Roll Call Number Date Bill Number Vote Type Vote Reason
1 1/11/18 SB 207 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 207, which would allow the director of Michigan State Police to provide limited arrest powers to state property security personnel on state property. They reportedly have this authority only for property in the city of Lansing and in Windsor Township located in Eaton County. In the rest of the state where state security personnel are not permitted, MSP has to use its own officers. Using these security personnel as authorized by MSP will save MSP time, make it easier for the state to do business outside of Lansing, and save the state money by using security personnel rather than MSP officers. It passed 61 – 45.
2 1/11/18 SB 525 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 525, which modifies the number of judges based upon the recommendation of the State Court Administrative Office. It would eliminate 2 judges by attrition, reverse 2 trial court judges pending elimination, convert a district judge to a circuit judge, and allow two district courts to merge. These reforms ensure judicial resources are distributed appropriately based on population trends and court caseloads across Michigan. It passed 63 – 43.
3 1/11/18 HB 4176 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4176, which would allow neighborhood watch vehicles to use flashing or rotating yellow lights, similar to those used on tow trucks. It’s helpful for these vehicles to be prominently visible, and with only amber lights they could not possibly be confused for law enforcement vehicles. It passed 106 – 0.
4 1/11/18 HB 5112 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5112, to designate a portion of road in Berrien County the Trooper Robert J. Mihalik Memorial Highway. Trooper Mihalik was killed while attempting to apprehend a suspect in 1984. The signage must be paid for by private sources, so there is no cost to taxpayers for this. It passed 106 to 0.
5 1/11/18 SB 702 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 702, which would prohibit a deed from permitting only certain uses of a property sold by a local governmental body, unless the deed permits educational purposes as well. When North Oakland Charter Academy attempted to purchase the Sherman Lifelong Learning Center. The building was on the market for several years at a real estate market value of $149,900. In 2013, North Oakland Charter Academy offered $100,000 for the proposed charter school but it was denied by the district. Brandon School District instead demolished the building at a cost of $47,027 to the district. Allowing the sale of a publicly funded building used for educational purposes is a relief for the taxpayers, and taxpayers should be forced to pay these costs just because a public school district doesn’t want competition. It passed 61 – 45.
6 1/16/18 HB 5227 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5227, which would make various changes to the extensive regulations on planting seed potatoes. The bill would take effect in 2021 and then become void in 2023. This would inevitably make it uncertain for potato farmers whether the regulations will be temporary or extended, and it’s not at all clear that seed potatoes need such detailed regulation and this isn’t just another guild protection bill. It passed 102 – 5.
7 1/17/18 SB 94 Override Veto Yes I voted to pass Senate Bills 94 and 95, which I voted for previously, to overrule the governor’s veto and accelerate the phase-in of a 2013 law to allow people buying a car, RV, or boat to deduct the value of their trade-in vehicle when calculating sales tax. I support allowing people to keep more of their own money, this is a broad savings that will be enjoyed by most people, and making it more affordable to own a newer vehicle is also a safety benefit (because newer cars are safer than older ones). They passed 85 – 23.
8 1/17/18 SB 95 Override Veto Yes I voted to pass Senate Bills 94 and 95, which I voted for previously, to overrule the governor’s veto and accelerate the phase-in of a 2013 law to allow people buying a car, RV, or boat to deduct the value of their trade-in vehicle when calculating sales tax. I support allowing people to keep more of their own money, this is a broad savings that will be enjoyed by most people, and making it more affordable to own a newer vehicle is also a safety benefit (because newer cars are safer than older ones). They passed 85 – 23.
9 1/17/18 HB 5144 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5144, which protects accountants serving medical cannabis businesses. The Senate added that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could establish monthly purchasing limits in additional to the power to establish daily purchasing limits that they already had. This allows them to establish limits without having to establish very onerous daily limits. Concurrence passed 95 – 13.
10 1/17/18 HB 4430 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4430, which would prohibit state agencies from furnishing data on Michigan citizens to federal agencies without a warrant. This is an essential protection from unlawful search and seizure according to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It passed 107 to 1.
11 1/17/18 HB 5284 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5284, authorizing the state to sell a tiny piece of state-owned property in Saginaw to Delta College. The property consists of ½ of a vacated right-of-way related to Baum Street between East Genesee Avenue and Tuscola Street. Not sure why the state owned the land to begin with. It passed 108 to 0.
12 1/17/18 HB 5001 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5001 and 5002, which would impose a new licensure mandate on foresters, with massive education and training requirements, and create a board that can deny an application to become a forester with no appeals process. This is another guild protection scheme to prevent competition for jobs, which will make it harder to get a job and raise the cost of forestry. They passed 98 – 10.
13 1/17/18 HB 5002 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5001 and 5002, which would impose a new licensure mandate on foresters, with massive education and training requirements, and create a board that can deny an application to become a forester with no appeals process. This is another guild protection scheme to prevent competition for jobs, which will make it harder to get a job and raise the cost of forestry. They passed 98 – 10.
14 1/18/18 HB 5198 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5198, which would expand a law allowing state emergency officials to enter agreements for mutual cooperation with other states for emergency preparation and response on issues other than just fires (as the law presently allows). It’s good to pool resources in this way to prepare for emergencies. It passed 108 – 0.
15 1/18/18 SB 409 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 409, which would essentially lower the fee for homeowners building a dock on a river or lake. Oddly, the bill was endorsed by the Department of Environmental Quality, which receives the money. I’m happy to reduce the cost of government. It passed 59 – 48.
16 1/18/18 SB 574 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 574, which would require that tax money taken taken by future “regional enhancement” property taxes levied by Intermediate School Districts and distributed to conventional public schools also be shared with public charter schools within the ISD district. Since all families in the district are forced to pay these taxes, it’s only fair that the children in charter schools enjoy their share of the money from these tax hikes on their families. (This bill only applies to such tax hikes in the future, not existing ones.) It passed 55 – 52.
17 1/24/18 HR 234 Passage Yes [UPDATE: Simon has resigned.]
I voted for House Resolution 234, which calls for the resignation of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, for her failure to prevent the terrible and ongoing sexual abuse perpetrated by gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 40-175 years today.
According to the university’s own records and the statements of over 100 victims, we know that numerous people, including a campus police detective and an official who is now MSU’s assistant general counsel, were aware of reports of Nassar’s sexual misconduct. At least 14 Michigan State University representatives knew of these reports.
President Simon was once the NCAA chairman, elected just one week after its executive committee sanctioned Penn State for its part in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. Of all people, she should have understood the seriousness of these reports.
On top of the life-long harm inflicted on the victims, MSU’s failure to proactively address the situation has damaged the university’s reputation immensely, causing unknown harm to students and faculty.
It’s too late for any policy changes at MSU to mitigate the situation. The only way to bring closure to this issue is for the president to resign. The resolution passed 96 – 11.
18 1/25/18 HB 5155 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5155 and 5156, which would clarify that our Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs will be administered by the Department of Natural Resources. These programs were created in 1994. In 2009, then-Governor Granholm merged the Department of Environmental Quality with the DNR; in 2011; Governor Snyder split them up again. Apparently because of this, each department thought the other was implementing the programs, when actually neither was. This was a needed clarification. The bills also eliminate contracting requirements that volunteer groups must care for the river or shoreline for not less than 2 years, which only serves to discourage participation. They passed 106 to 0.
19 1/25/18 HB 5156 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5155 and 5156, which would clarify that our Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs will be administered by the Department of Natural Resources. These programs were created in 1994. In 2009, then-Governor Granholm merged the Department of Environmental Quality with the DNR; in 2011; Governor Snyder split them up again. Apparently because of this, each department thought the other was implementing the programs, when actually neither was. This was a needed clarification. The bills also eliminate contracting requirements that volunteer groups must care for the river or shoreline for not less than 2 years, which only serves to discourage participation. They passed 106 to 0.
20 & 21 1/25/18 HB 5420-5421 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5420 and 5421, which would ensure that a tax filer can continue to claim the Michigan personal exemption in light of recent federal tax reforms and gradually increase that exemption, which is currently scheduled to increase to $4,300 by tax year 2018, to $4,800 by tax year 2020. Personal exemptions help reduce the overall tax liability for every individual regardless of income, and I support lowering taxes. They passed 105 to 1.
22 1/25/18 HB 5422 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5422, which allows seniors to claim a $100 credit on the state income tax returns. This only slightly offsets a 2011 law that eliminated a $2,400 exemption (the same year they voted to tax retirement pensions). It passed 100 – 6.
23 1/25/18 HB 5100 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5100, which would exempt bike racks, tow balls, and other hitching devices and attached objects from the prohibition on license plate obstructions. License plates are important for identifying vehicles in real time, but anybody intentionally committing a criminal act, and therefore by definition a criminal, might obstruct their license plates anyway. This simply prevents people from being pulled over and ticketed just because whatever they’re carrying or towing is blocking the plate. I can’t imagine it doing anything to encourage crime or prevent law enforcement from solving one. It passed 104 to 2.
24 1/25/18 HB 4479 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4779 and 4780, the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act, which would require the state follow the recommendation of the Uniform Law Commission in establishing a procedure for online legal material to ensure authenticity, preservation, and accessibility by the public. These bills only burden the government, and essentially just modernize and improve the quality and availability of legal materials. They passed 106 to 0. Edit: House Bill 4780 passed 105 to 1.
25 1/25/18 HB 4480 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4779 and 4780, the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act, which would require the state follow the recommendation of the Uniform Law Commission in establishing a procedure for online legal material to ensure authenticity, preservation, and accessibility by the public. These bills only burden the government, and essentially just modernize and improve the quality and availability of legal materials. They passed 106 to 0. Edit: House Bill 4780 passed 105 to 1.
26 1/25/18 HB 5257 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5257 and 5258, which would make it a felony to possess “ransomware” (viral software that hijacks a victim’s computer and allows the hijacker to free the victim once a ransom is paid) with intention to use maliciously. I understand the intention here, but extortion is already illegal, and although the bills do require evidence of malicious intent for someone to be charged with a crime under these bills, it is dangerous for someone who might be legitimately studying these programs for research or investigative purposes to have to rely on how his or her *intent* may be interpreted for protection against felony charges. When the ObamaCare website was launched, some hackers spoke out about its egregious security problems that put Americans’ confidential health information at risk, but many others did not come forward for fear of reprisal and charges for serious computer crimes. We shouldn’t be criminalizing possession of software or malicious intention, but rather the actual crimes committed against others, which are already covered by our extortion law. The bills passed 103 to 3.
27 1/25/18 HB 5258 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5257 and 5258, which would make it a felony to possess “ransomware” (viral software that hijacks a victim’s computer and allows the hijacker to free the victim once a ransom is paid) with intention to use maliciously. I understand the intention here, but extortion is already illegal, and although the bills do require evidence of malicious intent for someone to be charged with a crime under these bills, it is dangerous for someone who might be legitimately studying these programs for research or investigative purposes to have to rely on how his or her *intent* may be interpreted for protection against felony charges. When the ObamaCare website was launched, some hackers spoke out about its egregious security problems that put Americans’ confidential health information at risk, but many others did not come forward for fear of reprisal and charges for serious computer crimes. We shouldn’t be criminalizing possession of software or malicious intention, but rather the actual crimes committed against others, which are already covered by our extortion law. The bills passed 103 to 3.
28 1/25/18 HB 4472 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4472, which would allow pharmacists to dispense drugs interchangeable with the drug prescribed (eg generics instead of brand names). This expands health freedom to provide people more affordable access to prescribed medications. It passed 105 to 1.
29 1/25/18 SB 634 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 634, which would lengthen from 18 months to 24 the term of a Temporary Limited License in Psychology and allow students seeking a master’s degree in psychology a 24 month extension and those seeking a doctorate three more 24 month renewals. This rolls back occupational licensing restrictions and makes it easier for people to study for and obtain a medical degree. It passed 93 to 13.
30 1/30/18 HB 4464 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4644, which I voted for previously, to simplify permitting for vehicles carrying oversized equipment. The Senate modified it by giving the Department of Transportation two years to implement the changes and narrowed the bill to only apply to movement of construction equipment. It passed 96 – 12.
31-32 1/30/18 HB 4821-4822 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4821 and 4822, which I voted for previously, to reform the state public administrator system, which handles determination, collection, distribution, and distribution of assets in a decedent’s estate. The Senate shortened the timeframe for appointing a public administrator from 13 weeks to 9, and essentially limited fees on the sale of net proceeds to $3,000. They passed 108 – 0.
33 1/30/18 HB 4471 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to HB 4471, the Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act, which I voted for previously. The Senate added that the Michigan Court Rules would specify the procedure for the selection, appointment, removal, or compensation of a receiver. It passed 101 – 7.
34-35 1/30/18 SB 529-530 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills Senate Bill 529 and 530, which would require timely submission and reimbursement for Child Care Fund expenditures and prohibit the state and counties from seeking reimbursements that are not in an approved budget, except through a grievance process. These bills were the result of multiple meetings to address problems with the reimbursement system.
The CCF is the primary fund for delinquent, neglected, and abused youth. Each county has a specific account for their CCF, and the state supports the county’s CCF with a 50% reimbursement on eligible direct costs related to foster care and other services provided for court wards. An annual plan and budget must be approved by the state. These bills simplify the process of payments and billing between the state and counties, and having clarity on what is eligible for reimbursement will save time and money on the back-and-forth and could actually save money because under the bills there is more Department oversight of what is approved.
The bills passed 108 – 0.
36-37 1/31/18 HB 4118 – 4119 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4118 and 4119, which would make a new 4-year felony for detainees or prisoners for throwing, or attempting to throw, bodily fluids at facility employees. Crimes should be punished according the act, not according to the status of the perpetrator or victim, and assault and battery are already illegal. Furthermore, charging someone with a four-year felony for attempting to spit on somebody is excessive. They passed 86 to 23.
38-41 1/31/18 HB 4585, 4590, 4591 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4585, 4590, and 4591, which would make it a 2 year felony to commit, or attempt to commit, a violent felony in which the victim is targeted because he/she is a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, firefighter, or EMS worker. The sentence would be served consecutive to any prison sentence for the underlying felony. Punishments should fit crimes, not the status of the victim, and criminalizing an intention would require a court to determine what a person was thinking, which is legally dubious. They passed 93 – 16 and 94 – 15.
42 1/31/18 SB 543 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 543, to name a portion of I-94 in Kalamazoo County the “Ed Switalski, Fire Chief, Comstock Township Memorial Highway.” Chief Switalski was standing in the shoulder of I-94 near a fire truck when a sedan careened out of control and struck and killed him. State law requires that private funds pay for signage, so there is no cost to taxpayers. It passed unanimously.
43 1/31/18 HB 5284 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5284, which I voted for previously, to transfer a small piece of public land in Saginaw County to Delta college. The Senate eliminated the requirement that it be used exclusively for public use. Reportedly this was necessary because the public use requirement could hamper the bonding process for the capital outlay project for the Saginaw Center. Concurrence passed unanimously.
44 2/1/18 HB 4922 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4922, which would allow police agencies to use revenue from vehicle inspection fees to pay for equipment and road patrol services. Presently, the fees can only be used for activities relating to stolen vehicles. There’s no need to constrain the usage of the fees in this way. It passed unanimously.
45 2/1/18 SB 481 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 481, which would name a section of US-10 the “Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway”. Lance Corporal Burgess was killed in 2006 in combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was 21. Memorial signs are required to be paid for by private sources, so there is no cost to taxpayers. It passed unanimously.
46-47 2/6/18 HB 4752 & 4956 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments on House bills 4752, and 4956 which I voted for previously. See my previous vote explanations– the Senate changes were all insignificant.
48 2/6/18 HB 4813 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 4813, which I voted against previously. The Senate only made a minor technical fix, so I voted no again for the same reason as before.
49 2/6/18 HB 5200 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate on House Bill 5200, which I voted for previously, to allow the hunting of frogs. The Senate removed a provision prohibiting the use of large landing nets in trout streams during spring months, which would have conflicted with the current DNR order. It passed 85 – 23.
50 2/7/18 SB 616 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 616, which would allow an American Indian tribe in Michigan to receive Child Protective Services records for the purpose of placing Indian children with Indian families. They received this information previously, until a DHHS created a new policy in May of last year that prohibited the disclosures, citing child privacy concerns. This would increase the involvement of tribes in Indian child welfare cases, placing tribes in the best position to protect the interests of Indian children. It passed 105 – 3.
51 2/7/18 HB 5034 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5034, which would allow a surviving spouse to calculate pension and retirement income based on the age of an older deceased spouse if the surviving spouse is not remarried. This would prevent the death of a spouse from potentially raising one’s state tax burden dramatically. This will reportedly cost the State Treasury less than $5 million annually, and I’m in favor of people keeping more of their own money anyway. It passed 105 – 2.
52 2/7/18 HB 4528 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4528, which would expand the Health Professional Recovery Program to also cover emergency medical services (EMS) workers. The program offers treatment for drug addiction and mental illness, and reports those who fail to “satisfactorily participate” in treatment to DHHS. I’m not in favor of government-controlled, taxpayer-funded medicine, and this bill expands it. It passed 107 – 1.
53-54 2/7/18 HB 4486 & 4487 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4486 and 4487, which would increase sentencing guidelines for crimes of third and fourth degree child abuse. Fourth degree child abuse is when a parent “knowingly or intentionally committed an act that under the circumstances posed an *unreasonable risk* of harm or injury to a child, regardless of whether physical harm actually results.” This could potentially apply to many things (eg dangerous sports), and it’s inadequately specific what “unreasonable risk” means. It’s not clear to me that these enhanced penalties will actually deter child abuse, rather than just put more parents in jail. They passed 100 – 9.
55 2/8/18 HB 4705 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4705, which would require driver education to include training on what to do when pulled over by a police officer. A police encounter is always a serious and potentially dangerous situation; more people knowing how to handle the situation calmly may prevent potentially serious incidents and give police officers more peace of mind. It passed 109 – 0.
56 2/8/18 HB 5456 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5456, which would specify that plaintiffs in asbestos-related lawsuits provide a sworn statement that all claims they are making have been filed. There have been many fraudulent lawsuits filed relating to asbestos, and this bill would prevent “double dipping” lawsuits filed in multiple courts against multiple defendants. This is important transparency to prevent lawsuit abuse. It passed 58 – 51.
57 2/13/18 HB 4523 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4523, which I voted for previously, to repeal Michigan’s explosives law (explosives are already regulated federally). The Senate just added that the bill would go into effect 3 months after being signed into law. Concurrence passed unanimously.
58 2/13/18 HB 4665 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4665, which I voted for previously, to allow students enrolled in strict discipline academies to remain enrolled after they no longer meet the requirements for enrollment at their parent’s choosing. The Senate added that this also applies to unaccompanied or resettled minors. Reportedly this only applies to 10 or 12 students in the whole state, and the cost is negligible because it’s either that or they go to regular school. (House Fiscal Agency says the bill will have no fiscal impact to state or local governments.) Concurrence passed 105 – 3.
59 2/13/18 HB 4665 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5228, which would expand a financing scheme for schools to pay for “operational improvements” using the saving they would receive from the improvements, or pay out of pocket if the savings don’t appear.
Essentially, the scheme make two separate things seem like one thing: on one hand the school is paying for an improvement, payable in installments, while on the other, the school may experience savings from the improvement.
I voted last year to allow these agreements for energy efficiency programs, but this bill expands the scope to include any operational improvement, and this could easily get out of hand. Money for education should be spent primarily in the classroom, but this legislation incentivizes schools to make risky investments in trendy modernization techniques that the schools will be liable for if they don’t get the savings they expect.
It passed 106 to 2.
60 2/13/18 SB 393 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 393, which combines various laws on tax increment finance authorities (TIFAs) into a single act and establishes standard reporting processes and penalties for non-compliance. I don’t support TIFAs on principle, because they capture tax money and direct them to support particular programs (the biggest TIFAs are Downtown Development Authorities). In other words, the government picks winners and losers. But this bill doesn’t modify existing TIFA law and the reporting improvements are helpful. It passed 106 – 2.
61 2/14/18 SB 400 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 400, which would increase the 9-1-1 fees people pay on their phone bills for an additional $20 million per year. Reportedly this was to upgrade the system, although the bill contained no sunset for the increased cost and no evidence was presented in bill memoranda explaining the need for the upgrades. Technology is supposed to make things cheaper, not more expensive. It passed 99 – 10.
62 2/14/18 HB 4410 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4410, which would allow a decedent to exclude or limit the right of a child to claim exempt property. The would overturn a recent Court of Appeals decision that held: “[i]f the Legislature wished to extend the [decedent’s] intent in disinheriting a child to the child’s statutory right to exempt property, it could have expressly stated that intent in the statute. However, the statute is silent in this regard.” Well, now we’re not. People should have the right to decide how their property will be disposed when they die. It passed 101 – 8.
63-67 2/14/18 HB 5084, 5052, 5072, 5114, 5131 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5084, 5052, 5072, 5114, and 5131, which would remove references to elected county auditors in state election law. There are no such auditors, and haven’t been since 2005. They all passed unanimously except the last which had one “no” vote.
68-69 2/14/18 SB 613 & 625 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 613 and 625, which were leftover bills from the package to end Michigan’s “Driver Responsibility Fee” system. 613 is a technical fix to ensure that those previously subject to DRFs are eligible for a driver’s license after September of this year. 625 creates the workforce training program people could take if they couldn’t afford to pay a DRF. They both passed unanimously.
70-71 2/14/18 SB 748 & 750 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 748 and 750, which would allow a tax filer to continue to claim the Michigan personal exemption in light of recent federal tax reforms and gradually increase that exemption, which is currently scheduled to increase to $4,500 by tax year 2018, to $5,000 by tax year 2021 ($4,000-$4,500 in 2018, $4,600 in 2019, $4,700 in 2020 and $5,000 in 2021). Without these bills, the state would take an additional $1.4-$1.6 billion from the public. They passed 105 to 2.
72 2/14/18 SB 400 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 400, which would increase the 9-1-1 fees people pay on their phone bills for an additional $20 million per year. Reportedly this was to upgrade the system, although the bill contained no sunset for the increased cost and no evidence was presented in bill memoranda explaining the need for the upgrades. Technology is supposed to make things cheaper, not more expensive. It passed 99 – 10.
73-77 2/14/18 HB 5040, 5041, 5043, 5079, 5046 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to the bills to end Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fee penalties, which I voted for previously. The Senate made minor changes to the appropriation amounts, and required people to be enrolled in a payment plan to receive immediate forgiveness. They all passed unanimously.
78 2/15/18 HB 5235 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5235, which would allow employers paying wages on a monthly basis to pay wages on the first through the 16th of the month. Currently, monthly wages are required to be paid on the 1st. The government has no business imposing this condition on private contracts, so I support relaxing this law. It passed 70 – 39.
79 2/15/18 SB 645 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 645, which would codify a 2003 executive order that created the Office of Rail within the department of transportation and designated it the safety oversight board for public railroads as required by federal law. This board already exists, so it doesn’t really change anything. It passed unanimously.
80 2/15/18 HB 5220 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5220, which would increase the maximum amount of OC in pepper spray from 10 to 18 percent and allow for the use of ultraviolet dye to help police bring an attacker to justice. The right to self-defense is fundamental, and I view the restriction as unconstitutional, so I support relaxing it. Especially in light of yesterday’s horror, where once again the government left citizens helpless at the hands of a murderer. It passed 88 – 21.
81 2/15/18 HB 5091 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5091, to require employers send employees their withholding statements by January 31 instead of February 28. This is the same day the federal statements are required, so having it all done by one date is simpler. It passed unanimously.
82 2/15/18 HB 5261 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5261, which would require a taxpayer file only one statement for the personal property tax exemption if the property is less than $80,000. A lot of small businesses were not filing annually as they were supported to, and eliminating the annual form saves everyone time and money. It passed 106 – 3.
83-86 2/20/18 SB 419-421 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 419 – 421, which would revise or eliminate several statutory grounds for the termination of parental rights to address recent court decisions. Prior to terminating parental rights, the court would have to assess a parent’s financial ability to provide care for the child and/or whether a parent has rectified the conditions that led to a removal or prior termination. The Court of Appeals recently held that it is unconstitutional to terminate parental rights based solely on a prior termination, without determining whether a parent rectified the conditions that led to the prior termination, because it violates a parent’s due process rights. The Court urged this legislation to “adequately protect a parent’s fundamental liberty interest in the raising of children.” In another case, the Supreme Court held that efforts at reunification of a parent and child cannot be reasonable unless DHHS modifies its services as reasonably necessary to accommodate a parent’s disability. These bills resolve these issues. They passed 104 – 4, 103 – 5, and 107 – 1.
87 2/21/18 SB 551 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 551, which would create a panel of an unspecified number of designees from the governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority Leader to review proposed spending by the Natural Resources Trust Fund before it submitted a budget recommendation. If we need to dedicate ourselves to keeping a closer watch on NRTF spending, let’s just have the lawmakers on the appropriate committees do so; why create another board? It passed 56 – 53.
88-90 2/21/18 HB 4298-4300 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4298 – 4300, which would require forensic interviews of children at child advocacy centers to be videotaped, providing conditions for their use and penalties for misuse. It’s important to have a documentary record of these interviews, particularly because children may be vulnerable to being manipulated by an interviewer. There was at least one case where this happened and the father was exonerated only because a video of the interview was available. They passed, 91, 92, and 93 to 18, 17, and 16 respectively.
91 2/21/18 HB 4321 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4321, which appropriated $175 million for road repairs. This winter has been brutal to the roads, and it’s best we start fixing them sooner instead of waiting for next year’s budget. It’s our job to fix the roads. The bill passed unanimously.
92-94 2/21/18 HB 4536-4538 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 4536, 4537, and 4538, which I voted for previously. The Senate simply removed unused enacting clauses that might have tie-barred the bills to another. Concurrence passed unanimously for all three bills.
95 2/22/18 HB 4053 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4053, to make English the official language of Michigan. This would require that English be the language used in public records, meetings, and official acts of the state. A state agency or local unit of government could use or print official documents and forms in other languages as well as English, but not in foreign languages only.
It’s important that a singular language be used in public documents, and obviously sensible that English be that language. It is “our common medium of speech,” as Justice Louis Brandeis said.
Furthermore, a Department of Labor study found that immigrants learned English more quickly when there was less native language support around them. Increasing the incentive to learn English encourages immigrants to make the most of the American experience and to enrich themselves and our country.
It passed 62 – 46.
96 2/22/18 HB 5190 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5190, which would allow the Professional Golf Association Tour to get a liquor license in Michigan. Apparently some legal defect was in the way. It passed unanimously.
97 2/27/18 HB 4699 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4699, which would allow totally disabled veterans to purchase any specialty license plate for the same price as the disabled veteran license plate. Veterans who were disabled in service of our country should be permitted to obtain any type of license plate for the same price as the disabled veteran plates they are already entitled to. It passed unanimously.
98 2/27/18 SB 582 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 582, which would allow physical therapists to certify disabilities for obtaining disabled license plates and placards. This allows people to work with their therapists rather than having to go back to their doctors to obtain the certification. It passed 105 – 3.
99 2/27/18 HB 5355 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5355, which would adjust how the Public School Employees Retirement Act pays down unfunded liabilities. The bill gradually reduces the payroll growth assumption over the next ten years to create a “level dollar” payment for the schools over that period. This wold prevent payments from spiking in the future and potentially taking money out of the classroom. It passed unanimously.
100 2/27/18 HB 5010 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5010, which would extend the statute of limitations for armed robbery from 6 years to 10, as it is for kidnapping, extortion, manslaughter, and first-degree home invasion. There already is a burden on prosecutors to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and if evidence shows a suspect is guilty of armed robbery they should be charged. It passed 92 – 16.
101-102 2/27/18 HB 4666 & 4670 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4666 and 4670, which would make it a felony for a process server to lie to a court with a false declaration of service and revises the procedure for making proof of service. The bills made the penalty for false proof of service match the penalty for perjury, which makes sense because both are acts of lying to a court. They passed 96 – 12.
103 2/27/18 HB 5282 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5282, which would clarify that a court does not retain jurisdiction after determining that a license is to be restricted to order it reinstated. That’s because the constitutional authority is with the Secretary of State. The bill passed unanimously.
