4077, which would move of the effective start and end dates for a commercial rehabilitation certificate if the qualified local government failed to forward the application to the State Tax Commission. This became an issue when a company received timely approval for a commercial rehabilitation exemption certificate from the City of Flint, but the City filed the application late, causing the taxable value of a property to reflect the 2018 value rather than the 2017 value. It wasn’t the fault of the business and all parties involved intended for the tax abatement to be realized.

The bill passed 102 – 4.

33 & 34 3/20/2019 HBs 4366 & 4367 Passage I voted for House Bills 4366 and 4367, which would allow trained library employees to administer opioid antagonists and provide some liability protection for those doing so. Because public libraries are open to all and offer solitude for extended periods, they are tragically becoming places for people to take opioids. The bills only create voluntary provisions and might help libraries cope with this emerging crisis. It’s sad what this has come to.

The bills passed unanimously.

35 3/20/2019 HB 4296 Passage I voted for House Bill 4296, which would extend the sunset on e-filing court fees another ten years, through February 2031. The e-filing system was created in 2015 to implement statewide electronic filing for Michigan courts. The fees, which range from $5 for small claims to $25 for circuit, probate, and appeals courts, fund the entire e-filing system. E-filing improves service to the public, increases access to courts, and reduces the cost of filing for litigants.

The bill passed unanimously.

36 4/09/2019 HB 4014 Passage I voted for House Bill 4014, which is part of the Legislative Open Records Act package we passed month, to provide for public inspection of records of the legislature and the governor beginning next year. The sponsor of this bill was in the hospital when the package was voted on, so the vote on it was postponed (she has made a full recovery).

The bill passed 109 – 0.

37 – 42 4/09/2019 HBs 4102 – 4107 Passage I voted for House Bills 4102 through 4107, which would include cryptocurrency as a form of currency as it is defined in various crimes. This is essentially to keep up with technology since the old definitions of money simply did not include cryptocurrency. This created a loophole for people engaging in criminals acts like drug trafficking, embezzlement, and money laundering.

The bills passed 108 – 1.

43 4/09/2019 HB 4185 Passage I voted for House Bill 4185, which would add “real property” to the provision in the penal code on malicious destruction of police and fire department property. Currently, the law only prohibits the destruction of “personal property,” so, for example, a defendant’s breaking of a window of a county jail is not destruction of “personal property” and therefore not illegal under the section prohibiting malicious destruction of police property. (This example actually happened.) This bill would ensure consistent treatment for malicious destruction of police and fire department property.

The bill passed 105 – 4.

44 4/10/2019 HB 4226 Passage I voted for House Bill 4226, which would cap the redemption fee that may be charged to a borrower reclaiming his property at $250. That is on top of the sale price of the property, the interest from the purchaser’s mortgage, the $50 sheriff’s fee, back taxes, liens, and so on. The $250 is for the purchaser’s designee’s trouble in calculating the total amount required to redeem the property. The issue is that the designee can currently set this price arbitrarily high and the redeeming owner has no avenue to challenge the amount of the fee. This would enable a purchaser to essentially block a redemption by setting an exorbitant fee. $250 is reasonable and homeowners going through the hardship of foreclosure. shouldn’t be ripped off at the moment they are saving their homes.

The bill passed 108 – 1.

45 4/11/2019 HB 4121 Passage I voted for House Bill 4121, which would make permanent a bill that will expire at the end of this coming June that would allow county treasurers to continue to enter into tax foreclosure avoidance agreements with property owners for terms of up to five years. This is a successful program that has helped countless citizens avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.

It passed unanimously.

46 & 47 4/11/2019 HBs 4224 & 4225 Passage I voted for House Bills 4224 and 4225, which would exempt hospices from a law we passed last term to require a “bona fide doctor-patient relationship” (defined by certain requirements) be established before a doctor could prescribe opioids. I was one of only 8 members of the House that voted against passing that law (SB 270 of 2017) at the time, concerned about unintended consequences, and I noted it was a violation of medical freedom and privacy. Shortly after its passage, we discovered, sure enough, this would cause suffering to many people in hospice care. These bills exempt hospices to relieve the suffering of those individuals.

The bills passed unanimously.

48 4/11/2019 SB 203 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 203, which would clarify that “applicants” for cannabis business licenses include managing employees, partners, spouse, and those holding a 10% or greater ownership interest. This reverted a recently-changed definition that would have otherwise required the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board to perform criminal background checks on each and every personal involved with a prospective facility, rather than only those with a 10% or more interest.

It passed 109 – 1.

49 4/16/2019 HB 4051 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4051, which would create a “CARES” (Community, Access, Resources, Education, and Safety) hotline at a cost of $1 million to $2.5 million annually to operate. The hotline would refer individuals who do not know where to turn for help to local services or health facilities with available providers. It’s not clear to me that the public would even know about it, and use it if they did. We already have a 2-1-1 hotline that connects people to community services, crisis services, healthcare, and many other types of community support.

The bill passed 99 – 8.

50 4/16/2019 HB 4156 Passage I voted for House Bill 4156, which would allow retired mental health professionals to return to work without forfeiting their pension benefits. This would help address the shortage of mental health professionals. Those retirees earned and deserve their pension and that should not disqualify them from being able to work for pay.

It passed unanimously.

51 4/17/2019 HB 4206 Passage I voted for House Bill 4206, which would make an exception to the required minimum number of school days due to the brutal winter we had with many more snow days than usual. It would allow districts to count a day as pupil instruction in the event the school was closed due to a declared state of emergency. School districts have construction projects waiting to be started as soon as school ends for the summer and those need to be completed before school starts again in the fall. Districts shouldn’t be punished for unpredictable weather emergencies.

It passed 101 – 7.

52 4/18/2019 HB 4440 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4440, which would prevent an applicant for a medical marijuana facility from receiving a license if they had operated the facility with an invalid license as of this June. Since passing medical (and now recreational) marijuana laws, the state has had ongoing problems with licensing these facilities. In January, 72 unlicensed medical marihuana facilities were shut down by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Subsequently, the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board adopted a resolution to allow unlicensed facilities to reopen until March 31st while the department worked through the backlog of applicants. Three different lawsuits were filed in the Court of Claims against the state by unlicensed facilities. On March 28th, the Court of Claims issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the state from shutting down unlicensed facilities until the case can be decided. This legislation would essentially force these facilities to shut down until this litigation and licensing is worked through (which could take an unknown number of months if not years). It’s unfair to force these facilities out of business and this legislation may amount to “guild protection” for those currently licensed.

The bill passed 102 – 4.

53 4/23/2019 HB 4440 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4118, which would authorize unposted 25 mph speed limits on non-subdivision streets. In 2016, we passed legislation with stronger requirements to post realistic and safer speed limits on most main collectors, arterials, and highways. A key provision was excluding main collector and arterial streets running adjacent to or between subdivisions from being part of them and subject to statutory and unposted 25 mph speed limits. It was no longer legal to set speed limits below the 50% percentile speeds of traffic since doing so defines over half of drivers as violators. Michigan does not have 50% bad drivers. This bill would allow 25 mph limits where no speed limits are posted and most drivers, likely unaware of the new law, would be unfairly ticketed for exceeding a low and unposted speed limit they have no reasonable expectation of knowing.

It passed 106 – 4.

54 4/24/2019 HB 4440 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 2, which would require a criminal conviction before proceeding with civil asset forfeiture. This is the latest of several bills on this issue, all of which I supported. You can’t take someone’s property if you haven’t even charged them with a crime.

It passed 107 – 3.

55 – 70 4/25/2019 HBs 4133 – 4146, 4443 & 4452 Passage “I voted for House Bills 4133-4146 and 4443 and 4452, which amend various laws to make it so that 17-year-old are not automatically charged with crimes as adults. Michigan is one of just four states that automatically charges all 17-year-olds as adults, no matter the severity of the crime. This would not prevent minors who commit violent crimes from being prosecuted as adults. Prosecutors will continue to have some discretion, allowing them to place minors who commit violent crimes into the adult system when it’s appropriate. We should seek to a more standard delineation between juveniles and adults, and 18 is the age of majority. This would keep most 17-year-old offenders in the juvenile justice system, allowing them to receive age-appropriate rehabilitation services and education.

The bills passed by a range of 101 – 9 to 109 – 1.

71 & 72 4/25/2019 SBs 122 & 202 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 122 and 202, which would maintain the current percentage that teacher evaluations take “student growth” into consideration at 25%. Since the 2015-16 school year, 25 percent of the annual year-end evaluation has been based on student growth and assessment data. Beginning in the current school year, the percentage is set to increase from 25% to 40%. There is a lack of evidence showing student growth indicates teacher effectiveness and most states use it as a factor at or below 25%, if at all. It’s not good to constantly whipsaw our schools by changing the evaluation standards, and these bills would keep things the same, if only for one more year.

They passed 109 – 1.

73 & 74 4/25/2019 HBs 4001 & 4002 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 4001 and 4002, which I voted for previously, to require a criminal conviction before proceeding with civil asset forfeiture. The Senate gave the bills immediate effect, and for some reason removed language from one bill and moved it into the other.

Concurrence passed 107 – 3.

75 & 76 4/30/2019 HBs 4152 & 4153 Passage I voted for House Bills 4152 and 4153, which would provide that an individual born to unmarried parents prior to 1979 would be able to search for their birth record at their local registrar at no additional fee. Before October 1, 1978, if a child was born to unmarried parents, the birth certificate would only be filed with the state registrar, which costs more time, money, and travel to obtain. This legislation would make it possible for them to obtain the records locally by having their local registrar obtain the information from the state.

