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Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Carra 2021 Vote Explanations
RELEASE|April 11, 2022
Contact: Steve Carra

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4787 (Rep. Markkanen) Would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to waive the knowledge test for a person with military vehicle experience who is applying for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Michigan. EXPLANATION: Waiving the knowledge test for service members and veterans with qualified military experience removes redundant red tape for these individuals when applying for a CDL. PASSED: 103-0

I voted NO on HB 5448 (Rep. Hornberger) Allows an educational corporation to reopen under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: Government should not be restricting designations for private colleges and universities. PASSED: 101-2

I voted YES on SB 213 (Sen. LaSata) Specifies restrictions on long-term care facility visitation policies lasting longer than seven days, do not apply to the Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. EXPLANATION: Regardless of long-term care facility visitation restrictions in place, representatives of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program should be allowed access to facilities to ensure they can carry out their legal obligation of protecting residents. PASSED: 103-0

I voted YES on HB 5370 (Rep. VanSingel) Would clarify the procedure and infraction for making a left turn in a spot that does not have a traffic control device to be similar to those within an intersection. EXPLANATION: This would provide further clarity for both drivers on the proper procedures for making left turns without a signal. Making this change would ensure that both infractions, which are similar, would have the same penalty for failure to yield. PASSED: 93-10

I voted YES on HB 5252 (Rep. Slagh) Requires the SOS to post the date for petitions of a proposed ballot, questions are filed and provide regular updates. EXPLANATION: The public should not rely on media accounts to determine when the SOS receives petitions. This would improve transparency and accountability in the SOS when it comes to petitions. PASSED: 102-0

I voted YES on HB 5258 (Rep. Koleszar) Allows county clerks to email proofs of ballots to the Secretary of State (SOS). EXPLANATION: These are common-sense changes that bring the process of providing ballot proofs into the 21st century. This will be much more efficient and cost-effective than the current process. PASSED: 102-0

I voted YES on SB 212 (Sen. Johnson) Requires a candidate for office to provide all information necessary for the ballot on their affidavit of identity. EXPLANATION: This will reduce the amount of “extra” work clerks and election officials will have to perform when it comes to finding the necessary information to compile a proper ballot for the election. PASSED: 102-0

I voted NO on SB 461 and SB 462 (Sen. VanderWall & Sen. Wojno) Would amend the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act by requiring an applicant to provide a liability insurance policy to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency as proof of financial responsibility to obtain a license. EXPLANATION: These bills create unnecessary regulation. BOTH PASSED: 94-8

I voted YES on HB 5449 (Rep. Clements) Amends the mobile home commission act by creating a process for the mobile homeowner that either lost their title or never received a title to obtain a new title for their mobile home. EXPLANATION: Clarity is needed to avoid future litigation over the owner of mobile homes. Mobile homes that have the “mobile” components removed should be considered affixed to the real property where it is located. PASSED: 101-1

I voted NO on HB 4970 (Rep. O’Malley) Would amend the Revised School Code to require that all school personnel complete seizure first-aid response training, and require that a seizure action plan be created for each pupil who is being treated for a seizure disorder. EXPLANATION: Although well intended, expanding regulations make it difficult for schools to comply with so many requirements. PASSED: 85-17

I voted YES on HB 5274, 5275, 5276, 5277, 5278, 5279, 5280, 5534, & 5594 (Rep. Meerman, Rep LaGrand, et al.) Refines the Central Registry to track perpetrators of severe abuse and neglect who represent an ongoing risk to children in their care. EXPLANATION: Placement on the current Central Registry is far too easy, and far too hard to get off of. This legislative package provides due process to remove names of people who do not meet the new criteria for placement, and the new registry will include only individuals who pose a danger to children based on confirmed previous acts of severe abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse and extreme physical abuse. ALL PASSED: 102-0

I voted NO on HB 5613 (Rep. Mueller) Revised the State Administrative Board Act to prevent the use of the State Administrative Board to transfer any funds appropriated to the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Fund. EXPLANATION: The program these funds are allocated for is unnecessary, heinous, and would negatively impact the business environment of Michigan. PASSED: 95-8

I voted YES on SB 759 (Sen. VanderWall) Would allow health professionals authorized to practice in another state to practice in Michigan without a Michigan license under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: Allowing qualified health professionals to supplement Michigan’s health professionals in times of need increases Michigan’s ability to care for those who are sick and in need of care. PASSED: 88-14

I voted YES on SB 728 (Sen. McBroom) Amends the Open Meetings Act to affirm what is provided in the Michigan Constitution – that all business conducted by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission be done at open meetings. EXPLANATION: The bill prohibits the commission from holding closed-door sessions for any purpose and further provides legislative intent language that the commission is bound to open meetings per the Michigan Constitution. The Michigan Constitution clearly states that all business of the commission shall be done in open meetings. PASSED: 100-2

I voted NO on SB 85 (Sen. Horn) Outlines the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for LEO (DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY). EXPLANATION: The funds devoted to this department are bloated and use state funds in an inefficient manner. PASSED: 78-25

I voted NO on HB 4398 (Rep. VanWoerkom) Closes the state’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget and makes corrections to the enacted 2022 budget. EXPLANATION: The funds going to make the corrections to the enacted 2022 budget are inefficient and an example of wasteful government spending. PASSED: 94-9

I voted NO on HB 5523 (Rep. Calley) COVID Early Treatment Supplemental. EXPLANATION: This is an example of egregious government expansion as it includes contact tracing and surveillance. PASSED: 98-4

I voted YES on SB 764 (Sen. Hertel) Amends the Income Tax Act by creating a state income tax deduction for wagering losses. EXPLANATION: This change aligns with what is allowed at the federal level and avoids confusion when filing state income taxes. It would not allow for the deductions to be more than the winnings and it must be itemized. PASSED: 72-30

I voted NO on SB 769, 770, &771 (Sen. LaSata, VanderWall, & Victory) Creates economic development funds. EXPLANATION: Government should not use taxpayers’ money to create programs that will pick winners and losers out of Michigan business. ALL PASSED: 81-22

I voted NO on HB 4082 (Rep. Frederick) Prohibits the State Administrative Board from making an inter-departmental transfer from the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund and the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Program. EXPLANATION: The nature of this bill was substantially changed to only protect corporate welfare programs from inter-departmental transfer. PASSED: 93-8

I voted YES on HB 4294 (Rep. Paquette) Amends the Revised School Code to allow school districts to employ individuals as substitute teachers under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: With a shortage of substitute teachers, making it easier for more people to substitute teach will give schools greater flexibility. Too many individuals are prevented from substitute teaching due to the strict requirements currently in place. PASSED: 55-48

I voted YES on HB 5351 (Rep. Johnson) Would amend the General Property Tax Act by increasing the limit of the small business taxpayer personal property tax exemption from $80,000 to $160,000. EXPLANATION: This would provide PPT relief for businesses that have equipment that is not currently eligible under the current threshold that could be eligible once adjusted for inflation. This would include additional businesses that are currently over the $80,000 threshold to be eligible to receive personal property tax relief. PASSED: 58-45

I voted NO on HB 5603 (Rep. Calley) Amends the Michigan Strategic Fund by creating the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Fund EXPLANATION: The state should not be involved in picking winners and losers. We should create a business climate that businesses would seek. By passing these corporate welfare and cronyism bills, the Legislature is putting the interests of select industries over the interests of everyday small business owners. PASSED: 81-22

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4257 (Rep. Johnson) Would require that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the governor be filed and made publicly available with the Office of the Great Seal and be transmitted to the Legislature. It also ensures that a MOU signed by a governor remains in effect unless rescinded by a subsequent governor or its term expires. EXPLANATION: This bill will provide additional transparency to the public by making governor-approved MOUs available to the public. By requiring these to be provided to the Legislature, state legislators will have a better understanding of the agreements being made at the executive level.

PASSED: 70-33

I voted NO on HB 4959 (Rep. Fink) Would amend the Motor Carrier Act to require the monthly publishing of applicants for a certificate of authority as well as the list of those that were suspended, revoked or reinstated. EXPLANATION: This bill introduces further regulations that if they are not followed will result in one’s license being taken away, harming their ability to conduct business.

PASSED: 99-4

I voted NO on HB 4960 (Rep. Fink) Would require that police agencies enter a vehicle in the state LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network) system not less than 24 hours after ordering a vehicle removed. EXPLANATION: There are further regulations put onto towing companies, mandating they cooperate with police to determine abandoned vehicles. This is an unnecessary mandate on towing agencies.

PASSED: 102-1

I voted YES on HB 4232 (Rep. Hoitenga) Would amend the liquor control code by lowering the required age to sell or serve alcohol from 18 to 17 years old. EXPLANATION: Lowering the age will make it easier for licensees to fill vacant positions by expanding the pool of eligible employees.

PASSED: 64-39

I voted YES on HBs 5295 and 5296 (Rep. Hauck and Rep. Hertel) Would amend the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act and Business Corporation Act by allowing licensed chiropractors to create a professional corporation with other licensed medical professionals. EXPLANATION: This allows medical professionals to work together to provide the best possible care to patients. If licensed physicians can form a practice group with physician assistants, they should be allowed to form them with chiropractors as well.

PASSED: 99-4

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

I voted NO on SBs 242 and 245 (Sen. McBroom and Sen. Moss) Would amend Public Acts 261 and 293 by changing the office term of county commissioners from 2 years to 4 years. EXPLANATION: We should not be extending terms for county commissioners. They need to be in their districts and held accountable to the voices from their community.

PASSED: 75-29

I voted NO on HBs 4674 and 4675 (Rep. Kahle and Rep. Slagh) Would amend the Crime Victims Compensation act to expand the persons and expenses eligible under the act. EXPLANATION: The state recently has made many changes related to criminal justice and compensations towards families and it may be more prudent to assess their impact before making further changes.

PASSED: 100-4 and 96-8

I voted NO on SB 494 (Sen. Daley) Would extend the sunset for the Freshwater Protection fees until December 31, 2026 and makes minor clarifying updates. The bill does not alter or increase current fees for pesticide product registrations or fertilizer sales and ensures the continuation of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). EXPLANATION: This bill would extend an unnecessary government program.

PASSED: 100-4

I voted NO on HBs 5602-5604 (Rep. O’Malley, Rep. Calley, and Rep. Frederick) HBs 5602-5604 would amend the Michigan Trust Fund Act by creating the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, amend the Michigan Strategic Fund by creating the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Program, and amend the Michigan Strategic Fund by creating the Critical Industry Fund. EXPLANATION: The state should not be involved in picking winners and losers. We should create a business climate that businesses would seek. By passing these corporate welfare and cronyism bills, the Legislature is putting the interests of select industries over the interests of everyday small business owners.

PASSED: 83-21

I voted YES on HB 5351 (Rep. Johnson) Would amend the General Property Tax Act by increasing the limit of the small business taxpayer personal property tax exemption from $80,000 to $160,000. EXPLANATION: This would provide PPT relief for businesses that have equipment that is not currently eligible under the current threshold that could be eligible once adjusted for inflation. This would include additional businesses that are currently over the $80,000 threshold to be eligible to receive personal property tax relief.

PASSED: 58-46

Thursday, December 9, 2021

I voted NO on HBs 4782 and 4783 (Rep. Sneller and Rep. Carter) Would create criminal penalties for a distributor that doesn’t charge the required 10-cent deposit under HB 4781. A distributor with the intent to defraud the system by not initiating a deposit is guilty of either a misdemeanor or felony based on the value of the products involved in the fraudulent activity. EXPLANATION: This is another instance of government intervention in the free market and places further burdensome regulations on businesses.

PASSED: 98-4

I voted YES on HB 4427 (Rep. Berman) Would lower the penalty of possession of tobacco for a minor from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction for your first offense. EXPLANATION: Misdemeanors can have a long-lasting effect on an individual’s life and should be reserved for more serious offenses.

PASSED: 102-0

I voted YES on HB 5286 (Rep. Huizenga) Would allow for the implementation of flashing lights on speed limit signs to indicate the presence of workers in construction zones. EXPLANATION: By allowing use of flashing lights on temporary signs, it would provide better visibility to drivers potentially helping with compliance of these temporary limits in work zones.

PASSED: 102-0

I voted YES on SB 674 (Sen. Nesbitt) Would repeal Section 10 of the Motor Fuel Tax Act which applies tax increases to fuel held in storage. EXPLANATION: With the change to small annual increases in fuel tax rates, this reporting and collecting will become much more onerous on retailers and the department.

PASSED: 98-4

I voted NO on SB 723 (Sen. Horn) Would amend dates for an exception to apply for a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone. EXPLANATION: Neighborhood Enterprise Zones are another instance of the government regulating and making exceptions for exclusive businesses.

PASSED: 85-17

I voted YES on SB 698 (Sen. Runestad) Would amend the General Property Tax Act by taxing personal property that is located in another location due to COVID-19 to be assessed at its normal location for tax year 2022. EXPLANATION: Calculation of personal property tax is complicated in normal years – let alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill will allow businesses and assessors to better track each piece of equipment that may be located elsewhere due to the disruption of the economy.

PASSED: 102-0

I voted Yes on HB 5488 (Rep. Kahle) Would allow psychologists who have temporary authorization to practice under the psychology interjurisdictional compact to practice in Michigan and considers them to be licensed psychologists in Michigan. EXPLANATION: Expanding increased access to telepsychology provides advantages such as accessibility, versatility and affordability to traditional treatment methods.

PASSED: 95-7

I voted No on 5489 (Rep. Brabec) Would provide for the state’s entrance into the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT). EXPLANATION: This is a good concept, but this is not how it should be done. The compact is a governing tool, requiring that participating states cede some portion of their sovereignty.