104 2/27/18 HB 4614 Passage Yes I voted for HB 4614, which would repeal a requirement that teachers with a provisional certificate obtain a professional certificate if their have a single non-renewable two-year extension following a lapse of their provisional certificate. This would allow a teacher to renew the standard certificate in perpetuity. This is important for teachers that can’t be evaluated because they work in a hospital setting, preschool programs not affiliated with a K-12 school, or on temporary leave. It passed unanimously.
105-106 2/28/18 HB 4667-4668 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4667 and 4668, which would change the Grape and Wine Industry Council to the Michigan Craft Beverage Council and be expanded to include beer makers and distillers. The council would direct the agriculture department to award certain grants for industry research. Industries should form their own private associations and the government should have no role in any of this. They passed 107 – 2.
107 2/28/18 HB 5379 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5379, which would allow sunscreen to be used in school. I can’t believe it was prohibited. It passed 108 – 1.
108 2/28/18 SB 522 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 522, which would require local governments determine the compensation of a community center’s board of directors. Current law says members of a community center’s board of directors for townships with a population of 10,000 or less must serve without compensation. This would increase the cost of government. It passed 104 – 5.
109-111 2/28/18 HB 5243, 5244, 5246 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5243, 5244, and 5246, which would require that psychological evaluations for parole be completed on a timely basis and provides court remedies if deadlines aren’t met. Establishing requirements for psychological reviews prior to trial and parole board inquiry will limit unnecessary delays and costs. They passed 107 – 2 and 108 – 1.
112 2/28/18 HB 5439 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5439, which would create a registry for psychiatric beds and require hospitals maintain current information on their vacancies. The government shouldn’t need to tell hospitals to provide marketing services, and a patient in search of a bed will unlikely have any easier time researching information in this registry than just calling a hospital and asking. It passed 106 – 3.
113 2/28/18 HB 5524 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5524, which would require teacher continuing education include mental health training. It doesn’t specify what education this will displace. This is more government micro-management with good intentions but probably not significant results. It passed 107 – 2.
114 2/28/18 HB 5097 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5097, which would cap the permit fees a county road commission may charge a phone/Internet/video provider for doing work on a county road in counties with less than 250,000 residents (all but 9 counties). Current law already says a county road commission may only charge the amount of the commission’s necessary and actual costs related to the permit. Placing a hard cap on permit fees prevents a commission from recovering its costs and forces taxpayers to subsidize the additional cost of broadband projects in their communities. It passed 68 – 41.
115-116 2/28/18 HB 5435-5436 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5435 and 5436, which would allow property owners to request the removal or reinstatement of certificates under the Commercial Rehabilitation Act and the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act. Basically these are special tax breaks: they allow for the “freezing” of a property’s value, so developers can pay the lower tax rate after redeveloping them. This is another example of government picking winners and losers, propping up some chosen entities at the expense of everyone else. They passed 96 – 13 and 100 – 9.
117 3/1/18 HB 4430 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4430, which I voted for previously, to prohibit all governments in Michigan from providing electronic data on people to federal agencies without a warrant or the person’s consent. The Senate limited the bill by saying that any data the government collected legally (for example, data collected in a crash investigation) may be shared. This may be a little broad, but the bill’s sponsor and the governor supported the change. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
118 3/1/18 HB 5112 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate changes to House Bill 5112, which I voted for previously, to name a section of a road. The Senate change was purely technical and concurrence passed unanimously.
119 3/1/18 SB 596 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 596, which would expand the amenities that “Pure Michigan Trails” can provide to users and allow for multi-jurisdictional trailway councils to provide guidance and receive input on possible allowed uses of trails (eg for e-bicycles). This provides the needed flexibility in the law to get the most out of our trails. It passed unanimously.
120 3/1/18 HB 4840 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4840, which would expand the definition of school zones (where speed limits are lowered to 25 mph during certain school hours) to include highways, even if the highways have pedestrian overpasses. Reportedly at some schools students try to cut across the highways instead of using overpasses. This is a problem parents and schools should address locally, not by punishing motorists and causing traffic issues. It passed 108 – 1.
121-122 3/1/18 HB 4030-4031 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4030 and 4031, which would provide an income tax checkoff for the Lions Foundation of Michigan. I support the Lions’ good work but I can’t support any legislation that actually names a particular organization in statute for special treatment. They passed 105 – 2.
123 3/1/18 SB 638 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 638, which would update the law on credit for reinsurance to conform to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners guidelines. For example, a credit for reinsurance would only be allowed to the extent it is consistent with certain rules promulgated by the state department (DIFS).
It’s best for the industry when states tend to have uniform policies. It passed 108 – 1.
124 3/1/18 HB 4633 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4633, which would require law enforcement submit information to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Ensuring this national database has up-to-date inform could lead to cases being solved and increasing the chance families of missing persons get answers or closure. It passed unanimously.
125 3/1/18 HB 5438 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5438, which would expand the definition of coercion in the context of human trafficking to include controlling or facilitating access to drugs. This is one of the more common forms of coercion to keep people engaged in prostitution. It passed 108 – 1.
126 3/1/18 HB 4321 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4321, which I voted for previously, appropriating $175 million for roads. The Senate added $1 million to investigate sexual misconduct at Michigan State University, $2 million for flooding and disaster needs, and $400,000 for state police needs. Concurrence passed unanimously.
127-128 3/6/18 HB 4545-4546 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to HB 4545 and 4546, which would allow the sharing of certain employment data for the purpose of research and planning education programs to meet Michigan’s employment needs. The Senate revised various technical details, such as removing Intermediate School Districts from the bills because they are now working with the Department of Education and Unemployment Insurance Agency directly on this issue. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
129 3/6/18 HB 4973 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4973, which I voted for previously, which would exempt critical energy infrastructure and cybersecurity-related information from public disclosure. The Senate added certain road-related data to the list, citing concerns from MDOT that as driverless vehicles use roadside devices, these could potentially become a cybersecurity issue as well. Concurrence passed 104 – 4.
130 3/6/18 HB 5417 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5417, which would allow the transportation and carrying of bows, crossbows, and slingshots without requiring they be unstrung or locked in a case. Being unloaded is sufficiently safe and we shouldn’t endanger law-abiding citizens with prosecution just because they have a strung bow in their car. It passed 99 – 9.
131 3/6/18 HB 5259 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5259, which would revise signage rules for taxis, limos, and transportation network vehicles. Basically this is to revise a quirk in the law affecting companies with outsourced dispatch systems. Specifically, it allows a vehicle to display the signage of its affiliated dispatch system provider so long as it also displays the taxi’s cab’s registration number. This bill gives customers information they need if they want to lodge a complaint about a transportation company. It passed 105 – 3.
132 3/7/18 HB 5234 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5234, which would allow counties to place an inmate in county jail on medical probation and release him if the inmate is expected to die within the next six months. It would require a court conduct a hearing to determine if release was prudent and proper and would not apply to violent offenders. Currently a county jail cannot release a prisoner who is terminally ill with a short life expectancy. Instead, the county is required to provide the medical treatment for the terminally ill prisoner, and is required to deal with the post mortem procedures when the prisoner inevitably perishes in the jail. Non-violent prisoners who are expected to perish in the near future due to a terminal illness should not have to do so within the confines of a county jail. It passed 99 to 9.
133-136 3/7/18 HB 5234, 4101-4103 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5245 and 4101 – 4103, which would allow a parole board to parole “medically frail” prisoners to a medical facility for the length of their parole term, including those that have not yet served the minimum sentence imposed by the court, and making it a crime to assist or aid a parolee attempting to flee the medical facility. “Medically frail” is defined to exclude anyone that would be a threat to society. These do not release prisoners prematurely; they simply allow medically frail prisoners to finish their sentences at a medical facility. A judge would be required to review the parole if an objection was filed, and any victims would be notified if medical parole was being considered.
The average health care cost for a prison inmate has been estimated at $5,801 per year. The cost, however, increases with an inmate’s age, from $11,000 for ages 55-59 to $40,000 for ages 80 and above. We can ease up our strained corrections budgets by not paying the high health care costs of those with severe health problems. They passed 98 – 10, 94 – 14, 95 – 13, and 101 – 7.
137-138 3/7/18 HB 4887 & Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4887 and 5256, which would create a process for law enforcement officers to place a 90-day “hold” on items at pawn shops and secondhand and junk dealers when officers have probable cause to believe the property is stolen. (Pawnbrokers are already required to hold property for at least 90 days before selling it.) Only a court could extend the hold. A dealer could not be held liable if stolen property in their possession is seized and unable to be returned. This clears up ambiguity in the law on how to handle what is believe to be stolen property. They passed 107 – 1.
139 3/7/18 SB 442 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 442, which passed unanimously, to make various updates the Business Corporation Act, mostly due to technology, to reflect model legislation used nationally. The changes were technical in nature and it helps to have standard rules across the country.
140 3/7/18 SB 353 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 353, which would prohibit local governments from enforcing ordinances that prohibit employers from asking certain questions in job interviews, e.g. criminal history. Studies found that well-intentioned “Ban the Box” laws meant to encourage businesses to give all applicants a “fair chance” ended up leading to widespread demographic discrimination. More fundamentally, employers should be free to screen employees by any means they desire, subject to federal and state anti-discrimination and other civil rights laws. I support local control and smaller government but that does not mean allowing local governments to restrict the rights of citizens, or associations of citizens. It passed 62 – 46.
141 3/7/18 HB 5260 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5260, which passed unanimously, and would members of a club (e.g. Elks, American Legion) to purchase alcoholic drinks at other posts or locations of the same club to which they are a member. This relaxes an excessively strict rule.
142 3/7/18 HB 5215 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5215, which deletes references to a particular girl’s school that no longer exists. Legislation should [edit: NOT] affect particular named entities. It passed unanimously.
143-144 3/7/18 HB 5412-5413 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5412 and 5413, which would update the Freedom of Information Act to include newer types of electronic media in which records can be made available. The law previously referred to “discs, tapes or other digital or similar media.” It wasn’t clear whether this covers electronic publications. They passed 106 – 2 and 107 – 1.
145 3/8/18 HB 5407 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5407, which would require convicted defendants remain in the courtroom while victim impact statements are given. Criminals should have to bear the burden of knowing what harm they have done to their victims. In the Lawrence Nassar case, the judge forced him to listen to his over 150 victims despite his claim that he could not bear to hear any more. In another case, a judge granted a convicted murderer’s request to return to jail because he didn’t want to hear from the parents of the woman he murdered. Leaving the courtroom, the killer turned to the grieving family and blew a kiss at them. It passed 105 – 2.
146-148 3/8/18 HB 5530-5532 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5530 through 5532, which would prevent juveniles convicted of sex crimes from returning to the same school as their victims, expand restraining orders to cover this, and require schools expel students who commit sex crimes against another student enrolled in the same school district. This is all common sense protection for victims. In a recent case, a 16-year-old pled guilty to 6 counts after being charged with 31 felonies, including sex crimes, but was only sentenced to 45 days at a youth facility and then allowed to return to school, to the daily agony of his victims. This has to be stopped. 106 – 1, 93 – 14, and 106 – 1.
149-150 3/8/18 HB 5402-5403 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5402 and 5403, which would allow recorded forensic interviews of children be used for training purposes in other counties, if authorized by the county prosecutor where the interview was made and with the written consent of the minor’s non-offending parent or guardian. Presently, these recordings may only be used in the counties where they were made. This simply makes it easier to train interviewers and it protects people’s rights. They passed 105 – 2 and 106 – 1.
151-152 3/8/18 HB 5463-5464 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5463 and 5464, which make it a civil infraction to sell nitrous oxide cartridges to minors. Nitrous oxide is used in dentistry as an anesthetic, in race cars for speed, and in cooking for whipped cream (though notably, only professional chefs need it in quantity where it isn’t easier just to buy pressurized whipped cream containers). It can also be used to get high and this is surely the reason minors buy them. I wouldn’t support this legislation if it didn’t apply only to minors. They passed 104 – 3.
153 3/13/18 HB 4811 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4811, which I voted for previously, which would adopt the recently enacted federal food safety rules. The Senate added a definition for “micro markets” (fancy vending machines). Concurrence passed 101 – 8.
154 3/13/18 HB 4643 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4643, which would expand real estate transfer tax exemptions to allow new home builders to use the value off the improvements to the land, rather than the plot itself. A seller whose home has lost value generally doesn’t have to pay the state’s real estate transfer tax. This bill would extend the same exemption to someone who bought vacant land, built a house, and now is selling the house after it lost value. It passed 96 – 13.
155 3/13/18 HB 4084 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4084, which removes a course requirement in diagnosing and remediating reading disabilities for professional teacher certification. The requirement is a burden on those studying to become teachers and I don’t support government mandates like this. It passed 102 – 7.
156 3/13/18 HB 5394 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5394, to designate a portion of Business Route 127 in Clare County as the SPC Robert Friese Memorial Highway. Signage must be paid for by private sources, so this does not cost taxpayers money.  It passed unanimously.
157 3/13/18 SB 589 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 589, which would allow police to use three-wheeled motorized vehicles on sidewalks.  The vehicles are as wide as a sidewalk. This could pose a safety hazard to pedestrians and I don’t see a compelling need for this.  It passed 106 – 3.
158-161 3/13/18 SB 590-593 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 590-593, which would allow local governments to take on more debt.  There is a debt cap based on the assessed value of real and personal property in the community; the bills would allow expected revenue from personal property taxes and state revenue sharing payments to county toward the assess value and thereby raise their debt limit. Municipalities shouldn’t be going into debt and putting taxpayers on the hook for interest.  They passed
162 3/13/18 HB 5609 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5609, which would increase the limit on gifts from property-casualty insurers and agent to applicants and customers from $10 to $50. Insurers shouldn’t be threatened with losing their licenses if they happen to give a customer $11 worth of branded merchandise. There’s nothing wrong with giving out branded merchandise.  It passed 107 – 2.
163 3/14/18 HB 5430 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5430, which would allow electronic delivery of insurance documents (i.e. via email) with a customer’s permission.  The customer could withdraw permission at any time, and notice would have to meet the requirements of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and any applicable HIPAA requirements. People are increasingly conducting business electronically and this is a common sense modernization. It passed unanimously.
164 3/14/18 HB 5536 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5536, which would authorize state grants to counties for “veteran service operations,” defined as helping veterans, dependents, and survivors get federal assistance and benefits.  Each county with a veteran service office that satisfies the requirements of the bill would receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county (the number of veterans per county will be based on the most recent GDX report published by the V.A.).  The fund would be created within the department of treasury, but would be administered by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). In other words, the state pays the county to help the person get the federal funds.  It’s a government assistance program for a government assistance program.  The bill sponsor is seeking a $5 million appropriation in the upcoming fiscal year to fund these grants. I’m all for supporting our veterans but this seems like a very bureaucratic and cumbersome way to do so, especially when we could simply increase funding to the Veterans Service Organizations that already exist to provide benefits services to veterans. It passed 107 – 1.
165 3/14/18 HB 5591 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5591, which would create a statute of limitations of 18 months for Occupational Code claims against real property appraisers.  (It does not affect claims of negligence or breach of contract).  18 months is in line with deadlines for claims against residential builders and real estate licensees. These limitation laws exist to prevent lawsuit abuse in cases where the facts become difficult to prove because so much time has gone by.  Currently there is no statute of limitations on this.  It passed 107 – 1.
166 3/14/18 HB 5618 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5618, which would allocate library funds based on the number of Michigan residents they serve. The Interstate Library Compact (which I voted against having Michigan join) creates a situation where Michigan libraries can be providing services to other states. This could allow libraries to claim nonresidents for funding purposes. Funding should be based on Michigan residents served because that is whom our tax dollars are intended to benefit. It passed 80 – 28.
167 3/15/18 HB 5180 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5180, which would allow the Department of Natural Resources to issue orders allowing the use of pneumatic guns for hunting where firearms are allowed. These guns are a based on new technology and are easier to handle and use than firearms.  The laws should be updated to allow their usage; hunting rules were not intended to favor combustion over compressed air as a means of propulsion. It passed 59 – 47.
168 3/15/18 SB 662 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 662, which is substantially similar to another bill we passed unanimously last week, to allow members of social clubs (eg the VFW or Elks) to drink at any club location, not just the particular post or location to which they belong. This is a basic freedom issue. It passed unanimously.
169 3/15/18 HB 5278 Passage Yes I voted for on House Bill 5278, which would update references in law to a domestic violence prevention board to include sexual violence as well as domestic violence and gives the board power to administer relevant grants. It’s not clear to me why domestic violence doesn’t legally include all forms of sexual violence, but given that was probably the intent, it makes sense that the board cover this similar type of violence as well.  It passed unanimously.
170 3/15/18 HB 5644 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5644, which would codify the Secretary of State’s present practice providing a procedure for absentee voters to request their ballots be “spoiled” and replaced (for example, if they made a mistake when voting) and requiring the usage of paper ballots for tabulation. YES–having a paper trail is critical to ensure the integrity of an election. It passed 105 – 1.
171 3/15/18 HB 5646 Passage Yes I voted for house Bill 5646, which would require the Secretary of State to check the statewide Qualifed Voter File against the Social Security Administration’s death master file and require the SOS to participate in multi-state voter registration verification programs.  These are all sound practices to minimize election fraud and are the SOS’s present practice.  It passed 101 – 5.
172 3/15/18 HB 5669 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5669, which would codify the current list of acceptable IDs for election purposes: a state-issued ID, US passport, federal photo ID, military photo ID, tribal photo ID, or student ID issued by a high school or accredited college. Voters who do not have acceptable picture ID or forgot to bring acceptable picture ID to the polls can still vote by signing an affidavit. It’s proper to encourage current best practices are continued by defining what is a valid ID.  It passed 62 – 44.
173 3/15/18 HB 5678 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5678, which would address a flaw I foresaw in a recent law. I voted no on Senate Bill 270 of 2017, to require a “bona fide prescriber-patient relationship” for opioid prescriptions. In my explanation I wrote: ” What about in an emergency? This bill diminishes from doctors medical freedom and would prevent people from receiving urgently needed medicine.” The bill became a law, and sure enough, it turned out that the law would have prevented people in hospices from receiving urgently needed pain medicine for end-of-life care.  HB 5678 would allow the prescriber to delegate reviewing patient records and completing medical assessments to another licensed professional.  It passed 104 – 2.
174 3/21/18 HB 5456 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5456, which I voted for previously, to increase transparency in asbestos lawsuits.  The Senate version says the plaintiff must make the required filings 6 months before trial rather than within 1 month of filing, and that trust claims materials may be used to prove alternative causation or responsibility, and other minor changes. Concurrence passed 83 – 25.
175 3/21/18 HB 4922 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4922, which I voted for previously, to give police agencies more discretion in how revenue from inspection fees is used.  The Senate added that the specially trained officer performing the salvage inspection cannot also be the licensed mechanic that certifies the work performed on the vehicle. It passed 107 – 1.
176 & 180 3/21/18 HB 4360 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4360, which would prohibit local governments, universities, and law enforcement agencies from operating impound lots.  Existing facilities would be grandfathered. These lots are not a public good that only government can provide, so there is no need for those entities to own and operate those facilities to directly compete with private enterprise. It passed 81 – 27.
177 3/21/18 SB 623 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 623, which would extend a particular “renaissance zone” (business and individual tax exemptions) in Saginaw. I don’t support corporate welfare and special treatment for government-selected projects, so I don’t support extending them. It passed 91 – 17.
178-179 & 181 3/21/18 HB 5230 & 5231 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5230 and 5231, which would allow state employees and public school employees the option to receive an annuity retirement plan instead of a 401(k).  The annuity is similar to the defined-benefit pension program we just closed, but in an annuity the fund is held by the individual, not the employer, so the people of Michigan aren’t liable for unfunded liability. School and state employees should have the extra options, and because there is no match requirement as with a 401(k) this would not raise costs for the state’s retirement systems. They passed 73 – 35 and 71 – 37.
182 & 183 3/21/18 HB 5652 & 5653 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5652 and 5653, which would reform the determination of actuarial equivalent retirement allowances for judges and state employees, respectively. 5652 is my bill!  This is similar to the MPSERS reforms we passed last year, to allow the state actuary to determine the assumed interest rate rather than having it fixed at 8% and relying on mortality tables defined in 1983.  Our bills passed 107 – 1.
184 3/21/18 HB 4198 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4198, which would require 1 hour of driver education time be dedicated to safety for bicyclists and other “vulnerable” users.  Out of 24 total hours of classroom instruction, 1 hour sounds like a lot for bicycle awareness, and this inevitably would displace other material that might be more important. It passed 106 – 2.
185 3/21/18 HB 4265 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4265, which would require cars maintain a 3-foot distance when passing a bicyclist, or at a safe distance and speed if 3 feet is impractical.  It also allows vehicles to pass in the oncoming lane, even in a no-passing zone, as long as it is safe to do so. 3 feet is very little distance and this is a reasonable rule of the road. Cyclists have the same right to the road as motorists. It passed 98 – 10.
186 3/21/18 SB 712 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 712, which would clarify that the Statewide Records Management System is not responsible for processing FOIA requests on reports submitted by subscribing agencies, but rather the agency itself.  Under current law the state police are required to produce records for FOIA requests on any data that is stored on the SRMS application, even if the data in question was originally produced by a subscriber. The system was intended to encourage data sharing but not make multiple entities responsible for these requests.  This bill would ensure the specific public body that produced the data or report is the entity that will be required to respond to a FOIA request. It passed 106 – 2.
187 3/21/18 SB 727 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 727, which would eliminate the requirement that an individual must pass the SAT when pursuing an Interim teaching Certificate and change the 3.0 GPA requirement to a cohort grade point average of candidates within a program. I don’t support artificial barriers to employment thrown up by the state; school districts should set their own rules for who is qualified to teach. This will help people become teachers.  It passed 85 – 23.
188 3/21/18 SB 081 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 801, to make Tianeptine Sodium a schedule 2 controlled substance (illegal except with a prescription). Michigan would be the first state to do so. Reportedly the drug is an addictive antidepressant; however, the drug not being Schedule 2 in any other state, nor at the federal level, leaves me with concerns that this might unduly impact people’s medical freedom. The House Fiscal Agency memo on this bill did not note any medical organizations or doctors that endorsed the bill and the only group testifying in support of the bill was Michigan State Police. I find this insufficient evidence for banning a drug.  It passed 102 – 6.
189 & 190 3/21/18 HB 4106 & 5676 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4106 and 5676, which would grant high school credit to a high school student for completing an internship or on-the-job training and ensure that these students count as full-time pupils. Real-world learning is commendable and students should receive appropriate credit for doing so. I believe 4106 was the first bill I cosponsored in my term of office. Thank you, Representative LaFave! They passed 104 – 4 and 106 – 2.
191 & 193 3/22/18 HB 5017 & 5018 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5017 and 5018, to criminalize cyberbullying as a misdemeanor and a felony if the victim is seriously injured. There are already sufficient laws against stalking, harassment, etc. and there is nothing unique about the Internet as a medium for these crimes to require special laws.  We don’t need to put another crime on the books, and given the widespread political censorship occurring on social media it’s likely this law could encourage attacks on people’s First Amendment rights. They passed 91 – 17 and 92 – 17.
192 3/22/18 HB 5257 Concurrence No I voted against concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5257, which I voted against previously, to criminalize the possession and use of “ransomware”.  The Senate amendment was purely technical and the essence of the bill is the same. As I said before, extortion is already illegal and this could expose legitimate researchers to legal risk.  Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
194 & 195 3/22/18 HB 5152 & 5153 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5152 and 5153, which would allow patients, guardians, and advocates to submit a “do not prescribe opioids” directive, similar in nature to a “do not resuscitate” directive.  Medical directives or orders help an individual keep control of his or her medical care and convey wishes of life-sustaining measures or treatment. Health professionals would be immune from liability for following the directive. This is a health freedom issue and may help prevent people from being prescribed opioids unnecessarily.  They passed 108 – 1.
196 3/22/18 HB 5487 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5487, which would create a universal Medicaid credentialing process for those providing medical services. Instead of having to become credentialed through each health plan, DHHS would develop a singular process.  It does not impact other credentialing processes.  This simply streamlines a cumbersome process and the bill passed unanimously.
197 & 198 3/22/18 HB 5620 & 5621 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5620 and 5621, which would allow those who fail to claim a sales or use tax exemption to file a claim with the Department of Treasury to reclaim their money. Allowing the purchaser to claim a refund for their failure to provide the Certificate of Exemption at the time of purchase streamlines the process by eliminating the middle man (the seller). It should be the buyer’s job, not the seller, to reclaim this money. (Currently it is the seller’s responsibility to prove the sales and use tax should not have been charged to the buyer when the buyer fails to provide exemption information. They passed unanimously.
199 3/22/18 HB 5283 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5283, which would modify the brownfield developer subsidy deal to revise the definition of “demolition” to cover a particular concrete-clearing needed in a particular brownfield.  I oppose these subsidies, so I don’t support expanding them. It passed 66 – 43.
200 3/22/18 HB 4871 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4871, which would allow “business improvement zones” (“BIZs”) to levy special assessments against certain pieces of private property for a more flexible period (7 to 10 years, instead of only 10).  BIZs are created by a vote of business owners and can levy special assessments on certain pieces of private property.  In other words, a majority of businesses can vote to impose fees on the minority.  These shouldn’t exist at all, so I’m not voting to give them more flexibility. It passed 107 – 2.
201 3/22/18 HB 5626 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5626, which would allow school districts that would receive additional tax money if a millage ballot proposal passes to be listed as “public schools” instead of listing each school district on the ballot. Wayne RESA has 33 school districts and over 100 charter schools within the ISD, so this is cumbersome for clerks and confusing for voters. It’s not necessary to list every school district receiving the funds.  Thank you, Representative Noble, for your leadership on this issue.  It passed 56 – 53.
202 3/22/18 HB 5090 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5090, which would make failing to stop at a weigh station a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor. It also exempts towing trailers from having to stop at them. Small businesses are typically nowhere near these weight limits and the State Police, supporting the bill, noted that they rarely enforce this law for light-duty vehicles. It passed 88 – 21.
203 – 205 3/22/18 HB 5335, 5406, & 5408 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5335, 5406, and 5408 which would create the Michigan Infrastructure Council, Water Asset Management Council, and Transportation Asset Management Council, which would maintain a statewide infrastructure asset management plan. Michigan’s infrastructure is a sad state and this implements the recommendation of the governor’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission to eliminate the current siloed configuration of statewide infrastructure and provide a unified plan of how to best spend infrastructure funding. Commission members would not be compensated.  They passed 107 – 2, 107 – 2, and 83 – 26.
206 3/22/18 HB 5494 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5494, which would make drone use considered an extension of the individual’s  regard to criminal activity. In other words, using a drone to trespass and spy on someone is the same as if the person was actually trespassing and spying directly.  This is a logical and simple way to extend the law to cover drones without having to amend dozens of criminal laws. It passed 108 – 1.
207 & 208 3/22/18 HB 5495 & 5498 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5495 and 5498, which would make it a crime to use a drone to “interfere” with the operations of a “key facility”. Key facilities include certain manufacturing plants, electric and gas utilities, law enforcement facilities, and so on.  “Interference”, however, is undefined.  There are already lots of federal regulations regarding drones, and with interference undefined, it could potentially be interpreted broadly to mean any annoyance. They passed 104 – 5 and 102 – 7 respectively.
209 3/22/18 HB 5496 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5496, which would require the Michigan Aeronautics Commission within the Department of Transportation to oversee drone issues.  There’s no additional cost and the office indicated that the additional workload would be nominal and could be accomplished with existing resources, so this is fine. It passed 107 – 2.
210 3/22/18 HB 5497 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5497, which expands those considered “public safety officials” to include corrections employees and all law enforcement officials, not just police officers, in the law prohibiting drones being used to “interfere” with such officials. Again, I am concerned that “interfere” could be interpreted very broadly to include any annoyance and be used to charge people for, say, recording video where an official might not want to be recorded. It passed 106 – 3.
211 3/22/2018 HB 5678 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5678. The original bill would allow prescribers to delegate newly-required medical assessments to other professionals to establish a “bona fide” relationship for prescribing opioids. The Senate version eliminated this to instead change the requirement to not start until the health department implements a rule to decide who should be exempt from this requirement. This is an alternative fix for an unforeseen problem in a recent law intended to curb excess opioid prescriptions, which I anticipated having unforeseen consequences.  Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
212-213 4/11/2018 HBs 5508-5509 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5508 and 5509, which would allow summer resort and park associations to convert to nonprofit corporations. These are similar in structure and function to homeowners’ associations, so they should have the same classification and be considered nonprofits. They passed 108 to 1.