It passed unanimously.

77 5/1/2019 HB 4206 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4206, to not require schools make up some of the days missed due to snow emergencies this past winter. The Senate removed a provision that would have required schools pay hourly employees for the days they did not work. Local school districts would still have this option. If the concurrence vote failed, schools would likely have had to make up those missed days, extending the school year into late June.

Concurrence passed 56 – 53.

78 & 79 5/2/2019 HBs 4031 & 4032 Passage I voted for House Bills 4031 and 4032, which would simplify and generally reduce the fees parolees and probationers pay to a flat $30 monthly fee or $60 for supervision involving tethering systems. The fees would be waived for indigent persons. Currently, the courts use a sliding scale that assesses fees based on projected monthly income, up to $135 per month for those earning $2700 per month or more. Currently those on tether could be charged as much as $555 a month. Reducing supervision fees will result in more offenders being able to pay them.

The bills passed unanimously.

80 5/2/2019 HB 4120 Passage I voted for House Bill 4120, which would allow county road commissions to finance the purchase of property over 30 years instead of the current limit of 15 years. Giving county road commissions more flexibility on property purchase payments will allow for more money to be spent directly on road repairs.While this could potentially lead to more long-term financial liability, this is the road commissions’ responsibility and road repairs are urgently needed today.

The bill passed 103 – 6.

81 5/7/2019 HB 4131 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4131, which I voted for previously, making it a misdemeanor to assist a parolee in attempting to leave a medical facility in which the parolee has agreed to be placed as a condition of parole. This was part of the package allowing for paroling the medically frail to hospitals. The Senate clarified that this does not apply to nursing staff performing required duties.

Concurrence passed 109 – 1.

82 & 83 5/7/2019 HBs 4304 & 4305 Passage I voted for House Bills 4304 and 4305, which would update state law for child support orders to bring it in compliance with federal rules by allowing the use of public health coverage for a child who is subject to a support order by a parent subject to the support order. In December 2016 the federal government changed the definition of healthcare in a rule to include public healthcare coverage. This means that public coverage is now an option to parents that cannot afford or do not have access to private healthcare coverage through an employer or self-employed plan. Michigan law does not currently reflect these changes and does not allow for public health coverage as an option in child support orders. This change was needed to maintain compliance with federal law and not risk losing $400 million in federal funding.

It passed unanimously.

84 5/9/2019 HB 4397 Passage I voted for House Bill 4397, to reform Michigan’s auto insurance law that has caused Michiganders to pay by far the highest auto insurance prices in the country. Auto insurance is one of the only, if not the only, instances where the government requires people to buy the “highest tier” of a given product. Under the new plan, people will be able to choose between $50,000, $250,000, $500,000 or unlimited medical coverage. If an injured driver who was not at fault reaches their coverage limit they would be able to sue the at-fault driver for medical and economic damages. It also creates a fee schedule for No Fault medical benefits and attendant care benefits based on the Workers Comp fee schedule. There are additional details I will explain in depth in my next monthly e-newsletter. Our car insurance system is the largest issue holding our state back from further growth. For each day that passes without long-overdue change, some Michigan families are left with the tough decision of either putting food on the table or properly insuring their car. That’s the nightmare some of our constituents are stuck living in. The House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates gave everyone an opportunity to discuss solutions and after 4 months of an open process we came up with a genuine solution to make car insurance affordable for all Michigan motorists.

It passed 61 – 49. Thank you, Speaker Chatfield and Chairman Wentworth, for your leadership on this critical issue.

85 & 86 5/14/2019 HBs 4320 & 4321 Passage I voted for House Bills 4320 and 4321, which would prohibit abortion by dismemberment. As described by an abortionist before the House Judiciary Committee, in dismemberment abortion “the fetal parts are removed using forceps or grasping tools until the uterus is completely emptied.” Asked to clarify in what order “fetal parts” were removed, the doctor responded that the “parts” are removed in “whatever order is safest for the mother,” typically “whatever is closest to the opening.” Usually performed in the second trimester, these “fetal parts” are the limbs of a developing baby being torn off, hence the term. Dismemberment abortion is a brutal and barbaric procedure, carried out with wanton disregard for the suffering of the child being killed. While the Supreme Court has disgracefully legalized the killing of unborn children, the very least we can do for these developing babies is to end their lives humanely.

The bills passed 58 – 51.

87 5/14/2019 HB 4045 Passage I voted for House Bill 4045, which would increase the maximum bounty a county can offer for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a person posing a threat to public safety. The $2,000 was limit established in 1927 and money is worth far less today due to the Federal Reserve. HB 4045 would increase the limit to $20,000. No county is ever obligated to offer a reward; this just gives them the option to offer more.

It passed unanimously.

88 5/14/2019 HB 4306 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4306, which would require advertised foreclosure notices include the address of the property and contact information of the foreclosing attorney, as well as additional notices such as the fact that the foreclosing attorney is a debt collector and that homeowners can contact MSDHA to find resources to assist them. Most of these details are already standard practice, and as the Michigan Poverty Law Program noted in its testimony, not one homeowner reported to them that he or she was notified of the foreclosure by picking up the newspaper. They receive the notices from a letter they receive from the foreclosing attorney. Moreover, including a street address could help foreclosure rescue scammers locate distressed homeowners and target them with false promises of saving their home. I am concerned that it was newspapers that appeared to support the bill (they make money from these required publications) and no poverty or housing advocates.

It passed 107 – 2.

89 5/14/2019 HB 4510 Passage I voted for House Bill 4510, which would require the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to allow variations to safety equipment on an elevator if the director of the agency believes that reasonable safety will be secured. This would allow for quicker processing of applications for changes to update existing elevators. Some hotels have been required to shut down several of their elevators which, if built new today, would meet all requirements and generally be approved, but because the ASME safety code state that any alteration to an elevator not specifically covered in the rules shall not diminish the level of safety below what it was prior to alteration. This is an unnecessary and burdensome regulation hurting local businesses with elevators.

The bill passed 57 – 52.

90 5/15/2019 SB 106 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 106, which would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and make it illegal for a minor to possess e-cigarettes and their components, and for furnishing these products to minors. This does not classify them as tobacco products. While these nicotine extracts may not have the same harmful effects as smoking tobacco, nicotine is the addictive chemical that will lead many to then take up smoking. Of course, most smokers begin as minors.

The bill passed 100 – 9.

91 5/15/2019 SB 155 Passage I voted no on Senate Bill 155, which would require child safety features on liquid nicotine containers and require stores to keep e-cigarette and vaping products in a locked case. I don’t generally support these kinds of cumbersome rules for businesses to follow, and as Rep. Beau LaFave (who is an amputee) noted, they burden people with disabilities.

It passed 99 – 10.

92 5/16/2019 HB 4227 Passage I voted for House Bill 4227, which would create an advisory-only committee to study the future of mineral mining in Michigan, similar to a strategic committee formed in Minnesota in 2004 whose reports helped guide long-term and sustainable mining goals there. The committee is required to issue a final report within 2 years after enactment, dissolves the committee 60 days after that, and this act repealed 90 days later. The committee would consist of ten members appointed by the governor.

The bill passed 107 – 1.

93 5/21/2019 HB 4056 Passage I voted for House Bill 4056, which would allow properly trained state and local correction officers to carry and administer opioid agonists. Prescription drug abuse has become one of the fast growing public health concerns. With the ever-increasing number of opiates on the market, the likelihood of a person overdosing continues to rise. Corrections officers should have the same tools and medications police officers and emergency service personnel have to respond to drug overdoses.

It passed unanimously.

94 5/21/2019 HB 4095 Passage My legislation to allow more children (10 instead of 6) into residential foster homes on large (20+ acre) parcels were passed by the House with more than two-thirds voting in support! If the Senate approves and Governor Whitmer signs it into law, this is one small but tremendous step we can take to address the foster care crisis in Michigan. This common-sense bipartisan legislation has faced surprising hurdles at every step, but throughout the process, Local Government Chairman Representative Jim Lower helped move this legislation forward to do the right thing for these needy children.

Thank you Representative Lower for your hard work and support for this bill.

95 – 97 5/22/2019 HBs 4189 – 4191 Passage I voted for House Bills 4189 through 4191, which would prohibit the MEDC and Strategic Fund (corporate welfare agencies) from amending any outstanding “MEGA” tax credit agreements if doing so would increase the liability to the state or extend the duration of the agreements, but allow existing benefits to be transferred in the event of an acquisition. These bills limit the financial liability to the state by capping the value and reducing the duration of the credits, and the remaining credits that were already awarded to an existing company should not be relinquished because a company changes hands. This helps preserve Michigan jobs without costing taxpayers more money.

The bills passed 106 – 3.

98 & 99 5/24/2019 HBs 4444 & 4445 Passage I voted for House Bills 4444 and 4445, which would update the state Freedom of Information Act to allow state agencies make public records available in an electronic format to meet the publishing requirement and expand the definition of non-paper media to include all media, not just “computer discs” and “computer tapes.” This is a common sense update for technology to allow a transition to faster and more cost-effective media.

The bills passed unanimously.