PASSED: 95-7

I voted NO on SB 637 (Sen. Chang) Would require DHHS to create a community crisis response grant program, subject to available funds from the Jail Diversion Fund. EXPLANATION: Some local units of government are already implementing their own crisis response programs without legislation. This should be in the hands of local government, not through a one size fits all government mandate and managed program.

PASSED: 91-11

I voted NO on SB 638 (Sen. Outman) Would create the Jail Diversion Fund and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to spend money from the fund for prescribed purposes, and subject to available funds from the Jail Diversion Program, requires DHHS to create a behavioral health jail diversion grant program. EXPLANATION: As stated for SB 637, it should be in the hands of local government to want these programs and not the state government. By creating another fund, the state government is simply spending more of the taxpayers’ dollars, with too many strings attached.

PASSED: 97-5

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4059 (Wendzel) Modifies the autism evaluation review process for Medicaid eligibility to no longer require re-evaluations after a child is diagnosed with autism to be eligible for Medicaid behavioral health treatments. EXPLANATION: With a lack of an evaluation process to properly verify eligibility, this bill would allow taxpayer funded handouts to expand.

PASSED 101-1

I voted NO on HB 4771 (Sowerby) This legislation strengthens enforcement standards in response to an Auditor General audit of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy [DEGLE] Air Quality Division’s Asbestos Program that discovered weaknesses in the enforcement program of monitoring for safe asbestos abatement in demolition and renovation projects. EXPLANATION: This would increase the amount of spending and bureaucracy without directly addressing the problem.

PASSED: 88-14

I voted YES on HB 5097 (Beeler) Prohibits race or gender stereotyping in model curriculums adopted by the state board of education or local school boards. EXPLANATION: This unanimously passed bill will upholds the rights of students and protects them from discrimination in the classroom.

PASSED: 55-0

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4939 & 4940 (Damoose & Tate) Amends the General Sales Tax Act and the Use Tax Act by excluding manufacturer rebates on motor vehicles from sales tax and use tax. EXPLANATION: This policy would create a special tax carve out that unfairly applies to only automobile purchases.

PASSED: 83-20, 85-18

I voted YES on HB 4920 (S. Johnson) Requires public disclosure of certain settlement agreement information (legislator’s name and payout amount) for cases in which a legislator is claimed to have committed sexual assault or harassment. EXPLANATION: We need as much government transparency as possible especially in situations where public officials act unethically and illegally.

PASSED: 103-0

I voted YES on HB 5281 (Fink) Requires public disclosure of certain settlement agreement information (elected executive branch official’s name and payout amount) for cases in which an elected executive branch official is claimed to have committed sexual assault or harassment. EXPLANATION: This bill would do the same as 4920, just for the executive branch. This is a worthwhile cause.

PASSED: 103-0

I voted YES on HB 5368 (Filler) Requires courts to make records public and to include an individual’s date of birth. EXPLANATION: Recently adopted state court rules would remove some identifying information from court records, including date of birth, which would complicate the background check process. This bill would help employers in the private sector.

PASSED: 69-34

I voted YES on SB 683 (MacDonald) Raise the age technical fix. EXPLANATION: This bill would fix the gap in coverage so that all individuals 17-18 years old before October 1, 2021 are not treated as adults in a court of law.

PASSED: 103-0

I voted NO on SB 153 (Brinks) Amends the Use Tax Act exempting feminine hygiene products from the use tax. EXPLANATION: This bill eliminates taxes for only certain products they sell which is unacceptable as we should reduce taxes across the board for all.

PASSED: 91-12

Thursday, November 4, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4705 (Meerman) Requires the recording of a meeting of a public body that is a state licensing board, commission panel, or rule-making board. EXPLANATION: Government transparency is critical to maintaining our republic and this makes our state government bodies more transparent.

PASSED: 91-11

I voted YES on HB 4618, HB 4619 (Haadsma) Amends the Uniform Voidable Transaction Act by aligning the standard to prove that a transfer was done with the intent to defraud a creditor to the standard in the Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act. Creditors would be required to prove with clear and convincing evidence that a transaction was done intentionally to infringe creditor’s rights. EXPLANATION: These bills make it easier to create trusts in Michigan. Creating a friendly environment for estate planning in Michigan will ensure that more individuals can protect their property rights.

PASSED: 102-0

I voted YES on HB 4851 (Alexander) Makes it criminal for an individual to intentionally use their professional position of authority to prevent, or attempt to prevent, another from reporting criminal sexual conduct. EXPLANATION: Just because someone is in a position of power does not mean that they should be exempt from reporting criminal sexual conduct.

PASSED: 102-0

I voted YES on HB 4852 (Cambensy) Makes it a 1-year misdemeanor for an individual to intentionally use his/her professional position of authority to prevent, or attempt to prevent, another from reporting criminal sexual conduct or certain other crimes to a Title IX coordinator at a college or university. EXPLANATION: Just because someone is in a position of power at a university does not mean that they should be able to prevent the reporting of criminal sexual conduct.

PASSED 102-0

I voted NO on HB 4854 (Rogers) Requires DHHS to create and distribute a training package for mandatory reporters and requires employers who have employees that are mandatory reporters to provide the training packages to those individuals, with exceptions. EXPLANATION: More regulations on employers do not make sense.

PASSED: 95-7

I voted NO on HB 4856 (Bolden) States that a public body “may” exempt information from disclosure under FOIA that would reveal the identity of an individual who has filed an anonymous civil lawsuit. EXPLANATION: Someone should not be able to remain anonymous if they are accusing someone through a civil lawsuit.

PASSED 96-6

I voted YES on HB 5322 & 5323 (Hall & Yancey) Amends the General Sales Tax Act and the Use Tax Act by allowing wholesalers licensed to use a purchaser’s license number to satisfy the requirements for the exemption under the acts. EXPLANATION: Lower regulations is the best policy. Removing these regulations helps wholesalers streamline their process.

PASSED 102-0

I voted NO on HB 4976, 4977 & 4978 (Markkanen) Allows the Department of Treasury to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to exempt raw forest products transported into another state within 30 miles of the border from the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). EXPLANATION: This bill picks who gets tax breaks depending on what industry, and what product they produce. We should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.

PASSED: 101-1

 VOTE EXPLANATIONS: 10/28/2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 4364-4366 (Lilly & Sneller): adds “audiologist and speech-language pathologists” to the list of professions that may sign the SOS required certificate indicating a communication impediment for an individual electing to have a communication impediment designation on their driver’s license, state ID, or vehicle registration. EXPLANATION: This is a commonsense change to our SOS will streamline the process and help individuals with speech impediments.

PASSED: 106-0

I voted YES on HB 4295 (Alexander) Amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act by removing the prohibition on state employees and their spouses from owning a marihuana facility. EXPLANATION: An individual should not be prohibited from owning a business based off of what they do for a living or what their spouse does for a living.

PASSED: 97-7

I voted YES on HB 4066 (Fink) Creates the “Michigan Knife Rights Act,” which prohibits local units of government from taxing or regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife-making components that is more restrictive than state law. EXPLANATION: This bill would eliminate a tax that was set out on a specific industry and local units of government should not be allowed to infringe on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.

PASSED: 66-38

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

I voted NO on SB 686 (McCann) Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to extend a sunset date, from Oct. 1, 2021, to Oct. 1, 2025, for public water supply operator training and certification fees collected by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). EXPLANATION: This bill would extend the reliance of fee revenues to fund EGLE. The continuation of these fees are unnecessary and typically goes to bureaucracy rather than its intended purpose.

PASSED: 95-9

I voted NO on HB 4071 & 4072 (Kahle & Calley) amend Michigan law to increase criminal penalties for child abuse if the child is found to be a vulnerable child. EXPLANATION: Criminal penalties should be uniform for all groups of people, not just groups who commit crimes against those who are vulnerable.

PASSED: 101-3, 100-4

I voted YES on HB 4316 (Frederick) Establishes a medication aide training and permit program, which will allow the medication aide to provide regularly scheduled medications to patients of a nursing home or skilled nursing facility under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). EXPLANATION: This commonsense bill would create a permit program that would help expand who can treat patients in nursing homes, whereas medication aides currently are prohibited from providing these services.

PASSED: 56-48

I voted YES on HB 5089 (Bollin) Allows a professional nurse to provide training to a nurse aide candidate without a permit, but only during a COVID-19 pandemic. EXPLANATION: This bill would allow help to alleviate the staffing shortages that we are seeing in the healthcare industry right now due to government intervention and mandates.

PASSED: 94-10

I voted YES on HB 4722 (Lightner) amends the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act by preventing local units of government from restricting the use of short-term rentals. EXPLANATION: The government should have no ability to tell people what they can and cannot do with their private property.

PASSED: 55-47

I voted YES on HB 4693 (S. Johnson) amends the Occupational Code for Real Estate licenses by allowing a tenant to receive up to a month of rent credit for a referral without it being considered compensation for purposes of licensure. EXPLANATION: More choice is always the best option. The government should not be limiting referral compensation.

PASSED: 104-2

I voted NO on HB 4997 & 4998 (Sneller & O’Malley) Would amend the current statute on left hand passing to clarify that a left center turn lane may only be used for making a left hand turn and is not for use as a passing lane. EXPLANATION: While driving in the center left turn lane may not be advisable, there is no reason to criminally penalize individuals who are capable of protecting their own safety, and others, while driving.

PASSED: 95-11

I voted NO on HB 4281 (Garza) Amends Public Act 33 of 1951 (Police and Fire Protection) by modifying the population threshold in the definition of qualified cities. EXPLANATION: Townships and villages should not receive a carveout to expand government in their respective communities.

PASSED: 95-11

Thursday, October 28, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4766, 4767, 4768, 4769, 4770, 4771 (Howell, et al) This legislation strengthens enforcement standards in response to an Auditor General audit of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy [DEGLE]) Air Quality Division’s Asbestos Program that discovered weaknesses in the enforcement program of monitoring for safe asbestos abatement in demolition and renovation projects. EXPLANATION: These bills create more regulation, programs, spending, and licensure that would affect on the enforcement of asbestos policy.

PASSED: 97-8

I voted NO on HB 5026 (Calley) removes the sunset on the Emergency 911 Enabling Act to ensure continued service and authorization, provides for an audit on the collection of fees, and updates fees to ensure continued implementation of Next Generation 911 services. EXPLANATION: This is a statewide approach to funding a program that should be more local.

PASSED: 99-6

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 5404-05 (Reps. Posthumus & Green) Creates the student opportunity scholarship (SOS) act that establishes a scholarship program for eligible students and amends the income tax act to create a tax credit for contributions made to SGOs and a tax deduction for SOS recipients. EXPLANATION: Parents and students need more options and flexibility in education and that is what these bills give them.

PASSED: 55-48, 55-48

I voted YES on HB 4117 & 4026 (Rep. Johnson & Eisen) Amends the “Michigan Vehicle Code” by creating an option to request a two-year vehicle registration and an option to purchase a two-year recreational passport for those who obtain a two-year vehicle registration. EXPLANATION: Giving drivers more options will reduce inconvenience and wait times at local Secretary of State offices. This option gives drivers the freedom to choose a one- or two-year vehicle registration and recreational passport.

PASSED: 101-2, 103-0

I voted YES on SB 220 (Sen. Theis) Requires the Secretary of State to provide the ability for standard farm plates, specialty farm plates, logging plates, and milk truck plates to be renewed online by Jan. 1, 2022. EXPLANATION: Farmers should have the same options to renew their plates that standard vehicles have.

PASSED: 87-16

I voted YES on HBs 4535-36 (Rep. Borton) Prohibits off-road vehicles (ORVs) on snowmobile trails during the winter months due to safety concerns and because of the damage they can do to groomed trails. Also, would exempt penalty revenue from going to libraries and would stay in the Recreational Snowmobile Trail Improvement subaccount. EXPLANATION: Off-road vehicles damage the snowmobile trails and endanger snowmobilers who fund the trails in the first place. There are other trails for the ORVs.

PASSED: 101-2, 91-12

I voted YES on HB 4449 (Rep. Berman) Eliminates both the annual filing fee and late filing fee for annual reports that must currently be filed with LARA and eliminates the requirement to file the report if no information has changed from the previous year. EXPLANATION: Eliminating fees and reporting requirements for when no information has changed from the previous year is a commonsense way to get government regulation out of the way of businesses.

PASSED: 60-43

I voted NO on HBs 4801-02 (Reps. Schroeder & Kuppa) Creates a registration process withing the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for electric vehicle charging stations. Also, makes several definitional changes to clarify that retail providers of electric vehicle charging stations may resell energy but are not considered a utility under Michigan law. EXPLANATION: Further regulation of an industry hinders growth and ingenuity. New requirements could cause new installations of charging stations to be slowed or stopped.

PASSED: 85-18, 88-15

I voted YES on HBs 5080-81 (Reps. Outman & Coleman) Amends the General Sales Tax Act and the Use Tax Act by exempting delivery and installation from sales tax and use tax. EXPLANATION: Simplifying and standardizing Michigan’s tax laws makes it easier for individuals and businesses to understand and comply with. Delivery and installation are services and should not be subject to sales and use taxes.

PASSED: 69-34, 69-34

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I voted YES on HB 5290 (Rep. O’Malley) Amends the frost law notification requirement from a notification on roads that are closed to roads that are open. Also allows the notification requirement to be met by providing a detailed online map. EXPLANATION: Provides a technical fix that more clearly provides road closure information.

PASSED: 104-0

I voted NO on HB 5163 (Rep. Witwer) Requires a hospital that treats over 50 patients per year in its emergency department for an opioid-related overdose to implement a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program and requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program to provide support to hospitals for offering a MAT program. EXPLANATION: Further regulates what hospitals should and should not do. Medical professionals should be making these decisions, not legislators.