214 4/11/2018 HB 4522 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4522, which would allow a taxpayer who experiences a stillborn birth to claim an additional dependency exemption for one year. This is a reasonable offset for a grieving mother who has to bear the costs of a funeral as well as a pregnancy. It passed unanimously.
215 4/11/2018 SB 521 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 521, which would make it a ticketable offense to not treat a traffic light experiencing a power failure as a four-way stop sign. I don’t know why we need to legislate this minutia; a traffic light outage typically means traffic is backed up in all directions and almost everybody always waits their turn. Plus a rolling stop is safe if everyone else is backed up. It passed 99 – 10.
216 4/11/2018 SB 809 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 809, which revise or eliminate various obsolete provisions in election law. This was based on the recommendation of the Bureau of Elections. It would remove provisions that have expired, and eliminate provisions under which a person convicted of cheating on a civil service exam is barred from various public offices for 20 years. It would also require special elections be held at least 45 days after a special primary, rather than 20 days. These were all seen as minor updates requested by the Secretary of State. It passed 107 – 2.
217, 218 4/11/2018 HB 4561, 4564 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4561 and 4564, which I voted for previously, to clarify what agricultural equipment is exempt from sales tax. The Senate made corrections to keep with the intention of the original bills, to not change tax rates but update the code to match how the law was being interpreted. Concurrence passed 87 – 22 and 86 – 23.
219, 220 4/12/2018 HB 4562, 4563 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 4562 and 4563, which I voted for previously. The amendments are only technical changes: the Agricultural Disaster Loan Origination Program Act had to be re-enacted because the bill wasn’t signed into law before the act expired. Concurrence passed 97 – 11 and 91 – 17.
221-225 4/12/2018 SB 810-814 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 810 through 814, which would update various election laws for the changes made in SB 809 and eliminate various other obsolete provisions. These were all considered technical, inconsequential changes and they all passed unanimously.
226 4/12/2018 HB 4971 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4971, which would raise the amount of reward money a county can offer for information leading to the arrest of a criminal from $2,000 to $20,000. A county should be able to offer any reward it deems reasonable, worthwhile, and affordable. It passed unanimously.
227 4/12/2018 HB 4891 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4891, which would allow parents/guardians/foster parents to eavesdrop on their minor children’s phone conversations. Parents are legally responsible for their children’s behavior and they have a duty to police their behavior. Also, Michigan’s eavesdropping law, which defines it as hearing anything without someone’s permission, is absurdly broad. It passed 105 – 3.
228 4/17/2018 SB 841 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 841, which would protect members of Limited Liability Partnerships from personal liability except for negligence or other wrongful acts.  This is the same protection offered for Limited Liability Corporations and puts us in line with 46 other states. It passed 107 – 1.
229 4/17/2018 HB 5321 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5321, which would put a moratorium on new permits for the sterilization of game animals while Ann Arbor continues to conduct research into the viability of sterilization as a means of population control.  So far it has been shown to be ineffective at reducing deer population and a big waste of taxpayer money.  It passed 69 – 40.
230 4/18/2018 SB 290 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 290, which would require a candidate requesting a recount pay a higher fee if the candidate lost by more than 5 percentage points (or in very small races, 75 votes–whichever is greater). 5 percentage points is a margin of almost certain victory. A typical recount would affect the results by 0.3 percentage points or less. The current recount fee, however, is only $25 per precinct. Recounts cost a lot more than that, as two staffers are required for every few precincts, plus the clerks, canvassers, attorneys for the candidates, etc. This would make the fee for a “sore loser” recount $250 per precinct. It passed 93 – 16.
231 4/18/2018 HB 4115 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4115, which would increase the amount of sales exempt from tax for fund-raising activities by non-profit organizations from $5,000 to $10,000, if the total raised is less than $25,000. This amount had not been increased since 1994, so inflation has driven down the value of the amount significantly since it was last set. And I’m fine with small-scale charities not paying tribute to the state just because they have a bake sale. It passed 76 – 33.
232-234 4/19/2018 HBs 5644, 5646, 5669 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 5644, 5646, and 5669, which I voted for previously, making various updates to election laws. The Senate had to make technical corrections to reflect changes from other recently-passed bills and removed the 90-day effective date. Concurrence passed 107 – 2, 107 – 2, and 64 – 45.
235-236 4/19/2018 HBs 5686 & 5687 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5686 and 5687, which would require that Michigan driver licenses and ID cards issued to aliens expire no later than the date their visas expire. Common sense. They passed 99 – 10 and 96 – 13 respectively.
237 4/24/2018 HB 4628 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4628, which I voted for previously, to designate a part of a road between Lake City and Kalkaska as “Veterans Highway”. The amendment was technical in nature only. Concurrence passed unanimously.
238 4/24/2018 HB 4945 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4945, which I voted for previously, that would allow golf carts on roads in certain circumstances. The Senate added language to clarify that a municipality may require the golf cart to meet some safety rules, which is fine. Concurrence passed 67 – 40.
239 4/24/2018 HB 5085 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5085, which would divert money from liquor licenses to fund substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. These programs should be privately funded and administered; their being controlled by government only serves to encourage dependence on government. There were no quality or accountability requirements. It passed 104 – 3.
240-243 4/24/2018 HBs 5726 – 5729 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5726 – 5729, which would define “pyramid schemes” and illegalize them. These schemes are already illegal under federal and state law, but state law is ambiguous and these bills clarify the difference between illegal schemes, in which a seller can only make money by recruiting future sellers into the program, versus multi-level marketing and direct sales, where sellers earn money primarily from commissions on their sales. These bills clarify what is legal and what isn’t.  They passed 88 – 19, 86 – 21, 96 – 11, and 90 – 17 respectively.
244-245 4/24/2018 HBs 5578 & 5579 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5578 and 5579, which are the budget bills for the upcoming year. The was a lot of good in them; a few things I didn’t like, but the House showed great restraint in increasing the budget below the rate of inflation. However, I have voiced ongoing concerns about the extreme 4-to-1 disparity in university funding, which is severely unfair to Oakland University and other schools. I requested the budget address this and begin to narrow the funding gap, but the budget didn’t do so. I had to vote no on principle. They passed 66 – 41 and 71 – 36 respectively.
246-250 4/25/2018 HBs 5664, 5673, 4828, 5782, 618 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5664, 5673, 4828, 5782, and Senate Bill 618, which designated various roads as memorial highways. The law requires the signage be paid for by private sources, so there is no cost to taxpayers. They all passed unanimously.
251 4/25/2018 HB 5181 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5181, which would allow secured parties the ability to contest towing and storage fees, as individuals can, and reduce the 20-day waiting period for secured parties to recover an abandoned vehicle to 10 days. Anyone paying the fees should be able to contest their reasonableness. It passed unanimously.
252 4/26/2018 HB 4422 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4422, which I voted for previously, to extend a sunset on allowing retired teachers to teach as substitutes without forfeiting their pensions. It’s not “double dipping” because they are working and also earned their pensions. This would allow highly qualified teachers to make a little money and not exacerbate our shortage of substitute teachers. The Senate extended various dates and allowed certain retirees to work in literacy and leadership under High-Impact Leadership for School Renewal, a federal grant program.  This is all fine. Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
253 4/26/2018 HB 5530 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5530, which I voted for previously, that would prevent those convicted of criminal sexual conduct to return to a school a victim attends. The Senate amended it to make this provision mandatory, not subject to a judge’s discretion. Fine by me. Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
254 & 255 4/26/2018 HB 4916, 4917 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4916 and 4917, which would make late filing penalties for professional LLCs and corporations’ annual reports $10 per month, up to $50. Currently, PLLCs pay a flat penalty, so there is no incentive to file right away once it is late.  This minor change may encourage late filers to file sooner, and makes the system more standard. They passed unanimously.
256 5/1/2018 HB 5234 Passage Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5234, which I voted for previously, to allow medical parole in cases where death is imminent. The Senate amendment was strictly technical and the policy was unchanged. Concurrence passed 99 – 10.
257 5/1/2018 HB 5672 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5672, to name a portion of M-15 in Oakland County the Deputy Eric Overall Memorial Highway. The signage for memorial highways must be funded privately, so there is no cost to taxpayers. Deputy Eric Overall was killed in the line of duty on November 23, 2017, during a police pursuit that originated in Lapeer County. Deputy Overall was stopped at the corner of M-15 and Seymour Lake Road outside of his vehicle preparing to set up stop sticks when the vehicle being pursued hit him, killing him. It was a terrible tragedy. The bill passed unanimously.
258 5/1/2018 SB 297 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 297, which would impose additional burdens on those wishing to become electricians, and make it illegal for an unlicensed worker to pull wires, even if there is no power to the building. This is guild protection, driving up the cost of electrical work. It passed 89 – 20.
259 5/1/2018 HB 5504 Passage Yes I voted for House 5504, which would remove an obsolete requirement that vehicles honk when passing on the right. Obviously nobody does this. It passed unanimously.
260 5/1/2018 HB 5391 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5391, which would define electric skateboards in law and impose a regulatory regime that citizens must obey to use them, including requiring children and 18-year-old adults to hear helmets while riding them, prohibiting them from traveling faster than 25 mph, require use of reflecting clothing, etc. Reportedly we are passing this law because a single person requested it.  We should be working to protect and restore liberty, not coming up with more onerous laws for the public to obey. The age discrimination is also improper.  It passed 96 – 13.
261 5/1/2018 HB 5662 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5662, which would eliminate a requirement that helmet and protective eyewear be worn while operating an off-road vehicle towing a fishing shanty.  Happy to remove an unnecessary regulation, although it’s a bit odd that we’re voting on this immediately after having voted on another bill to impose a helmet mandate.  This bill passed 103 – 6.
262 5/1/2018 SB 815 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 815, which would include vehicles with permanent wheelchair lifts and hand controls in those eligible for a 50% vehicle registration fee reduction as wheelchair vans are given. Presumably the original intent of the law was to cover all vehicles that provide wheelchair access, not just vans, and I’m OK with reducing fees. It passed unanimously.
263 5/2/2018 HB 4991 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4991, which would specify that compensation received from wrongful imprisonment should be tax-deductible and excluded from calculating the homestead property tax credit. It’s common sense that a payment for wrongful imprisonment should not be subject to income tax. It passed 107 – 2.
264 5/2/2018 HB 5711 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5711, which would allow those in the Mentored Youth Hunting Program to hunt on public lands.  Currently they can only hunt on private land.  We should not exclude those that do not have access to private land to enjoy the benefit of hunting, increasing conservation and environmental awareness.  It passed 102 – 7.
265 5/3/2018 HB 4667 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with Senate amendments to House Bill 4667, which I voted against previously, to expand the Grape and Wine Industry Council to cover all alcoholic beverages and rename accordingly.  I didn’t support the bill in the first place, and its essence was unchanged. Concurrence passed 104 – 3.
266 5/3/2018 HB 5767 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5767, which would revise various provisions for liquor licensing for special events (eg beer tents as festivals).  Most of the provisions were OK, except a provision that would allow alcohol suppliers to give branded materials (such as tents and umbrellas) to the retailers.  Alcohol suppliers are otherwise prohibited from giving anything of value to retailers for free.  The Liquor Control Commission says “this principle is the cornerstone of Michigan’s trade practices regulatory structure. It is designed to provide a level playing field for all industry members.”  I’m not sure the prohibition is sensible, but either way, the policy should be consistent. It passed 105 – 2.
267 5/3/2018 HB 5768 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5768, which would codify rules requiring certain kinds of alcohol be delivered to licensed wholesalers, and require a 24-hour “holding period” for the liquor commission to be able to inspect the stock. This seems unnecessary, time-consuming, and labor-intensive.  This could create needless delays and increase consumer prices. It passed 103 – 4.
268 5/8/2018 SB 440 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 440, which is a companion bill to HB 4667, which I voted against last week. We don’t need taxpayer money to fund a booze industry association, as this bill does.  It passed 107 – 2.
269 & 276 5/8/2018 HB 5829 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5829, which would require the boards of school districts, ISDs, charter schools, and non-public schools to designate a liaison to a School Safety Commission, which forthcoming bills we are voting on today would create and make its decisions binding. I will explain my opposition to this package of bills in detail once we are finished voting on them. This bill passed 95 – 14, and then on reconsideration passed 97 – 12.
270 5/8/2018 HB 5850 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5850, which would make permanent the once-temporary law creating the 24/7 school safety hotline. We already have 9-1-1, teachers, principals, guidance counselors, school resource officers, child protective services, not to mention parents to whom students can report problems. (Most of the complaints were allegations of bullying.) This is not, in my opinion, the proper role of the Attorney General, whose office administers the program. It passed 108 – 1.
271 5/8/2018 HB 5851 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5851, which would require annual reports from schools to the state police on attempted acts or threats of violence against a school.  These reports would not be subject to FOIA as they are for the police to assess risk rather than for political purposes. I’m in favor of information being disclosed for the purpose of planning protection.  It passed 69 – 40.
272 5/8/2018 HB 5852 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5852, which would require police training include active shooter training. This bill (and the others we are voting on today) are all knee-jerk responses to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, although the policy failures that led to the Florida shooting are not even present in Michigan (I will explain further in a moment).  In this case, we have an unfunded mandate that is sure to divert resources from other forms of police training, training that may be more useful to them, as school shootings are very rare crimes. We should let the police decide for themselves what training is most needed, not dictating what they must do just because of an incident that happened 1,400 miles from here.  This bill passed 108 – 1.
273-275 5/8/2018 HBs 5828, 5830 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5828 and 5830, which would create a School Safety Commission that would require boards of all schools, public and nonpublic, to comply with rules it would create, including surveillance technology (cameras in halls), remote door locks, metal detectors, reinforced entryways, and “school building layouts” (whatever that means).
These bills will cost schools money as well as the state police. It’s currently an unfunded mandate, though perhaps it will be taxpayer-funded soon enough.  In either case, this is all part of a policy craze to “do something” to prevent the next school shooting. In that context, it’s worth noting what really set the stage for the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.  In Broward County – *unlike anywhere in Michigan* – it was official policy that police could not arrest students that were committing felonious assault crimes.
On November 5, 2013, a “Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline” became the county’s official policy: to prevent dangerous students from being locked up, the policy was not to act on credible threats.  Nikolas Cruz assaulted students, cursed out teachers, kicked in classroom doors, started fist fights, threw chairs, threatened to kill other students, mutilated small animals, pulled a rifle on his mother, drank gasoline, and cut himself, among other red flags.
Over and over again, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reported Cruz’s terrifying behavior to school administrators.  At least three students showed school administrators Cruz’s near-constant messages threatening to kill them — e.g., “I am going to enjoy seeing you down on the grass,” “I’m going to watch you bleed,” “I am going to shoot you dead including one that came with a photo of Cruz’s guns. They warned school authorities that he was bringing weapons to school. They filed written reports.
Threatening to kill someone is a felony. Having a felony record would have prevented him from purchasing a gun. But Cruz was never arrested. He wasn’t referred to law enforcement. He wasn’t even expelled. The parties to the agreement that prevented law enforcement from stopping this mass shooting were the Superintendent, the Chief Judge of the 17th Circuit, a State Attorney, a public defender, county sheriff Scott Israel, the Fort Lauderdale Chief of Police, the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Chair of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.
Thankfully, Michigan has no such policy. But in the craze to “prevent the next shooting” we have to find something to do, so we can boast to our constituents about having done something. But what we’re doing, in the name of prevention, is militarizing our schools, burdening everyone, most of all our children, whose learning time will inevitably be detracted by police state exercises and so forth.  This is the wrong direction.  House Bill 5828 passed 98 – 11; House Bill 5830 passed 95 – 14 and then 97 – 12 on a re-vote.
277 5/8/18 HB 4158 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4158, which would require a criminal conviction prior to civil asset “forfeiture” in drug offenses where the value of the property seized is under $50,000.  This is a basic due process issue: It’s the state’s burden to prove you guilty before they can steal your property.  You shouldn’t have to sue to get it back. It passed 83 – 26.
278 & 279  5/8/18 SBs 803, 804 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 803 and 804, which would allow the state to issue liquor licenses in Cadillac Place, a large state-owned space in the New Center district in Detroit. There are vacant areas in the building that could contribute to the economic revitalization of the area, but for the state’s prohibition on issuing liquor licenses within state-owned buildings.  This makes sense in your typical government office building, but in a million-square-foot building like Cadillac Place (former headquarters of General Motors), it’s large enough that allowing this is warranted.  They passed 103 – 3 and 99 – 8.
280 5/15/18 SB 551 Concurrence No I voted no on Senate Bill 551, which I voted against previously, to create an advisory council for the Natural Resources Trust Fund. The Senate amended the bill to ask the NRTF board to consider only unanimous recommendations. The essence of the bill was unchanged, so I maintained my no vote. It passed 56 – 51.
281 5/15/18 HB 5407 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5407, which I voted for previously, to require defendants be present when victims give oral impact statements. The Senate clarified that the bill applies to cases in which sentencing occurs after the bill goes into effect, and that the court may consider any relevant statement from a victim regarding the defendant being physically present during that victim’s impact statement.  The essence was unchanged.  Concurrence passed 105 – 3.
282 5/15/18 HB 5749 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5749, which would allow “platoon trucks” (future autonomous vehicles that are electronically linked to coordinate speeds in order to enhance safety, save time and energy, and reduce emissions–these are already legal on Michigan roads) to exempt them from the requirement that trucks and truck tractors leave sufficient space between themselves for overtaking vehicles. This would streamline the process of platooning and the distance requirement is unnecessary for this type of vehicle.  It passed 64 – 44.
283 5/15/18 SB 568 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 568, which would relax a limitation on the distance between the height of the seat and handlebars on motorcycles.  There’s no need for this arbitrary restriction.  It passed unanimously.
284 5/15/18 HB 5645 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5645, which would allow support dogs for courtroom witnesses in certain circumstances. These may help young and vulnerable victims gain the courage to testify against those who hurt them.  It’s unlikely to affect insurance costs.  It passed 107 – 1.
285, 286 5/15/18 SBs 840 & 881 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 840 and 881, which would clarify that 5-acre waste treatment facilities are not lakes and do not require permit renewals.  This affects mines. Michigan’s mining laws are widely regarded as the most stringent in the world.  These bills don’t change that but allow the Department of Environmental Quality to make sensible determinations.  They passed 66 – 42 and 63 – 45 respectively.
287 5/15/18 SB 647 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 647, to make permanent a currently-temporary subsidy for weatherization funding.  The free market provides enough incentives for energy efficiency improvements. It passed 104 – 4.
288 – 295 5/15/18 SBs 851, 853, 854, 856, 857, 859, 862, 863 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 851, 853, 854, 856, 857, 859, 862, and 863, which are zero-dollar budget bills from the Senate.  These are all simply procedural bills which will eventually contain budget items but are now just to continue the budget process. They all passed 106 – 2 or 107 – 1.
296 – 303 5/15/18 HBs 5561, 5562, 5567, 5568, 5570, 5572, 5574, 5575 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5561, 5562, 5567, 5568, 5570, 5572, 5574, and 5575, which are zero-dollar budget bills.  These are all procedural bills to continue the budget process but are essentially blank at this time.  They all passed 105 – 3 to 107 – 1.
304, 305 5/15/18 SB 839 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 839, a companion bill to SB 840 and 881, which we voted on earlier. This bill would require the Department of Environmental Quality to consider if the environmental impact of a proposed mining permit amendment is materially increased or substantially different from the previously approved permit, and if not, the DEQ could approve the change without starting over the full permit process. We don’t need the entire permitting process to be restarted over a minor change.  It passed 64 – 44 and 63 – 45 on a re-vote.
306 5/15/18 HB 5901 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5901, which would extend the expiration date on an earmark for the statewide trauma system within the crime victim’s rights fund for another 3 years.  Instead of a funding stream for a statewide trauma center, where only a portion of the system actually serves victims of crimes, the fund should be spent as best determined by the fund (its primary purposes are crime victim services and crime victim compensation, which go principally to victims). It passed 69-39.
307 5/15/18 HB 5908 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5908, which would modify a detail of community stabilization revenue sharing to ensure local fire departments are held harmless from adjustments in personal property tax revenue.  We have a responsibility to reimburse local governments for this lost revenue because vital public services depend on it. It passed 92 – 16.
308 5/15/18 HB 5934 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5934, which would earmark $26 million of the Health and Human Services budget for a rural hospital access pool.  Some of our rural hospitals rely on the type of assistance and others would not offer services like delivering babies without it. We can’t force residents to drive an extra hour or more in what could be life-or-death situations. This is among the better uses of DHHS money. It passed 107 – 1.
309 5/15/18 SB 848 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 848, another zero-budget procedural bill, this one being the omnibus budget bill. Again, this was just a procedural vote to move the budget process forward.  It passed 105 – 3.
310, 311 5/15/18 HB 5738 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5738 and 5741, which would repeal obsolete laws for a commission to establish and mark the Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota boundary.  This was just legal housecleaning. They passed 108 – 0 and 105 – 3.
312 – 314 5/15/18 HBs 5761 – 5763 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5761 – 5763, which would repeal obsolete laws against making “false protest”: seeking to defraud or otherwise injure an insurer of a boat or the property on board. This is now covered by the felony of insurance fraud.  They passed.  This is just legal housekeeping and each passed 106 – 2, 106 – 2, and 104 – 4 respectively.
315 5/15/18 HB 5769 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5769, which would repeal an obsolete law authorizing the Department of Social Welfare, which no longer exists, to acquire land for a boys’ vocational school that was closed in 1972. The last boys’ school closed in 2015. Again, we are just removing obsolete language from the law. It passed 107 – 1.
316 5/16/18 HB 5775 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5775, which would repeal a duplicative 1931 law against the disposition and use of animals unfit for work.  This is covered by other animal cruelty laws and is obsolete.  We have several more bills today to repeal antiquated, unnecessary laws.  This one passed 99 – 9.
317 – 321 5/16/18 HBs 5884 – 5888 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5884 through 5888, which would repeal an obsolete law on the maintenance and operation of tuberculosis sanatoriums and delete references to them. We no longer have any. They passed 105 – 3, 106 – 2, 104 – 4, 105 – 3, and 105 – 3.
322 – 325 5/16/18 5892 – 5895 Passage Yes  I voted for House Bills 5892 through 5895, which would delete references in law to various rehabilitation camps that no longer exist. This is more legal housekeeping. They passed 104 – 4, 99 – 9, 99 – 9, and 98 – 10.
326 5/16/18 HB 5805 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5805, which would prohibit a pharmacist from selling a generic drug at the name-brand price, and eliminate language that would pass the savings on to an insurance company if the purchase is covered.  On one hand, it’s not the government’s job to dictate prices (supply and demand does that) and insurers shouldn’t have to pay more than the actual sale price of the drug. It passed 105 – 3.
327 5/16/18 HB 5811 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5811, which would direct the state to review and approve a program to allow documents to be notarized remotely (i.e. over the Internet).  Internet technology has become sufficiently mature for this to be done in a secure manner and it’s time to modernize how we do business. It passed 105 – 3.
328, 329 5/16/18 HBs 5325 and 5270 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5325 and 5270, which would impose local taxes and fees (“assessments”) on residents in certain districts.  These special districts are called “Business Improvement Districts”, “Principal Shopping Districts”, or “Business Improvement Zones”.  The essence of these districts is that a majority of businesses can vote to impose taxes on all of them, to pay for improvements to the area.  I don’t support this concept, period, because a majority shouldn’t have the ability to impose tyranny on a minority, and these bills go even worse by imposing these taxes on residents who don’t even get a vote on them.  Businesses should not be allowed to pass their costs of doing business off on residential property owners who happen to live next door.  They passed 76 – 32 and 77 – 31.
330 5/16/18 SB 883 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 883, which provides appropriations for the Natural Resources Trust Fund for the current fiscal year (ending this September).  The money for these projects comes from the lease of state land for oil and gas projects – not from general tax dollars. The revenue is designated roughly once a year for specific projects in partnership with local governments. The money is constitutionally protected and can’t be used for other purposes.  It included a $267,600 appropriation for the Joslyn Road Regional Pathway Rehabilitation Project in Orion Township. It passed 107 – 1.
331 – 334 5/16/18 HBs 5750, 5751, 5753, 5754 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5750, 5751, 5953, and 5954, which would outline procedures and operating policies for the surrender of newborns using “Safe Haven Baby Boxes.” The Safe Haven Baby Box has already saved two babies in the State of Indiana. The box will lock once a newborn is placed inside and a 9-1-1 call will trigger within 30 seconds. The bill also ensures that emergency services shall make a reasonable effort to contact parents who surrender their newborn and inform them of their rights to regain custody of their child. The bills passed 97-11, and 98-10.
335 5/17/18 HB 5782 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5782, to designate a memorial highway. The Senate added “USAF” to the sign language.  Concurrence passed unanimously.
336 5/17/18 HB 5411 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5411, to clarify that corrections security inspectors and corrections security representatives are covered positions within MDOC for retirement purposes. The term currently covered was “corrections security specialist” which was meant to include these positions. Apparently some bureaucrat ruled otherwise. These employees were promised certain benefits and they should not be taken away. The bill passed unanimously.
337 5/17/18 HB 5411 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4679, which would require the House and Senate fiscal agencies supply a fiscal impact statement for every bill scheduled for a hearing in committee and for a vote on the floor. This is could allow the fiscal agencies to hold up a vote by taking time to prepare a fiscal impact statement, and these statements aren’t especially helpful anyway. Most of them say a bill will have an unknown or indeterminate impact, and It’s typically obvious when bills increase or decrease revenue or spending. The note for this bill, for example, said:
“House Bill 4679 would have no fiscal impact on state or local government.
“The bill would create additional required activities for the fiscal agencies, but they would likely be absorbed by existing staff. It is the current practice of both fiscal agencies to try to provide a summary and fiscal analysis on every bill that is taken up in a legislative committee or on the floor, and it is rare that they fail to do so; however, the agencies’ ability to do so is subject to the availability of data and the amount of advance notice that a bill is scheduled for a committee meeting or action on the floor.
“The requirement that the House or Senate could not vote on a bill on Third Reading without a fiscal note could lead to delay in cases when bills are being substituted or amended on the floor without much notice.”
I don’t see a clear need for a bill that could cause this issue. It passed 107 – 1.
338 5/17/18 HB 5454 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5454, which would allow a property owner to retain his “principal residence exemption” if he can no longer occupy his home due to damage or destruction. You shouldn’t have to pay higher property taxes if your house is destroyed by a tornado. It passed unanimously.
339 5/17/18 HB 5635 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5635, which would allow board of commissioners to meet at any time during a certain week in April, rather than on one specific date.  This is reasonable flexibility.  It passed unanimously.
340 5/17/18 HB 5766 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5766, which would allow private snow plows to keep their rotating amber lights on between jobs and allow wider plows. These were unneeded restrictions.  It passed 107 – 1.
341 5/17/18 HB 5923 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5923, which would designate a memorial highway in I-94 in Jackson county for two corrections officers, Jack Budd and Josephine McCallum, who were murdered by inmates.  The Memorial Highway Act requires signage be paid by private funds, so there is no cost to taxpayers.  It passed unanimously.
342, 343 5/17/18 HBs 5374, 5834 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5374 and 5834, to clarify that those with a mobility disability using a power-driven mobility device are still considered pedestrians and don’t require driver licenses.  Duh.  They passed unanimously.
344 5/17/18 HB 5638 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5638, which would create an alternative to the Site-Specific Review (SSR) requirement for water withdrawals. Any potential user would be able to submit data produced and analyzed by a certified hydrogeologist. If the data show no adverse resource impact (ARI), the approval would need to be issued by the Department of Environmental Quality within 20 days. Over the initial two years after approval, the DEQ would be able to request five more sets of data from the water user, but the burden of proof would be on the DEQ to prove whether or not that specific well has an ARI or not. This would relieve registrants, update current processes, and provide users with methods to make withdrawal approvals less expensive and time consuming. It passed 93 – 15.