100 5/24/2019 HB 4434 Passage I voted for House Bill 4434, which would lower the penalty for carrying a handgun with an expired Conceal Pistol License to be a civil infraction as long as the CPL is expired less than one year and the person is still eligible to renew the CPL. Also, the fine would be waived if the license is updated within 60. Under current law, carrying with a CPL that is lapsed even one day is a felony, which is wildly unreasonable and inappropriate for what is essentially a paperwork error. This bill would make it a simple “fix it ticket” for honest, well-intended people who are qualified to carry a handgun (and frankly should not need permission from the government to do so in the first place.) This is an important piece of mind protection for all responsible CPL holders.

It passed 90 – 19. I salute Rep. Matt Hall for his leadership on this issue.

101 5/24/2019 HB 4331 Passage I voted for House Bill 4331, which would allow people to transport loaded firearms in any vehicle, including ATVs, on private land as long as they are accompanied by or have permission from the landowner. Currently, people are prohibited from transporting or possessing a loaded firearm in or upon a vehicle, unless the firearm is unloaded and enclosed in a case, or unloaded and carried in the trunk of a vehicle, or unloaded in a motorized boat. This would bring Michigan into compliance with the Second Amendment. A hunter with a firearm who is simply traveling to or from a blind on private property is doing nothing wrong. This bill would also benefit farmers as well as hunters; farmers often need easy access to a firearm to protect crops and livestock from nuisance animals.

The bill passed 67 – 42.

102 5/24/2019 HB 4407 Passage I voted for House Bill 4407, which would allow a district court magistrate to hear and preside over civil infractions under the state’s marijuana laws. Currently, magistrates can’t do this, so these issues must go before a judge. This will save court and taxpayer costs in resolving these violations.

It passed 108 – 1.

103 5/24/2019 HB 4249 Passage I voted for House Bill 4249, which would codify the current rules for multi-line phone systems and limit the authority of the public service commission to make new rules. The proposed new rules, which would require every phone terminal in an office transmit exact location data to police in a 9-1-1 call, would impose millions in new compliance costs when a caller currently can just tell the operator his or her location. This is unnecessary new red tape on rapidly aging landline technology.

The bill passed 106 – 3.

104 5/24/2019 HB 4412 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4412, to prohibit the sale of dextromethorphan (DXM), a cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medicines, to minors. While DXM is technically an opioid, it has no effect on pain reduction, does not act on the opioid receptors, and is not addictive. DXM has been around since the 1950s and it’s not at all clear that the drug which the FDA says is safe and effective and the DEA does not regulate has risen to the level to require policing by the state and additional rules for retailers.

The bill passed 104 – 5.

105 5/24/2019 SB 1 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 1, to overhaul Michigan’s auto insurance law. This is similar to House Bill 4397 passed weeks earlier, but with various compromises made with the governor that unfortunately will provide less rate relief and restrict the consumer choices in the House version of the bill. The biggest change is that instead of providing a consistent fee schedule uniformly applied at the Workers Compensation rate, the new fee schedule won’t take effect for another two years and most of the treatments would be compensated at 190% of the Medicare rate (which is about 40% higher than Worker’s Compensation). The option to opt out of personal injury coverage was eliminated for drivers unless they are on Medicare or have private health insurance covering their entire household including auto coverage and a deductible lower than $6,000 per person. (In other words, those that most need rate relief can’t get it.) The 50k coverage option was eliminated except for those on Medicaid. Everyone else must have at least $250k in personal injury coverage (by comparison, New York requires $50k, New Jersey requires $15k, Florida requires $10k, and Massachusetts requires $8k). Because of the inflated fee schedule, the rate rollbacks were reduced, so where the House-passed bill offered a 60% PIP rate rollback on the $250k coverage option, the compromise bill offered only a 35% reduction. While I’m disappointed the governor has weakened the legislation with these changes, this is still an improvement for Michigan motorists and the first chance we’ve had in a long time to offer some rate relief.

The bill passed 94 – 15.

106 6/4/2019 SB 239 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 239, which would allow mortuary science students to perform embalming under the supervision of a licensed mortician. Currently, on licensed morticians and resident trainees are allowed to perform embalmings. Hands-on experience is an important aspect of training and the law shouldn’t discourage these activities. Also, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has adopted the American Board of Funeral Services Education manual which requires students to perform embalmings. This is in conflict with current law that prohibits students from performing embalmings.

The bill passed unanimously.

107 6/4/2019 HB 4397 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4397, to reform Michigan’s auto insurance law. Since Senate Bill 1, which would also reform auto insurance, was signed by the governor, this substitute bill removes most of the original language that was passed by the House and replaces it with specific sections that required updated language. This new language was technical in nature; for example, section 3135 of SB 1 codified the legal precedent pertaining to the verbal threshold of death, serious impairment of body, or permanent serious disfigurement. An enacting section was added to give effect to this court decision. This section was intended for SB 1 but was not included. I am disappointed that in compromising with the governor the original version of this bill was significantly weakened, but this is the best we could do.

Concurrence passed 89 – 20.

108 & 109 6/6/2019 HBs 4549 & 4550 Passage I voted for House Bills 4549 and 4550, which would allow child welfare caseworkers access to confidential records for the children and families they work with. They would also allow national accreditation programs to access confidential information while doing onsite visits at a child welfare agency. Current law is not clear on access to confidential information by caseworkers. Without this access, caseworkers might not be aware of critical information. For example, a child in foster care may have a condition that needs medication. Without access to medical records, the caseworker may not know that the medication is required for the child’s health.

The bills passed unanimously.

110 6/6/2019 SB 150 Passage I voted no on Senate Bill 150, which would spend $28.7 million for various unrelated purposes, some of which I have a problem with. It would provide $5 million for radio, TV, and gas station ads to encourage the “hardest to reach” populations to participate in the census, $400,000 for the Attorney General investigation into the Catholic clergy to preserve documents, $2 million to subsidize fruit and vegetable purchases with SNAP benefits, and $5 million to “implement recreational marijuana,” among other things. It did include good things, such as $163,000 for tornado damage relief in Shiawassee County and the long-overdue appropriation of $10 million for wrongfully convicted prisoner compensation, which I strongly supported as a stand-alone bill, but I do not support rolling their owed compensation to a “must-pass” spending bill where we are forced to vote on all of this or none of it.

It passed 107 – 2.

111 6/11/2019 SB 112 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 112, which would clarify who can make a determination that property has been abandoned (such as in an eviction). This would allow a court officer, bailiff, sheriff, or deputy sheriff (as well as the owner, as is now permitted) to make a good-faith determination that the tenant has abandoned the premises and after a diligent inquiry has reason to believe the tenant does not intend to return and current rent is unpaid. This will protect property owners and tenants by allowing a neutral party to verify that property is abandoned.

The bill passed unanimously.

112 – 116 6/11/2019 HBs 4229, 4231, 4238, 4615 – 4616 Passage I voted for House Bills 4229, 4231, 4238, 4615, and 4616, which are budget bills for the Departments of Agriculture, Corrections, Judiciary, State Police, and Military and Veterans Affairs, respectively. This is an early step in the budget negotiation process; details will later be negotiated with the Senate and Governor Whitmer. The governor asked taxpayers for more money for several new government programs. Instead, we’re taking a hard look at state government spending and finding even more ways to deliver better value for hardworking taxpayers. That will be our priority as the budget process continues. We are asking many state departments to find a savings of 3 percent in their administrative budgets. That is money for bureaucrats in Lansing, not programs in our local communities.

The votes were largely along party lines but we anticipate compromises will be made as the process continues.

117 – 121 6/12/2019 HBs 4230, 4234 – 4235, 4237, 4239 Passage I voted for House Bills 4230, 4234, 4235, 4237, and 4239, which are budget bills for community colleges, general government, and the Departments of Health and Human Services, Insurance and Financial Services, and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This is an early step in the budget negotiations.

The votes were largely along party lines but we anticipate compromises will be made as the process continues.

122 6/12/2019 SB 129 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 129, which would allow a local government to prohibit intentionally using drones in a manner that interferes with commercial use of horses, and only then if the government also prohibits the use of motor vehicles (i.e. this would only apply to Mackinac Island). Law enforcement, utilities, insurance adjusters, and licensed news reporters are exempted. Harassing the island’s horses with a drone can startle them and put the public at risk, and intentionally interfering with commerce is generally unlawful anyway.

The bill passed 95 – 12.

123 6/13/2019 HB 4367 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4367, which originally would allow properly trained library employees to administer opioid agonists. The Senate expanded the bill to include all government officials.

Concurrence passed unanimously.

124 – 129 6/13/2019 HBs 4232 – 4233, 4236, 4241 – 4242, 4246 Passage I voted for House Bills 4232, 4233, 4236, 4241, 4242, and 4246, which are budget bills for education, natural resources, environmental quality, and transportation. As with the other budget bills, this is just the first step in what will be extended negotiations with the Senate and governor, but there is a lot to like here, especially in the transportation budget, which would fund our roads without an enormous gas tax hike.

The bills passed with between 56 and 58 votes in support and 51 – 53 opposing.

130 – 132 6/13/2019 SBs 200, 282 – 283 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 200, 282, and 283, which are part of the Administration of Opioid Antagonists Act package. These update various references to comply with the terms of HB 4367, which we voted on recently, to allow properly trained government officials to administer opioid antagonists.

The bills passed unanimously.

133 & 134 6/13/2019 SBs 192 & 193 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 192 and 193, which would allow those with nighttime disabilities to receive daytime-only driver licenses and waive the 10-hour nighttime driving requirement. Currently, people who are unable to drive at night due to a medical condition cannot meet the 10-hour nighttime driving requirement to be eligible to receive their driver’s license. This would allow people with nighttime disabilities to learn to drive and receive a license.