PASSED: 96-8

I voted YES on HB 5166 (Rep. Whiteford) Allows community-based organizations and their staff to distribute opioid antagonists to individuals, pursuant to a standing order from the Chief Medical Executive and rules promulgated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). In addition, the legislation provides civil immunity to the community-based organization from damages resulting from the dispensing of an opioid antagonist or the administration of or failure to administer the opioid antagonist. EXPLANATION: Removing restrictions on pharmacists will allow them to use their judgement on when an individual might need life saving medication in the case of an overdose.

PASSED: 100-4

I voted YES on HB 5072 (Rep. Berman) Codifies federal law to exempt affiliated hospital pharmacies that are owned and controlled by the same parent health system from having to be licensed as a drug wholesale distributor-broker if they distribute between themselves more than 5 percent of the total number of dosage units of prescription drugs distributed and dispensed by each respective pharmacy during a 12-month period. EXPLANATION: Provides clarity by bringing state and federal law into alignment. The current discrepancy between state and federal law causes confusion and uncertainty for hospitals.

PASSED: 104-0

VOTES THIS WEEK

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4431 (Rep. Hertel): Amends the state Bingo Act by removing the definition of “occasion” for a charitable gaming event. This will allow an event to span multiple days. EXPLANATION: Individuals should have the right to be able to spend their money as they see fit. Expanding charitable gaming is a step in the right direction to getting government out of individuals lives.

PASSED: 105-1

I voted YES on HB 4711 (Rep. Hall): clarifies the locations at which alcohol may be served on college campuses under a certain liquor license by including baseball stadiums at Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University. Alcohol would only be allowed to be served during the summer months. EXPLANATION: This bill allows alcohol to be served at summer baseball games that are held at Eastern Michigan and Oakland University’s baseball stadiums. By allowing this, it brings opportunity for new summer teams to come to Michigan and uses already existing infrastructure.

PASSED: 102-4

I voted YES on HB 4921 (Rep. Hauck): Amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act by changing the financial statement reporting requirement. EXPLANATION: This bill simply aligns and streamlines the financial statement process for medical marihuana facilities.

PASSED: 105-1

I voted NO on HB 5260 (Rep. Witwer): Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code by updating the training program requirements for used car dealer licensure and who is considered a qualified trade organization (QTO) that is eligible to provide the training. The bill creates an application process for “qualified trade organizations” to become eligible to conduct the required dealer training programs. EXPLANATION: This bill would create an unnecessary fee that would go to the secretary of state to be able to conduct the training. This fee would create an additional burden on businesses.

PASSED: 94-12

Thursday, October 14, 2021

I voted NO on SB 25 (Sen. Barrett): Individual income tax: deductions; student loan forgiveness for disabled veterans under the total and permanent disability discharge program; provide for. EXPLANATION: Tax deductions should be across-the-board. Not just for one specific group.

PASSED: 105-2

I voted YES on HB 5259 (Rep. Meerman): Creates an additional circuit court judgeship in the 20th circuit in Ottawa County. EXPLANATION: If Ottawa County wants another judge they should be able to have one, given the population growth of about 65,000 people since the 2010 census.

PASSED: 67-40

I voted YES on HB 5376 (Rep. Tisdel): amends the Income Tax Act to allow members of flow-through entities the opportunity to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level. EXPLANATION: S Corporations should have the same tax deductions that C Corporations have.

PASSED: 105-2

I voted YES on SB 303 (Sen. Barrett): Strengthens proof if identification requirements for in-person and absent ballot voters. EXPLANATION: Secure elections are fundamental to a republic. This process helps better our election procedures.

PASSED: 56-51

I voted YES on HB 5007 (Rep. Berman): would remove the current $10 issuance and renewal fees for a state personal identification card. EXPLANATION: This bill eliminates an unnecessary fee on identification cards, allowing individuals to spend their money elsewhere.

PASSED: 56-51

I voted YES on SB 304 (Sen. VanderWall): Strengthens proof if identification requirements for in-person and absent ballot voters. EXPLANATION: Secure elections are fundamental to our republic. This would allow us to better that process.

PASSED: 56-51

I voted NO on HB 4270 and HB 5267 (Rep. Yancey and Rep. Posthumus): Exempts the sale of feminine hygiene products from the use tax. EXPLANATION: This bill eliminates taxes for certain products they sell which is unacceptable as we should reduce taxes across the board for all.

PASSED: 94-13

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

I voted YES on HR 175 (Rep. Martin) A resolution calling on Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Acting-Director Liza Estlund Olson to resign. EXPLANATION: 18 months into the COVID-19 outbreak and nothing has been fixed. Thousands of Michiganders are still struggling to deal with a totally broken system. For her lack of leadership and understanding of the situation, Acting-Director Liza Estlund Olson must resign.

PASSED: 57-46

I voted YES on HBs 4075-76 (Rep. LaFave) Mandates parking space disability signs after the effective date of this act must fit the new standardized design. Also mandates the Department of Civil Rights to require a standardized design based on the new international symbol of access and ensures the Civil Rights Commission and the Department of Civil Rights take the necessary steps to ensure the word “handicapped” is removed from any signs or other means of communication of the state. EXPLANATION: The new symbol promotes a culture of mobility and access rather than one of disability. It is time to adopt the international symbol of accessibility.

PASSED: 101-2, 100-3

I voted YES on SJR G (Sen. Barrett) Amends the State Constitution to prohibit departments and legislators from taking disciplinary actions against certain employees for communicating with a legislator. EXPLANATION: Potential whistleblowers should be protected if they come forward with information that a legislator or department is doing something wrong or inappropriate.

FAILED: 65-38 (2/3 vote required to pass)

I voted YES on HB 5041 (Rep. O’Malley) Amends the Child Care Organizations Act by increasing the adult-to-child ratio for in-home child care providers from 1:6 to 1:7. EXPLANATION: Increasing the adult-to-child ratio opens the door for parents to send their child to a childcare facility closer to their work or home. It also increases flexibility for child care providers.

PASSED: 99-4

I voted NO on HB 5042 (Rep. VanWoerkom) Amends the Child Care Organizations Act by requiring an applicant for a child care center license to disclose the ownership interest in the child care center. EXPLANATION: Public disclosure of private ownership is government digging far too deep into the private sector.

PASSED: 97-6

I voted NO on HB 5043 (Rep. Breen) Creates the Family Child Care Networks Act requiring the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), upon appropriation, to establish family child care networks that support home-based child care providers in every child care region across Michigan, as well as other various changes. EXPLANATION: Expanding government programs and agencies is further pushing government into individual’s lives. The legislature should not be creating another program that it then has to fund as well. That is not limited government and it is another step toward government takeover in the raising of children.

PASSED: 87-16

I voted NO on HB 5044 (Rep. Puri) Creates a new act, requiring MDE to develop a contract model for infant and toddler child care providers in every child care region of Michigan that can be funded within the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements. EXPLANATION: Creating a model contract should be the work of the private sector and not of government. If a child care providers would like to use a model contract then that is up to them. It is not up to government to create such a model.

PASSED: 87-16

I voted YES on HB 5045 (Rep. Wakeman) Amends the Child Care Organizations Act to ensure documentation for each child care providers is easily accessible for three years, as required by the federal government. Specifically, the bill requires LARA to make publicly available the results of any special investigation conducted in the past three years and applicable information on corrective actions taken. Additionally, the bill strikes the requirement for special investigations regarding child care providers to be logged in LARA’s database for as long as the provider is licensed. EXPLANATION: Currently in law, documentation must be kept essentially forever. Reducing that to a three-year period is a step in the right direction.

PASSED: 99-4

I voted YES on HB 5046 (Rep. Markkanen) Amends the Child Care Organizations Act by creating a 90-day “grace period” for child care centers, group child care homes and family child care homes to become compliant with new rules implemented by LARA or MDHHS. Additionally, the bill clarifies the 90-day period to comply with newly promulgated rules does not apply to federally promulgated rules and if there is an immediate risk to health and safety as determined by LARA or MDHHS. EXPLANATION: A 90-day “grace period” to come into compliance with new rules gives child care centers the kind of flexibility they need. Many centers are small, home-run places that don’t always have the staff or resources necessary to make sudden or immediate changes.

PASSED: 103-0

I voted YES on HB 5047 (Rep. Calley) Amends the Child Care Organizations Act by permitting child care providers to maintain an online licensing notebook within LARA’s electronic database that includes all of the child care provider’s health and safety records if internet access if available on site. The bill also requires LARA to include a check box on its “Child in Care Statement/Receipt” form for parents or guardians to mark off acknowledging they are aware of the child care provider’s licensing notebook is available on the department’s electronic database for their review via internet access provided on site. EXPLANATION: Gives child care providers the choice to either have their licensing notebook online or a physical copy. Currently, a physical copy must be kept.

PASSED: 102-1

I voted YES on HB 5048 (Rep. Roth) Amends the Child Care Organizations Act by outlining the requirements for child care centers that are located in multiple occupancy buildings. The bill requires applicants seeking licensure as a child care center within a multiple occupancy building to clearly state on the application that it will be located within a multiple occupancy building and describe the nature and character of each of the other occupants and the occupant use within the building within 90 days of the enactment date. Child care centers that are currently licensed and located in multiple occupancy buildings would be required to notify LARA if there has been any changes in occupancy or use by occupants within the buildings since the issuance of a license within 90 days of the enactment date. EXPLANATION: While regulation can often hinder expansion, a regulated system is better than a complete prohibition. Currently, child care providers cannot be in multiple occupancy buildings. Under this bill, they would be allowed to be there but have to disclose the other occupants of the building.

PASSED: 103-0

I voted YES on SB 280 (Sen. Johnson) Establishes a time period for the Board of State Canvassers to review initiative petition signatures. EXPLANATION: When hundreds of thousands of Michiganders petition their government to do something, their voices should be heard. Establishing a set timetable for when petition signatures should be reviewed prevents partisan driven delay tactics.

PASSED: 55-48

I voted NO on HB 5003 (Rep. Thanedar) Amends several sections in the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to extend the fee sunsets for four years for Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification, Hazardous Waste Site Identification, Land and Water Resources, Floodplain Permitting, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and Stormwater. There are no proposed fee increases in the bills. EXPLANATION: The legislature should not be extending fees, but rather should be working to reduce or eliminate them.

PASSED: 89-14

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4861 (Rep. O’Malley) Amends the Pupil Transportation Act to remove requirements for school bus drivers that are insulin dependent. EXPLANATION: This outdated regulation has been negated by advancements in medicine. People who are insulin dependent have no problem operating a school bus safely.

PASSED: 104-0

I voted YES on HB 4821 (Rep. Beson) Requires the law enforcement memorial to be maintained by the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument Fund Commission. EXPLANATION: Honoring members of law enforcement who have fallen in the line of duty is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 101-2

I voted YES on SB 128 (Sen. LaSata) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code by reducing the minimum hours in a year that new and used car dealerships are required to be open for licensure. EXPLANATION: Removing or reducing government regulation so that businesses can operate more freely is the right thing to do. Allowing car dealerships more leeway in their operating hours is a great means to get government out of their way.

PASSED: 104-0

Thursday, September 30, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4660 (Rep. Bezotte) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code by granting vehicles in a funeral procession the right of way if they have a flag and activate their hazard lights. EXPLANATION: This will make it clearer as to who is part of the funeral procession and gives choices between using flags or using flashing lights.

PASSED: 105-0

I voted YES on SB 277 (Sen. MacDonald) Allows county clerks to access the Qualified Voter File (QVF) for the purpose of removing deceased people from the voter rolls. EXPLANATION: Ensuring the accuracy of the QVF helps maintain election integrity. County clerks being able to remove a deceased person from the voter rolls brings another level of review to the process.

PASSED: 80-25

I voted YES on HB 4837 (Rep. Lightner) Prohibits third party organizations from having access to the Qualified Voter File (QVF). EXPLANATION: The Senate made a small change to the original bill which would add the director and staff of the Bureau of Elections to the list of people who would be able to access the QVF. As when originally passed by the House, ensuring that only accredited election officials have access to the QVF will help maintain election integrity.

PASSED: 72-33

I voted NO on HB 4528 (Rep. Posthumus) Requires training for election challengers and increased training for election inspectors (workers) as it pertains to the powers, rights, and duties of election challengers. EXPLANATION: Regulating poll challengers and inhibiting their ability to participate in elections is a step in the wrong direction for election integrity. Unfortunately, this is likely to be one of few election integrity bills signed into law by the governor.

PASSED: 81-24

I voted YES on HB 4492 (Rep. Bollin) Allows some privately-owned buildings to be used as polling places. EXPLANATION: Expanding the list of allowable polling places makes it easier for small communities to establish polling locations.

PASSED: 84-21

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

I voted NO on HB 5094 (Rep. Whiteford) Extends the deadline by which no more than 50 percent of the funds allowable in the Crime Victim’s Rights Fund can be used to establish and maintain a statewide trauma system from October 1, 2021 to October 1, 2025. EXPLANATION: Too often government programs are started under the idea that it is a one-time expenditure and then extended; increasing the size and scope of government.

PASSED: 81-23

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4400 (Rep. Huizenga) Provides funding for the Higher Education budget. EXPLANATION: While there is weak language in the budget that requires public institutions to have a vaccine exemption policy in place, government intrusion and coercion should be prohibited entirely. Our colleges and universities should not be able to manipulate their students into getting the COVID-19 vaccine by doing things such as requiring non-vaccinated students with exemptions to take online classes. If colleges and universities go forward in violating fundamental human rights, their funding should be cut off.