345 5/17/18 HB 5902 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5902, which would authorize the public service commission to give one company, Hemlock Semiconductor, lower electricity rates from Consumers Energy than everyone else. This was done by authorizing a “long-term industrial rate” that applies only to those with an average demand of 200 megawatts or more at a single site — a condition that only Hemlock Semiconductor will meet in the foreseeable future.
To put this in perspective, 200 MW is how much power an entire city the size of Ann Arbor might use. General Motors probably uses about this much in Michigan (but would not qualify for the special rate because it is distributed among many plants and the bill requires one site use this much power).
In the Energy committee, we heard that this was necessary because if we did not give them this deal, they would build their own power plant, forcing Consumers to raise their rates for everybody else anyway (because they’d lose their biggest customer). But this would not be a problem in the first place if our energy market was competitive, and allowing one big company to pay less forces everyone else to pay more.
It’s a lose-lose scenario for everyone but the monopoly power company. Because our utility companies have a monopoly and a profit margin guaranteed by law, we have the highest energy prices in the Midwest, and among the highest in America. The effect on our industries is devastating. The solution to the monopoly isn’t to make special exemptions for only the largest companies. It’s to free everyone from the monopoly.
It passed 77 – 31.
346 5/22/18 HB 5093 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5093, which I voted for previously, to allow teachers in the original defined-contribution plan to get the additional benefits of the newer enhanced plan.  The Senate substitute removes a section in the bill that required the employer contributions to come from the School Aid Fund. The section would likely have been unenforceable because the legislature cannot bind future legislatures to make appropriations. Concurrence passed unanimously.
347 5/22/18 HB 5235 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5235, which I voted for previously, to allow people be paid up to the 9th instead of the first of each month. The Senate changed the date from the 9th to the 15th. Payment dates should be negotiated between employer and employee, not mandated by law, but this at least relaxes the law. Concurrence passed 70 – 38.
348, 349 5/22/18 HB 5620, 5621 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 5620 and 5621, which I voted for previously, to allow a purchaser who fails to claim a sales or use tax exemption to recuperate the money from the Treasury.  The Senate extended the enacting date to give Treasury more time to implement the program.  They passed 107 – 1.
350 – 359 5/22/18 SB 731 – 740 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 731 through 740, which codify current practices for filing documents with registers of deeds, mostly relating to newer technology.  Removing terms like “card file”, etc.  Most passed unanimously; a few bills had one or two no votes.
360 – 362 5/22/18 SB 652 – 654 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 652 – 654, which would create an independent oversight committee for all proposed environmental rules, create an appeals board for denied permit applications at the Department of Environmental Quality, and re-establish the Environmental Science Advisory Board to advise the governor on his request.  I appreciate the intent of the legislation (it is trying to address people’s frustration with the DEQ and give them avenues for over-ruling them), but would prefer we instead look at how to resolve problems within the DEQ directly, instead of creating even more government bodies.  They passed 57 – 51, 58 – 50, and 59 – 49 respectively.
363 – 371 5/23/18 HB 5561, 5562, 5567, 5568, 5570, 5572, 5574, 5575, 5579 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring in the Senate substitutes on HB 5561, 5562, 5567-68, 5570, 5572, 5574-75, and 5779. These are all simply procedural votes on various appropriation bills that will allow us to continue the budget process. The Senate substitutes were unanimously opposed.
372 5/23/18 HB 4475 Passage Yes I voted yes on HB 4475, which removes the cap on the amount of acreage that the state could own and implements a strategic management plan. Michigan currently owns 4.6 million acres of public land but lacks any kind of plan for how it should be managed. Moving forward, the strategic plan will ensure that any land purchased will be completed in a way that benefits Michigan families, our economy, and our natural resources. The bill passed 67-42.
373 5/23/2018 HB  5890 Passage Yes I voted yes on HB 5890, which updates communication practices within the Department of Environmental Quality. The bill will allow for the DEQ to issue permits in a manner which is modern (electronic), faster, and more efficient. The bill passed 109-0.
374 5/23/18 HB 5990 Passage Yes I voted yes on House Bill 5990, which repealed a duplicative reporting requirement regarding the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council. The reporting requirement is already required by boilerplate in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs budget. It passed 94-15.
375 5/23/18 HB 5993 Passage Yes I voted yes on House Bill 5993, which eliminates an unnecessary nursery licensing reporting requirement. The requirement is duplicative as it has already been implemented by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. It passed 105-4.
376 – 389 5/23/2018 HB 5995 Passage Yes I voted yes on House Bills 5995 – 6007, which eliminate and repeal various outdated and unnecessary commissions, statutes, and reporting requirements. These bills are simply to “clean up the books.” They all passed by various margins.
390 5/23/18 HB 5985 Passage Yes I voted yes on HB 5985, which improves Michigan’s indigent defense services. The bill ensures that these services are consistently delivered and Constitutionally adequate throughout all parts of the state. It passed 94-15.
391 5/24/18 SB 871 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 871, which would extend the statute of limitations for certain criminal sexual conduct from 10 years to 15, or to the victim’s 28th birthday, whichever is later. This would not apply retroactively. The risk of an innocent person being convicted because of these changes is minimal because a prosecutor must still prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest possible standard. Survivors of sexual assault often do not report the assault for years, particularly those who were minors at the time. Our law should reflect this reality, and better accommodate survivors. It passed 108 – 1.
392 5/24/18 SB 872 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 872, which extend the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits for sexual assault, for 10 years past the age of majority or 3 years past the discovery of an injury, and retroactive for anyone who was a minor at the time of an assault going back to 1996 if they file suit within 90 days, subject to certain conditions. Unlike in criminal cases in which prosecutors much prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a plaintiff in a civil case is only required to prove its allegations are more likely than not. This is a low standard of evidence, and extending the statute of limitation by many years limits the defendant’s ability to present evidence in his or her defense, when witnesses may be unavailable, records unavailable, and so on. It passed 99 – 10.
393 – 395 5/24/18 HB 5793, 5783, 5784 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5793, 5783, and 5784, which would establish an informed consent requirement for medical services on minors that involve penetration, require records of sensitive procedures be retained at least 15 years, require state medical boards establish guidance material for these treatments, and create penalties for failure to document such sensitive procedures. By the time some victims reported or realized they had experienced assault, their medical records were no longer available because of the short retention period in place. They passed 108 – 1.
396 – 399 5/24/18 HB 5787-5790 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5787 – 5790, which would update and strengthen laws against criminal sexual conduct carried out under the guise of medical treatment, with harsher felony penalties and requiring permanent revocation of a medical license. These terrible crimes merit harsher penalties and the bills passed 108 – 1.
400 – 402 5/24/18 HB 5794, 5660, 5661 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5794, 5660, and 5661, which would create new penalties for aggravated possession, production, distribution, and financing of aggravated child pornography (that which inherently involves sexually abusing children), and a mandatory minimum for multiple convictions. Perpetrators of these terrible crimes should be put away for a long time. The bills passed 106 – 3, 107 – 2, and 107 – 2 respectively.
403 – 404 5/24/18 HB 5537, 5982 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5537 and 5982, which would make it criminal to intentionally use a professional position of authority to prevent, or attempt to prevent, another from reporting criminal sexual conduct. This is clearly well intended to stop people from preventing others from reporting crimes, but it is possible that candid advice could be misinterpreted as an attempt to prevent reporting.  It could therefore also lead to people being afraid to discuss these sensitive issues.  We need to be careful not to chill speech. They passed 107 – 2.
405 5/24/18 HB 5658 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5658, which would make evidence that a defendant committed a sexual assault or domestic violence previously admissible in a subsequent case of sexual assault or domestic violence. Judges should be given more discretion in determining what evidence of prior sexual acts should be admitted and considered in a criminal case. It passed 104 – 5.
406 5/24/18 HB 5796 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5798, which would allow immediate family members and guardians of a victim to make a victim impact statement in sentencing, if the victim consents. Those who are closely related to victims should have the chance to speak as well.  It passed unanimously.
407 5/24/18 HB 5791 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5791, which would require the Department of Education to develop sexual assault materials for students in grades 6 through 12. We don’t need to micromanage the Department of Education on this and it’s already in the Michigan Merit Curriculum. It passed 103 – 6.
408 5/24/18 HB 5539 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5539, which would expand the “OK2Say” hotline to include sexual assault, abuse, and rape. I’m surprised these are not already covered by the program, since they are crimes, but since the line already exists this won’t add a cost. It passed unanimously.
409 5/24/18 HB 5799 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5799, which would give the governor power to remove State Board of Education and university board members for gross malfeasance in office, even if the legislature is in session. Right now it only applies if we are out of session. Proper cause is still required. It passed 108 – 1.
410, 412, 413 5/24/18 HB 5659, SB 874, 880 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5659 and Senate Bills 874 and 880, which would expand the list of those required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect to include physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, and athletic trainers, and increase penalties for multiple failures  to report.  This will create a higher standard for those in these professions and encourage more people to look for signs of abuse.  They passed unanimously except SB 874 passed 107 – 2.
411 5/24/18 HB 5796 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5796, which would require the Department of Health and Human Service create and distribute a training package for mandatory reporters. It’s the state’s duty to inform people what their duties are.  It passed unanimously.
414 5/24/18 HB 5797 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5797, which would allow a public body to exempt information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to keep anonymous the identity of one who files an anonymous civil lawsuit. We need to protect individuals who need to remain anonymous from being “outed” by a FOIA request. FOIA is a tool for citizens to know what our government does; it was never intended to be used against citizens in private legal matters. It passed 106 – 3.
415 5/24/18 HB 5795 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5795, which would create the Office of Campus Sexual Assault Ombudsman within the Department of Civil Rights. We already have a federal agency that does this, and if we are to create such an agency it should have a broader scope.  It passed 94 – 15.
416 5/24/18 HB 5792 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5792, which would establish the campus sexual assault response improvement plan and grant process. We already give these universities tons of money and requiring they improve their campus sexual assault response should be done through boilerplate requirements tied to their funding.  It passed 99 – 10.
417 5/24/18 HB 6043 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 6043, which would require all K-12 schools, including private schools, be required to submit reports of crimes and other inappropriate behavior to the Department of Education.  Private schools are not beholden to the Department of Education and the Department of Education should not be the custodian of such allegations. It passed 88 – 21.
459 6/12/18 SB 988 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 988, which would eliminate a sunset on the state absorbing the full cost of an administrative rate increase for foster care services. If it expired, half the cost would be absorbed by counties. Taxpayers pay either way, but this way the commitment is kept at the state level while counties have more flexibility for their own spending. It passed unanimously.
460 6/12/18 SB 1015 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1015, which would increase the amount of funding the state retains from the hospital Quality Assurance Assessment Program from $105 million to $118 million. If we don’t make this change, we risk losing federal money for Medicaid. This does not change how much hospitals pay; it increase the amount of money the state retains to draw federal matching funds. It passed unanimously.
461-471 6/12/18 HB 5955-5965 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5955 – 5965, which would prohibit local governments from imposing new licensing requirements on jobs that would force citizens to complete courses, pay fees, etc. to get or keep a job.
As it is, we have far too burdensome occupational licensing rules at the state level. Michigan licenses about 160 occupations, far more than necessary. It requires 1,800 hours to training for one to become a barber. These rules raise the price of goods and services, restrict job opportunities, and make it more difficult for qualified workers to take their skills across state lines. More fundamentally, occupational licensing infringes on economic and personal freedom.
I would like to see more reforms at the state level. At the local level, some municipalities impose their own additional restrictions. Notably, Detroit further stifles the public by licensing 60 occupations – half already licensed at the state level. All of this is guild protection and incompatible with a free society.
Finally, it was suggested during debate on these bills that these bills took away “local control” or the freedom of municipalities to do what is in their communities’ best interest. On the contrary, depriving the people of their liberty should be no role of government at any level. The state legislature should resist federal tyranny, oppose state-level tyranny, and prohibit local tyranny. The bills all passed with 58 ayes and 50 or 51 nays.
472 6/12/18 HB 5778 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5778, which would allow for the breeding of large carnivores (eg tigers), subject to stringent accreditation rules and limitations, creation of an advisory committee, and more. Tigers are endangered species, and breeding programs play a critical role in the education and conservation efforts of our zoos. We must update our laws to allow qualified Michigan zoos to breed large carnivores.  It passed 55 – 54.
473 6/12/18 SB 916 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 916, which would impose licensure mandates on automatic recycling kiosks operated by junk and secondhand dealers. There is now a requirement that the kiosk needs to verify that the individual selling the product is the true owner. An automated recycling kiosk€ should not be required to obtain a license to operate in a local community. See my votes on the 11-bill occupational licensing reform 10 minutes ago. It passed 98 – 11. Â
474 6/12/18 HB 6050 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6050, to allow qualified bear handlers breed captive black bears, subject to various restrictions. This plan legalizes and establishes high standards for the breeding of black bears. It passed 63 – 46.
475 6/12/18 SB 622 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 622, to designate a portion of US-23 the Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway, a member of the state House that was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident on that highway. It passed unanimously.
476 6/12/18 SB 459 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 459, to designate a portion of M-52 the “Trooper Calvin R. Jones Memorial Highway”, after the state trooper killed in a patrol car crash. It passed unanimously.
477 6/12/18 HB 6025 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6025, which would designate portions of US-131 as the PFC Nicholas H. Blodgett, CPL Ross A Smith, and SPC Eric T. Burri Memorial Highways. All three soldiers grew up in Wyoming, MI and were killed at age 21 in Iraq in separate incidents. It passed unanimously.
478 & 479 6/12/18 SB 640 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 640 and 672, which would clarify that buses passing through Michigan are exempt from state regulation and subject to federal rules but those within the state are regulated by the state. Without a change, USDOT would become the enforcement agency for all buses in the state. They passed unanimously.
479 6/12/18 SB 672 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 640 and 672, which would clarify that buses passing through Michigan are exempt from state regulation and subject to federal rules but those within the state are regulated by the state. Without a change, USDOT would become the enforcement agency for all buses in the state. They passed unanimously.
480 & 492 6/12/18 SB 196 & 197 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 196 & 197, which would create a check-off on the income tax return charity contribution for Fostering Futures Scholarship Fund. It adds more complication to tax forms and provides an unfair advantage to one specific program over all other charities that would like to be on this form but can’t. They passed 104 – 5.
481 & 482 6/12/18 SB 684 & 685 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 684 and 685, which would impose additional mandates on schools’ usage of “education development plans”. I’ve spoken at length about the uselessness of these plans in discussing my bill to relieve the requirement on shared-time students. More fundamentally, Lansing should not be dictating education policies to our schools. I would vote to eliminate the EDP mandate entirely. Sadly, we’re going the wrong direction here. They passed 89 – 20 and 86 – 23 respectively.
483 6/12/18 HB 5579 Adoption of Conf. Comm. No I voted no on adopting the conference committee report on House Bill 5579, the education budget, which essentially approves it to be sent to the governor if the Senate agrees. There were a lot of good things in the budget, and some not-so-good things. In the interest of being reasonable, I asked for only one thing: that this budget begin to close the massive gap in per-pupil funding for our university students. It’s not fair that a student at Wayne State gets $4 for every $1 a student at Oakland University gets. My request was rejected.
Additionally, since the House passed the budget bill, the conference committee added a 10% growth cap on any shared-time programs, which Oxford and Orion schools use. We shouldn’t cap the number of children that can choose their path to a better education.
It passed 63 – 46.
484 6/12/18 SB 848 Adoption of Conf. Comm. No I voted no on adopting the conference committee report on Senate Bill 848, the omnibus budget, which essentially approves it to be sent to the governor if the Senate agrees. Again, there were some good things — and some great things, like closing a prison — and some not-so-good things. But although they were separate bills, my sole request of the entire budget, that college funding be distributed more fairly, was rebuffed, so I had little interest in voting for a budget larger than last year’s. It passed 66 – 43.
485 6/12/18 SB 888 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 888, which clarifies that students at junior and community colleges are not considered members of the retirement plan.  Student should not be forced to pay into a retirement system they do not plan on collecting benefits from in the future. It passed 107 – 2.
486 6/12/18 SB 344 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 344, which would create a “STEM Endorsement” for high school diplomas for students specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math. I understand these are promising fields but we shouldn’t be putting down students that might have a different calling. The state government shouldn’t be choosing winners and losers. It passed 98 – 11.
487 6/12/18 SB 946 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 946, which would codify an administrative employer subsidy program into statute, delivering taxpayer money to various institutions for job training. Employees should provide training and development to their employees without the help of government assistance. It passed 100 – 9.
488 & 489 6/12/18 SB 941 & 942 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 941 and 942, the “Marshall Plan for Talent” to spend $100 million on government job and career training programs, paid for with money borrowed against revenues from a 1998 state tobacco lawsuit settlement. We don’t need yet another government education program, and this one is unfunded after four years. They passed 105 – 4.
490 6/12/18 SB 175 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 175, to extend the sunset on allowing students to take certain CTE classes in place of a foreign language requirement. Students and schools should have this flexibility. It passed 90 – 19.
491 6/12/18 SB 343 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 343, which would require the board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy to provide students with the most recent analysis of in-demand occupations in the area. This is (yet again) more meddling in our children’s education and imposing burdens on schools. It passed 96 – 13.
493 & 494 6/12/18 SB 757 & 758 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 757 & 758, which would allow for the installation of low-voltage electric fences without a permit. A little more freedom.  They passed 101 – 8 and 99 – 10 respectively.
495 – 506 6/12/18 SB 1000 – 1011 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 1000 through 1011, which would repeal various reporting requirements that are obsolete, duplicative, or unnecessary. For example, the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps Endowment Fund was exhausted and closed, so there is no longer a need for an annual report. The bill that got the fewest votes (1005 – passed 95 – 14), repeals a requirement that MDARD report on the number of pet shop licenses issued by the department. MDARD stopped regulating pet shops in 2009, which made this reporting requirement irrelevant. The others all passed by wider margins, typically 103 – 6.
507 & 508 6/12/18 SB 302 & 303 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 302 which would approve a managed public land strategy. A 2012 law capped the amount of state-owned land at 4.626 million acres until the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) developed a managed public land strategy to be approved by the Legislature. The DNR produced the strategy in 2013 that adopted a regionally-based model. These bills adopt the strategy, removes the land cap, and provide additional criteria for the way the DNR manages public lands including addressing public access issues, land transactions, payment of state payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), and local review of potential land purchases by the DNR. This will help to free up more public access to state land and provide more guidance to the DNR when managing public lands. They passed 66 – 43 and 67 -42.
509 & 510 6/12/18 HB 5854 & 5855 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5854 and 5855 to create a voluntary wetland restoration permit program, establishes who is eligible for permits, and identifies the type of activities that will be authorized under volunteer projects. Right now, people and volunteer organizations who want to voluntarily restore our wetlands are treated no differently than people with plans to develop a property and disrupt a wetland. Many of the regulations they face simply don’t fit, resulting in complications and delays. As a result, community organizations are spending more and more to resolve legal issues, leaving less money to go toward improving the environment. This would eliminates senseless regulations that stand in the way of community organizations working to restore wetlands in Michigan. They passed 65 -44 and 64 – 45.
511 & 512 6/12/18 HB 5942 & 5943 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5942 and 5943, which provide penalties for threatening a school with a firearm or other dangerous or deadly weapon. Under current law, the only real option for prosecutors is a 20-year felony charge for terrorism, which can be difficult to charge and problematic at trial. A new graduated penalty range in the bill would allow for a 1-year misdemeanor if a threat is reasonably interpreted to be dangerous to human life but elevated to a 10-year felony if the person had specific intent to carry out the threat or was doing so. They passed 99- 10 and 96 – 13.
513 6/12/18 HB 6028 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6028, which would allow school buses to use their hazard lights instead of the stop sign when pulling over to drop off and pick up children on a four-lane highway with a speed limit of 50. This allows buses to continue to allow traffic to move smoothly and maintain existing practices on Michigan roads. It passed 105 – 4.
514 6/12/18 HB 5536 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 5536, which I voted against previously, to create a county veteran service fund. I said at the time we should just increase funding to existing veterans service organization instead of creating another new body. The Senate clarified that the agency shall not disburse additional grants unless there is enough money to provide each county with an additional grant of $1000 or more, but the essence was the same. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
515 6/12/18 HB 5934 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5934, which I voted for previously, to allow for rural hospital access pools. The Senate changed an appropriation to reflect what just passed in the budget. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
516 6/12/18 HB 5985 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5985, which I voted for previously, to revise the Indigent Defense Commission. The Senate version allows court to be reimbursed for the cost of collecting funds from partially-indigent defendants, delays the effective date from 3 months to 6, and requires a court to review a local system’s determination of whether a defendant is indigent or partially indigent and whether and to what extent that defendant may contribute to the cost of his or her defense. This is all fine to me. Concurrence passed 97 – 12.
517 6/12/18 HB 6139 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendments to House Bill 5139, which I voted against previously, to require schools provide instruction on career exploration and job-readiness. The Senate pushed back the effective date but the essence was the same. Concurrence passed 98 – 11.
518 6/12/18 SB 915 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 915, which would allow a school bus be wider than 96 inches but not wider than 102 inches and is not subject to seasonal load restrictions. Other vehicles up to 102 inches are coach buses, semi-tractors, and campers. It passed unanimously.
519 6/12/18 HB 5837 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5837, which would allow municipal utilities located in other states and Canada to become members of a Joint Agency located in Michigan to pool their resources for energy-related assets and services, as long as it’s verified that they have the legal authority to join. This will allow them to provide more assets and services. It passed unanimously.
520 6/12/18 HB 5141 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 5141, which I voted for previously, to allow schools to hire CTE teachers with they have professional licenses or certificates and a diploma but not a teaching degree. The Senate version would allow them to teach for only 10 years without a teaching degree and be rated effective and adhere to some other rules. It’s still a positive step. Concurrence passed 62 – 47.
521 6/12/18 SB 889 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 889, which would eliminate the basic skills exam as a requirement for teacher certification. The requirement was already removed from the Interim Teaching Certification and teachers have enough burdens to obtain their teaching certificate. It passed 105 – 4.
522 6/12/18 SB 226 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 226, which would allow plaintiffs to pay fees for GPS verification and photo verification. They should be allowed to charge for these new services. It passed 103 – 6.
523 6/12/18 SB 542 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 542, which would limit the geographic scope of required pesticide notification to adjacent properties. Currently anyone with a diagnosed condition of chemical sensitivity can be added to a registry to receive notification about all professional pesticide applications in the area. The wide range is otherwise unnecessary and places an undue burden on local pest control companies, and no scientific evidence suggests a need to notify anyone beyond the adjacent property owners. It passed 66 – 42.
524 6/12/18 SB 836 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 836, which would allow trucks more flexibility in weight distribution. A tandem axle assembly wouldn’t be limited to 13,000 pounds. It would not increase vehicle weight just prevent people from getting in trouble over improper weight distribution (truckers try their best to distribute weight evenly anyway). It passed 95 – 14.
525 6/12/18 SB 178 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 178, which would create fundraising license plates for the Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, Lions, Pistons and the Michigan International Speedway. These profit-making entities do not need legal privileges that non-profits cannot receive. It passed 80 – 29.
526 & 527 6/12/18 HB 5889 & 6076 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5889 and 6076, which would require the DNR pay their share of lake level assessments when invoiced without requiring local governments file lawsuits to be reimbursed. For the past several years the DNR has not been paying because while it was not appropriated the funds as a line item, it was authorized through the budget to pay legal settlements. This is a ridiculous way to do business, so these bills say yes, just pay the bills as long as the funds exist, which they do. The bills passed 108 – 1.
528 – 530 6/12/18 HB 6013 – 6015 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6013 – 6015, which I cosponsored, to create the Michigan Innovative Transportation Board, to research and evaluate materials and techniques for building longer-lasting roads. The board would consist have balanced membership: 1 member from MDOT, 2 appointed by the state legislature, 1 each from the asphalt, concrete, and aggregate associations, 1 from the Council of Engineering Companies, 1 from the Infrastructure and Transportation Association, 1 from the County Road Association, 1 from the Municipal League, which represents cities; 1 from the Association of Counties, 1 from the Drain Commissioners Association, and 1 from the Road Preservation Association. Reportedly MDOT has been hesitant to put money into this research, but it’s critical for the long-term that we find innovative ways to build roads now that save money in the long term. They passed 98 – 11, 100 – 9, and 99 – 10.
531 & 532 6/12/18 HB 5143 & 5680 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5143 and 5680, which would provide a property tax exemption for alternative energy personal property, e.g. solar panels. I would not typically provide a subsidy of this type that focuses on one type of energy  we should have a level playing field for all types of energy but the Public Service Commission just massively ripped off solar panel owners by ruling that they be reimbursed for only a fraction of the value of the energy they return to the grid. Previously, a solar generator’s energy meter would essentially run backwards if they were producing more energy than they were consuming.  It was the legislature’s intent in the 2016 energy law that this be preserved, but the MPSC, as usual, gave the energy monopolies what they wanted. This legislation is a small step to reversing the harm. It passed and 106 – 3 and 105 – 4.
533 6/12/18 HB 4360 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4360, which I voted for previously, to keep government out of the towing business. The Senate somewhat modified the terms of enforcement. Concurrence passed 82 – 27.
534 6/12/18 HB 5435 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 5435, concerning flexibility on tax freezes for property rehabilitation. The Senate version just corrected a drafting error. Concurrence passed 95 – 14.
535 6/12/18 HB 4115 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to HB 4115, raising the sales tax exemption for charity fundraising, which I voted for previously. It was a non-substantive technical change. Concurrence passed 81 – 28.
536 6/12/18 HB 4438 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate on House Bill 4438, which I voted for previously, to exempt farmers providing portable toilets from requiring septage hauler licenses. The Senate version says that in order to qualify for the exemption, the toilets can only be used for farm operations and cannot be transported on a limited access highway. It also says the units must be securely fastened to a vehicle, the waste cannot be transported in tanks larger than 450 gallons, and that waste stored less than 60 days could not be stored in tanks larger than 3000 gallons. These changes were all negotiated with the sponsor, the DEQ, and farmer organizations including the Farm Bureau. Concurrence passed 80 – 29.
537 6/12/18 HB 5086 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 5086, which I voted for previously, to reduce administrative burdens in the Local Community Stabilization Authority Act. The Senate addressed issues that have arose from over- and underpayments for personal property tax reimbursement that attempt to make payments more predictable and simple. For example, it eliminates the retroactive recalculation of taxable value that occurs each year. Concurrence passed 108 – 2.
538 6/12/18 HB 4828 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4828, naming a memorial highway, which changes the number of the section to ensure it does not conflict with another highway naming bill. Concurrence passed unanimously.
539 6/12/18 HB 4918 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4918, which would criminalize receiving compensation for connecting veterans to benefits in some circumstances. I voted against it previously on the basis that it might discourage private citizens from helping inform veterans what services are available, and the Senate version didn’t change the essence of it. Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
540 6/12/18 SB 908 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 908, which would allow Lansing to charge residents and non-residents different fees for the Groesback Golf Course. Lansing tax revenue is used to maintain the course, so the city should have the option to charge non-residents more. It passed 104 – 5.
541 6/12/18 SB 1036 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1036, which would allow the state to transfer prison property to another agency or the MI Land Bank Fast Track Authority. We’re closing a prison, due to a reduction in the prison population. Making Michigan Great Again! It passed unanimously.
542 6/12/18 HB 5145 Passage Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5145, which I voted for previously, to allow time teacher and administrators spend engaging local employers or technical centers to count toward the renewal of a teaching certificate. The Senate pushed the implementation date back six months. OK. Concurrence passed 104 – 5.
543 6/12/18 HB 5406 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5406, which I voted for previously, to create the Water Asset Management Council. The Senate modified the composition of the water council to include members from the state Department of Transportation, Municipal League (cities) Townships Association, Association of Counties, Association of Drain Commissioners, a water authority, a water infrastructure association, and an individual with water management experience. In the original version the governor and legislature could appoint any 9 people. Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
544 6/12/18 HB 5408 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5408, which I voted for previously, to modify the Transportation Asset Management Council. The Senate clarifies that MDOT’s asset management plan must be approved by the State Transportation Commission, requires the Infrastructure Council consult with the TAMC before removing a board member for incompetence, and provides that if a local road agency doesn’t submit a plan by October 2024 they have four months to do so before road funding is withheld until a plan is submitted. Concurrence passed 89 – 20.