The bills passed 106 – 3.

135 – 143 6/19/2019 HBs 4229, 4231 – 4232, 4236, 4238 – 4239, 4241 – 4242 Concurrence I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendments to the various budget bills, as did all of my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle. This is a standard procedural vote that triggers the creation of the “conference committee” where the House and Senate get together to negotiate the differences. The budget negotiations will continue.
144 6/19/2019 HB 4509 Passage I voted for House Bill 4509, which would allow an LLC comprised of only one or two people to be represented in an eviction case by one of its members if that person has direct and personal knowledge of the facts of the case, subject to a few conditions, rather than having to hire an attorney. This would simplify legal proceedings and save money for small, family-owned property management companies. The facts of an eviction case are often very straightforward (e.g. the tenant hasn’t paid rent) and shouldn’t require an attorney.

It passed 62 – 47.

145, 148, 152 6/19/2019 HBs 4374 & 4383 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4374 and 4383, which would make it criminal for someone to intentionally use their professional position of authority to prevent, or attempt, another from reporting criminal sexual conduct to police or a Title IX coordinator at a college. These bills are clearly aimed at addressing the Michigan State University sexual abuse scandal, but while we cannot change the past, we need to consider whether this would actually prevent someone from interfering with reporting a sex crime. It’s hard to imagine a predator involved in a sexual abuse conspiracy would be deterred from preventing another from reporting the crimes because that would be an additional offense. Instead of putting a new and very specific law on the books, a better approach would have been to reexamine our extortion law and ensure that all attempts to coerce another into not reporting a crime be covered.

The bills passed 108 – 1.

146 & 149 6/19/2019 HBs 4376 & 4108 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4376 and 4108, which would make athletic trainers and physical therapists “mandatory reporters” required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the Child Protective Services (CPS). I’m not generally comfortable with the notion that someone should be sanctioned or fired for failing to initiate a criminal investigation against another person, but at least those currently required to make these reports — police, doctors, childcare providers — are likely to be trained to identify child abuse. Most physical therapists don’t work with children. It’s an odd notion that there are athletic trainers and physical therapists out there that see child abuse but do not report it because they are not required to. This is an effort to address the MSU sexual abuse scandal but it’s not clear to me that these bills would prevent such a thing from happening again.

They passed 106 – 3 and 107 – 2 respectively.

147 6/19/2019 HB 4377 Passage I voted for House Bill 4377, which would require the Department of Health and Human Services create and distribute training materials for mandatory child abuse reporters and require their employers to make these materials available to them. It is important that DHHS make their requirements known to those affected by the requirement, and it’s not a great burden on employers to simply share documents with their employees.

It passed unanimously.

150 6/19/2019 HB 4451 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4451, which would require insurers cover prescription eye drop refills if 23 days have passed from the most recent refill or prescription distribution, or if 75% of dosage has been consumed according to the prescription. Reportedly this is because have trouble taking eye drops and run out of the medicine early due to spillage. Why should the insurer be required to pay for this?

It passed 105 – 4.

151 6/19/2019 HB 4408 Passage I voted for House Bill 4408, which would allow a Parks and Rec board that does not levy taxes to be audited only once every two years instead of every year. The current auditing requirement is burdensome when they are operating on a small budget and this will save them money that can be used on providing more park services instead of being consumed complying with an annual audit.

It passed unanimously.

153 – 160 6/19/2019 SBs 134, 137 – 139, 141, 144, 147, 149 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 134, 137, 138, 139, 141, 144, 147, and 149. These are various departmental budgets for the upcoming year. 134 was community colleges, 137 was DEQ, 138 was general government, 139 was DHHS, 141 was DIFS, 144 was military/veterans affairs, 147 was state police, and 149 was transportation. These are all procedural votes on the Senate budget that will later be negotiated with the House and Governor. The bills all passed essentially on party lines.

The budget process continues.

161 6/19/2019 SB 294 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 294, which would exempt the interior space of an outdoor viewing area from the heating requirement in the construction code. Without this, schools would have to divert resources towards heating these structures or else tear them down. This is unnecessary and adds costs to schools for a structure that isn’t often used.

The bill passed 57 – 52.

162 6/19/2019 SB 128 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 128, which would change the definition of a “bona fide doctor-patient relationship” by adding the definition of telehealth.

This was a technical update and passed unanimously.

163 6/20/2019 HB 4234 Concurrence I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4234, which was converted from a budget bill into a $15 million farm bailout. Understandably, it’s unfortunate for farmers that we had a very rainy spring that has harmed them, but every industry has unexpected, uncontrollable events that impact them, and it’s not to only give one particular industry special treatment when these matters are typically addressed by insurers.

Concurrence passed 99 – 6.

164 & 165 6/20/2019 HBs 4728 – 4729 Passage I voted for House Bills 4728 and 4729, which were the combined budget plans for the House. This is the compiled version of all of the departmental budget bills we passed and this, again, is a procedural vote to bring negotiations forward.

It passed along party lines, 57 – 52.

166 6/20/2019 HB 4223 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4223, which would require children to receive dental screenings before entering kindergarten and create a dental oral assessment program to administer the screenings. This would cost the Department of Health and Human Services millions of dollars annually to police parents. This is unnecessary and overbearing.

It passed 93 – 16.

167 6/20/2019 HB 4121 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4121, to eliminate the sunset on tax foreclosure avoidance agreements, which I voted for previously. The Senate changed the bill to extend the sunset by seven more years rather than eliminate it entirely.

Concurrence passed unanimously.

168 6/20/2019 HB 4225 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4225, which I voted for previously, to exempt patients in hospice care for the “bona fide doctor-patient relationship” required under a recent law to prescribe opioids. The Senate version changed the tie-bar on another bill from the House to a Senate bill (this makes no difference, but the Senate sponsor gets the credit for the bill becoming a law).

Concurrence passed unanimously.

169 6/20/2019 HB 4227 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4227, which I voted for previously, to create an advisory committee at no cost to study the future of minerals mining in Michigan. The Senate simply updated the name of the Department of Environmental Quality to reflect its new name, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

Concurrence passed 108 – 1.

170 6/20/2019 HB 4694 Passage I voted for House Bill 4694, which would allow retired teachers to serve as renewal coaches or high impact leadership facilitators for grant-funded projects without impacting their retirement. There is a shortage of people to fill these critical roles and I don’t see a conflict in someone who has already earned and is collecting retirement pay from also working for pay.

It passed 102 – 7.

171 6/20/2019 HB 4411 Passage I voted for House Bill 4411, which would allow a credit service organization to not perform agreed-upon services within 90 days if the agreement may be canceled by the buyer, the buyer agrees to periodic payments for ongoing services, and the agreement involves the improvement of one’s credit over time. Current, a credit services organization is required to perform an agreed-upon service with no exceptions, even if the buyer doesn’t want the services and the organization is providing ongoing services.

The bill passed 108 – 1.

172 & 173 6/20/2019 HBs 4069 & 4465 Passage I voted for House Bills 4069 and 4465, which would clarify that alternative energy systems aren’t taxed as property. The General Property Tax Act already excludes increases for normal repairs, replacements, and maintenance in determining the true cash value of a property. This includes furnaces, gas burners, and hot water heaters. In addition, liquefied petroleum gas tanks are exempt from personal property taxes. Solar panel owners just got burned by the Public Service Commission denying them equal rates for the energy they put into the grid and the energy they take out, so I’m not opposed to giving them the same tax treatment as other energy systems here.

The bills passed 106 – 3 and 107 – 2 respectively.

174 6/20/2019 HB 4044 Passage I voted for House Bill 4044, which would prohibit someone from being licensed as an insurance agent if they have been convicted of a financial or violent felony or any felony in the past 10 years.

Passed unanimously.

175 6/20/2019 HB 4446 Passage I voted for House Bill 4446, which would update and clarify campaign finance laws with regard to prizes and gifts associated with fundraising. It would codify current practice regarding the use of secondary depositories for the transfer of funds from joint fundraising events. Providing clearer rules and eliminating inconsistencies will help people better understand the campaign finance process.

It passed 85 – 24.

176 6/20/2019 HB 4162 Passage
177 & 178 8/28/2019 HBs 4336 & 4574 Passage I voted for House Bills 4336 and 4574, which would clarify the authority granted to the Office of the Auditor General to include an examination of electronically stored information and confidential information. The bills further clarify that the Auditor General does not have the authority to access and examine information that falls under the attorney/client privilege or any other privilege recognized by law. Currently, there are conflicting interpretations of the statute, which results in the Auditor General being denied access to certain electronically stored information and confidential information. There are some ongoing audits where this interpretation is specifically causing issues. The bills would clarify that the Auditor General is permitted access to electronic and confidential information.

They passed 103 – 3.

179 8/29/2019 HR 115 Passage I voted for House Resolution 115, which calls upon Rep. Larry Inman to resign. Rep. Inman was indicted in mid-May by a federal grand jury for soliciting bribes via text message and lying to the FBI about it. Inman then pled as a defense that he is addicted to opioids and was too drugged to understand what he was writing. Even if Rep. Inman is acquitted, he will not be able to provide effective representation for his constituents for the remainder of his term. The people of Grand Traverse County are entitled to representation, which Rep. Inman, through his actions, is no longer able to provide.

The resolution was adopted 98 – 8.