PASSED: 97-8

I voted NO on SB 82 (Sen. Victory) General omnibus budget bill that provides funding for the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 for all the state departments. EXPLANATION: While there are some good things in this budget, $14.3 billion in federal “COVID relief” funding has flowed into our state budget from the federal government and there is still an increase in the state budget over last year. This is not a fiscally conservative budget. Period.

PASSED: 99-6

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

I voted NO on SBs 616-17 (Sen. Victory) Changes an effective date issue and eliminates the October 1, 2021 sunset on the 0.08 BAC threshold. EXPLANATION: Some people may be safe to drive at a 0.12 BAC whereas others are not safe at a 0.04 BAC. Other metrics can be used to ensure reckless and unsafe driving does not occur.

PASSED: 101-3

I voted YES on SB 48 (Sen. LaSata) Designates a portion of I-94 in Benton Charter Township as the “Kevin D. White Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Kevin D. White was the Benton Township Supervisor and an employee of the Michigan Department of Transportation. He passed on October 23, 2019 after being struck by one of two tires that came off a semi-trailer while removing debris from the side of the highway. He was 48 years old at the time of his death. Remembering and memorializing this man is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 101-3

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 4219-20 (Reps. Yancey & Bellino) Allows the court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense, which is currently ineligible for expungement. The bill only applies to petition-based expungement, not automatic expungement. EXPLANATION: Allowing individuals to get certain convictions expunged from their records removes barriers to education and employment.

PASSED: 92-16, 92-16

I voted NO on HBs 4308-09 (Reps. Hammoud & Filler) Eliminates the sunset on the 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and several related provisions. Currently, the BAC threshold for OWI is set to increase to 0.10 on October 1, 2021. EXPLANATION: Some people may be safe to drive at a 0.12 BAC whereas others are not safe at a 0.04 BAC. Other metrics can be used to ensure reckless and unsafe driving does not occur.

PASSED: 104-4, 104-4

I voted YES on HB 4838 (Rep. Green) Prohibits voting machines and the electronic pollbook from being connected to the internet. EXPLANATION: Election security is critical to having free and fair elections. Ensuring that people cannot hack into voting equipment is essential and although the machines should not have the ability to connect to the internet at all, this is a step in the right direction.

PASSED: 77-31

I voted YES on HB 4837 (Rep. Lightner) Prohibits third party organizations from having access to the Qualified Voter File (QVF). EXPLANATION: Ensuring that only accredited election officials have access to the QVF will help maintain election integrity. While those who perform system maintenance can have access to the QVF, under Title 52 USC 20701 all federal election records must be maintained for 22 months. This remains clear that no information can be deleted before that.

PASSED: 75-33

I voted YES on HB 4840 (Rep. Borton) Standardizes the retention period for various election-related materials. EXPLANATION: When this bill came up for a vote, it would have only ensured electronic poll book flash drives be retained for 30 days following the certification of the election. To prevent statutory conflict and perceived support from the legislature regarding poor court interpretations, I sponsored an amendment clarifying the intent of the legislature to comply with federal statute, specifically 52 USC 20701; electronic poll book flash drives should also have to be kept for the 22 months.

PASSED: 80-28

I voted YES on HB 4719 (Rep. Bezotte) Provides that a person must be committed to the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections for incarceration in a state correctional facility pending sentencing and immediately following a conviction for first-degree murder if certain circumstances apply. EXPLANATION: After being convicted of first-degree murder, an individual should not be left in county jail. They should immediately be turned over to the Department of Corrections where greater security can be ensured.

PASSED: 100-8

I voted NO on HBs 4523-24 (Reps. Green & Camilleri) Creates a local rail grade separation grant program within the Michigan Department of Transportation and the rail grade separation fund within the department of Treasury. EXPLANATION: Creating this grant program and fund would burden taxpayers with additional expenses for projects that otherwise would not be done.

PASSED: 104-4, 104-4

I voted NO on HB 4712 (Rep. Berman) Amends the Michigan Business Tax Act by allowing a project approved prior to Dec. 31, 2011 to petition the Michigan Strategic Fund Board for five additional years to complete the project in order to qualify for the tax credit. EXPLANATION: Projects approved prior to Dec. 31, 2011 have had ten years to be completed. There should not be an extension of a tax credit on a project that has not been completed in the allotted amount of time.

PASSED: 87-21

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

I voted YES to approve the Unlock Michigan Initiative Petition to repeal the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945. EXPLANATION: Michiganders made their demands clear by signing on to the Unlock Michigan Initiative Petition. For too long during COVID-19 the governor used this outdated and unconstitutional law to usurp power from the Legislature and strip Michiganders of their rights. Repealing this law is another step forward in the fight against unilateral and unaccountable authority.

PASSED: 60-48

I voted YES on HB 4305 (Rep. Johnson) Eliminates the need for a campaign committee to include the approximate number of individuals attending any given fundraising event. EXPLANATION: Counting the number of individuals who attend a campaign fundraiser is not necessary. Campaign contributions are still made public without needing to know exactly how many people attended a fundraiser.

PASSED: 103-5

I voted YES on HB 4425 (Rep. Green) Allows a state political party to change its name if the affiliated national party also changes its name. EXPLANATION: A state political party should be allowed to change its name to match the same party whose name might be different at the national level. There is currently no process for doing this, so this is a step in the right direction.

PASSED: 107-1

I voted YES on HB 4788 (Rep. Markkanen) Establishes a process to allow for the implementation of term limits for village officers. EXPLANATION: Villages should have the option to implement term limits for their village officers if the people of that village vote to do so.

PASSED: 59-40

I voted NO on SB 409 (Sen. Victory) Allows an opposing party in a civil action to file an appeal of right to the Court of Appeals if a circuit court order grants relief from a jury verdict based on certain grounds. EXPLANATION: Expanding the ability to file an appeal of right to these lower level cases is not necessary.

PASSED: 93-15

I voted NO on overriding the Governor’s line item veto in HB 4411 (Rep. Paquette) Provides School Aid budget appropriations for the Fiscal Year. EXPLANATION: Taxpayer dollars do not need to go to another overfunded and underperforming government program.

FAILED: 54-54

I voted YES on HB 4735 (Rep. Filler) Designates a portion of highway US-127 in Clinton County as the “PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway” and designates M-50 in Eaton County from the I-69 intersection to Courthouse Drive as the “Ensign Francis Flaherty Memorial Highway”. EXPLANATION: PFC Fitch served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was killed in action in the Thua Thien province on April 5, 1967. Ensign Flaherty was a Medal of Honor recipient for his heroism about the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Remembering and memorializing these men is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 108-0

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

I voted YES on SB 60 (Sen. Victory) Amends the Skilled Trades Regulation Act for mechanical contractors by allowing an individual who has worked and been licensed in a similar capacity for three consecutive years to take the mechanical contractors exam. EXPLANATION: On the job experience is as valuable as the formal education needed to complete this exam. Extending this offer to those with similar experience in another field will make it easier for more individuals to become mechanical contractors.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted NO on SB 27 (Sen. Stamas) Provides supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 2021 for hospitals, flooding, nursing homes, secondary road patrol, wrongful imprisonment, and childcare. EXPLANATION: Excessive levels of spending are unsustainable. The budget and supplemental spending continue to grow rapidly, and effort needs to be made to encourage people to get back to work. The state cannot continue to throw money at every issue.

PASSED: 106-3

I voted NO on HB 4411 (Rep. Paquette) Provides School Aid budget appropriations for the Fiscal Year. EXPLANATION: Billions of dollars have been spent on schools through the federal COVID-19 funds with much of it still unused. There are also too many special handouts for vendors who every year come to the state and ask for more and more money.

PASSED: 106-3

I voted NO on SB 28 (Sen. Stamas) Creates the Post-Acute Injury Provider Relief Fund. Coupled with a $10 million appropriation, this fund would provide financial assistance to post-acute providers that experience a systemic deficit because of required charges under the auto insurance fee schedule. EXPLANATION: There is yet to be any evidence that the current fee schedule will adversely affect care providers. Until such a time when there is actual data on how the new law is working, the Legislature should not spend millions of dollars on a problem that might not even exist.

PASSED: 79-30

I voted NO on HBs 4378-79 (Rep. Garza) Amends the General Property Tax Act by exempting the installation, replacement or repair of a whole-home generator from the assessment of true cash value and amends the Michigan Economic Growth Act by adding whole-home generators to the definition of “new construction” under the act. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not be creating special exemptions for specific products and picking winners and losers.

PASSED: 107-2, 107-2

I voted NO on HB 4087 (Rep. Yaroch) Requires the state emergency management division to stockpile medical supplies in the state’s emergency operations centers and compile an inventory and post that information on a public website. EXPLANATION: Creating a new program is not necessary as Michigan already has a program in place that does this, and adding another program simply builds bigger government and adds more expenses.

PASSED: 97-12

I voted YES on HB 4659 (Rep. Bellino) Exempts prescriptions dispensed by a dispensing prescriber and prescriptions for a dialysis-related drug administered as a home-based dialysis treatment from electronic prescription requirements. EXPLANATION: This plan allows in-home dialysis treated patients to receive the best care they can get. As dialysis treatment already has extensive safety measures in place, there is little concern for abuse.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted NO on HB 4822 (Rep. Mueller) Codifies and extends the COVID-19 workers compensation personal injury protections for first responders. EXPLANATION: Makes the presumption that the first responder got COVID-19 on the job and not anytime else. It would be improper to assume such a matter.

PASSED: 104-5

I voted NO on HB 4842 (Rep. Outman) Provides for a reduction in the state markup for distillers in the state by reducing the gross profit or “markup” that the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) receives on liquor. The bill also provides an even reduction for small distillers that produce spirits with at least 40 percent Michigan grain in the amount of half of the gross profit to MLCC. EXPLANATION: The state should not be regulating private sector decisions; the free market is the best regulator of industries.

PASSED: 90-17

I voted YES on HB 5092 (Rep. Stone) Requires the unemployment agency to use plain language in all communications, policies, and rules. EXPLANATION: Using plain language should already be policy for the unemployment agency. There is no reason to use technical, hard to understand language with people who are just trying to get help.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on SB 372 (Sen. Horn) Eliminates the requirement that telephone companies print a phone book for customers. EXPLANATION: As society has moved further and further away from landlines, there is not as great of a need for phone companies to print phone books for every customer. This has begun to place an undue burden on phone companies.

PASSED: 81-28

I voted YES on HBs 4205-06 (Reps. Johnson & Roth) Designates one weekend each snowmobile season where a snowmobile registration is not required in order to drive on property other than owned or under the control of the operator and where a snowmobile trail permit is not required in order to ride on state snowmobile trails. EXPLANATION: This free weekend will be like Michigan’s free ORV and fishing weekends. This will allow more individuals to enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors.

PASSED: 103-6, 103-6

I voted YES on SBs 507-09 (Sens. Daley, Johnson, & VanderWall) Extends the grace period for Secretary of State (SOS) vehicle registration late fees and requires the SOS to provide walk-in services. EXPLANATION: SOS branch office locations need to be more accessible. The appointment only system has not worked during COVID-19 and is unacceptable. Due to the backlog at SOS locations for appointments, individuals should not be made to pay fines that they otherwise would have avoided.

PASSED: 95-14, 93-16, 94-15

I voted YES on SB 559 (Sen. Nesbitt) Amends the Liquor Control Code by reducing the number of motorsports events that a facility is required to have each year to obtain a liquor license from seven to two events. EXPLANATION: Many of these facilities can no longer meet the seven required events each year to obtain a liquor license, especially since the beginning of COVID-19. Lowering the threshold to two events will allow residents of Michigan to continue to enjoy these events, which is a step in the right direction although there shouldn’t be a threshold at all.

PASSED: 107-1

I voted NO to override the Governor’s veto of HBs 4224-25 (Reps. Lilly & Anthony) Amends the General Sales Tax Act and the Use Tax Act by exempting PPE equipment and supplies used to prevent COVID-19 for businesses from use tax from March 10, 2020 thru December 31, 2021. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not be carving out special tax exemptions for individuals or businesses. (Note: I voted no on this bill and it was sent to the Governor. When she vetoed it and it came back for an override vote, Democrats who originally supported the bill voted to defend the Governor’s veto which is astonishing.)

FAILED: 62-47, 62-47

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4123 (Rep. Griffin) Clarifies in statute that municipal wastewater and drinking water projects utilizing energy performance contracting are eligible for financing under Michigan’s state revolving loan fund (SRF) programs. EXPLANATION: By allowing local municipalities further access to this money, it is opening the door for them to take advantage of artificially low interest rates falsely incentivizing the number of projects to be bonded. This would place an undue burden on taxpayers with costs that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

PASSED: 107-3

I voted YES on HB 4540 (Rep. Carter) Amends the MCOLES Act to establish transit police officers as law enforcement officers. EXPLANATION: Transit officers have limited authority to be able to respond to more serious matters. By establishing them as law enforcement officers, they will be able to respond more quickly.

PASSED: 106-4

I voted NO on HB 4541 (Rep. Filler) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code’s definition of “police officer” to include a transit police officer. The bill also creates a new chapter (VIA) related to enforcing streetcar-related violations. EXPLANATION: The creation of multiple new civil infractions and regulations is not needed.

PASSED: 92-18

I voted YES on HB 4724 (Rep. Filler) Allows a homeowner to conduct both audio and video security monitoring of a residence or other structures on residential property under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: Clarifies that lawful security monitoring by a homeowner does not break the prohibition on recording a private conversation. Individuals should have the right to protect and monitor their home for security.