545 6/12/18 HB 6004 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6004, which I voted for previously, that would remove a notification requirement regarding the low income home energy assistance program block grant’s home heating credit. The Senate amendment was technical only to address the passage of Senate Bill 647 into law. Concurrence passed 86 – 20.
546 6/12/18 HB 4030 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 4030, which I voted against previously, for the tax check off for the Lions of Michigan Foundation. I don’t think any specific organizations should have this privilege, and the Senate version didn’t change that. Concurrence passed 104 – 3.
547 6/12/18 HB 4198 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 4198, which I voted against previously, to require time in driver education be set aside for instruction on looking out for bicycles, motorcycles, and other vulnerable road users. The Senate amendment was insubstantial. Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
548 6/12/18 HB 4265 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4265, which would require drivers give bicycles 3 feet when passing in normal circumstances. The Senate removed language regarding passage of a bike on its left and retained the language on passing on its right. That seems like a huge rollback (aren’t bikes almost always on the right?) but having been amended by the Senate it’s this or nothing. Concurrence passed 99 – 10.
549 6/12/18 HB 5142 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate on House Bill 5142, which I voted for previously, to allow school districts hire professionals for career/tech teachers in certain circumstances. The Senate modified the bill to conform with language that was passed in HB 5676 and the School Aid budget. Concurrence passed 72 – 37.
550 6/12/18 HB 5739 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 5739, a Kiwanis fund tax check-off, which I voted against previously because particular organizations should get unique privileges. The Senate change was insubstantial. Concurrence passed 103 – 4.
551 – 553 6/12/18 HB 4926 – 4928 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4926 & 4928, to legalize Internet gambling, allow only the existing brick-and-mortar casinos in Michigan to operate gambling websites, and criminalize it for everyone else. This expands the group monopoly on gambling to the Internet. Furthermore, a share of the revenue will be given to roads and schools, making our state dependent on a dangerous, wasteful addiction. They passed 68 – 40 on the first two and 73 – 36 on the third.
554 & 556 6/12/18 HB 5908 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate on House Bill 5908, which I voted for previously, to provide $12 million in Fire Protection Grants. The bill would have revised the distribution method for Tier 3 personal property tax payments to incorporate a population-based formula, but the Senate removed this. It passed 108 – 1 and then 96 -13 on a re-vote.
555 6/12/18 HB 5811 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5811, which would allow for Internet-based notarization. The Senate pushed the implementation deadline back by two months. Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
557 6/12/18 HB 4069 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate on House Bill 4069, which I voted for previously, to lower the number of required credits need for someone to teach as a substitute. The Senate added that a substitute in grades 9 – 12 must be at least 22 years of age. Concurrence passed 63 -46.
558 6/12/18 HB 5095 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5095, which I voted for previously, to adopt the federal regulations for ballast water exchange on oceangoing vessels. The Senate version would require these vessels take additional steps beyond conducting a ballast water exchange more than 200 miles from a shoreline to receive a permit to operate in the Great Lakes by meeting either the federal or state water management requirements. It also requires additional safety measures. Concurrence passed 56 – 52.
559 Initated legislation I voted no on the “citizen-initiated” petition to outlaw low-income jobs, which will obviously result in the lowest-income workers losing their jobs. Intended to criminalize unskilled labor competing with skilled labor, the legislation will inevitably result in lost manufacturing jobs, although the restaurant industry will be hit the hardest. The worst aspect is that tipped restaurant servers will now be forced to be paid the “minimum wage,” meaning thousands of them will lose their jobs, individually and as whole restaurants are shuttered.
I am sympathetic to the argument made by many of my colleagues that passing this legislation was necessary to allow for it to be rolled back by future legislation, which would be unconstitutional if it otherwise went to the ballot and was adopted by the general public. However, there are too many hypothetical outcomes here to justify my voting on a fundamentally immoral and harmful policy. It passed 78-28.
See also my comment in the Detroit News: https://www.detroitnews.com/…/opinion-dont-outla…/668567002/
560 5-Sep Initated legislation Passage I voted no on the “citizen-initiated” proposal to require employers provide paid sick leave time to employees. Employee compensation is a function of supply and demand, and paid leave is essentially a form of compensation, as is wages. So by mandating sick leave, we’re essentially mandating lower wages. Combined with the proposal to create a price floor on labor, we’re outlawing more jobs in addition to lowering wages. The government has no business dictating the terms of a voluntary employer-employee compensation agreement.
Again, I’m sympathetic to the argument that this allows the legislation to amend the proposal later, but not persuaded that this justifies supporting a fundamentally immoral and harmful policy. It passed 78-28.
561 5-Sep 5084 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5084, to remove outdated references to county auditors that no longer exist. The Senate removed a duplicative enacting clause. Concurrence passed 105 – 1.
562 5-Sep 5926 Passage I voted for House Bill 5926, which would revise details of a certificate of employability authorized for prisoners being released that have behaved well in prison, got counseling, earned a GED, and met other criteria. The bill would repeal a four year validity period specified on the certificates, and make them valid unless revoked. It would also revise the requirement that a prisoner complete a career and technical course, allowing this condition to be met by getting either getting a college associate degree while in prison or completing 36 credit hours of college courses in prison. It passed unanimously.
563 – 565 5-Sep 5640, 5641, 5643 Passage I voted no on House Bills 5640, 5641, and 5643, which would expand the definition of “train” in railroad law to include other on-track equipment and extend trains’ liability exemptions to this equipment. I just don’t like having to regulate the tiniest minutia, and I don’t know that defining a train to mean all on-track equipment won’t have any unforeseen consequences. I was the only no vote on these bills.
566 5-Sep 5950 Passage I voted no on House Bill 5950, which would allow a township board, by a vote of two members, to compel attendance of township officers at board meetings, and those that failed to attend would be guilty of misconduct in office. It could set bad precedent that a minority of board members could compel others under threat of prosecution to attend meetings and the potential for abuse is substantial. It passed 59 – 47.
567 5-Sep 5866 Passage I voted for House Bill 5866, which would facilitate the sale of non-game fish (eg bottom-feeders like carp) taken under a special permit. Among other tweaks, it would remove the requirement that the DNR be present during the taking of the fish. It passed 95 – 11.
568 5-Sep 5376 Passage I voted no on House Bill 5376, which would order the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to establish advisory committees for the various sections of the state building code (plumbing, electrical and mechanical). I don’t see why we need yet more government advisory panels to come up with recommendations for more rules. It passed 61 – 45.
569 25-Sep 5836 Passage I voted for House Bill 5836, which would allow boaters’ safety certificates to be displayed electronically instead of on paper. This is a basic update for technology. It passed unanimously.
570 25-Sep 5988 Passage I voted for House Bill 5988, which would allow someone ticketed for failing to produce a boater’s safety certificate to have the fine and cost waived if an electronic copy is produced before the appearance date. This makes it a “fix it ticket” for not having the documentation handy. It passed unanimously.
571 25-Sep 5989 Passage I voted for House Bill 5989, which would have the DNR develop the means for displaying boater’s safety certificates electronically. This will make it easier to go paperless. It passed unanimously.
572 25-Sep 5647 Passage I voted for House Bill 5647, which would allow the use of a handheld dental X-ray system, with a few basic safety rules. Dental clinics should have the freedom to use whatever device they believe works best for their patient’s treatment and care. It passed 105 – 1.
573 26-Sep HCR 26 Adoption I voted for House Concurrent Resolution 26, which would allow counties to receive and spend Secondary Road Patrol grant funds this fiscal year without meeting the “maintenance of effort” standard specified in law. This would prevent cuts in secondary road patrol funding in Wayne, Branch, Iosco, and Otsego Counties. This has been passed in previous years to prevent these cuts. It passed unanimously.
574 & 575 26-Sep 5548 & 5549 Passage I voted for House Bills 5548 and 5549, which would allow for online voter registration. Voters would need to submit verification information including the last 4 digits of their Social Security Numbers and the hair and eye color information on their state IDs. This will making it easier to register to vote without visiting the local clerk of Secretary of State office. They passed unanimously.
576 26-Sep 5542 Passage I voted for House Bill 5542, which would eliminate a requirement that police officers take “security” money from non-resident drivers for traffic violations when they are ticketed. It’s not appropriate that police officers demand immediate payment upon issuing a ticket when the driver should still be presumed innocent. It passed 106 – 1.
577 & 578 26-Sep 6011 & 6012 Passage I voted no on House Bills 6011 and 6012, which would enter Michigan into a national driver license compact, allow other states to have access to Michigan drivers license information, and require the Secretary of State to notify the home state of an out-of-state driver receiving a citation within 6 months. Michigan law exists to protect and benefit the people of Michigan, not other states or their residents. We already have collections remedies for receiving payments for tickets on out-of-state drivers and other states have the same; I don’t support dedicating state resources toward issues between non-residents and their state governments. They passed 105 – 2.
579 26-Sep 477 Passage I voted for Senate Bill 477, which would expand the types of vehicles you must move over and/or slow down for, including trash vehicles, road maintenance and utility vehicles, and surveyors. However, it also reduces the penalty for not doing so from a 4-point $500 misdemeanor to a 2-point $400 civil infraction. It passed unanimously.
580 26-Sep 4734 Passage I voted for House Bill 4734, which would make small changes to election law, including giving canvassers an extra day to meet after the election and require the board of county canvassers disclose the number of out-of-balance precincts that were not reconciled during the county canvass process. It passed unanimously.
581 – 583 26-Sep 5992, 6107, 6108 Passage I voted for House Bills 5992, 6107, and 6108 which would make election forgery – knowingly filing a false document or with false signatures – illegal. It would make signing a petition with multiple names a felony, and a misdemeanor to falsely sign a petition as a circulator, or with someone else’s name. These are all attempts to tamper with our democratic process and should be illegal. They passed 105 – 2, 94 – 13, and 93 – 14.
584 2-Oct 4668 Concurrence I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4668, a bill I voted against previously. The original bill expanded the statutorily-created Grape & Wine Council to be the “Craft beverage Council” and expand its scope to include craft beer. I didn’t support that, and the Senate added a provision to make it illegal to sell marijuana-infused alcohol. Concurrence passed 101 – 4.
585 2-Oct 4887 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4887, which would include additional holding requirements on pawn shops for property that law enforcement believes is stolen. The Senate would raise the allowable monthly fee that pawnbrokers can charge from $1 to $3. Concurrence passed unanimously.
586 2-Oct 5181 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5181, which I voted for previously, to give secured parties the ability to contest the reasonableness of towing and storage fees for abandoned vehicles. The Senate attached a limit to storage facility liability when a vehicle is redeemed and would allow them to charge a fee of up to $75 to inspect a vehicle and $25 for subsquent inspections. These small changes were OK by me. Concurrence passed 102 – 4.
587 3-Oct 5402 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5402, which I voted for previously, to allow recorded forensic interviews of children be used for training purposes in counties other than where they occurred, if authorized by that county’s prosecutor. The Senate added language makeing the Department of Health and Human Services the cusodian of a videorecorded statement. Concurrence passed 104 – 2.
588 3-Oct 5766 Concurrence I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 588, which I voted for previously, to allow private snow plows use rotating amber lights between jobs and allow wider plows to be used. The Senate made various tweaks, such as allowing road maintenance vehicles use green flashing lights and diverting a $1 fee for the placement or discharge of a vehicle lien to the Transportation administration collection fund starting next year. Concurrence passed 102 – 4.
589 3-Oct 5902 Concurrence I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5902, which I voted against previously, to give one company a lower rate on energy than everyone else. This was a special interest carve-out. Everyone in Michigan deserves lower energy rates, but because we have monopolies on energy by law, our rates are the highest in the Midwest. It’s not fair that one company would get a special rate when nobody else does. The Senate amendment was technical and insubstantial. Concurrence passed 78 – 28.
590 3-Oct 6052 Passage I voted no on House Bill 6052, which would require the department of corporate welfare to have an “outside expert” compare and evaluate the relative effectiveness of the state’s various corporate welfare schemes. At best it compares the programs to other spending and other programs. And that’s not the right question to ask. That’s easy to game if you want to make the spending look good or bad. The right question to ask is whether the economy comes out ahead given the costs. That is an attempt to decipher the effects that the program has on the economic data published by the BEA and BLS, not whatever numbers the state generates. I attempted to amend this bill in committee to make the study transparent so taxpayers could find out how it would be conducted, and to include an actual cost-benefit analysis for each of the corporate welfare schemes versus letting taxpayers keep their own money. My amendments were opposed, of course, by the “stakeholder” – the MEDC, which wants the report to be a whitewash, which it will be. It passed 104 – 3.
591 – 596 3-Oct 6016-6019, 6022, 6023 Passage I voted for House Bills 6016 – 6019, 6022, and 6023, which would changes various laws relating to HIV such as updating definitions, testing, and patient consent. It removes references to an outdated test, removes a requirement that local health departments only maintain HIV case information for 90 days, removes requirements that doctors provide educational materials when administering tests, and other minor changes. They all passed unanimously.
597 – 601 3-Oct 425-429 Passage I voted for Senate Bills 425 – 429, which would implement online voter registration. We passed a similar measure last week. They passed unanimously.
602 3-Oct 4224 Passage I voted for House Bill 4224, which would decriminalize ticket reselling. A venue would still be permitted to forbid it as a term of sale, but this gives sellers and purchasers more freedom and “voluntary trade is the paradigm case of mutually beneficial action.” Check out the ticket scalper chapter in Block’s classic “Defending the Undefendable.” https://mises.org/library/defending-undefendable It passed 71 – 36.
603 3-Oct 4602 Passage I voted for House Bill 4602, which would prohibit the state “Rainy Day Fund” from being spent when the state’s annual growth rate is non-negative. In other words, it can only be used if it is really needed. It’s critical to protect the state’s “savings account” from potentially being looted by a future governor or legislature. It passed 72 – 35.
604 3-Oct 6379 Passage I voted for House Bill 6379, which would allow a retired legislative employee to keep collecting his or her pension during a period of re-employment. Reportedly the Legislative Services Bureau — the people that write our bills — has had a wave of people recently retire and they urgently need experienced drafters to help author bills. The retired drafters wouldn’t come back if they had to forfeit their pensions. It passed 103 – 4.
605 3-Oct 6090 Passage I voted for House Bill 6090, which would give counties more flexibility to review and adjust rates, charges, and assessments to make them “just and equitable.” The board must meet within 60 days of a written request from an agency. It passed unanimously.
606 – 609 3-Oct 6187, 6199 – 6201 Passage I voted for House Bills 6187, 6199, 6200, and 6201, which would strengthen safety standards in the Straits of Mackinac. They would require the DNR install markers, buoys, and signage designating “no anchor” zones and make it illegal to knowingly drop anchor in a no-anchor zone, require state review and approval of oil spill response plans for oil and gas pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, require immediate reporting of spills, and raise maximum fines for certain releases that potentially could cause significant harm. They passed 107 – 0, 105 – 2, 106 – 1, and 105 – 2 respectively.
610 3-Oct 6398 Passage I voted for House Bill 6398, to expand whistleblower protection to cover the state’s no-anchor zone violations. This is to protect the pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac from being damaged. It passed unanimously.
611 – 614 3-Oct 6110 – 6113 Passage I voted for House Bills 6110 – 6113, which would make it more difficult for an occupational license application to be denied because the applicant lacks “good moral character,” which due to vagueness in law, in practice often acts to ban individuals with any criminal record. The process lacks transparency, predictability and consistency, making it hard for workers to determine if their past conviction may be disqualifying for a certain profession. People with criminal records might take on a substantial risk if they invest their time and money to train and meet the required educational parameters for an occupation, only to be barred in the licensing process. These bills would prohibit a licensing board from using a civil judgment against someone (as opposed to a criminal judgment) as evidence of a lack of moral character and require the board only consider criminal history if it includes a felony codified as a disqualifying offense with a specific negative effect on his or her ability to perform the job duties and the specific offense is substantially related to the state’s interest in protecting the public safety. Occupational licensure, wherein one requires a license to do a job, is the most restrictive means to prohibit someone from having a job, so this high bar to preclusion is justified. They passed 106 – 1.
615 3-Oct 6381 Passage I voted for House Bill 6381, which would require the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to report the number of application that its licensing agencies deny on account of the applicants not possessing “good moral character” and report the particular criminal offenses that resulted in that determination. This is important information to understand how our occupational licensing laws prevent those with criminal histories from obtaining work. It passed unanimously.
616 – 618 3-Oct 6058 – 6060 Passage I voted for House Bills 6058 – 6060, which would allow people to apply to a state department for a preliminary determination whether they meet the “good moral character” criteria to obtain an occupational license. This would allow them to learn whether their criminal record disqualifies them from obtaining a license before they spend time and money on education in that profession. People have a right to know whether or not the state would prohibit them from obtaining a job. They passed unanimously.
619 4-Oct 4998 Passage I voted for House Bill 4998, which adds railroad police to the definition of “peace officer,” thus making it a crime to impersonate them. The definition already includes other non-traditional police officers (eg parks and recreation officer) so it makes sense to also include railroad police in this definition. It passed unanimously.
620 4-Oct 5913 Passage I voted for House Bill 5913, which would make veterans’ organizations exempt from the sales tax. The law already allows this for other non-profits, including education institutions, charities, and even political non-profits. Veterans’ organizations should have the same exemption. It passed 96 – 10.
621 4-Oct 6064 Passage I voted no on House Bill 6064, which would create a “Rural Development Fund Program” financed 50-50 with private contributions and taxpayer money. I don’t support taxpayer money artificially encouraging investment in specific areas. It passed 81 – 25.
622 – 624 4-Oct 6330 Passage I voted for House Bills 6330, 6331, and 6380, which would create a regulatory structure for growing and processing industrial hemp. It is anticipated that the federal government will soon allow states to grow hemp if they have a regulatory structure in place. This legislation was modeled after the minimally restrictive legislation used in Kentucky. Hemp is a valuable agricultural commodity and its cultivation would bring more jobs to our state. They passed 105 – 1.
625 4-Oct 901 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 901, which would update the definition of podiatric medicine to reflect current standard practices. Doctors shouldn’t be exposed to the risk of inadvertently breaking the law performing their job. It passed unanimously.
626 4-Oct 6348 Passage  Yes I voted for House Bill 6348, which would revise the distribution method for excess personal property tax payments to include a population-based formula. Excess PPT collections have been much higher than anticipated when the recent changes to it were enacted. This will ensure funds are distributed on an equitable basis that considers current funding levels and population. It passed 102 – 4.
627 11/8/18 4700 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4700, which would have elections for precinct delegate certified by the county or local canvassing boards like other races rather than uniquely by precinct boards. It also removes the provision that allows for voting for precinct delegate write-in candidates by gluing slips onto the ballot. Election procedures should be consistent and these lowest-level races don’t merit special procedures. It passed unanimously.
628 11/8/18 963 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 963, which would name a portion of M-13 in Kawkawlin Township after PFC Alan Robert Blohm, who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in 2006 at age 21. It passed unanimously.
629 11/8/18 5697 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5697, which would extend the expiration date on job training subsidies to some employers. Under the program, community colleges can borrow up to $50 million to provide job training for particular employers, and then the employers’ future state income tax is money earmarked to repay back the debt. It’s not fair that particular employers get these taxpayer subsidies while everyone else pays. It passed 106 – 2.
630 11/8/18 6379 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 6379, which would retired bill drafters to return to work temporarily without forfeiting their pensions. The Senate required this be reported to the Office of Retirement Services to ensure that ORS will continue to pay a pension in this case. Concurrence passed 106 – 2.
631 11/27/18 6103 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6103, to repeal a requirement that vehicle lights that aren’t permitted by law must be covered up. Covers aren’t made and sold for this purpose. It’s sufficient (and would still be required) that the lights are simply not used. It passed 107 – 1.
632 11/27/18 6123 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6123, which updates the membership and duties of the Water Use Advisory Council. The council would make various recommendations to the DEQ, MDARD, DNR, and the Legislature on strategies for collection, verification, and use of data, improvements to the water withdrawal assessment tool, and new research and methods to improve the DEQ’s ability to implement the assessment tool. It passed unanimously.
633 – 636 11/27/18 6374 – 6377 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6374 – 6377, which would make various updates to the Drain Code to create consistency in the processes for county and inter-county drains. This was the result of a grant that created a manual with updated procedures and information for drain commissioners related to the inter-county drain processes. Making procedures consistent would make it easier for drain commissioners to carry out their responsibilities and improve compliance. They passed unanimously.
637 – 641 11/27/18 664, 996 – 999 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 664 and 996 – 999, which would amend various laws to allow for the electronic notarization of documents. This would streamline the process and the bills contained security provisions. They passed unanimously.
642 5765 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5765, which would create a pilot program to allow the Secretary of State to decide whether individuals that kill or maim someone in an accident may have a suspended, restricted, or unrestricted license. Under current law there is a mandatory 1-year license suspension. This would give the Secretary of State the flexibility to decide who could or could not drive. The program would expire at the end of May 2019. It passed 89 – 20.
643 11/28/18 465 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 465, which would allow architects and other designers to place a lien on property prior to any actual physical improvements being performed. They are already covered by contract law and liens are a tool intended for reclaiming property that hasn’t been paid for, not using the property as a collection instrument. It passed 105 – 4.
644-646 11/28/18 6129-6131 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6129-6131, which would create a framework to allow “separate trustee provisions,” which would provide trustees with separate fiduciary responsibilities within a trust. This is based on the American Bar Association’s model legislation to address the rise of directed trusts by offering a simple framework for allocating fiduciary power and duty between a trust director and trustee. They passed unanimously.
648 & 648 11/28/18 637, 894 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 637 and 894, which would establish standard fees and approval timelines for small cell wireless facilities mounted on publicly-owned poles and structures in public rights-of-way. This is said to accelerate the deployment of 5G cellular technology, however, it’s not clear to me that establishing a flat rate structure across the entire state is compensating all local governments for their fair value. 5G technology is new and it is difficult to predict the future maintenance costs. I am concerned that local governments may be left to pick up the tab for the cost of the 5G transition. They passed 74-35 and 77 – 32.
649 11/28/18 6122 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6122, which would increase the allowable moisture content of soil removed from sugar beets in processing from 36 percent to 55 before it is considered solid waste. The requirement of soil drying has not produced the environmental benefits it hoped for. The bill passed unanimously.
650-651 11/29/18 5362 & 5398 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5362 and 5398, which would establish more consistent rules for certificates of trust. We currently have two different sets of rules, one for real estate transaction and another for non-real estate assets. Harmonizing the system would simplify the process and reduce confusion. It would require the date of operate trusts be included on the certificate and make a number of similar technical changes. They passed 108 – 1 and 105 – 4.
652 11/29/18 5098 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5098, which would prohibit permit fees from being charged for the relocation of telecommunication lines. The telecoms already paid these fees when they first laid the lines, and they shouldn’t be forced to pay for permits they didn’t request. It’s a double charge since the original charge for the permits pay for the inspection and maintenance costs. It passed 84 – 29.
653 11/29/18 6324 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6324, which would update the School Code to reflect changes in the School Aid Act regarding Michigan Virtual University and Michigan Virtual High School. This was a technical correction to reflect an Auditor General report to update the law to reflect that the MVHS is now just Michigan Virtual School and serves middle school as well as high school students, that it does not have the ability to grant diplomas independently, and that it is a supplemental course provider, not a dual-enrollment school. The bill passed 106 – 3.
654 & 655 11/29/18 511 & 512 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 511 and 512, which would give an income tax exemption if the income is contributed to a specialty savings account for home purchases by those that have not bought or owned a home in the past 3 years (which the bill calls a “first time home buyer”). Sorry, people who rent or already own a home–no tax credits for you. I don’t support this type of selective tax treatment. They passed 90 – 19 and 89 – 20.
656 & 657 11/29/18 5916 & 5917 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5916 and 5917, which would put a more strict and comprehensive regulation on pet stores to protect animals and adopters. They establish statewide buying and licensing standards and eliminate the ability of unregulated breeders (“puppy mills”) to sell to pet stores in Michigan, creating strong, enforceable statewide standards to put animal welfare first. They would preempt local governments from imposing further restrictions (other than local zoning ordinances) to discourage animal sales from being driven toward the Internet where there are few animal protections. Thank you to our resident veterinarian, Rep. Vaupel, for his leadership on these bills. They passed 57 – 52 and 56 – 52.
658 & 659 11/29/18 6419 & 6420 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6419 and 6420, which would legalize and regulate fantasy sports contests. Fantasy sports has become a big business in need of consumer protection and clarification on its legal status. They passed 87 – 22 and 85 – 24.
660 11/29/18 6397 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6397, which would allow the Legislative Corrections Ombudsman (an investigative agency within the Legislature to oversee the corrections system) to investigate facility security and interview certain people. It also removes the requirement that only a prisoner may file a complaint, and adds certain confidentiality protections. It passed unanimously.
661 12/4/2018 5881 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5881, which makes various changes to the state casino law, all benefiting the casinos. Among the various provisions, it would provide compensation to Gaming Control Board members of $1,000 plus travel/hotel expenses per meeting attended, reduce ownership disclosure requirements from anyone with a 1% or greater interest to 5% or greater, and remove the requirement that casinos remove “disassociated persons.” It passed 88 – 18.
662 12/4/2018 6269 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6269, which would establish a state regulatory structure for coal combustion residuals with minimum standards similar to the federal level, replacing the EPA as the primary regulating agency. It would streamline compliance requirements and enhance reporting. The Department of Environmental Quality would apply to the US EPA to fully implement the coal combustion residuals disposal program as the primary regulator. It passed 103 – 3.
663 12/4/2018 6056 Yes I voted for House Bill 6056, which would create a pilot program allowing military medical personnel to practice under the supervision of a licensed physician. I support reducing barriers to the job market and this will help veterans transition to valuable civilian employment while addressing the state shortage of medical staff. It passed 104 – 2.
664 12/4/2018 6063 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 6063, which would prohibit local ordinances restricting signage for veterans or first responders who die in the line of duty. Reportedly this is in response to an issue in Grand Rapids, where a restaurant was cited for having too many signs on its building, and those signs were in honor of fallen members of the military. I don’t think it’s proper for legislation to address free speech issues entirely based on the subject and content of the speech. Whether local ordinances should be allowed to limit the signage on and within a building is a legitimate question but I don’t think it’s right to overrule local authorities specifically on the matter of one particular type of speech, which creates an inconsistent policy and also makes the code that much more complex and cumbersome to follow. it passed 91 – 15.
665 12/4/2018 5918 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5918, which would require public employees that resign or are fired for willful and wanton neglect of duty to forfeit their retirement health benefits. Currently, a judge does not have have the ability to revoke these benefits in this situation. Those who betray the public trust and abuse their offices should not get to continue to receive taxpayer-funded benefits. It passed 91 – 15.
666 12/4/2018 6431 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6431, which would update Michigan’s Medigap plans to comply with federal requirements. Medigap is a supplemental insurance plan for those eligible for Medicare. A 2015 federal law prohibited the sale of Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible after the end of next year, and those newly eligible after that would be able to purchase Plan D or G but not C or F. The bill updates state law to fit these federal changes. Insurance companies must set their rates by March so it is important we update our law before then. It passed 107 – 1.
667 12/4/2018 6403 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6403, which clarifies that in counties that do not have a formal department of veterans’ affairs, County Veteran Service Fund grants go to the counties to be disbursed for veterans. All counties that meet the requirements should be able to receive this grant money, even if they don’t have a formal department of veterans affairs. It passed unanimously.
668 & 669 12/4/2018 4134 & 4135 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 4134 and 4135, which would prohibit the State Board of Medicine, Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs from requiring physicians to maintain a national or regional certification on top of their state license requirements. This duplicative occupational licensing demands would only serve to drive up the cost of health care by requiring licensed physicians spend significant additional time obtaining these additional certifications They passed 95 – 13 and 89 – 19.
670 12/4/2018 6444 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6444, which would clarify that independent insurance agents are allowed to sell certain types of property and casualty insurance. Currently when an insurance agent secures an “admitted” liability insurance product through a third party insurer, the agent does not have a direct appointment and is consequently in violation of the law. This fixes it and passed 107 – 1.
671 12/4/2018 6551 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 6551, which would grant monopolies to providers of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. The legislation actually includes language to justify the monopoly, saying “the Department must exclude from designation an area that is already covered under another PACE program agreement to avoid unnecessary duplication of services and to avoid impairing the financial and service viability of an existing PACE program.” This is like a law saying “the government shall not license a pizza delivery joint in an area already covered by another pizza delivery joint to avoid unnecessary duplication of services and to avoid impairing the financial and service viability of an existing pizza joint.” It passed 105 – 3.