180 8/29/2019 HB 4570 Passage I voted for House Bill 4570, which would designate a portion of I-69 the Bataan and Corregidor Veterans Memorial Highway. On December 7, 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment from New Mexico, stationed in the Philippines on the Bataan peninsula and the Island of Corregidor, were attacked by the Japanese Imperial Army. In the months and years that followed the approximately 75,000 Americans and Filipinos experienced unrelenting combat, a 70-mile death march to prison camps, and three years of imprisonment for those who survived. Now 78 years later, there has been little recognition of these heroes, many who lost their lives in the fight for freedom.

The bill passed unanimously.

181 9/3/2019 HB 4018 Passage I voted for House Bill 4018, which would increase the fine for illegally taking sturgeon. Lake sturgeon are a unique fish species in Michigan and listed as a threatened species. They can grow up to 200 pounds seven feet long. Their typical lifespan is 55 years for males and 70 to 100 years for females. Commercial fishing of lake sturgeon is currently prohibited in Michigan and sport fishing is closely regulated. Committee testimony revealed that poaching of the lake sturgeon’s egg roe, then discarding of the fish, is a particular problem during the spawning season.

The bill passed 107 – 2.

182 & 183 9/4/2019 SBs 23 – 24 Passage I voted no on Senate Bills 23 and 24, to make mail theft, which is already a federal crime, also a state crime. According to the text of the bill (which I always read carefully), it would be a misdemeanor for a first offense and felony for subsequent offenses for anybody to “take, hold, conceal, or destroy mail addressed to another person with the intent to defraud any person *or deprive the person to whom the mail was addressed of the mail.*” While this intends to prevent mail theft, as it is written it would also be a crime to throw out (or even remove from your own mailbox) junk mail addressed to someone that does not live at the address. Reportedly this bill was introduced because federal law enforcement doesn’t adequately enforce laws against mail theft, but I’m not sure that the state government should expend resources enforcing federal laws on federal property, as mailboxes are. That, along with the presumably unintended error sweeping in good people not responsible for misdelivered mail, led me to vote no.

They passed 106 – 3.

184 & 185 9/4/2019 HBs 4372 – 4373 Passage I voted for House Bills 4372 and 4373, which would require the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs investigate an allegation that a health profession was convicted of sexual misconduct under the pretext of medical treatment and automatically, permanently revoke such a person’s license. This was one of the recommendations of a House panel inquiry into the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, to prevent any doctor convicted of sexual misconduct done under the guise of medical treatment never be allowed to practice again.

The bills passed 108 – 1.

186 9/4/2019 HB 4378 Passage I voted for House Bill 4378, which would allow a public body to exempt information from disclosure under FOIA that would reveal the identity of an individual who has filed an anonymous civil lawsuit. The Freedom of Information Act was intended to be a tool for the citizens of the state to keep an eye on their government. It was not intended to be a tool to be used against citizens engaging in the private legal matters.

It passed unanimously.

187 9/5/2019 HB 4261 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4261, which would designate a portion of US-24 in Wayne County the “Julie Plawecki Memorial Highway”. Julie Plawecki was a State Representative serving Garden City, Inkster, and parts of Dearborn Heights, Livonia, and Westland when she died of a heart attack on June 25, 2016. She was 54.

I appreciate Julie Plawecki’s service and was saddened to hear of her passing, but I think we need to be very selective about whom we honor with a Memorial Highway designation. In a state of 10 million people, many deserve remembrance that will never have such an honor. Most of those honored by Memorial Highway designations are first responders and military killed in the line of duty, people whose sacrifice might otherwise not be widely known, even in the communities that raised them.

Earlier this year, I voted no on the Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway because Aretha Franklin is extremely famous, highly honored, and an immortal part of Detroit history. I think we need to reserve our Memorial Highway designations, limited by the mileage of our highways, for the unsung heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice.

I did not serve with Rep. Plawecki; by all accounts, she was a great person and a dedicated public servant. Still, she was a public figure, and I think we need to reserve our memorial highway designations for those whose names we otherwise might never know.

I should also explain how this differs from why I voted for the memorial highway for State Representative Peter Pettalia last year. Rep. Pettalia was killed in a motorcycle accident when he was struck by a pickup truck. Rep. Pettalia was known throughout his district as a motorcyclist; he led the effort the repeal Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law. (He was wearing his helmet when he was fatally injured.) His memory would serve to remind local motorists to be careful on the road and to be mindful of motorcyclists. The signage may have a public health benefit.

Absent those relevant circumstances, I don’t think we should grant lawmakers memorial highway status just because they were lawmakers. Some of us like to wax eloquent about the sacrifice of being a public servant, but most of us enjoy the privilege of office, and that’s why people compete for it.

The designation passed 102 – 7.

188 9/5/2019 HB 4081 Passage I voted for House Bill 4081, which would designate a portion of M-57 in Genesee County as the “Firefighter Mike Wager Memorial Highway”. Mike Wager was a firefighter and head of maintenance at Fire Station No. 1 in Clio. He was killed off-duty by a drunk driver. His own cousin, the local fire chief, was toned out for the accident call to provide the Jaws of Life. “He was my go-to-guy when something needed to be fixed,” Kerry Paulson said. “Friendly guy that would help anybody do anything.”

The designation passed unanimously.

189 9/5/2019 SB 372 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 372, which was essentially a blank budget bill. This is a procedural vote to allow budget bills to pass as an omnibus rather than a set of bills by department. It may not be required if we adopt the departments’ budget bills individually, but it allows for the budget to be passed either way. This is a procedural step to prepare the bill for later use if necessary. The funding amounts are not the amounts that will be in the final budget plan.

The bill passed 59 – 50.

190 9/10/2019 SB 362 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 362, which would extend the deadline for Medicaid work reporting requirements from the tenth day of the month to 60 days after the last day of the month. This will give recipients on the Department of Health and Human Services more time to ensure compliance and help eligible recipients not lose coverage for missed deadlines.

It passed 105 – 4.

191 9/10/2019 HB 4485 Passage I voted for House Bill 4485, to designate a portion of US-10 in Midland as the Marine Lance Corporal Steven J. Szymanski Memorial Highway. Marine Lance Corporal Szymanski joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2013 and was killed in a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The bill passed unanimously.

192 9/10/2019 HB 4572 Passage I voted for House Bill 4572, to designate a portion of I-94 as the Trooper Manuel H. Fields Memorial Highway. Trooper Manuel H. Fields was conducting a traffic stop on August 27, 1994, on the westbound portion of I-94 when a vehicle crossed the fog line striking Trooper Fields’s car, and the stopped vehicle before hitting Trooper Fields. The vehicle failed to stop at the scene and continued westbound. Those who witnessed the scene attempted to assist the fallen trooper, but his injuries proved fatal, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck Trooper Fields drove to her sister’s house and called the police to tell them she had been in an accident where she struck a road sign. The driver was 70 years old at the time of the incident and was charged with negligent homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He was the 46th Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty.

The bill passed unanimously.

193 9/10/2019 HB 4611 Passage I voted for House Bill 4611, to designate the I-75 interchange at Cook Road as the PFC Kenneth Coates Memorial Highway. Army PFC Kenneth Coates served during the Vietnam war and died on February, 5th, 1968 from combat-related injuries. He was 20.

The bill passed unanimously.

194 9/10/2019 SB 169 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 169, to designate a portion of M-15 in Portsmouth Charter Township the “Army Sergeant First Class Michael Cathcart Memorial Highway”. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart, 31, of Bay City, was serving in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan when he was wounded from small arms fire during combat operations. Sgt. Cathcart died as a result of his wounds on November 14, 2014. He was awarded three bronze stars, the Purple Heart, and four Army Commendation Medals during his two tours of duty.

The bill passed unanimously.

195 & 196 9/10/2019 HBs 4126 – 4127 Passage I voted for House Bills 4126 and 4127, which would require pregnancy warning labels on marijuana products. I don’t ordinarily support this kind of mandate but with marijuana being marketed as not just a tolerable vice but a miracle cure for all manner of illnesses it really is necessary to inform the public of the health risks of its usage.

They passed 105 – 4.

197 – 206 9/11/2019 HBs 4850, 4857 – 4858, 4861, 4889 – 4893 Passage I voted for House Bills 4850, 4857, 4858, 4861, and 4889-93, which would extend the sunset date on various user fees. User fees are used to pay for various related services; for example, the sex offender registration fee pays for the administration of the sex offender registration program. If not for the fee being paid by sex offenders it would need to be paid for by all taxpayers. Likewise, the fee for companies to look up state IDs and vehicle registrations and titles pay for the state department’s mainframe. Compared with taxes, user fees allow the cost of services to be paid by only those users of the service. In addition to those two examples, we extended the user fees for psychiatric hospitals, emergency medical services quality assurance assessments program, solid waste and groundwater discharge permits, and fingerprinting and criminal record checks.

The extension on the fee for sex offenders passed 92 – 17, the extension on the fee for fingerprinting and criminal record checks passed 104 – 5, and the solid waste surcharge fee passed 108 – 1. The others all passed unanimously.

198 9/11/2019 HB 4853 Passage I voted for House Bill 4853, which would allow someone who is homeless to receive a free vital record. A birth certificate is required to obtain a state driver’s license, social security card, and for marriage. Additionally, a birth certificate may be required to obtain a mortgage. Waiving the vital record fee may be one small step in allowing an individual to gain independence.

It passed unanimously.