PASSED: 110-0

I voted YES on HBs 4462 & 4658 (Reps. Marino & Manoogian) Develops a protest process for an unsuccessful bidder to protest an award decision and requires the department to post on its website within 48 hours of awarding a contract the name of the vendor that was awarded the contract, and the amount of the contract. EXPLANATION: Government should be open and transparent when spending taxpayer dollars. This process should be clearly laid out in law and available for all Michiganders to see.

PASSED: 110-0, 110-0

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4644 (Rep. Wakeman) Amends the Michigan Income Tax Act to allow taxpayers to claim an additional exemption for their pregnancy if they are at least 12 weeks pregnant as of the last day of the tax year and have been under the care and observation of a licensed physician. Additionally, to claim the exemption, a taxpayer would be required to request a medical statement from their physician verifying they meet all the criteria for eligibility. EXPLANATION: This income tax exemption for expecting parents will help pregnant Michiganders offset some of the costs of having a child. It will also promote better prenatal care which will lead to better health outcomes for mothers and their preborn babies.

PASSED: 58-52

I voted YES on HB 4718 (Rep. Eisen) Revises the law to allows Counties to provide CPL application and renewal services to out-of-county individuals. EXPLANATION: An individual should be allowed to apply for a CPL in any county, not just the one in which they live.

PASSED: 77-33

I voted NO on HBs 4839 (Rep. Paquette) Provides for new absentee voter (AV) ballot application procedures for clerks. EXPLANATION: Allowing clerks to decide which elections are on the absentee ballot applications is a move in the right direction but requiring clerks to accept SOS applications with different elections on it is not right. If local clerks choose to only do one election on the application, and the SOS decides to do all elections in a calendar year, local clerks should not be forced to accept those applications.

PASSED: 106-4

I voted YES on HB 4845 (Rep. Farrington) Requires the Secretary of State (SOS) to develop and provide training for local clerks on signature verification. EXPLANATION: With clerks receiving signature verification training, it will help ensure our elections are free and fair.

PASSED: 107-3

I voted YES on HB 4778 (Rep. Johnson) Prohibits the use of software that prevents the state from maintaining public records. EXPLANATION: Government transparency to the people it serves is critical to a free society. Law should be clear that government records need to be kept and maintained for any future FOIA or court of law.

PASSED: 110-0

I voted YES on HB 4832 (Rep. Kahle) Designates a portion of M-34 in the City of Adrian as the “Patrolman Bobby Lynn Williams Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Patrolman Williams passed on June 30, 1975 after being shot and killed after stopping a vehicle that had just been involved in a robbery and kidnapping of a gas station attendant. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 109-1

I voted NO on HB 4527 (Rep. Albert) Amends the Carnival-Amusement Safety Act by increasing safety standards for rides, inspections, and penalties for violating the act. EXPLANATION: This should be the work of private industry and not government regulation.

PASSED: 84-26

I voted YES on SBs 303-04 (Sens. Barrett & VanderWall) Strengthens proof of identification requirements for in-person voting, adds protections to provisional ballot tabulation, and adds voter signatures to the electronic poll book. EXPLANATION: Voters should have to provide proof of identity before being able to vote. This measure will help reduce fraud and secure the integrity of our elections.

PASSED: 58-52, 58-52

I voted YES on HB 5007 (Rep. Berman) Removes the current $10 issuance and renewal fees for a state personal identification card. EXPLANATION: Removing the fee for state identification cards will make it easier for individuals to obtain photo IDs.

PASSED: 58-52

I voted NO on HB 5053 (Rep. Albert) Directs $1 million of general fund dollars to the Secretary of State (SOS) to fund the electronic pollbook updates included in SB 303. EXPLANATION: The changes in SB 303 do not require additional funding for the Secretary of State. The department has plenty of funds to enact this policy without being appropriated further taxpayer dollars.

PASSED: 56-54

Thursday, June 24, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4080 (Rep. LaFave) Allows for the use of pneumatic guns, defined to mean any implement, designed as a gun, that will expel a BB, bolt, arrow, or pellet by spring, gas, or air, for hunting under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: This technology can be very helpful in hunting for those with certain physical limitations. This plan will allow Michiganders with physical disabilities to be able to participate in an activity that they might not otherwise be able to. Expanding Second Amendment rights is always the right thing to do.

PASSED: 69-38

I voted NO on HB 4725 (Rep. Bezotte) Includes county corrections officers among the entities permitted to be subjected to compulsory arbitration. EXPLANATION: County corrections officers should not be forced into an arbitration system that they might not need. Saying that this is the only way their issues can be resolved closes the door to other options.

PASSED: 97-10

I voted YES on HB 4787 (Rep. Markkanen) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to waive the knowledge test for a person with military vehicle experience who is applying for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Michigan. EXPLANATION: This plan removes needless red tape for individuals who already have the necessary experience from their time in the military.

PASSED: 107-0

I voted NO on SB 459 (Sen. Moss) Allows the Brush Park Development in Detroit to be redesignated as an NEZ by clarifying that an application for an NEZ could be filed after a building permit was issued. Unless exempted, current law requires a NEZ application before a building permit is issued. EXPLANATION: Government should not be picking winners and losers with who gets permits extended and who does not. This project should not get a special exemption because they were not on time.

PASSED: 90-17

I voted YES on HBs 4222-23 (Reps. Filler & LaGrand) Transfers the Court of Claims from the Court of Appeals to four circuit courts spread out across the state. EXPLANATION: The circuit courts are much more prepared to handle the types of cases that come before the Court of Claims. It will also provide greater access to the judicial system by having the courts spread out across the state.

PASSED: 84-23, 83-24

I voted YES on HB 4980 (Rep. VanSingel) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to specifically allow for organized drag races in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park when authorized by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). EXPLANATION: There is no reason to stop individuals from being able to enjoy the sand dunes in this way.

PASSED: 96-12

I voted YES on HBs 4037-38 (Reps. Hornberger & Reilly) Amends the State School Aid Act and the Revised School Code by eliminating the requirement that districts administer the ACT WorkKeys assessment. EXPLANATION: This will give local school districts the ability to decide if they want their students to take the ACT WorkKeys assessment. Local control of schools and education is essential.

PASSED: 72-37, 72-37

I voted NO on HB 4538 (Rep. Camilleri) Amends the State School Aid Act to create the Student Postsecondary Preparedness Fund (SPPF) and establishes guidelines for use of funds with the account. EXPLANATION: Giving local school districts the ability to choose whether to administer the ACT WorkKeys assessment also means having them decide if they want to pay for it or not.

PASSED: 88-21

I voted NO on HBs 4517 & 4740-46 (Reps. Rabhi, Outman, Clements, Yancey, Calley, Steenland, Lilly, & Hauck) Amends the Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act by revising the definition of marihuana and industrial hemp to include additional products that provide a similar high as traditional marihuana products. EXPLANATION: These proposed regulations are excessive and unnecessary.

PASSED: 103-5, 104-4, 104-4, 104-4, 104-4, 104-4, 103-5, 103-5

I voted NO on HB 4421 (Rep. Paquette) Appropriates federal stimulus dollars for Michigan schools. EXPLANATION: The federal government continues to throw billions of dollars at Michigan’s schools with many not knowing what to do with the extra money. Enough money has already been spent on excessive PPE equipment and efforts unhealthy to the mental and psychological development of children.

PASSED: 105-3

I voted YES on HB 4359 (Rep. Whiteford) Expands the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists to allow them to practice to the full extent their training allows without supervision by a physician. EXPLANATION: CRNAs go through vigorous training and education and forcing CRNAs to be watched over by a doctor reduces the flexibility for hospitals and clinics, particularly in rural areas. This bill does not mandate that they can’t be watched over by a doctor, and poor service will be a bad reflection on a hospital or clinic if the standard of care is insufficient.

PASSED: 96-12

I voted YES on HB 4434 (Rep. Yaroch) Requires the unemployment agency to use plain language in all communications, policies, and rules. Further, the bill also Prohibits the Michigan Unemployment Agency from working with the federal government on implementing any portion of the American Rescue Plan, specifically if implementing the additional $300 of weekly unemployment assistance (this does NOT include 1099 gig worker payments) contained within in the federal plan. EXPLANATION: Using plain language should already be policy for the unemployment agency. There is no reason to use technical, hard to understand language with people who are just trying to get help. Additionally, small businesses are suffering, and able-bodied people need to get back to work.

PASSED: 59-49

I voted NO on SB 28 (Sen. Stamas) Creates the Post-Acute Injury Provider Relief Fund. Coupled with a $10 million appropriation, this fund would provide financial assistance to post-acute providers that experience a systemic deficit because of required charges under the auto insurance fee schedule. EXPLANATION: There is yet to be any evidence that the current fee schedule adversely affects care providers. Until such a time when there is actual data on how the new law is working, the Legislature should not spend millions of dollars on a problem that might not even exist.

PASSED: 95-13

I voted NO on SB 501 (Sen. Horn) Reinstitutes the Michigan Works! Work Registration requirement and clarifies that laid-off manufacturing employees can be granted a waiver from the work registration requirement for 45-days, but not more than 90-days. EXPLANATION: While reinstituting the work registration requirements should be done, there should not be special carveouts for waivers for specific industries or workers.

PASSED: 103-6

I voted NO on HB 4410 (Rep. Albert) Provides multi-departmental budget appropriations for the Fiscal Year. EXPLANATION: With billions of dollars being sent to Michigan from the federal government, the Legislature should not continue to fund state government with even more money than in the past. There is plenty of government waste and overspending that needs to be cut.

PASSED: 104-4

I voted NO on HB 4411 (Rep. Paquette) Provides School Aid budget appropriations for the Fiscal Year. EXPLANATION: Billions of dollars have been spent on schools through the federal COVID funds with much of it still unused. There are also too many special handouts for vendors who every year come to the state and ask for more and more money.

PASSED: 105-3

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 4240-41 (Reps. Yaroch & Wozniak) Clarifies the disposition of forfeiture funds from civil asset forfeiture. EXPLANATION: These bills will ensure that funds seized through civil asset forfeiture are used appropriately. By having the funds go through the same process as all other state revenue there is less of an opportunity for misuse.

PASSED: 108-1, 108-1

I voted NO on HB 4380 (Rep. Steenland) Creates the Michigan Military and Services Support Fund and governing board. EXPLANATION: Government should not be involved in charitable donations. This kind of work should be left to the private sector.

PASSED: 97-12

I voted YES on HB 4694 (Rep. O’Malley) Amends the Uniform Commercial Code by updating the financing statement forms that are required to be used by the Secretary of State (SOS). EXPLANATION: This simple update brings Michigan’s forms up to date with the forms recently approved by the Law Institute and Uniform Law Commission. Using one standard form makes it easier for information verification.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted NO on SB 37 (Sen. Stamas) Provides supplemental appropriations for time sensitive funding related to federal passthroughs, FEMA reimbursements, and retirement liability. EXPLANATION: This spending plan was full of government handouts. The Legislature should be assisting people in getting back to work, not incentivizing able-bodied people to continue to live off the government.

PASSED: 105-4

Thursday, June 17, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4066 (Rep. Fink) Creates the “Michigan Knife Rights Act,” which prohibits local units of government from taxing or regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife-making components that is more restrictive than state law. EXPLANATION: Law abiding individuals have the right to keep and bear arms and it would be unconstitutional for a local unit of government to violate these rights.

PASSED: 69-41

I voted YES on HB 4332 (Rep. Johnson) Gives the option for an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) license sticker for two-wheeled vehicles to be placed alternatively front-facing and in a visible location on a front suspension fork rather than the current requirement to be placed on the rear fender. EXPLANATION: Provides individuals greater flexibility in how they operate their ORV. Will also prevent riders from being unnecessarily pulled over by law enforcement to check for licenses.

PASSED: 110-0

I voted YES on HB 4521 (Rep. Brabec) Allows an HIV-positive individual to be an organ donor when the recipient is also HIV-positive. EXPLANATION: Organs from HIV-positive individuals are already recovered in Michigan because this policy is already allowed by federal law. Michiganders, however, cannot benefit from it. This change will help Michiganders receive life-saving transplants.

PASSED: 110-0

I voted NO on HB 4762 (Rep. Kahle) Prohibits a person who performs organ transplants from refusing to perform a transplant on an individual based solely on a physical or mental disability. EXPLANATION: Government should not be pressuring doctors on how to do their job. If a doctor feels that they cannot perform the transplant, but another could, the first doctor should not feel pressured to go forward with the operation. They took The Hippocratic Oath to do no harm and rejecting services to an individual purely based on a disability would reflect negatively on any doctor who would do so.

PASSED: 107-3

I voted YES on HBs 4557-61 (Reps. Wendzel, Glenn, Fink, Griffin, & Roth) Waives liquor license fees for 2022, prorates and credits license fees during a state of emergency, and refunds fees paid by food establishments during 2021. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should help those who were adversely affected by government ordered shutdowns. Because businesses were closed due to the lockdowns, they should not have to pay for license fees they were not using. Specifically, for HB 4561, it would be better if all afflicted businesses have their fees refunded, but this is a step in the right direction of helping businesses.

PASSED: 98-10, 100-10, 100-10, 100-10, 97-10

I voted YES on SB 256 (Sen. Victory) Provides a one-time transfer of $18 million from the Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF) to the Transportation Administration Collection Fund (TACF). EXPLANATION: As this is an intradepartmental transfer, no new funds were appropriated and will keep the state budget in balance. This process simply allows a department greater flexibility on how they use their funds.

PASSED: 110-0

I voted YES on SB 438 (Sen. VanderWall) Clarifies arrest authority for operating while intoxicated offenses and provides that an officer is not required to issue an appearance ticket for operating while intoxicated offenses. EXPLANATION: Providing greater flexibility and clarity for law enforcement is important.