672 12/4/2018 6432 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6432, which would allow employees of a health benefit corporation to sell insurance products not directly associated with the corporation. It also would require employees who transact insurance for the corporation to be licensed insurance agents. Currently the law prevents employees of a health benefit corporation from selling other types of insurance. This would allow various types of insurances to be bundled. It passed 107 – 1.
673 12/4/2018 6378 Passage YEs I voted for House Bill 6378, which would create a window for community college employees wrongly excluded from the Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) to apply for benefits. This stemmed from an issue in which Southwestern Michigan College wrongly used the “predominant relationship with the college standard” to determine that student part-time employees were not members of MPSERS. There was a confusion that was corrected in a recent law moving forward but this bill would allow those part-time employees that should have been eligible to receive their benefits. It passed 63 – 45.
674 12/4/2018 1171 Passage YEs I voted for Senate Bill 1171, which would slow the rate at which low-income jobs are criminalized and their workers laid off from 2022 to 2030. The bill also removes the recently-passed requirement that tipped employees be paid the full so-called “minimum wage,” which is a much larger increase and would result in mass layoffs and restaurant closures. Because minimum wage laws act by outlawing voluntary job agreements, lost jobs are the inevitable result, and those most hurt by these laws are those making the least income. Contrary to the fantasy that forcing employers to pay employees more simply causes everyone to make more, in reality it causes companies to raise prices, deny raises they otherwise would have given, and fire any employees they can’t afford.  I explain this in more detail in this Detroit News op-ed: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2018/06/04/opinion-dont-outlaw-michigan-jobs/668567002/   The bill passed 60 – 48.
675 12/4/2018 1175 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1175, which would reduce some of the changes in a recent “citizen-initiated” (paid for by out-of-state special interests) legislation to lower wages by forcing employers to grant employees paid sick time. All employers consider the combined costs of hiring any employees, including paid sick time and benefits. They look at total employee cost, not wage. Mandating paid sick time simply mandates offering paid time off instead of pay. It forces employees to earn lower wages. Combined with outlawing low-income jobs, this forces even more people to be completely jobless. We should completely repeal this anti-worker legislation. It passed 60 – 48.
676 12/5/2018 5798 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5798, which I voted for previously, to expand the list of those permitted to provide a victim impact statement in a defendant’s sentencing. The Senate amendment was purely technical and it passed unanimously.
677 & 678 12/5/2018 5505 & 5506 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5505 and 5506, which would update license requirements for adult foster care homes, removing the burden of licensure from the smallest facilities but having other pay their own background check fees rather than taxpayers. They passed 106 – 2.
679 12/5/2018 6400 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6400, which adds small foster care facilities to the Michigan Zone Enabling Act to clarify that these are not subject to special or conditional use permits. It passed 106 – 2.
680 12/5/2018 5639 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5639, which would require the Secretary of State issue VIN numbers and titles to assembled vehicles (i.e. kit cars) that meet proper safety requirements. Current law doesn’t allow modified off-road vehicles to be title. People should be permitted to assemble and drive roadworthy cars. It passed 63 – 45.
681 12/5/2018 5598 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5598, which would require teacher preparation institutions to require all full-time faculty complete 30 hours of continuing education per school year. This will raise the cost of teaching preparation, raising the cost of becoming a teacher and making the teacher shortage worse. We already have stringent enough requirements on becoming teachers. It passed 60 – 48.
682, 683, 685, 686 12/5/2018 5602 – 5605 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 5602 – 5605, which would require the Department of Education to develop and implement an “innovative educator corps” program, subject to various of requirements, and impose additional duties and requirements on teacher colleges and teacher training. The government control and mandates over education and here the training of teachers themselves is what’s wrong with the whole system; we should be letting schools and local districts decide who is and isn’t qualified to teach by their own standards.  They passed 98 – 10, 98 – 10, 88 – 20, and 91 – 17.
684 12/5/2018 5385 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5385, which would allow local governments to set speed limits of 25 mph on roads in residential zones as long as they are not major streets. This is a small step to allowing local governments set the speed limits of their roads and it passed unanimously.
687 12/5/2018 6086 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 6086, 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 wording including: “Pregnancy and alcohol do not mix.” It passed 104 – 4.
688 12/5/2018 751 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 751, which rolls back occupational licensing on cosmetologists infinitesimally by allowing shampoos to be performed by students. This is barely a step in the right direction, but it’s not the wrong direction. It passed 106 – 1.
689 – 694 12/5/2018 6253 – 6258 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6253 through 6258, which would update the definition of embezzlement to include that of cryptocurrency. Just updating laws to keep with the times. They all passed unanimously.
695 12/5/2018 6465 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6465, which would adopt federal regulations for ballast water exchange on oceangoing vessels. The federal regulations give more discretion to the U.S. Coast Guard to determine what types of ballast water exchange systems adequately protect against aquatic invasive species. Bringing Michigan more in line with federal standards will remove the competitive disadvantage we current face with neighboring Great Lakes states. It passed 80 – 28.
696 12/5/2018 5372 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5372, which would require courts order someone at a third or subsequent drinking-and-driving conviction undergo an assessment for alcohol dependence and would likely benefit from medication-assisted treatment. The bill states that a person always has a right to refuse medication. Three drunk driving convictions demonstrates a serious problem and all avenues for improvement should be explored. It passed 107 – 1.
697 – 699 12/5/2018 5806 – 5808 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5806 – 5808, which would establish and create procedures for juvenile mental health courts. Mental health courts were established in Michigan in the late 2000’s and have been proven successful in reducing recidivism and improving health. The current juvenile process is intertwined with the adult system; this would implement a system tailored to our youth. The bills passed unanimously.
700 12/5/2018 660 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 660, which would delay for five and a half years the animal confinement standards for egg-laying hens enacted in 2009, from 2020 to 2025. Egg producers had 10 years to prepare for these standards and pushing them back just shows we aren’t serious. It passed 79 – 29.
701 12/5/2018 6553 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6553, which would allow the Legislature to intervene in court proceedings to defend the laws it passes. Fake news notwithstanding, it does not diminish the power of the Attorney General to do so in any way. It only adds that the Legislature too can defend laws it passed as the people’s representatives. Like any party to a lawsuit the, the Legislature deserves the right to apply for a hearing, present its arguments in court, or request an appeal. The bill passed 58 – 50.
702 – 712 12/5/2018 6205 – 6216 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6205 through 6216, which would update the Animal Industry Act. The Act had been amended in a piecemeal fashion since 1988; this legislation re-organized and restructured it based on workgroup meetings with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with stakeholders. It revised various details, such as MDARD’s ability to seize animals based on new biosecurity practices, surveillance testing provisions for the equine industry and privately owned cervids, requirements for live bird markets, and so forth. The main bill passed 94 – 14 with companion bills in that range.
713 & 714 12/5/2018 6393 & 6394 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6393 and 6494, which would update the milk law (yes, there’s a milk law) to reflect current FDA pasteurized milk recommendations. This is just to make state law consistent with federal law and the bills passed unanimously.
715 12/5/2018 6344 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6344, to consolidate the district courts of Lansing, East Lansing, and Ingham County into one countywide court. This will save local governments money and the consolidation is voluntary with the consent of the local units. It passed 106 – 2.
716 12/6/2018 4259 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4259, which would give the state Auditor General more investigative power. The Senate added a disclaimer that state employees are not subject to criminal or civil penalties for providing requested information. Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
717-719 12/6/2018 5217 – 5219 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 5217 – 5219, which would require certain disclosures for air-ambulance service and limit their non-emergency usage. The Senate only changed minor details like inserting a definition for group health plan. Concurrence passed 102 – 7 for each.
720 12/6/2018 1051 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1051, which would require the governor submit five-year “strategic plans” for the state each year. This would have to include “measures of [each] department’s inputs, outputs, and output measures”. It’s important to have a consistently-updated plan based upon numbers. It passed 107 – 2 after having passed the Senate unanimously.
721 12/6/2018 5625 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5625, which would require state mental health services offer mediation as a first step to resolve a dispute. Without this option, complainants have no options until after DHHS completes its investigation of the complaint. It passed unanimously.
722 12/6/2018 5718 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5718, which allow police to donate stolen or abandoned property to charity if it goes unclaimed for 6 months, as opposed to selling or disposing of them. This will allow the items to be used by local schools or charitable organizations. It passed unanimously.
723 12/6/2018 6485 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6485, which would define what is considered a “production expense” in calculating an oil and gas company’s state income taxes. This would codify current practice assuming that only the production and post-production expenses deducted at the federal level should be added back in to their income to begin calculating their state income tax liability. This settles the potential disagreement between these companies and the Treasury and allows for clarity in the future. It passed 58 – 51.
724 12/6/2018 5945 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5945, which would exempt agricultural vehicles from local weight limits and commercial vehicle and truck restrictions. This is overly broad; local road agencies know the quality and durability of their roads and set weight limits accordingly. The road doesn’t care what type of vehicle is bearing the weight. It passed 106 – 3.
725 & 726 12/6/2018 6087 & 6088 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6087 and 6088, which would allow counties, cities, and villages to borrow funds from the State Infrastructure Bank Program. The state already allows this, but this will ensure the municipalities have proper statutory authority. They passed unanimously.
727 12/6/2018 6147 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6147, which would designate a portion of M-53 the Sergeant Wouters Memorial Highway, a police officer killed in the line of duty arresting an armed suspect. It passed unanimously.
728 12/6/2018 960 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 960, which would name a portion of M-44 in Kent County as the State Trooper Timothy O’Neill Memorial Highway, who was killed while on duty last year. Funding for the sign must come from private sources so there is no cost to taxpayers. It passed unanimously.
729 12/6/2018 6484 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6484, which would allow the state to recoup up to $5 million in liability insurance when a commercial truck hits a bridge. They are required to carry $5 million in liability insurance per federal law, so this allows us to recoup full damages up to $5 million. It passed unanimously.
730 & 731 12/6/2018 6421 & 6422 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6421 and 6422, which would allow licensure information to be sent from the Secretary of State to the Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) for qualification of a medical marijuana card and allowing a medical marijuana operator to authorize LARA to disclose his license information to a financial institution. These are simple fixes to make it easier to process applicants. They passed 106 – 3.
732 12/6/2018 6153 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6153, which would eliminate the Forest & Mineral Development Fund, which was never funded or used since it was created in 1991. It passed unanimously.
733 12/6/2018 6355 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6355, which would remove licensing requirements to possess and transport minnows and similar bait if they were purchased from a licensed minnow dealer. I know, I know. It passed 108 – 1.
734 12/6/2018 6472 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6472, which would allow the Department of Environmental Quality to create minor project and general permit categories for floodplain projects through a public notice and administrative process rather than through administrative rules, which is a long and tedious process that often takes years. This streamlines the permitting process for minor projects. It passed 107 – 2.
735 & 736 12/6/2018 6486 & 6487 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6486 and 6487, which would create an electronic lien title system to process the notification and releases of security interests for boats and off-road vehicles. This is just using new technology to make a cumbersome process easier. They passed unanimously.
737 12/6/2018 5939 Passage I voted no on House Bill 5939, as I did in committee, which would, among other things, require fireworks tents to post a $5,000 bond to secure estimated sales taxes. The bill would benefit brick-and-mortar fireworks stores over seasonal tents, and an owner of a fireworks tent company eloquently pointed out that there was no pressing need for these new regulations; it was simply anti-competitive. The bill passed 92 – 17.
738 & 739 12/6/2018 5940 & 5941 Passage I voted no on House Bills 5940 and 5941, which would give state and local governments more ability to restrict the times fireworks can be set off. 5940 also allows local governments to regulate the use of “temporary structures” at which fireworks are sold–see my previous vote explanation. Imposing more restrictions on the sale and use of a product may discourage sales, and it’s doubtful people are going to follow restrictions anyway. They passed 96 – 13 and 103 – 6.
740 – 746 12/6/2018 6475 – 6481 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6475 through 6481, which would reform the Michigan State Police retiree system the way similar legislation did for other government employees over this term. This is becoming a national model for how to fix broken public retirement systems. It will ensure state troopers receive the retirement benefits they’ve been promised and deserve while paying off our long-term liability. They each passed 107 – 2.
747 12/6/2018 6115 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6115, which would remove a requirement that funeral directors provide contact information for all life insurance companies in Michigan when they provide a life insurance application. This is an absurd, totally unnecessary government mandate. The bill passed 106 – 3.
748 12/6/2018 6520 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6520, which would require insurers submit annual statements disclosing their corporate structure. This is an accreditation requirement of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners which the state must adopt to continue receiving accreditation. It passed 107 – 2.
749 12/6/2018 6491 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6491, which would establish an insurer’s responsibility to provide security for and protect any nonpublic consumer information it holds. We need to ensure consumers are protected from data breaches since they have little recourse once they occur. The bill passed 103 – 6.
750 & 752 12/6/2018 6405 & 6406 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6405 (the Data Breach Notification Act) and 6406, which would require companies storing personal indentifying information to notify victims of data breaches within a specific timeframe. Currently, there isn’t a time limit for companies to notify people when their identity information is stolen. This would require that and notification of the Attorney General. They both passed 103 – 6.
751 12/6/2018 6151 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6151, make various updates to the process of notifying landowners of draining district projects, such as removing the requirement that drain commissioners twice publish notices in the newspaper on the hiring of contractors and project specifications, and clarifying that drain commissioners can adjust assessment estimates resulting from the Day of Review without holding additional public meetings. It passed unanimously.
753 12/6/2018 6049 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6049, which would revise many details of the functions, qualifications, and requirements on property and local tax assessor offiices to raise standards. Property tax assessments are too important to leave to chance. This plan creates uniform standards to ensure all property owners are treated fairly. It passed unanimously.
754  & 755 12/6/2018 6053 & 6054 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6053 & 6054, which would extend the dates for paying the Essential Services Assessment and the penalty for failing to pay. We’ve made countless adjustments along the way of phasing out the personal property tax and the current system offers inadequate notice before charging penalties on top of penalties. If someone pays the tax but not the penalty they get charged as if they failed to pay the tax and lose access to the personal property tax exemption. It’s not fair to punish taxpayers for not being able to perfectly follow this ever-changing scheme. The bills passed 106 – 3.
756 & 757 12/6/2018 6314 & 6315 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6314 and 6315, which would allow a board of a school district to allow the district or a school within the district to operate as a “public innovative school,” with the state superintendent’s approval of their plan for personalized learning, mentoring, “any time, any place, any way, any pace” learning, and passing based on competency rather than hours spent in the classroom. I think this program has enormous potential, as existing innovation zones have been, giving schools flexibility in staffing, scheduling, and curriculum. So many students are diminished by the “one size fits all” approach school take in which at any given time some students are lost and other students are bored.  This is an exciting opportunity to give schools the ability to try something new. Parents could opt out if they chose, and the school could revert to a regular school if the program didn’t work out. I think this is one of the best bills we’ve passed all year. I’m disappointed the bills only passed 56 – 53 and 57 – 52.
758 12/6/2018 6560 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6560, which would allow brownfield redevelopment authorities to be reimbursed for industrial personal property to compensate for a revenue loss caused by a 2007 tax policy change. Basically, when the Michigan Business Tax was imposed in 2007 it stated “it is the intent of the Legislature to address potential revenue shortfalls for the payment of tax increment financing obligations that may result from the exemptions,” and in 2014 we exempted property used in industrial processing from the personal property tax. With the real of the personal property tax in 2014 the reimbursement for these authorities excluded eligible industrial personal property tax if it exceeds what the authority received for the year. This bill ensures local governments don’t lose revenue due to an unintended consequence of a previous tax policy change. It passed 90 – 19.
759 & 760 12/6/2018 6549 & 6550 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6549 and 6550, which would exempt aviation repair parts from state sales tax. This is not legislation I would typically support but the circumstances are very unusual. In 2008, Ohio made such an exemption, and then Wisconsin and Indiana followed suit. As a result, pilots are taking their planes to these three neighboring states for repairs to avoid paying state sales tax. So, unless we offer a similar exemption, our 97 aircraft repair facilities lose business and we don’t get sales tax revenue either way. I don’t like these very specific tax exemptions, but then again, it’s good that states are competing to offer better tax environments. I wish it was happening more in a more general way. These bills passed 60 – 49 and 58 – 51.
761 – 763 12/6/2018 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6541 – 6543, which would allow for liquor companies to offer discounts and refunds for unused products at special events (eg festivals), provide branded items like tents, and conduct tastings. Essentially this is to allow spirit companies to do what beer and wine companies can already do. They passed 102 – 6 and 105 – 3.
764 12/6/2018 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5813, which would require law enforcement responding to an incident of alleged physical abuse of an elderly or similarly vulnerable adult to also investigate for financial abuse. Reportedly financial abuse is far more common the physical abuse, so where physical abuse is present financial abuse is likely. The bill passed unanimously.
765 & 766 12/6/2018 4618 & 5025 Passage No I voted no House Bills 4618 and 5025, which would allow employers to enter into an agreement with the City of Detroit to collect city income taxes from their employeers and make the Detroit city income tax administered by the Department of Treasury. I don’t support city income taxes in general, which invariably lead to population flight (Exhibit A: Detroit), I don’t support state legislation that only applies to one city, and I certainly don’t support making the state of Michigan, i.e. the people of Michigan, Detroit’s tax collector. The bills passed 88 – 21 and 90 – 19.
767 12/6/2018 5776 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5776, which would revise details in a law imposing licensure mandates on clinical counselors in mental health, career planning, and other issues. Among the details the bill adds that in order to be licensed someone must have received a master’s or doctoral degree from a college or university approved by the department and “from a program accredited by the council for the accreditation of counseling and related education programs.” Yes, the council on counseling. I think it’s absurd that someone might have a doctoral degree from an accredited university but still not be licensed unless the program is approved by some other council.  The Michigan Psychological Association, Michigan Psychiatric Society, and Michigan State Medical Society all opposed the bill. It passed 95 – 14.
768 12/6/2018 4856 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4856, which would designate September 11 through 17 as “Patriot Week” in Michigan. The bill would have no binding effect but hopefully encourage the remembrance, honoring, and celebration of American history, our First Principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and the “exceptional, visionary, and indispensable Americans” that founded and advanced the United States. Kudos to author Rep. Jim Tedder for choosing to place Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry at the top of the list of such great Americans. The bill passed 102 – 7.
769 & 770 12/6/2018 6020 & 6021 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 6020 and 6021, which would reduce the penalty from felony to misdemeanor for someone with HIV who knowingly has intercourse without informing his or her partner that he or she has this deadly, incurable, transmissible disease — if the partner does not actually catch the disease. Crimes and sentencing should be based on the decisions and actions of the person being charged, not affected by the happenstance of whether the disease was actually transmitted. The bill also provides a defense if someone is under the care of a physician and the virus is medically suppressed, which mitigates the risk but doesn’t eliminate it. I think about this from the perspective of victims and how they would feel about reducing penalties and therefore encouraging recklessness causing the transmission of a deadly illness. The bills passed 96 – 13.
771 12/6/2018 6499 Passage Yes I voted in favor of my legislation, House Bill 6499, to allow up to 10 foster children in a home, up from 6 currently allowed by law, if the home is on a parcel of 20 acres or more. This would allow foster homes like the House of Providence to help more children. The limit of 6 makes sense in an urban setting but is low for a large property located in the country. It passed 96 – 13.
772 12/11/2018 1197 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 1197, which would create a new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority separate from the existing Mackinac Bridge Authority to acquire, oversee construction of, and lease a utility tunnel through the Straits of Mackinac. Until the authority is created, the Mackinac Bridge Authority will serve this role. A Straits Protection Fund would be created in the state Treasury, and if the Attorney General refuses to represent the Mackinac Bridge Authority or the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority in a matter related to the tunnel the AG will provide for the costs of representation by an attorney chosen by the relevant authority to defend them. There are additional safety requirements for the Line 5 pipeline during construction of the tunnel, and once completed the pipeline within the tunnel will be vastly safer. This is a great solution to improve safety while protecting this critical piece of underwater infrastructure. It passed 74 – 34.
773 – 775 12/11/2018 6428 – 6430 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6428 through 6430, which would resolve territorial disputes between electric providers by clarifying that a utility cannot provide service to a building that is receiving or has received in the past 3 years service from another utility. This kind of dispute would occur between one of the two major monopolies (DTE and Consumers Energy) and a local municipal utility. Basically it says whoever had it before can still have it. This was a negotiated compromise over a recent state Supreme Court ruling and the bills passed unanimously.
776 12/11/2018 6360 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6360, which would remove the sunset on information provided by auto insurers to the Secretary of State and eliminate a loophole on when a complainant must notify the Department of Health and Human Services if the department might have a right to recover Medicaid expenses. This will ensure we have accurate, up-to-date information on car insurance coverage and accident settlements. It passed 107 – 1.
777 12/11/2018 5634 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 5634, which would allow vehicles to have a tint of up to 20% on the rear windows and up to 65% on the front side windows. The percentage refers to how much light passes through, so 20% means 80% dark and 65% is darkened by a third. These tintings are already common as many people don’t know they are against the law. People should be permitted to tint their windows other than the windshield, for light sensitivity as well as for privacy. It passed 72 – 36.
778 12/11/2018 4205 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4205, which I voted for previously, to limit the ability of state departments to adopt or promulgate rules that are more stringent than those enforced by the federal government. The Senate made an exception to special education programs. Rules exceeding federal standards are especially onerous for business and put Michigan at a competitive disadvantage with other states. Concurrence passed 57 – 51.
779 12/11/2018 6500 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6500, which would clarify the definition of an applicant for a cannabis (derogatorily called and goofily spelled “marihuana”) facility, eliminate an unneeded Executive Director position from the Medical Marihuana [sic] Licensing Board, and make it illegal to hold oneself out as an operator of a cannabis facility without a license. With cannabis still illegal under federal law it’s important that these facilities be properly licensed by the state and ensure that the industry is regulated by proper health and safety measures. The bill passed 100 – 8.
780 12/11/2018 962 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 962, which would allow a dual license for facilities offering substance abuse and mental health treatment. People with both of these illnesses should have the opportunity to be treated at a single facility and there’s no reason a facility couldn’t do both. It passed unanimously.
781 – 786 12/11/2018 1154 – 1159 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 1154 through 1159, which would allow all types of alcohol makers to have tasting rooms and this does not make them retailers. They also expand the definition of manufacturer to include portions of the manufacturing process and allow manufacturers to sell their products in tasting rooms. I see no reason these shouldn’t be permitted and they passed 105 – 2.
787 12/12/2018 6361 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6361, which is a companion bill to 6360 that we passed yesterday regarding information on auto claims involving Medicaid. See that vote explanation. This one passed 99 – 9.
788 12/12/2018 6525 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6525, which would amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to allow people to transport firearms in any vehicle on private property, including ATVs, as long as they have the landowner’s permission. This is a common-sense provision to prevent individuals from being unnecessarily prosecuted for exercising their right to keep and bear arms. It passed 77 – 32.
789 & 790 12/12/2018 6572 & 6573 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 6572 and 6573, which would require law enforcement agencies with records on the reason for and circumstances surrounding an officer’s separation of service to submit a copy to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards upon its request. This is public information necessary to facilitate the sharing of employment records between law enforcement agencies and MCOLES. They passed unanimously.
791 12/12/2018 1013 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1013, which would increase the number of vehicles required to be in a “fleet” qualifying for special fleet license plates from 25 to 300. This would unfairly exclude smaller companies from being able to use this registration feature. It passed 103 – 6.
792 12/12/2018 1023 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1023, which would impose mandatory training on used car dealers (but not new car dealers, interestingly), including continuing education requirements to maintain a state license. It requires the Secretary of State, which opposes this bill to create and administer this training program. No evidence was presented that there is any need for this. It serves only to harm competitors to new car dealers. It passed 96 – 13.
793 12/12/2018 434 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 434, which would update the definition of a state veterans’ facility to extend the Ombudsman’s authority to new facilities. The ombudsman is the investigator within the legislature to review complaints. It’s critical the ombudsman has this ability. It passed unanimously.
794 12/12/2018 929 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 929, which would allow ambulances to be available at less than the normal level of licensure in very rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less and less than 7 people per square mile. This is allowing for flexibility to enable essential life-saving coverage. It passed unanimously.
795 12/12/2018 965 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 965, which would allow multiple municipalities to jointly administer a soil erosion permit program. Some had already formed these joint operating agreements for various related functions; counties were already permitted to do this. DEQ approval would be needed if the municipalities were not located within the same county. It passed unanimously.
796 12/12/2018 981 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 981, which would remove the requirement that the chief carnival-amusement ride inspector to be a licensed professional engineer and allows the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to determine who is qualified. The professional engineer in the role recently retired and LARA has had difficulty filling the vacant position. It passed 78 – 31.
797 12/12/2018 898 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 898, which would allow captive insurance companies to use the International Financial Reporting Stands with approval from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services in its annual reports. Currently the law requires they use generally accepted accounting principles but not this standard which is becoming the global standard. The bill passed 107 – 2.
798 12/12/2018 1029 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1029, which would create a framework for a domestic stock insurer to split into two or more division with the approval of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. This would allow them to increase efficiencies and affords additional flexibility that could benefit shareholders and policyholders. Current law makes division extremely cumbersome. It passed 108 – 1.
799 – 807 12/12/2018 1160 – 1168 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 1160 – 1168, which were part of a package we voted on yesterday, to allow for various types of alcohol manufacturers to have tasting rooms. See that explanation – it’s just providing more flexibility to promote and sell their products. There was one exception: I voted no 1167, which would change the definition of wine in the liquor code to include hard cider. The liquor code is a small galaxy and beer and wine are certainly treated different in various aspects of the code. Most hard ciders are bottled and sold like beer, not wine, and I’m concerned changing this definition for the entire code will have unintended consequences. The bills all passed 106 – 2 except 1167 where I voted no for a vote of 105 – 3.
808 12/12/2018 1181 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1181, which would codify administrative rules prohibiting retailers from partnering with alcohol makers on ads (eg “Jack Daniel’s, available at Kroger”). Currently manufacturers are prohibited from giving anything of value to wholesalers and retailers and vice versa. This is consistent throughout the liquor code to ensure all producers are on a level playing field with all retailers. It passed 103 – 6.
809 & 810 12/12/2018 6124 & 6125 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 6124 and 6125, which would add trailhead parking areas to those that require a Michigan “Recreation Passport.” Besides in general making one more thing subject to a fee, snowmobile and ORV users’ registration and trail fees are already intended to include maintaining parking areas, most of which local clubs maintain. They passed 89 – 20 and 87 – 22.
811 12/12/2018 5374 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5374 to revise the definition of “pedestrian” to include the disabled using power-driven mobility devices. The Senate just updated the text to reflect changes made by an unrelated bill that just became law. Concurrence passed unanimously.
812 12/12/2018 5643 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5643, which I voted against previously, to include on-track equipment in the list of railroad vehicles that road vehicles have to stop for (because it was completely unnecessary to put this into law). The Senate amendment was purely technical and didn’t change the substance at all. Concurrence passed 108 – 1.
813 12/12/2018 5720 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5720, which I voted against previously, to force residential properties wihtin a business development district to pay fees to fund the group they didn’t elect to join. The Senate required that real property is only assessable if the property is disclosed as part of the zone plan, which doesn’t change the essence of the bill at all. Concurrence passed 77 – 32.
814 12/12/2018 842 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 842, which would require hospices have a controlled substance disposal policy to dispose of any remaining drugs a patient may leave behind upon dying. Whether this will actually do any good, who knows–maybe making everyone talk about the drugs laying around will give more people the idea of taking the drugs. Either way, it is one more administrative burden from the nanny state. It passed 106 – 3.
815 & 816 12/12/2018 1195 & 1196 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 1195 and 1196, which would establish standards and a fee for the disposal of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM) at specialized, secure landfills. (TENORM is created by things like mineral mining and water purification. It’s not nuclear waste.) Such landfills are required to conduct radiological monitoring, including radioactives in their leachate and groundwater analyses, measurements of radioactivity in the air, and more. This ensures taxpayers are not left on the hook for the costs associated with this type of waste disposal. The bills passed 91 – 18 and 66 – 43 respectively.