207 9/17/2019 HB 4446 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4446, which I voted for previously, to make various clarifications in the state election law with respect to joint fundraising and secondary depositories for campaigns. The Senate made 6 minor changes requested by the governor, the most significant being that a candidate committee will still have to have its official depository in a bank in Michigan. The changes were all pretty minor and needed to ensure passage into law.

Concurrence passed 82 – 26.

208 9/17/2019 SB 452 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 452, which inserts a missing reference into the Emergency 911 Service Enabling Act to ensure proper implementation of changes made to the Act in 2018.

This was purely a technical correction and it passed unanimously.

209, 211-217 9/17/2019 SBs 438-445 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 438 through 445, which extends the sunset on various fees paid to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for business licenses. These fees fund the department and without them, the cost would be paid by taxpayers in general rather than the users directly.

Senate Bill 438 passed 106 – 2 and the rest 108 – 1.

210 9/18/2019 HB 4190 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4190, which would prohibit the Michigan corporate welfare agency from amending any outstanding MEGA tax credit agreements if the amendments increase the liability to the State or extend the duration of the agreements. This was part of a package to ensure that a certain company didn’t lose an existing credit as the result of an acquisition and the Senate version made more explicit that this only applies to that instance.

Concurrence passed 104 – 5.

218 & 220 9/19/2019 HBs 4370 & 4371 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4370 and 4371, which would impose various new rules on doctors to ensure they always have “informed consent” for procedures that involve penetration. (This is another package intended to address Larry Nassar’s crimes.) The penalties range from fines to felonies, and one provides up to 180 days in jail for failing to properly fill out a medical record. This is an additional burden on health professionals across Michigan being imposed for the crimes of one doctor who is going to be behind bars for a long time.

The bills passed 106 – 3 and 105 – 4.

219 9/19/2019 HB 4242 Conference Report I voted for House Bill 4242, the School Aid budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. Although the budget wasn’t perfect, it was a step in the right direction. Funding for at-risk students is up $11 million for a total of $510 million, which is in addition to $60 million being used for special education reimbursement costs.

There were also changes made to shared-time programs to ensure that schools and students who effectively utilize these partnerships will not be harmed.

All schools in the 46th house district are receiving an increase in per-pupil dollars.

The bill passed by a bipartisan margin of 91-18.

221-223 9/19/2019 SBs 447-448, 450 Passage I voted for Senate bills 447, 448, and 450, which would extend the sunset on fees for water discharge, electronics recyclers, and livestock dealers. These fees fund the department and without them, the cost would be paid by taxpayers in general rather than the users directly.

They passed 108 – 1.

224 9/19/2019 SB 451 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 451, which would extend the Michigan Energy Assistance Program for another four years. The program uses funds from a federal energy assistance program and any funds collected or appropriated, capped at $50 million, to assist those that cannot afford to pay for heat.

The bill passed unanimously.

225 9/19/2019 HB 4128 Passage “I voted for House Bill 4128, which would allow a child to change his or her name without the permission of a noncustodial parent if the non-custodial parent was convicted of first or second-degree murder. A child should not be required to carry the name of an individual who commits a crime as heinous as murder, simply because he objects.

The bill passed 106 – 3.

226 9/19/2019 HB 4209 Passage I voted for House Bill 4209, which would allow a township treasurer to name a designee to receive tax payments. This provides flexibility for township treasurers in the event they are unable to be in the office on the required dates.

It passed unanimously.

227 9/19/2019 HB 4710 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4710, which would convert a registration mandate now imposed on acupuncturists into a more comprehensive licensure regime, including training and apprenticeship requirements, license fees, regulations specified in the bill plus additional ones that state licensure officials would be authorized to impose, and more. I don’t support this type of guild protection law that discourages competition and drives up costs.

It passed 100 – 9.

232 9/24/2019 HB 4468 Passage I voted for House Bill 4468, which would allow for Freedom of Information Act requests to be responded to via email if the requester wishes.

This is a common-sense update with technology and passed 107 – 1.

233 9/24/2019 HB 4406 Passage I voted for House Bill 4406, which would allow foster care scholarships to apply toward a training program for future employment rather than a traditional community college or university. Every student deserves the opportunity to succeed and expanding this scholarship to the skilled trades will help them pursue a career they have confidence in.

It passed 104 – 4.

234 9/24/2019 SB 228 Passage I voted no on Senate Bill 228, which would create a 25-member Suicide Prevention Commission to study suicide and make recommendations. This is a large commission (with an unknown cost) to do what experts do already at no cost to taxpayers. It’s unclear what intellectual deficit this would remedy and if it would be the least bit effective. All policy-makers already have the capacity to listen to experts.

The bill passed 98 – 10.

228-231, 235-245 9/24/2019 SBs 134, 137-139, 141, 144, 147, 149 & HBs 4229, 4231-4232, 4236, 4238-4239, 4241 Conference Report With one exception I voted for all of the various House and Senate annual budget bills, which would invest more in roads, schools, and other essential services without raising taxes. I thought we had reached a very good compromise with the governor, rolling back some of the more egregious spending increases she proposed, such as massive and undeserved increases in funding for the major universities. I only voted no on the department of environmental quality’s budget, which was increased by $120 million, a 23% total increase that is way out of line with other departments (K-12 education got a 1.8% increase).

The bills passed by varying margins, from the Military and Veterans Affairs budget that passed unanimously to the Department of Education budget, which passed 57 – 51. Ultimately, Governor Whitmer signed the budget but made many cuts and other alterations, which I will be discussing in upcoming posts and my monthly newsletter.

246-248 10/2/2019 HBs 4315-4316 Passage I voted for House Bills 4315 and 4316, which would increase penalties for disarming a law enforcement officer if accomplished by force or if the officer is injured. Currently, an individual faces a stiffer penalty for committing an unarmed robbery than using force or violence to take a police officer’s firearm. This is disproportionate and the punishment should fit the crime.

They passed 106 – 3.

249-251 10/3/2019 HBs 4389-4391 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4389-91, which would impose various burdens on firefighters and their relating to perfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). PFAS are chemicals used for insulation and fighting fires. 4389 would require firefighters report to the department of environmental quality every time PFAS was used and that if a firefighter knows that foam or entered a drain, storm sewer or combined sewer, they are to provide the distance and direction of the point of entry from the location where the foam was used. 4390 would prohibit the use of PFAS in training exercises (so firefighters would be unfamiliar with it when using it for the first time in a deadly emergency) and 4391 would require MIOSHA to develop rules for firefighters’ use of foams containing PFAS.

As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, I have studied the literature on PFAS very carefully. Much of it is misleading. Whether PFAS is dangerous to humans is unclear. The quantities being studied are unbelievably small — measured in parts per trillion — and PFAS is naturally disappearing from “contaminated” sites. This appears to be yet another politically motivated environmental scare, and those paying the price with these bills are our firefighters. Firefighters should have every tool at their disposal to extinguish deadly fires.

The bills passed 106 – 2 and 104 – 4.

252 10/8/2019 SB 47 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 47, which would exclude solar panels from the assessment of true cash value for a residential property. Property owners who install solar panels should not be penalized with higher taxes.

The bill passed 107 – 1.

253 10/8/2019 HB 4349 Passage I voted for House Bill 4349, which would designate a portion of US-23 in Iosco County as the Peter C. Lemon Highway. Peter C. Lemon received the Congressional Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. As a solider in Vietnam, he saved the lives of multiple members of his team. After being outnumbered and fending off the enemy, carrying other soldiers to an aid station and receiving numerous wounds in the process, Lemon still refused to be medically evacuated until more seriously wounded comrades had been evacuated first.

The bill passed unanimously.

254 10/8/2019 HB 4731 Passage I voted for House Bill 4731, which would designate a portion of M-53 in Macomb County as the SOC Jason R. Freiwald Memorial Highway. SOC Freiwald was a highly decorated Navy SEAL who was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2008.

The bill passed unanimously.

255 10/8/2019 HB 4325 Passage I voted for House Bill 4325, which would clarify the scope of practice for counselors to overrule a proposed rule from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) that would have prohibited licensed counselors from engaging in most aspects of their practices, including administering assessments, diagnosis and treatment planning, behavioral mediation techniques, crisis intervention, and other techniques. This will prevent LARA from effectively putting mental health professionals out of work and reducing access to care.

The bill passed unanimously.

256 10/10/2019 HB 4549 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4549, which would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to give child welfare caseworkers access to confidential records for the children and families they work with. The Senate added the condition that records made available to an employee would only be “for the extent necessary for the administration of child welfare services in each case.”

This is fine and concurrence passed unanimously.

257 10/10/2019 HB 4550 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4550, which would update the Guardianship Assistance Act to reference national and state fingerprint-based background checks. The Senate made a technical correction as DHHS received clarification from the federal government that referencing “national and state” was not a specific enough reference.

Concurrence passed unanimously.

258 10/10/2019 HB 4628 Passage I voted for House Bill 4628, which would allow the Secretary of State to remove traffic citation records on a drivers record after 3 years for various minor infractions including, speeding 15 miles or less over the limit, disobeying a traffic signal, driving without insurance, or driving without a seatbelt. By comparison, Indiana and Ohio only hold these records for 2 years; Michigan currently holds them for 7 years. This is excessive for infractions as minor as these.

The bill passed 108 – 1.