PASSED: 109-1

I voted YES on HBs 4364-66 (Reps. Lilly & Sneller) Adds “audiologist and speech-language pathologists” to the list of professions that may sign the Secretary of State-required certificate to indicate a communication impediment designation on an individual’s driver’s license, state ID, or vehicle registration. EXPLANATION: Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are the people who most often work with those with a communication impediment. This commonsense reform will allow those professionals to verify the information needed for the designation.

PASSED: 110-0, 110-0, 110-0

I voted NO on HB 4812 (Rep. Alexander) Amends the General Property Tax Act by clearly defining what is included in the “purchase price” when a nonprofit organization transfers property to a low-income individual. EXPLANATION: A person should not get a special tax exemption because a charity organization helped buy their house.

PASSED: 103-7

I voted NO on HB 4828 (Rep. Clemente) Requires the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to submit a report to the legislature on “payday lending” institutions licensed under the Deferred Presentment Service Transaction Act. EXPLANATION: Legislators can already request the reports, so it shouldn’t be required in statute.

PASSED: 102-7

I voted NO on HB 4528 (Rep. Posthumus) Requires training for election challengers and increased training for election inspectors (workers) as it pertains to the powers, rights, and duties of election challengers. EXPLANATION: Mandating that a poll challenger attend a training at least 90 days before the election will make it harder for people to serve as poll challengers.

PASSED: 105-4

I voted YES on HB 4735 (Rep. Filler) Designates a portion of highway US-127 in Clinton County as the “PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: PFC Fitch served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was killed in action in the Thua Thien province on April 5, 1967. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4739 (Rep. Fink) Designates a portion of highway M-49 in Hillsdale County as the “Marine Sergeant Michael P. Hodshire Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Sergeant Hodshire was a member of the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He passed on October 30, 2005 of wounds sustained from indirect gunfire near Fallujah, Iraq while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4434 (Rep. Stone) Requires the unemployment agency to use plain language in all communication, policies, and rules and rejects $300 per week in unemployment benefits. EXPLANATION: Using plain language should already be policy for the unemployment agency. There is no reason to use technical, hard to understand language with people who are just trying to get help. Additionally, small businesses are suffering and able-bodied people need to get back to work.

PASSED: 60-49

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4122 (Rep. Glenn) Provides for various technical changes and efficiencies regarding how County Veteran Service Grants are distributed and account for distribution of funds if the full $50,000 per county is unavailable for distribution. EXPLANATION: The Senate made a change to ensure that money from the fund may only be used for administrative purposes. Just as when first voted on, distributing county veteran funds in an equitable way to all of Michigan’s counties helps to ensure that veterans in all parts of the state get the resources they need and have earned. Making it easier to get existing benefits to our veterans is important and admirable.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted NO on HBs 4224-25 (Reps. Lilly & Anthony) Amends the General Sales Tax Act and the Use Tax Act by exempting PPE equipment and supplies used to prevent COVID-19 for businesses from sales tax from March 10, 2020 thru December 31, 2021. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not be carving out special tax exemptions for individuals or businesses.

PASSED: 102-7, 102-7

I voted YES on SB 10 (Sen. Theis) Allows a veteran, or immediate family member, to have their application for county benefits reviewed in a closed meeting. EXPLANATION: This bill protects the privacy of veterans and their families when they are applying for county benefits.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on HBs 4562-63 (Reps. Lightner & Witwer) Extends the amount of time the Parole Board may conduct a subsequent review after denying parole in certain circumstances. Currently, if a prisoner is denied parole, the Board must conduct a review of the prisoner annually or every 2 years, depending on whether the prisoner scores a low, average, or high probability of success on parole. Under the bill, the Board may conduct a subsequent review of a prisoner, except a prisoner serving a life sentence, not more than 5 years after denying a prisoner parole, if certain circumstances apply, and if the majority of the parole board agrees to and signs a written recommendation for a waiver. EXPLANATION: These bills give needed flexibility to the Parole Board about how long after denying parole a subsequent review must be conducted. This focuses primarily on prisoners who have a history that clearly shows their risk to the public’s safety.

PASSED: 101-8, 102-7

I voted YES on HB 4604 (Rep. Ellison) Designates a portion of highway I-75 in city of Madison Heights as “Captain Jeffrey Brozich Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Captain Brozich was a Madison Heights Fire Captain and 20-year veteran of the Madison Heights Fire Department. He passed on March 1, 2021 from a medical emergency while on duty Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4700 (Rep. Beson) Designates the bridge on M-13 over the Cheboyganing Creek in Bay County as the “Sergeant Kristopher J. Gould Memorial Bridge.” EXPLANATION: Sgt. Gould was enlisted in the National Guard when he was killed in action on February 27, 2011 from injuries sustained during an insurgent attack on his unit using an improvised explosive device while on his second tour of duty serving in Afghanistan. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED: 109-0

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

I voted NO on HBs 4680-83 (Reps. Fink, Tate, Roth, & Beson) Creates a permanent, bipartisan legislative ethics committee in each chamber to police legislator compliance with ethical and conflict of interest rules. EXPLANATION: Too often people are seen as guilty until proven innocent when it should be the other way around. A Representative or Senator could be investigated for an ethics violation by this committee, with the committee privately deciding there was no violation, but everyone focuses on the fact that someone was accused and investigated. The fear is that this could be used as a weapon against certain members, and media and others cannot be trusted to not abuse this system.

PASSED: 72-37, 72-37, 71-38, 73-36

I voted NO on HBs 4684-86 (Reps. Bolden, Tisdel, & Shannon) Requires financial disclosure for legislators on a form submitted to the legislative ethics committee and that is made public once a legislator leaves office. Also, requires financial disclosure for state officers in the executive branch to the State Ethics Board. EXPLANATION: Requiring income and investment disclosure of legislators and state officers is an invasion of privacy and could deter good people from running for office.

PASSED: 65-44, 64-45, 68-41

I voted NO on HBs 4687-88 (Reps. Pohutsky & Martin) Prohibits a former member of the Legislature or department head of the executive office from becoming a lobbyist agent for two years after leaving office. EXPLANATION: Although the motive for this legislation is admirable, government should not be telling private citizens what jobs they are or are not allowed to take.

PASSED: 93-16, 97-12

I voted NO on HB 4689 (Rep. Schroeder) Prohibits current members of the Legislature from becoming a lobbyist in another state. EXPLANATION: While this type of behavior should not be done, it is not the business of the Legislature what a member does with their own time.

PASSED: 106-3

I voted NO on HB 4690 (Rep. Kahle) Expands the list of lobbyable officials to include policy-making staff in both the executive and legislative branches. EXPLANATION: Although the motive for this legislation is admirable, staff are not the actual policymakers, and should not be subject to the same regulations as a legislator.

PASSED: 93-16

I voted NO on HB 4691 (Rep. Sabo) Prohibits lobbyists from receiving civil appointments to state boards and commissions. EXPLANATION: Although the motive for this legislation is admirable, government should not be telling private citizens what jobs they are or are not allowed to take.

PASSED: 106-3

I voted NO on HB 4692 (Rep. Scott) Expands penalties for lobbyist gift violations. Unlawful gifts to state officials that are valued less than $3,000 will be subject to a heightened criminal fine of up to $7,500 as well as a new civil fine. EXPLANATION: Although the motive for this legislation is admirable, there are already penalties in law for lobbying violations.

PASSED: 107-2

I voted NO on HJR D (Rep. Lasinski) Amends the Michigan Constitution to allow the Legislature to withhold pay from a member and require a supermajority vote for immediate effect. EXPLANATION: This could open the door to abuse by the majority party which could suspend the pay of a member. Also, requiring a supermajority vote for immediate effect, ties the hands of future legislators.

PASSED: 81-28

I voted YES on HBs 4733-34 (Reps. Sabo & Marino) Amend the Michigan Public School Employee Retiree Act and State Employees’ Retirement Act to allow the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) to provide an annuity retirement option to public school and state employees. ORS would be required to provide one or more fixed annuity options and may provide a variable annuity option. EXPLANATION: State and public school employees should have more options on how they want to invest their money for retirement.

PASSED: 105-4, 105-4

I voted YES on HB 4945 (Rep. Hornberger) Amends the Revised School Code to allow any district, not just a district operating grades K-12, to authorize a strict discipline academy (SDA). EXPLANATION: This change gives more districts the ability to authorize SDAs. It will bring the SDA law into line with recent charter school laws that were passed.

PASSED: 57-52

I voted NO on SB 437 (Sen. Schmidt) Amends the Michigan Business Tax Act by allowing a multiphase Brownfield project to receive an extension to complete the project without penalty. EXPLANATION: Government should not be carving out special tax credits for individual businesses or projects in the first place. This project was well underway before COVID-19 and does not deserve an extension.

PASSED: 87-22

Thursday, June 10, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4656 (Rep. Cambensy) Restores a circuit court judgeship in the 25th circuit court in Marquette County. EXPLANATION: Restoring another judge to the 25th circuit court will increase access to the court system in a very rural part of the state. Individuals have the right to a fair and speedy trial. The judicial process is a basic form of government and due to harsh winters and long drives in the 25th circuit, a second judge is needed to properly cover responsibilities throughout the 25th circuit court.

PASSED: 104-5

I voted YES on SB 155 (Sen. Daley) Amends the Public Health Code to allow pharmacists to fill an emergency supply of insulin for an individual with no remaining authorized refills. EXPLANATION: This reform will help people who need insulin not experience any gaps in their prescriptions. If someone has an emergency situation and needs this life-saving medicine, more options available to them to get needed medicine is a good and important thing to do.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted NO on SB 156 (Sen. Daley) Amends the Insurance Code to require a health insurer to cover an emergency supply of insulin that is covered under the insured’s health insurance policy. EXPLANATION: Government should not be mandating what insurance companies cover in their policies.

PASSED: 108-1

I voted YES on SB 440 (Sen. Brinks) Allows the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to approve and authorize a pilot project to provide Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner services without obtaining a Certificate of Need (CON). EXPLANATION: This bill will cut red tape that stands in the way of this potentially life-saving technology and the individuals who need it. This technology is awaiting CON approval, which can take several years. By allowing people to have access to it sooner could speed that process along and save more lives.

PASSED: 82-27

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4667 (Rep. Allor) Prohibits governmental entities from producing, issuing, requiring, or providing an incentive for a COVID-19 passport. EXPLANATION: No one should be required to take a COVID-19 vaccine or provide proof of their vaccination status. An individual’s private health decisions are no business of others.

PASSED: 62-47

I voted NO on HB 4125 (Rep. Howell) Clarifies that an individual installing the electrical components for a renewable energy source must be a licensed electrician to provide installation services. EXPLANATION: Some of this work can be done by someone who is not a licensed electrician. Requiring that someone be licensed to do this work is pushing people to go through a system that they might not otherwise choose.

PASSED: 93-16

I voted YES on HB 4451 (Rep. Howell) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to add a “duly authorized representative” of the Secretary of State to the list of individuals eligible to be examining officers for driver’s license testing. EXPLANATION: By allowing the written portion of the driving test to be done remotely, SOS branch offices will have shorter wait times and be able to assist people in a more timely fashion. It will also reduce the amount of time an individual must wait to receive their driver’s license.

PASSED: 105-4

I voted NO on HBs 4467-68 (Reps. Lightner & Anthony) Amends the Correctional Code of 1953 by creating the Correctional Employee Wellness Board. EXPLANATION: This would create yet another government board that is not needed, adding further administrative costs which would further burden taxpayers.

PASSED: 98-11, 99-10

I voted NO on HBs 4823-24 (Reps. Alexander & Hertel) Eliminates the $3 million cap that could be deposited into the Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund (AEIDF) annually from internet gaming and sports betting tax revenue. EXPLANATION: This bill would affect future School Aid Fund revenue, causing the Legislature to have to backfill funding, therefore creating a greater burden on taxpayers.

PASSED: 88-21, 87-22

Thursday, June 3, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 4376-77 (Reps. Schroeder & Anthony) Amends the State License Fee Act by waiving the initial licensing fee for dependents of active duty or veterans of the Armed Forces and amends the Skilled Trades Regulation Act by creating licensing reciprocity for active duty, veterans, and dependents of the armed forces. EXPLANATION: Minor changes were made by the Senate, so these bills had to be voted on again. Simply changing which bills are tied to each other and other minor technical adjustments.

PASSED: 110-0, 110-0

I voted NO on HBs 4631-32 (Reps. Filler & Garza) Exempts public and regional airport authorities from the requirement that a conviction or plea occur prior to asset forfeiture in certain cases relating to drug offenses. EXPLANATION: Michiganders should have the same legal protections irrespective of what law enforcement agency they encounter. There should not be a special exemption for airport security officials to violate those rights, finding someone guilty until proven innocent.

PASSED: 77-33, 80-30

I voted NO on HB 4059 (Rep. Wendzel) Modifies the autism evaluation review process for Medicaid eligibility to no longer require re-evaluations after a child is diagnosed with autism to be eligible for Medicaid behavioral health treatments. EXPLANATION: The annual evaluation is used to track the progress of the patient. If someone is no longer in need of certain services, then they can be removed at the discretion of their doctor.

PASSED: 108-2

I voted YES on HB 4637 (Rep. Martin) Amends the Revised Statutes of 1846 by allowing a township to change its name with elected board approval and a majority vote of township voters. EXPLANATION: Cities and villages can change their name and townships should have that ability as well.