817 & 818 12/12/2018 6433 & 6434 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 6433 and 6434, which would create tax credits for donations to charitable organizations and community foundations. It’s the government’s job to incentivize behavior with preferential tax treatment, even for groups that are universally appreciated. It’s not fair to people who don’t have money to spare for charity, and it’s not fair to other good causes out there. They passed 104 – 5 and 103 – 6.
819 12/12/2018 6595 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6595, which would require that petition signatures for ballot questions not have more than 10% from any single congressional district. Michigan has 14 districts and there are provisions to adjust should we lose any.  As our state petition system is currently structured, no single person or grassroots group of volunteers could attain the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed to do anything and it’s a system open only to those with millions of dollars to spend and a political axe to grind. It’s essentially pay for play. The least we can do is require that people across the state are represented in the signatures and not just those from one central area. The bill passed 60 – 49.
820 12/12/2018 4205 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4205, which I voted for previously, to limit various state administrative rules from being more stringent than federal regulations.  We already had a two votes on this, but their was a typo in the enacting date being January 2018 instead of 2019. Concurrence passed 57 – 52.
821 12/12/2018 6582 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6582, which would require a person requesting a public record provide their contact information, exempt cetain personal information in voter registration records from public inspection, and consider a request abandoned if a required deposit fee is not received within 45 days. This past August election clerks received a request for records of all ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election from a requestor identified only as “Emily” from an entity called “United Impact Group.” The requestor also wanted absentee ballots, provisional ballots, and ballots that weren’t count, along with reasons for each. It took an enormous amount of time, inquiries, and requests for legal advice just to get a quote. Lansing alone spent 275 staff hours and $12,300 just investigating the request. The group eventually admitted to the Detroit News it was affiliated with a Democrat super PAC and when clerks gave estimates of how much fulfilling such a request would actually cost, they never heard back or received a deposit, leaving taxpayers with the cost of having looked into handing over tons of vote records to a political entity. Requiring transparency from records requestors will discourage bad actors; FOIA is a tool for transparency and accountability and should those requesting it should be transparent themselves. The bill passed 99 – 10.
822 12/12/2018 4635 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 4635, which would make it illegal for a petition circulator to knowingly misrepresent the contents of the petition. In practice this will be a very hard thing to prove, but then again, it should not be legal to lie in the course of collecting petition signatures. It passed 100 – 9.
823 & 824 12/12/2018 5208 & 5209 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5208 and 5209, which would create a procedure for the removal of one’s name from a petition and prohibit organizations from employing those convicted of election crimes. People that are misled into signing petitions should have a process to have their names removed, and no political organization should employ those convicted of political crimes. They passed 104 – 5.
825 12/12/2018 5212 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5212, which would require petition circulators to wear badges identifying what organization they are working with and whether they are paid or a volunteer. This could open the door for lots of confusion as a petition does not need to be circulated by only one group, paid circulators could volunteer additional time, and so on. This will lead to lots of accusations back and forth. It passed 98 – 11.
826 12/12/2018 5898 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5898, which would establish water fees that municipalities must pay to the state and pass on to customers: $20/year for residential and $400/year for nonresidential customers. Reportedly this will actually be just a “shell bill” for negotiations with the governor on end-of-year supplemental appropriations, but clearly this is in the text of the bill we just voted on. It passed 60 – 49.
827 12/12/2018 4525 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 4525, which would expand the definition of “motorcycle” include a Slingshot with handlebars. We passed a law last year to classify the Slingshot as a motorcycle, although the Slingshot, with two front wheels, two front seats, a steering wheel, and dashboard clearly looks more like a car than a motorcycle. It drives like a car and does not require motorcycle skills to operate. Now we are expanding the definition of a motorcycle to include autocycles with handlebars. I don’t think these vehicles even exist yet. Google failed me. I’m not comfortable regulating a vehicle left to my imagination. It passed 65 – 44.
828 12/12/2018 6252 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 6252, which would create a Suicide Prevention Commission within the Legislative Council to study suicide and make recommendations. Members would be appointed by various public agencies and could be reimbursed for expenses. We don’t need yet another commission to make policy recommendations. It passed 104 – 5.
829 & 830 12/12/2018 4785 & 4786 Passage No I voted no on House Bills 4785 and 4786, which would require dog license applications ask you to donate $10 or more to a veterans service dog fund created by these bills. Besides this not being a proper role of state law, of all ways to help veterans, extensively-trained service dogs from accredited trainers are not the most economical. We tend to think of voluntary donations programs like this as having no negative consequences because we don’t think about how many consciences might be cleared and then not donate elsewhere. Everything the government does to the economy has an equal and opposite reaction. The bills passed 105 – 4 and 106 – 3.
831 12/12/2018 747 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 747, which would raise the retirement benefits for Michigan’s Adjutant General and top assistants. They have to spend at least 20 years in service to be eligible for these benefits, commanding the National Guard is an immense responsibility, and they’ve earned a retirement boost. It passed 95 – 14.
832 12/12/2018 6498 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6498, which would make a variety of changes to the law on auto dealer franchises. This was a result of a compromise struck between the auto makers and dealers organizations on various issues, particularly termination of a dealership contract and how to handle succession of the dealership to a spouse or child. You can read the details here: www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billanalysis/House/pdf/2017-HLA-6498-67670036.pdf The bill passed 107 – 2.
833 12/12/2018 6024 Passage Yes I voted for House Bill 6024, which would eliminate the requirement disabled veterans file for the disabled veterans property tax exemption every year to claim it, allowing a one-time filing instead. This is a straightforward way to get bureaucracy out of veterans’ lives. It passed 108 – 1.
834 12/12/2018 5801 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5801, which would eliminate a County Treasurer statement in an election notice on a tax millage and instead require the municipality to post the dollar amount the taxes would increase, what they’d be used for, and number of years the tax would be in place. Sounds great, but in practice this will just be “ad copy” for these tax hikes. It passed 106 – 3.
835 – 838 12/12/2018 489, 490, 797, 798 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 489, 490, 797, and 798, which would allow parents to place their children in the Safe Families program for a short period of time while the parent(s) is away from home. This is an alternative to foster care, which keeps the families out of the CPS system. Safe Families is a nationwide nonprofit program provides free help to parents in severe need of someone to care for their children. Alternatively, the Safe Families program allows a parent who knows in advance that they will be away from home for a period of time to place their child in the home of someone they can trust. When a parent experiences a financial crisis, unemployment, the birth of another child, an extended hospital stay, or an overseas deployment, they may not have someone for their child or children to stay with; the Safe Families program can provide these parents with a safe and loving option for their children. Host families do this on a purely voluntary basis and do not receive compensation. The program has been active for the past seven years and we need to keep bureaucrats from creating more licensing restrictions on the program. The bills passed 63 – 46 to 65 – 44.
839 & 840 12/12/2018 100 & 101 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 100 and 101, which would require the state pay your attorney fees if you win a lawsuit against the state unless there is convincing evidence the state’s position was substantially justifiable. Under current law the state is rarely ordered to pay costs when a case goes to court, and it’s extremely expensive and risky for any citizen to go into litigation against the state. This provides some assurance that you can win and be reimbursed your legal costs if you have a strong case. Departments should be held accountable if they force citizens to go to court without a strong reason. The bills passed 92 – 17 and 99 – 10.
841 12/12/2018 1198 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1198, which would eliminate the expiration date of the ban on telemedicine abortions in which an abortion is prescribed with no physician on site. Current law requires an in person physical exam, informed consent, and a physician present when the drug used to initiate the abortion is dispensed. Abortion is an in herently dangerous procedure and a physical examination is necessary and abortion providers like Planned Parenthood have an extensive history of putting the desire to eliminate babies above the health of mothers. See for example: https://6abc.com/archive/9059172/ We have a responsibility to protect women’s safety and these types of abortion of have been legal or practiced in Michigan. The bill passed 62 – 47.
842 & 843 12/12/2018 917 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 917 and 922, which would are Senate versions of House-passed bills I opposed to expand the list of people considered “public safety official” for the purpose of getting people in trouble for using drones. “Interference” with a public safety official is prohibited, but the term can mean different things and may lead to people being charged with crimes for only recording such officials. They passed 105 – 4.
844 12/12/2018 1233 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1233, which would permit law enforcement agencies to use a drone to surveil a state-licensed facility (e.g. a cannabis crop) without a warrant if it’s part of an investigation. The bill was cleverly worded to make it appear that it was doing the opposite. It says the state can NOT use drones for such surveillance, except with consent or a warrant, or as part of a law enforcement investigation. The consent/warrant exception is already protected by the Fourth Amendment. But in saying “you can’t do X, except when Y” they’re really saying “when Y, you can do X.” These are important privacy concerns that we should have discussed in depth. It passed 105 – 4.
845 12/12/2018 5321 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 5321, which would limit the DNR from issuing sterilization permits under a failed deer sterilization program. The Senate clarified on allowing deer management zones “in *or adjacent to*” urban areas. Concurrence passed 67 – 42.
846 12/12/2018 4421 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4421, which would allow licensed professionals to substitute-teach subjects in their expertise even if they don’t have a teaching certificate. The Senate removed a requirement vocational education teachers pass a test and allows individuals to be a substitute teacher if they have 60 college credits. The individual subbing in industrial tech or CTE must also have had 2 years of professional experts in the subject being taught within the past 10 years. We should make it easier for schools to address the substitute teacher shortage and allow people to teach children. Concurrence passed 64 – 45.
847 12/12/2018 6064 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 6064, which would create an operate a rural development fund program. This is another type of targeted tax incentive I’ve argued against before, it picks winners and losers and we don’t see the benefits foregone of development project not taken on. The Senate modified various details but the essence is the same. Concurrence passed 82 – 27.
848 12/12/2018 5526 Passage No I voted no on House Bill 5526, which would assign schools in Michigan a letter grade (A – F) based on various state-ordained metrics. I voiced my opposition to this bill at every step. It will be a disaster for our schools. It will inflame tension between parents and teachers, administrators, and school boards. And it won’t give an accurate picture of school performance by any reasonable measure. The grade would be based on five metrics: proficiency in math and English/language arts (ELA), “growth in proficiency” in math and ELA, growth in proficiency among English-as-a-second-language students, graduation rates, and performance compared to “similar” schools. The “growth” factors are especially problematic. 79% of 11th grade Lake Orion High School students passed the ELA portion of the M-Step in 2018. Compared to the state average is 46%, that’s excellent. But if it dips to 78% next year does that mean their “growth” letter grade will be a C, D, or even an F? What “similar” schools will they be compared to? There’s no way this could result in fair grades for all schools. That leaves just standardized test scores and graduation rates, which are already measured. In sum, this will arbitrarily make schools look bad and make everyone involved miserable. Why would a teacher want to teach at low letter grade schools? Why would a parent want to send their students to these schools? Schools will be unfairly damaged because of a letter ranking that is discriminatory and doesn’t paint the whole picture. Not to mention the scores are based on an exam which is inherently broken. There is no individual incentive for students to score well on the M-Step. This is a terrible example of state government controlling and diminishing the education of our children. It is a tragedy in the making. It passed 56-53.
849 & 850 12/12/2018 5707 & 6401 Passage Yes I voted for House Bills 5707 and 6401, which would reduce the percentage by which annual teacher evaluations are based on test results from 40 percent to 25. I don’t support the state mandating these details that should be left to local school districts. They passed 104 – 5.
851 12/18/2018 1187 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1187, which would modify the Indigent Defense Commission to merge the two seats of the cities and townships associations to make room for a second seat for the counties’ association. This would allow counties who likely pay much more for court-appointed lawyers to have more representation on the Commission to reflect their cost burden. It passed 108 – 1.
852 12/18/2018 1072 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1072, which would expand regulations and restrictions on bait fish, including mandatory registration of those selling them. It would remove the requirement that DNR and MDARD develop lists of “permitted squatic species,” which was mandated by a 2014 law and was unfinished as the list grew extremely large and difficult to manage. I support the removal of this “white list” of allowed species but not mandatory registration of bait sellers. It passed 106 – 3.
853 12/18/2018 1050 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1050, which would allow broadband companies access to public rights-of-way, such a telephone companies already have. Under current law broadband companies weren’t listed as entities able to gain access, so they were registering as phone companies. They would still be required to have consent prior to construction from the appropriate governing board; this simply makes them “legit” in using public rights-of-way as they must. the bill passed 86 – 23.
854 12/18/2018 1253 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1253, which would allow local governments to turn 1-way streets into 2-way streets. How they weren’t already allowed to do this must have been an oversight. It passed unanimously.
855 12/18/2018 882 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 882, which would allow for closed sessions of school boards to consider security planning. It could pose a security hazard for details of these plans to be a matter of public record. The bill passed 105 – 4.
856 12/18/2018 982 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 982, which would create the Office of School Safety within the Department of State Police. It would work with the Department of Education to create model practices for schools safety and work with local law enforcement to assess building security, offer training for school staff on safety, and apply for federal grants concerning school safety and reducing violence in school. This is a sensible step toward protecting our children in school. It passed 107 – 2.
857 12/18/2018 983 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 983, which would require school districts and academies develop emergency operations plans for each school building. It’s just common sense that they should have these plans and the bill passed unanimously.
858 12/18/2018 990 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 990, which would require schools consult with local law enforcement prior to construction or renovation of buildings. This would help maximize security in the design of the buildings. It would not compel the schools to follow the police recommendations. It passed 107 – 2.
859 12/18/2018 991 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 991, which would require schools provide the state police a 24/7 emergency contact person’s information. This is an obvious necessity in the event of a sudden emergency in which police must know how they can inform the school immediately. It passed unanimously.
860 12/18/2018 844 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 844, which would extend the sunset of the Criminal Justice Policy Commission from this January for another 4 years. The Commission was created in 2014 consisting of 17 members to make recommendations to the legislature on sentencing guidelines and practices. We spend nearly $2 billion per year incarcerating about 41,000 people and it’s critical we work to improve public safety, reduce recidivism, and prevent criminal behavior. This group provides an important interface between the legislature and various experts in criminal justice, and has zero budget and therefore no cost. The bill passed 104 – 5.
861 12/18/2018 1170 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1170, which would allow partnerships, LLCs, and S corporations to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level by paying an entity tax and receiving a credit. This eliminates the unfair disadvantage put on these companies taxed at the individual owner level(as opposed the C corporations taxed at the entity level) when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress capped the deductibility of state and local taxes at 10,000. Other states (NY, NJ, OR, CT) passed similar programs to get around this disadvantage. The bill passed 64 – 45.
862 12/18/2018 822 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 822, which would require that memoranda of understanding (MOUs) approved by the governor be made publicly available and that they are in effect unless officially rescinded or expired. This will provide additional transparency to the public who have a right to know about these semi-formal agreements. The bill passed 64 – 45.
863 12/18/2018 1235 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1235, which would prevent townships from basing special assessments for police and fire expenses on such protection provided in a prior year to assessed property. This legislation arose from one township, Fruitport Township in Muskegon County, approving a special assessment district that included restaurants and large retailers, whch they argued was needed to account for the high volume of police and fire calls to that particular area. Businesses affected by that assessment complained that assessments should not be based on the number of calls. But it’s not unreasonable that the cost be shouldered by those most using the service and this is an overcorrection for an incident that occurred in just one township. This is a local matter in which a municipality is simply trying to apportion costs of a service toward its heaviest users. The bill passed 107 – 2.
864 12/18/2018 1219 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1219, which would allow for sale of alcoholic beverages at university conference centers. These entities should be treated the same as other conference facilities where such licenses may be obtained to serve alcohol. The bill passed 105 – 4.
865 12/18/2018 1185 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1185, which would prohibit local governments from requiring individuals to gain their approval before enrolling in a skilled trades program. Nobody should have to seek the approval of their local government to receive training for their chosen career. Without this legislation, non-union applicants may be discriminated against within the current application process — for example, the city of Detroit is currently requiring any city resident get permission from the city board before he or she enters an electrical apprenticeship program. This is totally antithetical to basic freedom to obtain training for and ultimately obtain a job. The bill passed 61 – 48.
866 12/18/2018 1207 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1207, which would codify the International Building Code and federal standards concerning the costs of Americans with Disabilities Act renovations to existing buildings. It would limit the cost of ADA compliance to 20% of the total project costs, which is consistent with current ADA standards. This will help more businesses comply with federal standards and it passed unanimously.
867 12/18/2018 995 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 995, which would allow a local road agency to purchase wetland mitigation credits to fulfill wetland mitigation permit requirements. This is a more efficient use of funds than forcing them to build a wetland and it passed unanimously.
868 12/18/2018 1040 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1040, which would allow military surplus vehicles of 25 years old to be registered as historic vehicles. This would allow them to be operated in parades and the like. Currently the Secretary of State does not allow military surplus vehicles to be considered historic vehicles. It passed 106 – 3.
869 12/18/2018 1176 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1176, which would prohibit a public agency from requiring non-profit organizations to disclose their members, supporters, volunteers, or donors. This is already the law of the land, upheld for decades by the Supreme Court of the United States since the historic NAACP v. Alabama case. The case arose from the state of Alabama during the Civil Rights era attempting to demand the NAACP furnish its member lists, which would invariably chill participation in the organization due to the threat of intimidation and direct violence against its members and supporters. Today we see widespread tactics by the radical Left in organizing campaigns of censorship, boycotts, blacklists, deplatforming, and even direct violence against their perceived enemies. Despite free speech being protected by the courts, it’s important that we formally note in statute that a public agency may not attempt to infringe on the people’s First Amendment right to assemble, and to do so anonymously for their own safety. Disappointed by my Democrat colleagues’ total abandonment of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in unanimously voting no. The bill passed 58 – 51.
870 12/18/2018 1199 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1199, which would move up the due date for the Treasury to annually update the maximum public employer contribution to medical benefit plans by 6 months. This would give employers sufficient time to set employee contribution amounts, giving employees time to weigh their options. It passed 62 – 47.
871 12/18/2018 838 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 838, which would authorize more local “pension obligation bonds” — issuing debt to pay off unfunded liabilities. It would extend another 2 years the sunset on allowing local governments to borrow money to cover unfunded pension liabilities and incur long term debt to pay off future retiree health insurance costs, which unlike pensions are not legally enforceable obligations. This would be the third extension of this deadline. This is not fiscally responsible. The bill passed 103 – 6.
872 12/18/2018 541 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 541, which would allow for the licensing and regulation of dental therapists, which would be a new class of mid-level dental providers that could provide various procedures such as charting of the oral cavity, taking X-rays, pre-exams, and so on. They would need to graduate from an accredited dental therapy education program, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete 500 hours of supervised practice. Creating this new class would provide more acess to low-cost care, particularly for low-income patients. Dental care is vital and it’s critical everyone has access to affordable dental care. It passed 68 – 41.
873 12/18/2018 110 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 110, which would authorize local governments to provide tax subsidies for low or moderate cost rental units. This is basically tax discrimination, which I don’t support at the state level or any level of government. This is picking winners and losers. All developers should pay their fair share of taxes — which I want as low as possible, but equitable across all taxpayers. The bill passed 95 – 14.
874 12/18/2018 1130 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1130, which would extend a corporate welfare deal for a company that failed to satisfy the conditions of the existing corporate welfare deal. A biorefinery facility in Alpena failed to maintain its Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone designation by employing ten people. I don’t support special treatment like this in the first place, so I don’t support further extending the subsidy after the company failed to meet the terms of the last one. The bill passed 100 – 9.
875 & 876 12/18/2018 361 & 362 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 361 and 362, which would calculate the tax base of financial institutions using the close-of-year amount rather than the five-year average. This makes sense for the same reason it makes sense that individuals are not taxed based on the average past 5 years’ income. It would simplify calculations and make it easier to obey the law. They would also set the fraction of the tax base apportioned to Michigan to include all gross business attributable to foreign business. Banks are currently (for the most part) not paying tax on investments in foreign entities. The clarification will result in more uniform and accurate taxation. They passed 98 – 11 and 91 – 18.
877 12/18/2018 4412 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 4412, which I voted for previously, to reform the Tax Tribunal. The Senate removed most of the original language, leaving in that Tribunal members must receive training and maintain his court dockets, member salary increases are eliminated, members are allowed to engage in outside employment, and members may be disqualified from hearing a case due to prejudice or bias. These are reasonable provisions. Concurrence passed 67 – 42.
878 12/18/2018 6444 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 6444, which I voted for previously, to allow independent agents to sell certain types of insurance. The Senate prevented an independent insurance agent from using this change to sell health insurance. The bill still moves in the right direction. Concurrence passed 105 – 4.
879 12/18/2018 304 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 304, which would eliminate the sunset on a cap on the cigar tax of 50 cents per cigar. The tobacco tax originally imposed a 32% wholesale tax on cigars which was sometimes exorbitant for premium cigars and threatened the market competing with online and catalog purchases. This simply continues our current tax rate and ensures the system remains competitive and doesn’t threaten retailers, employees, and customer. I oppose high taxes anyway. It passed 65 – 44.
880 12/18/2018 1244 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1244, which would require generic cleanup criteria be promulgated for Michigan’s primary environmental cleanup program, create a hierarchy for calculating the criteria modeled after the EPA process, and clarify when vapor intrusion is a reasonable and relevant pathway for contamination. This was the result of more than five years of negotiations with the Department of Environmental Quality to make the process more responsive and provide long-needed clarity for many processes and provisions. Using the EPA’s well-established Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) will ensure our standards keep up with the best science available at any given time. It passed 56 – 53.
881 12/18/2018 6551 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 6551, which I voted against previously, to create a monopoly by ZIP code for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The Senate added that if the Department of Health and Human Services determines that there is an unmet need in an area already covered by a PACE organization, the department must notify the organization and allow them to submit a plan to expand their services. This doesn’t change the essence of the bill and even appears to provide assistance to the monopolies. Concurrence passed 106 – 3.
882 & 883 12/19/2018 4066 & 4067 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bills 4066 and 4067, which I voted against previously, to create an interstate medical licensure compact. The Senate made the bills much better by making participation voluntary but this still requires the state to appropriate taxpayer money to continue its compact membership. Concurrence passed 102 – 7.
884 12/19/2018 4779 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House bill 4779, which would provide for uniform electronic legal material. The Senate amendment was a trivial technical change and concurrence passed unanimously.
885 12/19/2018 5121 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5121, which I voted for previously, to create a “bill of rights” for foster children. The Senate eliminated the requirement that the policy ensure the “inventory and security of the child in foster care’s personal belongings.” Still a good bill, and I could imagine how that might be problematic. Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
886 – 897 12/19/2018 5955 – 5965 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 5955 through 5965, which I voted for previously, to limit the authority of local governments to create new occupational fees or licensing requirements or continue to regulate certain professions. It’s bad enough the state has so much of this, and it’s not the role of local government to lay on even more such mandates and costs. If licensing is truly necessary to protect the public safety it should be done at the state level. The Senate amended the definitions of licensing to include registration to ensure the term was not used to bypass the act. They also made the bills retroactive to the beginning of this year. Concurrence passed 59 – 50.
898 12/19/2018 6052 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6052, which I voted against previously, to require our corporate welfare agency produce a report on the efficacy of various corporate welfare programs. We don’t need another study to know these programs don’t work, and the report will not even do a cost-benefit analysis to compare the corporate welfare deals to letting taxpayers keep their money (I know because I requested that it do this and was rebuffed). This report will inevitably paint a rosy picture because it doesn’t really compare the programs to the alternative of not making these special interest deals. The Senate added that the report be shared with the Michigan Strategic Fund prior to its release. Concurrence passed 107 – 2.
899 12/19/2018 5018 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate on House Bill 5018, which I voted against previously, to create misdemeanor and felony offenses for “cyberbullying.” This is at best redundant with other crimes and at worst a threat to people right to free speech. The Senate amendment was purely technical and didn’t change the bill’s substance. Concurrence passed 92 – 17.
900 12/19/2018 6378 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6378, which would allow those wrongfully excluded from state employee pension benefits to apply for and receive their benefits. The Senate remove an appropriation that was in the House-passed version; it will probably end up in the supplemental budget coming up. Concurrence passed 63 – 46.
901 12/20/2018 5806 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5806, which I voted for previously, to establish juvenile mental health courts. We have mental health courts for adults that are working well and it would be better for juveniles to have their own specialty court rather than enter the adult program. The Senate eliminated prohibiting a juvenile who failed 2 or more times from being readmitted, leaving it to the discretion of the court. Concurrence passed unanimously.
902 12/20/2018 5810 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5810, which I voted for previously, to make various updates to the law on court-ordered psychiatric care for adults with severe mental health needs. The Senate revised several details such as including the definition of treatment to include a case management plan, including treatment programs to allow those who request voluntary admission to be considered only after authoritization from a screen unit, removing a provision that the state must pay all costs if there is an increase in the number of persons requiring treatment, and similar details. Concurrence passed 105 – 3.
903 & 904 12/20/2018 5818 & 5819 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 5818 and 5819, which I voted for previously, to allow a guardian to consent to mental health treatment. The Senate amendment was only technical on 5818 and in 5819 expanded the definition of treatment to include a case management plan. Trivial detail. Concurrence passed 107 – 1.
905 12/20/2018 40 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 40, which would expand state subsidies for particular companies near the state line, selected by political appointees on a state “economic development” program board, to each collect up to $10 million in state business subsidies for hiring people that do not live in Michigan. I oppose all of these corporate welfare deals. It passed 56 – 53.
906 12/20/2018 1037 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1037, which would revise Medicaid contractor policy-making details such as establishing clear benchmarks for the Department of Health and Human Services to make timely determinations and audits. They would also be required to establish a bed escrow program allowing nursing facilities to set aside beds. This will allow for options as facilities work to renovate and update their rooms. It passed unanimously.
907 & 908 12/20/2018 1038 & 1039 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 1038 and 1039, which would revise Medicaid nursing home payment details to provide guidelines for DHHS and nursing facilities to follow in compiling Medicaid cost reports and their corresponding audits. Updating the Medicaid process for these nursing facilities will build a better partnership between DHHS and the nursing facilities to ensure the services are being used appropriately. They passed unanimously.
909 12/20/2018 1118 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1118, which would provide for the sale of property for the now-closed West Shoreline Correctional Facility. The current ownership of the property severely restricts the property’s uses and the proposed change will significantly increase the chance the property is redeveloped. It passed unanimously.
910 12/20/2018 1116 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1116, which would shift some road tax money from business subsidies to subsidies for road projects in villages. The proposed earmarks would be for 5 years. It’s $3 million, which doesn’t pay for many projects, and the bill sponsor represent our west coast, so whether any villages in my district will see any of this is dubious. The road tax money should all be spent fixing roads, not in business subsidies *or* new roads projects. It passed 106 – 3.
911 12/20/2018 1094 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1094, which would extend major sports event liquor licenses to the LPGA (ladies golf). This would help the hosting community’s economy to ensure the success of the LPGA Tour Champions Tournament. It passed 107 – 2.
912 12/20/2018 940 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 940, to designate a portion of US-127 as Trooper Craig A. Scott Memorial Highway, after a state police officer who was murdered while making a routine traffic stop in Ingham County. It passed unanimously.
913 12/20/2018 1132 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1132, to designate a portion of I-196 as the Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price Memorial Highway, after a soldier from Holland who was killed in combat in Afghanistan on July 29, 2012. He was 27. It’s appropriate that we honor our fallen soldiers and remind ourselves the cost of this senseless war that drags on to this day. It passed unanimously.
914 12/20/2018 1137 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1137, which would designate a portion of M-10 the Violet T. Lewis Memorial Highway, after the founder of the Lewis College of Business in Indianapolis. She opened a new branch of her school in Detroit that outgrew the original branch which flourished for 80 years before closing in 2015. We often name roads for soldiers and police officers that have made sacrifices, often the ultimate sacrifice, for our state and country, and while I appreciate Dr. Lewis’s contribution, creating a precedent for naming roads after those who made significant contributions to our state could lead to a proliferation of road namings that will serve more to distract motorists than honor the memory of these individuals. The bill passed 101 – 8.
915 12/20/2018 209 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 209, which would designate a portion of M-10 the Sergeant Collin Rose Memorial Highway, after a police officer murdered by a suspect on November 22, 2016. The expense associated with signage is paid for by those requesting the designation so there is no cost to taxpayers. It passed unanimously.