259 10/10/2019 HB 4959 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4959, which would amend the Liquor Control Code to work around a residency requirement that the US Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional by replacing it with a physical presence requirement. This may be unconstitutional for the same reason; as the Court said, “Like the other discriminatory residency requirements that the [Tennessee Wine and Spirits] Association is unwilling to defend, the predominant effect of the 2-year residency requirement is simply to protect the Association’s members from out-of-state competition. We, therefore, hold that this provision violates the Commerce Clause and is not saved by the Twenty-first Amendment.” In any event, I don’t support imposing these requirements that limit competition and therefore raise prices.

The bill passed 101 – 8.

260 & 261 10/10/2019 HBs 4960-4961 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4960 and 4961, which would prohibit a contract between an alcohol manufacturer and wholesaler from including the disclosure of financial records and business activities. This is a restriction on private contracts where the state isn’t impacted and shouldn’t be involved. It’s common for businesses to negotiate contracts that include requirements to ensure the terms are being met in good faith, and I don’t support this infringement on the freedom to agree to a contract.

The bills passed 100 – 8 and 101 – 7.

262 & 263 10/15/2019 HBs 4516 -4517 Passage I voted for House Bills 4516 and 4517, which would replace the current “handicapped” symbol with one that appears more mobile and independent. It would not mandate the replacement of existing signage but use the new one moving forward. It also directs the Department of Civil Rights to encourage people to remove signs that use the term “handicapped”; I disagree with this provision as the term is not derogatory at all, but it expressly says the department may not take any legal action against anybody to coerce them to do so.

The bills passed unanimously.

264-271 10/16/2019 SBs 84, 90, 93, 97, 99-102 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 84, 90, 93, 97, and 99 through 102, which are parts of a package to specify that except for certain serious offenses, 17-year-olds are to be tried in family courts rather than adult criminal courts. Michigan currently is one of only 4 states left in the country that automatically considers a 17-year-old to be an adult for the purposes of prosecuting any criminal offense. There should be a singular age when one becomes an adult in the eyes of the law and I support these bills to treat minors as such.

The bills passed by a range of 98 – 10 to 102 – 7.

272-275 10/16/2019 HBs 4540-4543 Passage I voted for House Bills 4540 through 4543, which would require online retailers with sales in Michigan over a certain amount to collect and remit sales tax, as brick-and-mortar retailers and some online retailers are currently required to do. The Department of Treasury was already requiring this, and it isn’t fair to everyone else that has to collect and pay these taxes.

They passed unanimously.

276-279 10/16/2019 HBs 4133, 4140, 4443, 4452 Concurrence I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4133, 4140, 4443, and 4452, which I voted for previously, as part of the package to raise the age for sentencing as adults from 17 to 18.

The Senate amendments were purely technical and concurrence passed 103 and 104 to 6 and 7.

280 10/22/2019 SB 257 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 257, which would update the domestic violence deferral statute to reflect changes made in a 2016 law that would otherwise leave open a loophole potentially allowing a person with multiple domestic violence convictions to get a sentence set aside in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the law. This was a presumably unintended oversight.

The bill passed unanimously.

281-282 10/23/2019 HBs 4546-47 Passage I voted for House Bills 4546-47, which would make students eligible for reimbursement for dual enrollment courses taken over the summer. Dual enrollment should be expanded to provide the easiest access for students to take advantage of these great opportunities.

The bills passed unanimously.

283 10/29/2019 HB 4862 Passage I voted for House Bill 4862, which would include health professionals and other employees at health facilities in a voluntary, short-term, peer-based program for critical incident stress management tools for first responders in major emergencies. Currently, police, firefighters, and other first responders only have this access. Physicians, nurses, and other support staff should have the opportunity to confidentiality discuss critical incidents with a group of peers.

It passed unanimously.

284 10/29/2019 SB 255 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 255, which would lower a current 10-day notification delay period to a 2- or 5-day period for notices to the department of environmental quality for moving certain construction aggregate processing materials and equipment. This is a common-sense update to allow for materials to move more quickly now that we can send notices instantly over the Internet. (The original 10-day advance notice requirement was set in 1994).

It passed unanimously.

285 10/29/2019 HB 5084 Passage I voted for House Bill 5084, which would grant temporary authority for people moving from a financial intuition to an employer that isn’t federally insured to continue working as a mortgage loan originator. The licensee would be eligible to continue working under their existing license for 120 days while they work to meet the new licensing requirements. This is common sense as one doesn’t lose the knowledge necessary for licensure because he moves from one company to another.

It passed unanimously.

286 10/29/2019 HB 4125 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4125, which would return the money transferred in the “lame duck” session last year from the school aid fund to a new “Renew Michigan” fund created by then-governor Rick Snyder. I opposed the original bill last year to remove the money from the schools and would have supported returning it to them, except that the bill leaves the “Renew Michigan” program intact, so the general fund simply loses out on the money. We should instead simply repeal the 2018 law and not put other programs in harm’s way.

It passed 104 – 5.

287 10/29/2019 HB 4335 Passage I voted for House Bill 4335, which would allow education for barbers and cosmetologists to be used for both licenses, not just one or the other. The 1,500-hour education requirement for these professions is outrageous and I would support reducing these requirements further than this bill went by only allowing the required training to apply toward either license.

It passed unanimously.

288-290 10/29/2019 HB 4916 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4916 – 18, which would allow and establish comprehensive licensure and regulatory regime for sports betting through Michigan Indian casinos and Detroit casinos, with an 8% tax on the gross receipts of the latter. Detroit casinos could also provide online sports betting. I’m not opposed to allowing sports betting but I do oppose granting a very small number of casinos a monopoly on it.

The bills passed with 63-65 in support and 43-45 opposed.

291 & 293 10/30/2019 HBs 4308-09 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4308 and 4309, which would “legalize” fantasy sports by imposing a comprehensive regulatory structure and fees that would price smaller operators out of business in Michigan. I’m not opposed to legalizing fantasy sports, but players don’t seem to have a problem with current law being silent on the matter. This legislation will eliminate competition to the biggest companies and give players fewer options.

The bills passed 67 – 41 and 69-39.

292, 294-296 10/30/2019 HBs 4310-12 & 4323 Passage I voted no on House Bills 4310 – 12 and 4323, which would permit, tax, and create a comprehensive regulatory regime for Internet gambling. While I don’t oppose online gambling in principle, these bills would grant a monopoly to Detroit and Indian casinos while all other current forms of online gambling would be made expressly illegal in Michigan. I don’t support giving only certain companies the ability to do business, and it’s especially strange that a brick-and-mortar business is given a monopoly on an Internet business.

They passed 67 – 41, 62 – 46, 65 – 42, and 64 – 43.

297 10/30/2019 HB 4173 Passage I voted for House Bill 4173, which would revise regulations on charity gambling events (“millionaire parties”) to encourage more active participation from the charities they support. Originally, these parties were relatively small events held at places such as church festivals or parish halls. As of 2014, however, there were more than 30 permanent poker rooms that hosted multiple millionaire parties each day, and in a recent 3-year period there were at least 4 armed robberies, 47 assaults, three weapons offenses, 72 disorderly persons, and 11 fraud cases at permanent poker rooms, not including ongoing investigations. The bill would codify existing emergency rules to address these issues and the state Gaming Control Board would be required to promulgate new rules and increase oversight of millionaire parties, although it would raise some limits on the ability of real charities to host these parties.

The bill passed 104 – 3.

298 10/30/2019 SB 530 Passage I voted no on Senate Bill 530, which would extend fees for the air quality program with the department of environmental quality and reorganize the fee structure to put a greater emphasis on a per-facility charge and less emphasis on the per-ton emissions fee, while also doubling the number of facility fee categories. The new formula was developed and backed by “representatives of the regulated industry” (e.g. manufacturers, power plants, and mines) who support making smaller entities (e.g. dry cleaners and parts degreasing shops) pay more.

The bill passed 107 – 2.

299 11/05/2019 HB 4485 Concurrence I voted for House Bill 4485, which would designate a portion of M-10 in Midland the Marine Lance Corporal Steven J. Szymanski Memorial Highway. Marine Lance Corporal Szymanski was killed serving our country in an accident that occurred during a training exercise.

The bill passed unanimously.

300 11/05/2019 HB 4412 Concurrence I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4412, which would make it illegal for businesses to sell DXM to minors. The Senate delayed the bill going into effect by 6 months, and where the House-passed bill said a first offense would be a warning, a second offense a $50 fine, and a third and subsequent offense a $100 fine, the Senate version says a court can fine them up to $100 for any infraction. These minor changes do not change the essence of the bill. As I said when the House passed it in August, DXM has been around since the 1950s and it’s not at all clear that the drug which the FDA says is safe and effective and the DEA does not regulate has risen to the level to require policing by the state and additional rules for retailers.

Concurrence passed 104 – 4.

301 11/05/2019 HB 4851 Passage “I voted for House Bill 4851, which would add to the definition of “qualified error” in the General Property Tax Act to include a denial in the exemption for a disable veteran or their surviving unmarried spouse due to an error made by the local tax collecting unit in the processing of a timely filed exemption affidavit or a delay in the determination by United States Department of Veteran Affairs that a veteran would qualify for the exemption. This will keep veterans from being penalized on their property tax exemption if the local tax collecting unit doesn’t process their exemption on time.

It passed unanimously.

302 11/05/2019 HB 4958 Passage I voted for House Bill 4958, which would prohibit pelvic examinations on anesthetized or unconscious patients without informed consent, or court order, or in an emergency. In 2005, the University of Oklahoma found that at least 24% of pelvic examinations on an anesthetized patient occurred without the patient’s consent. Informed consent to a procedure should always be required unless in a case of emergency and the patient is unresponsive. Unless in a case of emergency, no patient should have a pelvic examination done on them unless authorized.