PASSED: 94-16

I voted NO on HBs 4249-51 & 4878 (Reps. Hammoud, Bellino, & Lilly) Amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act to prohibit marihuana processors and provisioning centers from selling products that contain Vitamin E Acetate. Also, creates a new act that prohibits the sale of vapor products that contain Vitamin E Acetate and adds synthetic nicotine products to the list of prohibited nicotine and vapor items that can be sold to minors and updates the age limit to 21 to comply with federal law. EXPLANATION: These bills would criminalize certain aspects of substances that the people of Michigan voted to legalize.

PASSED: 108-2, 107-3, 108-2, 105-5

I voted NO on HBs 4780-83 (Reps. Mueller, Fink, Sneller, & Carter) Makes it illegal for a distributor to not charge a deposit on beverage containers covered by the Beverage Containers Law. EXPLANATION: This is another instance of government intervention in the free market and places further burdensome regulations on businesses.

PASSED: 106-4, 104-6, 104-6, 104-6

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4698 (Rep. Albert) Makes it a crime for an individual to raise a false active shooter alarm knowingly and willfully in a public place. EXPLANATION: Falsely alarming people to a fake shooter unnecessarily puts people in danger. These penalties are consistent with those of someone falsely pulling a fire alarm when there is no fire.

PASSED: 104-4

I voted YES on HB 4295 (Rep. Alexander) Amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act by removing the prohibition on state employees and their spouses from owning a marihuana facility. EXPLANATION: Individuals should be free to open or operate a business as they see fit.

PASSED: 97-11

I voted YES on HB 4501 (Rep. Beson) Prohibits MiOSHA from assessing civil penalties for violating emergency rules on a first offense if an employer takes corrective actions to address the violation. Also requires reimbursement of fines for previous civil penalties issued by the agency. EXPLANATION: The fines handed out during the period after it was ruled by the Michigan Supreme Court that Gov. Whitmer was acting unconstitutionally should absolutely be refunded to those businesses and/or individuals. At a time when the governor cannot even follow her own rules, hardworking Michiganders should not be punished for doing the same.

PASSED: 74-34

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

I voted YES on SB 400 (Sen. McBroom) Extends the time for filing an application to set aside a first violation operating while intoxicated offense from three to five years. Under current law, an application to set aside a misdemeanor must be filed 3 or more years after sentencing, probation, or completion of any term of imprisonment for the conviction. EXPLANATION: Removing barriers for those who have served their time and want to move on from past mistakes is the right thing to do.

PASSED: 91-18

I voted YES on HBs 4132-33 (Reps. Wendzel & Bollin) Creates a felony for knowingly providing false information on an absent voter (AV) application. EXPLANATION: When the Secretary of State is sending out mass AV applications for people who no longer live at a residence, there must be additional safeguards. The potential for fraud is greatly increased with absentee ballots being sent out unsolicited and measures should be put into place to prevent fraud.

PASSED: 66-43, 65-44

I voted NO on HB 4641 (Rep. Marino) Allows for Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) certificate holders issued prior to March 23, 2020 to request and be granted a 180 extension on any filing deadlines. EXPLANATION: The entities that hold NEZ certificates have had plenty of time to complete their projects without the need of an extension.

PASSED: 101-8

I voted YES on HB 4242 (Rep. Alexander) Removes the prohibition on licensed Bait Dealers from exporting minnows, wigglers & crayfish. EXPLANATION: Government should not be limiting what the private sector is doing. Removing unnecessary regulations helps create a freer market.

PASSED: 66-43

I voted YES on HBs 4030 & 4498 (Reps. Hoitenga & Paquette) Reduces the concealed pistol license (CPL) application fee of $100 and the $15 fingerprinting fee to a maximum fee of $60. Also, reduces the CPL renewal fee of $115 to a maximum fee of $45. EXPLANATION: The Michigan and U.S. Constitution guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. These bills make it more affordable for law abiding Michiganders to conceal carry and uphold their rights, although they should not have to pay for their rights in the first place.

PASSED: 66-43, 67-42

I voted YES on HB 4207 (Rep. Roth) Streamlines educational requirements related to licensure for barbers by allowing barbers to perform either 1,800 hours of course study or completing a barber apprenticeship program. EXPLANATION: This will allow barbers in training to get more hands-on learning before having to pass their exam. Other similar professions have an apprenticeship program that is allowed, so this will bring barbers more in line with other professions that are afforded greater flexibility in their training.

PASSED: 106-3

I voted NO on HBs 4394-4401, 4403-09, & 4466 (Reps. Allor, Slagh, Glenn, VanWoerkom, Whiteford, Huizenga, Lightner, Yaroch, Brann, Paquette, & VanSingel) EXPLANATION: As a procedural motion to keep the process moving, the Senate passed the House budget bills with changes and sent them back to the House. The House was now expected to reject the budgets. This is the final step in allowing conversations between the two chambers to begin.

FAILED: 0-109, except HB 4395 FAILED: 3-106, HBs 4400 & 4404 FAILED: 1-108

Thursday, May 27, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 4293-94 (Reps. Damoose & Paquette) Amends the Public Employee Relations Act (PERA) to prohibit decisions about employment as a substitute teacher as a subject of collective bargaining. Also amends the Revised School Code to allow school districts to employ individuals as substitute teachers under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: With a shortage in substitute teachers, making it easier for more people to substitute teach will give schools greater flexibility. Too many individuals are prevented from substitute teaching due to the strict requirements currently in place.

PASSED: 56-52, 56-52

I voted NO on HB 4256 (Rep. Brann) Amends the Michigan Penal Code by allowing the trainer of a service animal to bring the animal into public establishments for training purposes. EXPLANATION: Government should not be telling businesses that they must let dogs into their establishments while they are still in training.

PASSED: 94-14

I voted NO on HB 4516 (Rep. Lilly) Amends the Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act by establishing a cause of action against a business that sells marihuana to an individual under 21 years old or is visibly intoxicated that results in damage to another individual or property. EXPLANATION: If someone is injured or killed by a minor who was under the influence of marihuana after illegally purchasing it from a business, the liability should be on the minor and not on the business. It is already a crime to sell marihuana to a minor.

PASSED: 102-6

I voted YES on SBs 157 & 312 (Sens. Bizon & Bullock) Amends the Public Health Code and the Occupational Code by creating licensing reciprocity for active duty, veterans, & dependents of the armed forces. Additionally, the bill requires the department to waive the fee for temporary licenses issued under this section. EXPLANATION: As military families have to move around due to different deployments, allowing family members who are already licensed in one state to waive initial licensure fees when they move to Michigan will reduce the burden of making them move.

PASSED: 108-0, 108-0

I voted NO on HBs 4517 & 4740-46 (Reps. Rabhi, Outman, Clements, Yancey, Calley, Steenland, Lilly, & Hauck) Amends the Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act by revising the definition of marihuana and industrial hemp to include additional products that provide a similar high as traditional marihuana products and amends various acts to update the definitions for marihuana and industrial hemp to reference the new language in HB 4517. EXPLANATION: These proposed regulations are excessive and unnecessary.

PASSED: 103-5, 104-4, 104-4, 104-4, 104-4, 104-4, 103-5, 103-5

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4326 (Rep. VanWoerkom) Amends the Revised School Code to allow computer coding to be considered a foreign language for purposes of fulfilling the state high school graduation standards. EXPLANATION: Offering schools and students more choices and flexibility gives them greater independence to choose what is best for them. It also provides a great opportunity for students to learn a skill that they can use as they enter the workforce.

PASSED 59-49

I voted YES on HB 4485 (Rep. Hall) Amends the Tobacco Products Tax Act to eliminate the sunset on the maximum 50 cent tax per cigar on October 31, 2021. By eliminating this sunset, the amount shall continue to not exceed 50 cents. EXPLANATION: Without eliminating the sunset, there would be a tax increase on cigars. While smoking is not a healthy habit, raising taxes is not a good thing.

PASSED: 83-25

I voted YES on SB 49 (Sen. LaSata) Amends the MI Liquor Control Code to allow locations to hold both an on-premises and an off-premises tasting room license simultaneously. EXPLANATION: These establishments should be able to grow their business without government putting unnecessary regulations in their way. Changing this law will allow places with tasting rooms to grow and have more flexibility in their operations.

PASSED: 108-0

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4074 (Rep. Brann) Encourages school districts to include a free enterprise and entrepreneurship program in their 9th through 12th grade curriculum. EXPLANATION: While not mandating that schools provide a free enterprise and entrepreneurship program, it is a good idea to have entrepreneurship taught in our schools. Students will be far more prepared to enter adult and working life if they learn about these critical skills, and there is no problem with simply encouraging this program.

PASSED: 95-13

I voted YES on HB 4218 (Rep. Outman) Amends the Lottery Act by preventing the lottery commission from disclosing the winner of a multi-state lottery games identity without their consent. EXPLANATION: When someone wins the lottery there is often a lot of attention on that person. The winner should have the right to remain anonymous if they choose.

PASSED: 107-1

I voted YES on HB 4431 (Rep. Hertel) Amends the state Bingo Act by removing the definition of “occasion” for a charitable gaming event. This will allow an event to span multiple days. EXPLANATION: If non-profit organizations want to hold a multi-day charitable event they should be able to do that without government regulation saying they need to pay a separate fee for each day.

PASSED: 107-1

Thursday, May 20, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4063 (Rep. Reilly) Amends the Youth Employment Standards Act by allowing the parent of a student who is home-schooled to issue a work permit. EXPLANATION: A student who is home-schooled should not have to go through a public school to get a work permit. That student and their parents have chosen to home-school and should not have to go to a school that the student does not attend, and that doesn’t know the student to get permission to work.

PASSED: 98-10

I voted YES on HB 4088 (Rep. Borton) Creates an exception within the Natural Resources Commission’s (NRC) prohibition on deer and elk baiting for hunting, by allowing an individual to engage in feeding of wildlife and birds under certain conditions. EXPLANATION: The state should not be banning what individuals can and cannot do. When attempting to fix one problem, often another pops up. Wildlife and bird feeding for viewing pleasure should never have been hindered like this in the first place.

PASSED: 61-47

I voted YES on HB 4603 (Rep. Bellino) Amends the Open Meetings Act to give members of statutorily created agriculture commodity commissions, councils, and boards the permanent option of holding meetings using electronic means, as was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. EXPLANATION: Allowing agriculture commissions, councils, and boards to have the option to meet electronically, to help save time and money, ensures members of these bodies no longer have to drive from all around Michigan to be present. Additionally, this will allow more people from the public to join.

PASSED: 103-5

I voted YES on SBs 77, 79-94 (Sens. Victory, Bizon, Schmidt, Horn, Nesbitt, Barrett, Bumstead, LaSata, & Outman) Provides funding for the state’s budgets. EXPLANATION: As a procedural motion to keep the process moving, the House concurs in the Senate budgets and the Senate does the same for the House’s. This allows for conversations between the two chambers to begin.

ALL PASSED: 108-0 except SB 89 PASSED: 107-1

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4237 (Rep. Johnson) Repeals the Michigan Estate Tax Act. EXPLANATION: Michigan’s estate tax was phased out almost two decades ago. Eliminating outdated sections of law helps simplify Michigan’s law books.

PASSED 58-49

I voted NO on HBs 4599-60 (Reps. Alexander & Cherry) Increases the distribution of available funds for Michigan breeder’s and sired horses’ awards and modify the distribution of funds to certain programs under the Horse Racing Law. Also, amends law to provide the technical structure for funds to be deposited into the appropriate accounts. EXPLANATION: Although this is not a fee increase, redirecting money to the industry leaves less funds in the AEIDF, creating budgetary pressures and further enabling government to demand more tax dollars down the road to make up for the shortfall.

PASSED 106-1, 106-1

I voted NO on HB 4419 (Rep. Albert) Provides multi-departmental supplemental appropriations from federal stimulus money for Fiscal Year 2021-22. EXPLANATION: Provides taxpayer dollars for vaccines that exploited aborted fetal tissue and human embryonic stem cells in the development phases of those vaccines. Also, appropriates billions of dollars in welfare and handouts to able-bodied people when our businesses are desperate for employees.

PASSED: 60-47

I voted NO on HB 4421 (Rep. Paquette) Appropriates federal stimulus dollars for Michigan schools. EXPLANATION: The federal government continues to throw billions of dollars at Michigan’s schools with many not knowing what to do with the extra money as it can only be used for COVID related expenses, and many schools are still not in-person despite receiving all this money.

PASSED: 96-11

I voted NO on HB 4394 (Rep. Allor) Provides the first quarter of funding for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) budget. EXPLANATION: MDARD has excessively used its authority during the COVID-19 Pandemic to help enforce unconstitutional executive orders against the people of Michigan and stronger measures should have been taken to use the power of the purse to ensure this abuse of power stops.

PASSED: 57-50

I voted YES on HB 4395 (Rep. Allor) Provides the first quarter of funding for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) budget. EXPLANATION: Providing only a quarter of the DNR budget is fiscally responsible. This will help ensure that taxpayer dollars are not wasted by another government entity.

PASSED: 58-49

I voted NO on HB 4397 (Rep. Glenn) Provides the first quarter of funding for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) budget. EXPLANATION: EGLE’s budget included tens of millions of dollars for PFAS cleanup and further regulation. The department has continuously overstepped their authority when it comes to protecting our environment by forcing individuals and businesses to comply with excessive mandates.

PASSED: 56-51

I voted YES on HB 4401 (Rep. Huizenga) Provides funding for Michigan’s community colleges. EXPLANATION: The budget only went up slightly from the last fiscal year and includes language that restrains Michigan’s community colleges from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination as a prerequisite for enrollment or attending in-person classes. Nobody should be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they do not want to get one.