916 12/20/2018 416 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 416, which would allow a dog determined to be fit for a new, loving family to be adopted even if it was raised for fighting. Under current law, it is illegal to buy an animal or its offspring if it was trained for or used for fighting, and animals to be housed and cared for during an investigation must be paid for by law enforcement or animal shelters (even though the animal will probably be destroyed in the end). This would allow the owner to pay for the care of the dog and the animal to be put up for adoption if it is determined to be fit for it. This would prevent the needless killing of dogs whose circumstances were no fault of their own. It passed 105 – 4.
917 12/20/2018 728 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 728, which would clarify the licensure requirement for credit cards to allow a company to provide credit to employees for necessary expenses related to employment. These are commonly used in the trucking business to pay for fuel. Currently an entity must be licensed under the Credit Card Arrangements Act even though they are already licensed under the Consumer Financial Services Act. Under this bill an entity being licensed by the CFSA would be sufficient as long as they still follow the rules of the CCAA. It passed 92 – 17.
918 12/20/2018 729 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 729, which would exempt gift cards from money transmission service regulations. Currently businesses don’t need a license to sell their own gift cards but are required to have a license to sell a gift card for another business. There shouldn’t be different requirements for selling a gift card based on who the retailer is that is selling the gift card. It passed 107 – 2.
919 12/20/2018 1034 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1034, which would expand tax breaks for small forest properties by doubling the acreage cap and halving the minimum size of eligible properties from 20 acres to 10. Landowners are allowed property tax breaks in exchange for managing their property in accordance with a forest management plan prepared by a “qualified forester.” I don’t support giving special tax treatment in exchange for accepting government control, so I don’t support expanding such a program. It passed 59 – 50.
920 12/20/2018 455 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 455, which would establish a single statute to outline how local governments should solicit banks they use for public money. Local public entities would be required to adopt a resolution designating the bank or banks they use and such banks must either have an office in Michigan or, if no such bank with an office within the municipality, a principal office in a bordering state. I’m not a fan of the latter requirement but local banks face huge disadvantages due to various federal policies that favor the largest banks. The bill passed unanimously.
921 12/20/2018 1261 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1261, which would require public bodies (except the state legislature, interestingly) establish procedures to accommodate the absence of any member due to military duty, including procedures for allowing the member to participate by cell phone and giving the public notice of the member’s absence. It’s telling we don’t subject ourselves to this requirement. I support our citizens serving in the military but there are obligations associated with being a public official and it’s not right to require local governments make these accommodations, particularly since the public would still lack effective access to such a representative. The bill passed 73 – 36.
922 12/20/2018 1225 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1225, which would allow retired non-core school service workers (eg custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria staff) to perform such services without forfeiting their retirement allowance and benefits. This codifies current practices and would allow public school retirees to fill needed roles in these services, which they would have no incentive to do if they would be forced to forfeit their retirement pay and benefits to do so. The bill passed 62 – 47.
923 12/20/2018 1177 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1177, which would eliminate a report and remove the outdated requirement that the state Capitol maintain a room as the Michigan veterans’ headquarters. The headquarters were established in 1897 to house supplies, property, records, and history of the Grand Army of the Republic. By the 1950’s they were only housing documents and they were moved to another state office building and are now maintained by the Michigan Historical Commission. The bill would require the Capitol Commission to recognize the contributions of Michigan veterans by displaying one or more plaques and remove the obsolete (and ignored) requirements. It passed unanimously.
924 12/20/2018 1180 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1180, which would specify that the Michigan Veterans’ Facility Authority is autonomous within the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and that it must elect a chairperson by the new year to replace the DMVA director as acting chairman. The MVFA was formed as a separate legal body facilitation the creation of new veterans’ homes after problems were found during audits of the homes operated by the DMVA. The bill would prevent politics from having an influence over the authority’s duty to provide care to Michigan veterans. It passed unanimously.
925 & 926 12/20/2018 1222 & 1223 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 1222 and 1223, which would revise the school tax “capture” for Detroit developer subsidies to give more state money to developers. This relates to state reimbursements to local taxing authorities whose revenues are “captured” by the development authorities through a tax increment financing scheme, and refers mostly to the Detroit DDA’s very large taxpayer subsidies to the Ilitch family’s Little Caesar’s Arena project. I don’t support taxpayer subsidies for developers. They passed 81 – 28.
927 & 928 12/20/2018 1231 & 1232 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 1231 and 1232, which would extend the West Michigan Partnership for Children agreement. This was a “pilot” program in which the WMPC entity worked with Kent County and child welfare services (foster care and juvenile justice) to administer contacts for foster care services and facilitate an ongoing funding model. The program has been successful and this bill would remove the sunset on the program. It passed unanimously.
929 – 933 12/20/2018 703 – 707 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 703 through 707, which would create a structure for state tourism marketing subsidies. Currently convention and visitors bureaus are able to impose taxes on local hotels and campsites. The bills would require bureaus come up with “master plans” for their marketing programs, and including a legislative “finding” that  “the expansion of the tourism industry is vital to the growth of this state’s economy” and that the state “can best undertake effective tourism marketing through the coordinated efforts of existing state government agencies in tourism promotion and private convention and tourism promotional bureaus.” This is untrue. The bills passed 95 – 13 with one passing 96 – 12.
934 & 935 12/20/2018 906 & 907 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 906 and 907, which would exempt buying or leasing school buses from the state sales tax. This was the current practice (all non-profits are supposed to be exempt from the sales tax) until apparently the Department of Treasury issued guidelines following a court case that ruled they shouldn’t get the tax exemption because buses were “incidental to service.” The bills passed 58 – 50.
936 & 937 12/20/2018 1095 & 1127 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 105 and 1127, which would change the deadline for filing candidacy for local office and community college boards to the 15th week before the primary election. This is the date for other races and eliminates confusion. They passed unanimously.
938 – 942 12/20/2018 1238 – 1242 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 1238 through 1242, which implement the provisions of Proposal 3, which was passed by voters through massive misrepresentation and fraud. The proposal would automatically put non-voters on the rolls and allow unregistered voters to show up at the polls and demand ballots on Election Day. It will massively facilitate fraud. I proposed at the minimum require last-minute registrations (which should scarcely exist since the proposal also has everyone automatically registered whenever they obtain a state ID) at least be given provisional ballots so we could track down and prevent the election fraud now invited by our state constitution. I can’t support giving this travesty legislative approval, without implementing any safeguards against the upcoming election fraud the proposal intended to allow. The bills passed by a range of 57-61 votes to 47-51 votes.
943 12/20/2018 1249 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1249, which would implement a 5-year statute of limitations for campaign finance violations. It impermissibly chills political freedom that anyone who files for office must live in fear of being hunted down for a campaign violation years after the campaign is over. It passed 63 – 45.
944 12/20/2018 752 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 752, which would allow those on welfare to not lose their benefits for getting married up to 18 months after the date of marriage. As it is, the system discourages those on welfare from getting married by throwing them off of it if they do. I don’t like expanding welfare but marriage is critical for tying a father to a child and discouraging those on welfare from getting married will ultimately worsen government dependence and discourage responsible fatherhood. It passed 102 – 6.
945 12/20/2018 1108 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1108, which would extend the sunset on the 21st Century Jobs Act, a corporate welfare scheme. We should be shutting it down, not extending it. It passed 74 – 34.
946 12/20/2018 331 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 331, which would impose licensure on genetic counselors. Like all types of occupational licensing, the real intent is not to “legitimitize” a profession but to restrict people from entering — guild protection. I don’t support unwarranted barriers to entry to getting a job. Ultimately they drive up the cost of services and hurt the economy. It passed 97 – 11.
947 12/20/2018 4319 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4319, which I voted for previously, which would allow a widowed spouse of a disabled veteran to continue to use his disabled veteran license for up to a year after his or her spouse died. The Senate allowed for the renewal in perpetuity. Fair enough that the spouse shouldn’t be punished for the veteran’s passing. Concurrence passed 107 – 1.
948 12/20/2018 4505 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4505, which would allow for increased reimbursement to health care providers for sexual assault testing. The Senate made minor changes that DHHS recommended because they use CPT codes for gynecological care, not Medicare codes. Minor details. Concurrence passed unanimously.
949 12/20/2018 4602 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4602, which I voted for previously, to prohibit dipping into the state Rainy Day Fund if the state’s annual growth rate is non-negative. The change was purely technical and the substance of the bill was unchanged. Concurrence passed 73 – 35.
950 & 951 12/20/2018 5505 & 5506 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 550 and 5506, which made updates to licensing requirements for adult foster care homes and facilities. The change in 5505 was purely technical and the change in 5506 was to extend the time background checks can be used from 1 year to 2. Concurrence passed 106 – 2.
952 12/20/2018 5606 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5606, which would allow alcohol manufacturers to sell non-alcoholic beverages on their licensed premises. The Senate change was purely technical. Concurrence passed 106 – 1.
953 12/20/2018 5622 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to my bill, House Bill 5622, which would designate the portion of M-15 in Ortonville as a Purple Heart Trail. Ortonville has 72 Purple Heart recipients. The Senate amendment was purely technical and concurrence passed unanimously.
954 12/20/2018 5672 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5672, to designate a portion of M-15 as the Deputy Eric Overall Memorial Highway. The Senate amendment was purely technical (renumbering a paragraph) and concurrence passed unanimously.
955 12/20/2018 5778 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5778. which would provide guidelines for those breeding large carnivores. The Senate eliminated the provision for American Zoo and Aquarium Association-accredited zoos to proceed with large carnivore breeding and makes all breeding license applicants meet the same requirements regardless of accreditation. Concurrence passed 60 – 48.
956 12/20/2018 5813 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bills 5813, to create a form to guide law enforcement reporting incidents of elder abuse. The Senate weakened the bill by changing “shall investigate” to “may investigate” financial abuse when physical abuse is reported (financial abuse is much more common) but the bill is still better than no bill.  Concurrence passed unanimously.
957 & 958 12/20/2018 5828 & 5829 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendments to House Bills 5828 and 5829, which would create a “School Safety Commission” within the state police. I voted no on the original bills and the Senate changes were minor. Concurrence passed 98 – 11 and 100 – 7.
959 12/20/2018 6400 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6400, which would update a statute according to a recent law on unlicensed foster care homes. The Senate amendment was purely technical. Concurrence passed 105 – 2.
960 – 962 12/20/2018 5850 – 5852 Concurrence Yes I voted as I did previously on concurring with the Senate’s technical changes to House Bills 5850 – 5852, which were school safety-related bills. No on 5850 and 5852, yes on 5851. They passed the same as they did previously.
963 12/20/2018 5855 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5855, which would authorize the DNR to establish a Voluntary Wetland Restoration Project program. The Senate added detailed guidance for the program as the result of several months of workgroup meetings with the DNQ, DEQ, and Ducks unlimited. Concurrence passed 67 – 40.
964 12/20/2018 5866 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5866, which would provide technical amendments to the sport fishing regulations. The Senate clarified how fishing tournaments are registered with the DNR. Concurrence passed 95 – 12.
965 12/20/2018 5913 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5913, which would exempt 501(c)(19) organizations (eg the American Legion) from the sales tax like other (501)(c) nonprofits. The Senate substituted a reference with the referenced $25,000 figure. Concurrence passed 96 – 11.
966 12/20/2018 6012 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6012, which I voted against previously, as part of a package to bring us into an interstate driver license compact. The Senate changed the bill to allow someone who was “not the proximate cause of death” of another person to maintain his driver license instead of having a mandatory suspension. I still don’t support getting us involved with an interstate driver license compact. Concurrence passed 106 – 1.
967 & 968 12/20/2018 6017 & 6022 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 6017 and 6022, which made changes regarding HIV laws. The Senate would require the records of a local health department pertaining to information acquired under this law to be destroyed within a year and allow a pregnant woman to give a verbal denial of STD testing. Concurrence passed unanimously.
969 12/20/2018 4333 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4333, as I did on the previous bill, making certain acts of animal cruelty felonies. The Senate amendment was purely technical and changed no substance. Concurrence passed 92 – 15.
970 12/20/2018 5751 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5751, which would allow for the anonymous surrender of newborn children to an emergency service provider via a deposit device. The Senate added that the emergency provider must have 24/7 emergency staff and that the manufacturer is liable for any damages caused by the device. Concurrence passed 98 – 9.
971 12/20/2018 5098 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 509, which I voted for previously, to require local governments and MDOT waive permit fees when they require telecommunications companies relocate their lines. The Senate amendment was purely technical. Concurrence passed 84 – 23.
972 12/20/2018 5639 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5639, which I voted for previously, to require the Secretary of State issue VIN numbers and titles to assembled vehicles that meet proper safety requirements. The Senate added a requirement that the state police conduct a 2-year safety study regarding such vehicles. Concurrence passed 64 – 43.
973 12/20/2018 964 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 964, which modified various details relating to digital billboards. The last revision in 2014 raised concerns that there were inconsistencies and smaller operators did not have the opportunity to secure financing and permits necessary to take advantage of some new provisions in the 2014 legislation. The bill passed 68 – 39.
974 12/21/2018 404 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 404, which would waive the state ID fee for veterans, the homeless, and individuals on disability or the family independence program. It passed unanimously.
975 12/21/2018 6063 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6063, which I voted against previously, to prohibit local governments from regulating signs on or within a building commemorating veterans, police officers, firefighters, first responders, and corrections officers killed in the line of duty. I was originally concerned about visibility issues with freestanding signage but on and within buildings is a first amendment right. Concurrence passed 95 – 12.
976 12/21/2018 1211 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1211, which would revise various details relating to enforcement of restrictions imposed on owners of property deemed to be a wetland. It would authorize damage awards to those harmed by such actions if the state cannot demonstrate any reasonable justification for its rules. It passed 61 – 46.
977 12/21/2018 6269 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6269, which I voted for previously, to establish a coal combustion residuals regulatory structure. The Senate made some minor technical changes in the language based on DEQ recommendations such as clarifying in the definition of industrial waste landfills that they cannot accept municipal solid waste. Concurrence passed 92 – 15.
978 12/21/2018 6355 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6355, which would exempt charter fishing guides from certain licensing requirements when providing live bait. The amendment was technical and passed unanimously.
979 – 982 12/21/2018 6374 – 6377 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 6374 – 6377, which I voted for previously, to create consistency in the process used for county and intercounty drains. The changes were all minor technical changes and passed unanimously.
983 12/21/2018 6406 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6406, which I voted for previously, to create requirements for consumer notifications of data breaches. The Senate changes were technical and concurrence passed 103 – 4.
984 12/21/2018 4991 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4991, which I voted for previously, because they amended completely unrelated material into the previously-passed bill, to create a $69 million “Renew Michigan Fund” for environmental cleanup taken from the school fund. I don’t support the substance of the new bill and found it quite disrespectful to the bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Howrylak, who didn’t approve the change and who had to vote against his own bill because of this. Concurrence passed 56 – 51.
985 12/21/2018 1205 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1205, which would require health carriers provide additional details in the data they provide to public employers. Specifically it would lower the number of employees a public employer must have to receive relevant claims data from 100 to 50 and include in the report the total number of employees and covered individuals, number and total expenditures for inpatient and outpatient medical claims each month, and the number and total expenditures for all other medical claims each month. This would provide insurers the information they need to submit an informed and competitive estimate for a bid. The bill passed 63 – 44.
986 12/21/2018 4522 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4522, which I voted for previously, to allow a taxpayer to claim an additional dependency exemption in the tax year in which the taxpayer received a Michigan Certificate of Stillbirth. The Senate amendment was purely technical and updated the tax year to 2019. Concurrence passed unanimously.
987 12/21/2018 4611 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4611, which I voted for previously, to modify requirements for certain betting on horse races. The Senate added some clarifying language and tie-barred the bill to the Internet gaming bill. Concurrence passed 75 – 32.
988 – 990 12/21/2018 4926 – 4928 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendments to House Bills 4926 – 4928, which I voted against previously, to allow Michigan casinos (and ONLY casinos) to administer online gambling in Michigan. The Senate changes were all minor and didn’t modify the essence of the bills, to give the casinos an expanded monopoly. Concurrence passed 71 – 35.
991 12/21/2018 5881 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5881, which I voted against previously, to make various changes to Michigan’s gambling law to benefit casinos. The Senate modified a few details but the essence was the same. Concurrence passed 90 – 17.
992 12/21/2018 6420 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6420, which I voted for previously, to legalize and regulate fantasy sports. The Senate consolidated this bill with another bill that passed simultaneously earlier. Concurrence passed 83 – 23.
993 & 994 12/21/2018 1262 & 1263 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bills 1262 and 1263, which would make it a crime to pose as a licensed operator of a marijuana facility if you don’t have a license. There are still a number of licensing issues being worked out in the marijuana law and I am concern that large firms are looking to move in and make life difficult for smaller operators still working to obtain a license. They passed 96 – 11 and 102 – 5.
995 12/21/2018 1264 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1264, which is a trailer for House Bill 6421 to allow a driver license photo be shared with the licensing department for a medical marijuana card. Apparently this is a technical fix. It passed 104 – 3.
996 12/21/2018 SJR O Passage Yes I voted for Senate Joint Resolution O, which would ask the voters to approve a constitutional amendment to allow the Natural Resources Trust Fund and State Park Endowment Fund to be spent on local parks as well as state parks. Because the spending is constitutionally restricted this is the only way such a change would be possible. It passed unanimously.
997 – 999 12/21/2018 763, 931, & 932 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bills 763, 931, and 932, which would make the changes proposed in Senate Joint Resolution O if it is approved by voters and have no effect otherwise. They passed unanimously except for one no vote on 931.
1000 12/21/2018 149 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 149, the school budget supplemental appropriations. It was $79.12 appropriated of which $21.2 was federal money. Of that, $30 million was for mental health services, $18 million was to compensate for an increase in pupils eligible for at-risk funding, and the rest for various programs. I’m not convinced that putting more money into “mental health” will really address the issue, and we didn’t get details of the bill until the last minute. It was 4:30am when we voted on it; our staff had no time to review it. It passed 96 – 11.
1001 12/21/2018 721 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 721, which would narrowly allow a special exception for a local unit of government to restore an historic use of property in a “critical dune area” subject to stringent protections of the lakeside landscape. Only a local government could apply for the exception and only for a use that was in existence in 1989. This is to allow for a restoration of important tourism sites. It passed 62 – 45.
1002 12/21/2018 985 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 985, which would clarify that Automobile Club contracts are not considered insurance. Recent guidelines issued by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services stated that they were not insurance only if occasional reimbursement of expenses were a small part of the club’s operation; clubs wanted clarification to avoid being in a legal gray area. It passed 65 – 42.
1003 12/21/2018 601 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 601, the budget supplemental that allocated an additional $1.2 billion for various purposes. By the time it came up for a vote it was 4:45am and we had no staff available to go over all the details that were being worked out right up to the night of the vote. I was glad to see that Oakland University attained the funding it wanted to restore South Foundation Hall and there were other elements I supported but it was a lot of money we had no time to really go over. It passed 84 – 23.
1004 12/21/2018 1097 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1097, which would decouple Michigan’s calculation of federal taxable income from the Internal Revenue Code. Our corporate income tax is calculated by applying the 6% tax rate to the federal tax base, and because it was calculated at hte federal level it would result in an increase at the state level. This ensures companies have the same state tax bill as they did before the federal changes. It passed 62 – 45.
1005 12/21/2018 5854 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5854, which I voted for previously, to authorize the DNR to establish a program for voluntary wetland restoration projects. This is a second bill of two on this issue with technical changes to be approved; the other one was passed earlier in the evening. Concurrence on 5854 passed 67 – 40.
1006 & 1007 12/21/2018 6053 & 6054 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 6053 and 6054, which I voted for previously, extend the dates for paying the Essential Services Assessment and not paying penalties upon penalties. The Senate lowered the penalty from 5% to 3% and the cap from 30% to 27%. Concurrence passed 104 -3 and 106 – 1.
1008 12/21/2018 6348 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6348, which I voted for previously, to revise the distribution method for excess personal property tax payments. The Senate change was technical and passed 106 – 1.
1009 12/21/2018 4734 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4734, which I voted for previously, to revise the procedures for boards of county election commissioners and county canvasers. The Senate added a requirement that counties use electronic poll book software based on a recommendation of an audit of the Detroit 2016 general election. Concurrence passed unanimously.
1010 & 1011 12/21/2018 4747 & 4748 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 4747 and 4748, which would allow candidates for township offices to pay a filing fee in lieu of nominating petitions. The Senate made the fee refundable in certain circumstances. Concurrence passed 95 – 12 and 99 – 8.
1012 12/21/2018 4990 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4990, which I voted for previously, to exempt food bank vehicles from vehicle registration. The Senate added unrelated language to allow for electronic license plates be used on vehicles (in general, not just food bank vehicles). Such license plates allow for advanced messaging to appear on the plates and talk to cell phones, GPS devices, and so on. Such plates currently retail for $700 and also have a monthly operating fee associated with them. I can imagine unintended consequences associated with this and don’t see any problem with our existing metal license plates. Concurrence passed 90 – 17.
1013 & 1014 12/21/2018 5230 & 5231 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with Senate amendments to House Bills 5230 and 5231, which I voted for previously, to give public school retirees and state employees an annuity retirement option. The Senate made offering such an option mandatory and require annuity providers offer both fixed and variable options. Employees should have more option on how they want to invest their money for retirement. Concurrence passed 71 – 36 and 72 – 35.
1015 12/21/2018 6553 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6553, which I voted for previously, to give the Legislature standing to intervene in lawsuits in the interest of the state. The Senate narrowed the scope to only apply to lawsuits challenging the validity of a statute or legislative action. This weakened the bill but it’s still entirely appropriate. The Senate also added a statement that the bill does not limit any right or duty of the attorney general, as if that will prevent people from misrepresenting otherwise. I don’t think we should be kowtowing to those spreading disinformation, but it’s harmless policy-wise and still critical we pass this. It passed 60 – 47.
1016 12/21/2018 6582 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6582, which I voted for previously, to require people provide contact information when submitting Freedom of Information Act requests. The Senate changes were trivial. Concurrence passed 97 – 10.
1017 – 1019 12/21/2018 5939 – 5941 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendments to House Bills 5939 and 5940 but yes on 5941, as I voted originally, on changing the fireworks law. 5939 makes it more difficult for fireworks tents to operate (discrimination in favor of year-round brick and mortar stores), 5940 enhances local governments’ ability to limit their usage, and 5941 would allow the governor and, in certain cases, local fire authorities to issue “no burning” restrictions that include a prohibition on the use of consumer fireworks. Concurrence passed 92 – 15, 94 – 13, and 101 – 6 respectively.
1020 & 1021 12/21/2018 6107 & 6108 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 6107 and 6108, which I voted for previously, to outlaw election-related forgery. The Senate makes clear that a violation for a false affidavit of identity under the Election Law is a separate violation from a violation of the Campaign Finance Act. It also clarified that fraudulent signatures are invalid and must not be counted toward the sufficiency of a petition. Concurrence passed 95 – 12 and 90 – 17.
1022 12/21/2018 6205 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment for House Bill 6205, which I voted for previously, to rewrite the Animal Industry Act. The Senate made a number of considerable changes I didn’t have time or mind to vet at 5:30am. This bill was not on our agenda earlier in the week and we had no time to go through it. Concurrence passed 71 – 36.
1023 12/21/2018 844 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 844, which would extend the sunset of the Criminal Justice Policy Commission from this January for another 4 years. This was a re-vote on this bill from earlier in the week after having removed the 90-day enactment date. It passed 104 – 3.
1024 – 1028 12/21/2018 6206, 6208, 6209, 6212, 6213, & 6216 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 6206, 6208, 6209, 6212, 6213, and 6216, which I voted for previously, which updates some reference numbers in statute relating to livestock to accommodate changes made by HB 6205. The Senate filled in the number of HB 6205 in the enacting clauses. Concurrence passed the various bills with all but 7 – 13 people voting yes.
1030 12/21/2018 6397 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6397, which I voted for previously, to grant the Legislative Corrections Ombudsman certain investigative ability. The Senate eliminate language that a corrections employee may not be penalized in any way for cooperating in an ombudsman complaint and instead says the department cannot take disciplinary action in such a case. Concurrence passed 105 – 1.
1031 12/21/2018 6403 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6403, which I voted for previously, to clarify that counties are eligible for County Veteran Service Fund grants if they don’t have their own department of veterans affairs. The Senate increased the base grant each county would receive from $25,000 to $50,000. Concurrence passed unanimously.
1032 12/21/2018 1136 Passage No I voted no on Senate Bill 1136, which would establish a prioritized grant program for an Inland Lakes Aquatic Invasive Plant Control and Eradication Program within the DEQ. We don’t need to create a named grant program to accomplish this but doing so will almost certainly result in larger budget requests to accommodate the new dedicated program. It passed 102 – 3.
1033 12/21/2018 6475 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6475, which I voted for previously, to switch from a level percentage of payroll to a level dollar amount for paying down the state police unfunded liabilities. This is similar to reforms we passed for other public employees. The Senate changes reflected the current collective bargaining agreement between the state police and the union. Concurrence passed 104 – 1.
1034 12/21/2018 6485 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6485, which I voted for previously, to define what is considered a “production expense” for purposes of calculating an oil and gas company’s state income tax liability. The Senate only adopted a conflict substitute to address the passage of other bills, but I reconsidered the bill as taking one side in a dispute between the Oil and Gas Association and the Treasury. Concurrence passed 56 – 49.
1035 12/21/2018 5153 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5153, which I voted for previously, to require DHHS develop a non-opioid directive form. This was a purely technical amendment to update a reference number. Concurrence passed 104 – 1.
1036 12/21/2018 671 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 671, which would clarify what constitutes proper recording of documentation to provide reference for restrictions in land titles. Current law does not define the information that is required for the original claim, interest, or charge. SB 671 requires that in order to preserve an existing interest, claim, or charge, the claim would need to contain certain basic information and a notary’s acknowledgement. It passed 68 – 36.
1037 12/21/2018 1234 Passage Yes I voted for Senate Bill 1234, which would allow police dogs injured on duty to be transported in an ambulance if no humans need emergency assistance at the time. It passed unanimously.
1038 12/21/2018 6595 Concurrence No I voted no on concurring with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6595, which I voted for previously, to regulate petition circulators an require that not more than 15% of certified signatures come from any one congressional district. The Senate made various changes to details, including limited the filing of a legal challenge to within 7 business days of an official declaration or not later than 60 days before an election, whichever is more restrictive. It also requires petitions include check boxes labeled “paid circulator” or “volunteer.”  I liked the old bill better. Concurrence passed 57 – 47.
1039 12/21/2018 6491 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6491, which I voted for previously, to require insurers provide security for and protect any nonpublic consumer information they have. The Senate extended the bill from only those insurers with 50 or more employees and $10 million in gross annual revenue to all insurers with 25 or more employees. Concurrence passed 103 – 6.
1040 12/21/2018 5725 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5725, a memorial highway bill. The Senate had to update a reference number. Concurrence passed unanimously.
1041 12/21/2018 6330 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6330, to legalize growing hemp. The Senate lowered an ownership threshold from 35% to 10%. Concurrence passed unanimously.
1042 12/21/2018 6344 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6344, to consolidate the district courts of Lansing, East Lansing, and Ingham County into one court. The Senate added that in a jury trial the jurors must be residents of the respective “political subdivision.” Concurrence passed 102 – 2.
1043 12/21/2018 6006 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 6006, which I voted for previously, to eliminate the Capitol Committee, which is redundant since we now have a Capitol Commission. The Senate amendment was purely technical and concurrence passed 62 – 47.
1044 12/21/2018 5907 Concurrence Yes I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5907, which I voted against previously. The original bill required schools provide information to students in eighth grade and up information regarding the registration, eligibility, and fees for college level equivalent courses and exams. The Senate added many much bigger provisions including allowing urban charter schools to give enrollment priority to pupils that transferred under a matriculation agreement if certain conditions are met and deleting a requirement that a cyber school’s contract include a 1,098-hour class time requirement. The bill’s a mix of things but I support the balance of it. Concurrence passed 58 – 45.
1045 12/21/2018 5940 Concurrence No I voted no once more on House Bill 5940, to give local governments greater ability to restrict the usage of fireworks. For many of my colleagues, this was their final vote. What a strange topic to close with. Concurrence passed 93 – 10 this time.