It passed unanimously.

303 11/05/2019 HB 4689 Passage I voted for House Bill 4689, which would allow a school to seek permission from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to install a temporary locking barricade on doors in school buildings. The department would be responsible for adopting standards for the installation of these devices. Temporary door barricades provide an additional safety measure to protect children in the event of an emergency.

The bill passed unanimously.

304 11/05/2019 HB 4912 Passage I voted for House Bill 4912, which would allow the John G. Kulhavi Events Center at Central Michigan University and another event center at Western Michigan University to obtain a liquor license. Many state university and community college conference centers have been authorized by statute to obtain liquor licenses for consumption on the premises and this would allow two more.

The bill passed 106 – 2.

305 11/05/2019 HB 4980 Passage I voted for House Bill 4980, which would allow for certain misdemeanor and felony convictions to automatically be expunged from one’s criminal record after a period of years. This is the first of several major bipartisan criminal justice reform bills in a package. Under the bill, a felony conviction must be set aside without the filing of an application if ten years have passed from sentencing or completion of any term of imprisonment for the conviction and the conviction or convictions are otherwise eligible to be set aside. A misdemeanor conviction must be automatically set aside if seven years have passed from sentencing and the conviction or convictions are otherwise eligible to be set aside. Under the bill, not more than 2 felony and 4 misdemeanor convictions may be “automatically” set aside during a person’s lifetime.

The bill does not apply to a conviction for an assaultive crime, serious misdemeanor, crime of dishonesty, an offense punishable by more than 10 years, a felony involving a minor, vulnerable adult, injury or serious impairment, or death, or any violation related to human trafficking. Additionally, automatic set aside does not apply to an individual who has more than 1 conviction for an assaultive crime, and a conviction must not be set aside if there are criminal charges pending against the applicant or the applicant has been convicted of an offense during the ten or seven years prior to an automatic set aside. In other words, the person must be “crime free” during the applicable seven or ten years prior to automatic set aside. Not allowing people to move on from their criminal mistakes places an undue burden on society, as said individuals are often forced to depend on the social safety nets paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The bill passed 95 – 13.

306 11/05/2019 HB 4981 Passage I voted for House Bill 4981, which would allow a court to expunge traffic offenses from one’s criminal record, not including operating while intoxicated offenses, any offense causing injury or death, or commercial motor vehicle violations. Current law already allows for more serious criminal offenses to be expunged, so it makes sense that more minor traffic violations should also be eligible for expungement.

It passed 102 – 6.

307 11/05/2019 HB 4982 Passage I voted for House Bill 4982, which would allow a court to set aside any number of misdemeanor marijuana offenses, if the offense would not have been a crime if committed on or after December 6, 2018 (when the marijuana decriminalization ballot proposal began to take effect). Under the bill, there is a rebuttable presumption that a misdemeanor marijuana-related conviction was based on activity that would not have been a crime. However, this presumption may be rebutted by evidence presented by the prosecuting attorney. This still gives courts discretion, such as when the original conviction was the result of a plea agreement over a more serious original charge, but allows that those convicted of something that is no longer a crime may have their records cleaned.

It passed 101 – 7.

308 11/05/2019 HB 4983 Passage “I voted for House Bill 4983, which would require an application to set aside a misdemeanor must be filed 3 or more years after sentencing, probation, or completion of any term of imprisonment for the conviction. An application to set aside 1 or more serious misdemeanors or 1 felony conviction must be filed after 5 or more years. An application to set aside more than 1 felony conviction must be filed 7 or more years after sentencing, completion of probation or parole, or completion of any term of imprisonment. This is part of the expungement reform package in my previous three vote explanations.

It passed 102 – 6.

309 11/05/2019 HB 4984 Passage I voted for House Bill 4984, which would expand the number of felony and misdemeanor convictions that are eligible to be set aside by application. Under the bill, a person convicted of 1 or more criminal offenses, but not more than 3 felony offenses, may apply to have all of his or her convictions set aside. However, an applicant may not have more than a total of 2 convictions for an assaultive crime set aside during his or her lifetime. Additionally, an applicant may not have more than 1 felony conviction for the same offense set aside if the offense is punishable by more than 10 years imprisonment. This is part of the expungement reform page.

It passed 97 – 11.

310 11/05/2019 HB 4985 Passage I voted for House Bill 4985, which would allow multiple felonies or misdemeanors arising out of the same criminal transaction to be considered as a single felony or misdemeanor for purposes of eligibility for expungement. Under the bill, more than 1 felony offense or misdemeanor offense must be treated as a single conviction if the felonies or misdemeanors were contemporaneous, such that they all occurred within 24 hours and arose from the same transaction. The bill does not apply to an assaultive crime, a crime involving the use or possession of a dangerous weapon, or a crime with a maximum penalty of 10 years or more. This is to prevent those otherwise eligible from expungement under this criminal justice reform package to not be disqualified if they were convicted of two offenses but stemming from one actual incident.

It passed 98 – 10.

311 11/05/2019 HB 5120 Passage I voted for House Bill 5120, which provides the procedure for setting aside a marijuana conviction under HB 4982 (see my previous vote explanation for that bill).

It passed 100 – 8.

312 11/05/2019 HB 4687 Passage I voted for House Bill 4687, which would remove the ability of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to issue orders managing deer and elk feeding and baiting and instead allows these practices as a matter of law. The NRC voted to ban baiting and feeding wildlife in certain areas in August 2018 and expanded it to the entire lower peninsula in January of this year. It makes no sense to ban hunters from scattering apples near their deer blinds when every day in nature deer graze on fruit that falls off apple trees. The baiting ban is doing more harm than good by chasing hunting families away from the sport. The sale of hunting and fishing licenses plays an important role in supporting our state’s conservation activities, and hunting enthusiasts play a crucial role in supporting our state’s northern and rural economies.

It passed 57 – 49.

313 11/06/2019 HB 4209 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4209, which I voted for previously, which would allow a township treasurer to allow a designee to receive township tax payments. The Senate version defined “designee” to mean a deputy treasurer or other individual acting on behalf of the township treasurer who serves the township as an employee or elected official and is approved by the township board to serve as the designee.

Concurrence passed unanimously.

314 11/06/2019 HB 4408 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4408, which I voted for previously, to allow a recreation authority board that does not levy taxes to be audit every 2 years instead of every 1 year. The Senate narrowed the bill to apply only to an authority that has less than $100,000 in yearly expenditures.

Concurrence passed unanimously.

315-316 11/06/2019 HBs 5043-44 Passage I voted for House Bills 5043 and 5044, which would require a recipient of public mental health services to be notified that they may request mediation and have both parties engage in mediation regarding a dispute against a community mental health services program. The Office of Recipient Rights investigative process may take 90 days and allowing mediation prior to the completed report may save time and money. This simple fix will allow a complainant to utilize dispute resolution/mediation quickly and efficiently.

They passed unanimously.

317-318 11/06/2019 HBs 5117-18 Passage I voted for House Bills 5117 and 5118, which would restore the deadline for someone to file a claim for wrongful imprisonment compensation to 18 months since the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA). This was the deadline passed by the original Act, but the Court of Claims recently held that provisions in a different statute – the Revised Judicature Act (RJA) – took precedence over the time periods in the WICA. This would overturn the Court of Claim’s decision and provide hope for those wrongly denied their claims for compensation for having been wrongfully imprisoned.

It passed unanimously.

319 11/06/2019 HB 4830 Passage I voted for House Bill 4830, which would require the Department of Health & Human Services to notify ambulance operations of its quality assurance assessment annually, starting next year. Requiring notification to the departments that will be responsible for the quality assurance assessment will ensure the budget is appropriately allocated for the assessment.

It passed unanimously.

320-326 11/06/2019 SBs 174, 179-183 & 361 Passage I voted no on Senate Bills 174, 179 through 183, and 361, which would rewrite the Animal Industry Act. These bills make many, many changes, the most contentious being extending the deadline for egg farms to go cage-free by another 5 years (from 2019 to 2024). I’m not sure this is fair to those farms that put in the effort to go cage-free by the original deadline, and I am concerned that the expansion from “livestock” to “animals” throughout the AIA could have unintended consequences.

The bills passed by a range of 104 – 6 to 107 – 3, except 174, which passed 74 – 36.

327 11/07/2019 HB 4171 Passage I voted for House Bill 4171, which would amend the Income Tax Act to clarify that for a joint return, the calculation of taxes of pension and retirement income is based on the older spouse if that spouse is deceased and the surviving spouse is not remarried. The bill provides clarification for an otherwise ambiguous section relating to joint returns and pension deductions. Life occurrences such as the death of a spouse should not significantly impact the tax treatment of surviving spouses.

It passed unanimously.

328 11/07/2019 SB 320 Passage I voted no on Senate Bill 320, which would remove an option that certain licensees can pay a bond to the Liquor Control Commission to obtain their license rather than obtaining liability insurance. I don’t want to reduce the number of options these licensees have, which would presumably impact those that chose to pay the bond as the better option.

It passed 103 – 6.

329 11/07/2019 HB 4908 Passage I voted no on House Bill 4908, which would raise the cap on the state housing subsidy debt. Currently, the amount of debt backed by the Michigan State Housing Developing Authority, which subsidizes housing developers and loans, is capped at $3.4 billion. The bill would raise up to $5 billion. $3.4 billion is enough debt.

It passed 103 – 6.