PASSED: 85-22

I voted NO on HB 4407 (Rep. Paquette) Provides funding for the School Aid budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22. EXPLANATION: Despite billions of dollars in federal funds pouring in for our schools, much of which has gone unused, there is still an increase in the amount of state taxpayer dollars that are going to schools.

PASSED: 89-18

I voted YES on HB 4408 (Rep. Paquette) Provides the first quarter of funding for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) budget. EXPLANATION: Only funding MDE with one quarter of their traditional budget gives the Legislature the oversight needed to help ensure that our schools are returning to in-person learning.

PASSED: 57-50

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4298-99 (Reps. Cherry & Kahle) Amends the Mobile Home Commission Act by defining when a person is operating a park without a license. Also creates an appeal process for an individual that is denied a license to operate a mobile home park. A person that has applied for a license or a person that was denied, but still has an appeal is no longer considered to be operating without a license. Additionally, the bill would increase the park owner fees beginning January of 2023. EXPLANATION: The government should not be mandating yet another required licensure on businesses. Increasing fees is also another government hurdle that businesses should not have to deal with.

PASSED 90-17, 94-13

I voted NO on HBs 4300-01 (Reps. Clements & Sneller) Amends the Mobile Home Commission Act by requiring the department to enforce the existing rules that have been promulgated and hire an appropriate number of full-time staff to implement and enforce the act and rules promulgated under the act. EXPLANATION: Government already requires too many rules and regulations on the free market and Michigan does not need even more government workers to enforce more rules and regulations.

PASSED 89-18, 91-16

I voted NO on HB 4302-03 (Reps. Mueller & Witwer) Amends the Mobile Home Commission Act and the Truth in Renting Act by requiring the park to at least offer a one-year lease to tenants, but a tenant may request a shorter-term lease. EXPLANATION: Government should not be demanding how long of a lease places are forced to give to potential renters. This is not the proper role of government.

PASSED 91-16, 90-17

I voted NO on HB 4304 (Rep. Hertel) Amends the Mobile Home Commission Act by creating a process to declare a mobile home abandoned and have the title transferred to the park. EXPLANATION: The mobile home park should not be determining the value of an abandoned mobile home in their own park. An independent third party should be doing the appraisal of the abandoned home.

PASSED 97-10

I voted NO on HB 4399 (Rep. Whiteford) Provides funding for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) budget. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not approve any funding for MDHHS until the Legislature is given its proper seat at the table when it comes to COVID. For too long the Governor and the Department have acted unilaterally in response to the Pandemic when she should be working with the Legislature to tackle this problem. The power of the purse could have been used to reign in their unconstitutional abuse of power.

PASSED: 59-48

I voted NO on HB 4396 (Rep. Slagh) Provides funding for the Department of Corrections budget. EXPLANATION: Based on current incarceration rates the state could have closed a prison to help save taxpayer dollars, not to mention that too many people are incarcerated for victimless crimes.

PASSED: 65-42

I voted NO on HB 4398 (Rep. VanWoerkom) Provides funding for the General Government budget. EXPLANATION: Taxpayer dollars should not be funding the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) until their enforcement arms are either substantially limited or cut out. Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, MIOSHA has been targeting small businesses for simply doing what they need to do to survive.

PASSED: 57-50

I voted NO on HB 4400 (Rep. Huizenga) Provides funding for the Higher Education budget. EXPLANATION: Despite having language that would prohibit requiring a COVID-19 vaccination to attend in-person classes or live on campus, there is still too high of an increase in funding for Michigan’s universities at a time when they are raising tuition despite many still not offering in-person classes.

PASSED: 57-50

I voted NO on HB 4403 (Rep. Lightner) Provides funding for the Judiciary. EXPLANATION: The constant increase of state budgets year after year leads to bigger government with no real gain for the taxpayers.

PASSED: 59-48

I voted NO on HB 4404 (Rep. Yaroch) Provides funding for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) budget. EXPLANATION: As bars and restaurants stayed open to survive, despite being unconstitutionally ordered to close, LARA threatened that those businesses would lose their liquor licenses if they continued to operate. Departments that abused their power during COVID should not receive funding without strong assurance that these actions will not continue.

PASSED: 56-51

I voted YES on HB 4405 (Rep. Yaroch) Provides the first quarter of funding for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) budget. EXPLANATION: Having only a quarter of the DIFS budget is a fiscally responsible way to move our state forward. This will help ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used properly.

PASSED: 58-49

I voted YES on HB 4406 (Rep. Brann) Provides funding for the Department of State Police. EXPLANATION: The brave men and women of the Michigan State Police deserve these resources to help keep every Michigander safe. This is especially true at a time when our state and nation have been gripped by so many riots and threats to society.

PASSED: 67-40

I voted NO on HB 4409 (Rep. VanSingel) Provides funding for the state transportation budget. EXPLANATION: The way in which our state transportation budget is funded is not fiscally responsible. Too often, the state has taken on large amounts of debt in an attempt to fix our infrastructure needs, without laying out a real plan to move forward while spending tax dollars more cost effectively.

PASSED: 63-44

I voted YES on HB 4466 (Rep. Brann) Provides funding for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) budget. EXPLANATION: Those who have served honorably in uniform have earned this support following their service.

PASSED: 66-41

Thursday, May 13, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4288 (Rep. Tisdel) Amends the Income Tax Act to allow members of flow-through entities the opportunity to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level. EXPLANATION: This will give businesses and entities the opportunity to reduce taxes like large corporations are able to which will help level the playing field for all.

PASSED 88-18

I voted YES on HB 4082 (Rep. Frederick) Limits the ability of Governor to abuse the State Administrative Board to transfer funds from Legislatively authorized purposes to other Administration priorities without Legislative approval. EXPLANATION: Once the Legislature appropriates how taxpayer dollars should be spent, the Governor should not move that money around as he or she sees fit.

PASSED 58-49

I voted YES on HB 4669 (Rep. VanSingel) Creates the Transportation Bond Repayment Sinking Fund for the repayment of road bonds issued by the State Transportation Commission, which would receive automatic deposits based on the amount of the bonds issued. EXPLANATION: Helping the state be in a better position to pay down debt is fiscally responsible. It will also help prevent the state from taking on more debt in the future.

PASSED 58-49

I voted NO on HB 4420 (Rep. Albert) Provides one-time funding supplemental from federal stimulus dollars. EXPLANATION: As with many bills, there were good and bad parts to this one. Being fiscally responsible and sending large portions of this multi-billion-dollar supplemental funding to pay off future expenses was a good move, but more of this needed to be done instead of putting our state in a position to expect this level of government spending year after year.

PASSED: 65-42

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4591 (Rep. Roth) Prohibits the state from entering into an employment contract with a state employee that includes a provision that would prohibit the state employee officer from disclosing factual information about an alleged violation of the law and with state officers relating to the performance of their official duties. EXPLANATION: Hush money payments should never have been allowed in the first place. They are a crack in the public’s trust in government and doing away with them will provide much needed transparency.

PASSED 110-0

I voted NO on HB 4325 (Rep. Hall) Requires local area agencies on aging to conduct criminal background checks on employees, volunteers, and independent service providers. Additionally, the bill outlines background check timeframes and lists various convictions that would disqualify individuals from providing services to older adults. EXPLANATION: This practice has already been adopted by the local area agencies on aging, there is no reason that it needs to be codified into law. Local agencies have the ability to run background checks on anyone that they feel that they should.

PASSED 109-1

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4064 (Rep. Glenn) Creates the State Employee Ombudsman within the legislatively controlled Legislative Council to investigate administrative violations or complaints of administrative violations from state employees. EXPLANATION: State employees should feel safe from retaliation if they come forward with instances of wrongdoing in the state’s agencies and departments. This will provide those employees with the opportunity to do so.

PASSED 87-21

I voted YES on HB 4540 (Rep. Carter) Amends the MCOLES Act to establish transit police officers as law enforcement officers. EXPLANATION: Transit officers have limited authority to be able to respond to more serious matters. By establishing them as law enforcement officers, they will be able to respond more quickly.

PASSED 107-1

I voted NO on HB 4541 (Rep. Filler) Amends the Michigan Vehicle Code’s definition of “police officer” to include a transit police officer. The bill also creates a new chapter (VIA) related to enforcing streetcar-related violations. EXPLANATION: The creation of multiple new civil infractions and regulations is not needed.

PASSED 93-15

I voted YES on HB 4497 (Rep. Paquette) Requires the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services to notify the public and local health department of an aerial spraying at least three business days before the spraying is scheduled to occur and the procedure to opt-out if one is available. EXPLANATION: If the department is going to spray pesticides, residents should be made aware of that in advance and have the opportunity to opt-out their land. Government should not spray potentially harmful chemicals on everyone’s property without their consent.

PASSED 82-26

I voted YES on HB 4445 (Rep. Lightner) Amends the Liquor Control Code by reducing the number of motorsports events that a facility is required to have each year to obtain a liquor license from seven to two events. EXPLANATION: Many of these facilities can no longer meet the seven required events each year to obtain a liquor license, especially since the beginning of COVID. Lowering the threshold to two events will allow residents of Michigan to continue to enjoy these events, which is a step in the right direction although there shouldn’t be a threshold at all.

PASSED 108-0

I voted YES on HB 4728 (Rep. Bollin) Amends the Public Health Code to prevent state or local emergency orders from prohibiting or limiting graduation ceremonies at schools for the graduating class of 2021 that take place during the 2020- 2021 school year. EXPLANATION: Students have had to go through so much over the last year. Allowing them to safely celebrate their high school graduation with their loved ones should not be forbidden.

PASSED: 60-48

Thursday, May 6, 2021

I voted YES on SBs 141-44 (Sens. Schmidt, Brinks, Moss, & VanderWall) Amends the Liquor Control Code by allowing Michigan licensed small distillers or substantially similar out-of-state equivalents to self-distribute their products under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: Deregulating the liquor industry, lowering taxes, and allowing greater opportunities to sell products in Michigan is a good thing.

PASSED 107-0, 107-0, 107-0, 106-0

I voted NO on HB 4001 (Rep. Hornberger) Institutes a heightened standard for legislative conflicts of interest by prohibiting legislators from voting on legislation in which they have a personal or professional interest. EXPLANATION: The 101st Legislature should not be tying the hands of future legislators. House Rule 31(2) already allows legislators to refrain from voting for personal or professional benefit.

PASSED 105-3

I voted YES on HB 4031 (Rep. Kahle) Changes the requirement for family farms to report to MIOSHA a death or serious injury. If a death or injury occurs to a family farm owner or the owner’s family and fails to report in the required time (8 hours of a death) the fine is to be reduced by 95%. EXPLANATION: If a family member dies on a small farm they should not be required to almost immediately contact MIOSHA. A grieving family is not thinking about which government entity they need to notify. Currently, the fee for failing to report is incredibly high, insensitive, and arguably unjustified especially if the family calls 9-1-1 right away.

PASSED 83-25

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

I voted NO on SB 46 (Sen. Nesbitt) Amends the General Property Tax Act to exempt eligible broadband equipment from taxation if that equipment is built in an area lacking broadband service. EXPLANATION: The House voted on, and passed, this bill at the end of March, but changes were made in the Senate, so it came back to the House. As when first passed, the Legislature should not be carving out special tax breaks for certain businesses or industries. Government should not be picking winners and losers in the private sector.

PASSED 58-51

I voted YES on HB 4067 (Rep. Frederick) Adds “dental public health, oral medicine, orofacial pain, and oral and maxillofacial radiology, and dental anesthesiology” to the list of advance trainings that a dentist can receive in order to qualify for a “health profession specialty field license.” EXPLANATION: The House voted on, and passed, this bill at the beginning of March, but a simple change to the implementation date was made in the Senate sending it back to the House. As when first passed, Michigan currently only recognizes seven of the twelve nationally recognized dental specialties. This bill brought the other five up to the same level as the seven without any additional education or testing requirements, simply allowing them to obtain specialty licenses but not making it a requirement.

PASSED: 107-2

I voted NO on HB 4382 (Rep. Mueller) Creates the Smoke Alarm Battery Standard Act, which prohibits the sale of certain types of smoke alarms beginning in 2022. More specifically, the bill limits the sale of smoke detectors to those that use non-removable batteries that last for at least 10 years or another power source utilizing a new technology. EXPLANATION: Consumers should be able to purchase whatever smoke alarm they like. Another government mandate on the private sector is not necessary.

PASSED: 89-20

I voted YES on HB 4052 (Rep. Hoitenga) Provides that Michigan will observe summer daylight hours (daylight saving time) year-round. This change is contingent on a change in federal law, and other Great Lake states making the change to daylight saving hours. EXPLANATION: Daylight savings time creates unnecessary headaches each year. As there are currently a handful of counties in Michigan that are in Central Standard Time while the rest of the state is in Eastern Standard Time, moving the entire state to one time zone and keeping the same time year-round will bring clarity to a problem that shouldn’t exist.

PASSED: 87-22

I voted NO on HB 4443 (Rep. Lilly) Amends the Income Tax Act by creating half of a cent per container tax credit for distributors that initiate a deposit on returnable beverage containers. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not be carving out special tax credits for specific industries.

PASSED: 88-20

I voted YES on HB 4444 (Rep. Hertel) Amends the Beverage Containers Law by adjusting the formula for the distribution of unclaimed bottle deposit revenue. EXPLANATION: With the money already coming in, giving Treasury the permission to spend it is acceptable. Too much of the state budget is restricted, and this bill frees up precious “general fund” dollars.

PASSED: 88-20

I voted YES on HB 4200 (Rep. Slagh) Establishes a time period for the Board of State Canvassers to review initiative petition signatures. EXPLANATION: When hundreds of thousands of Michiganders petition their government to do something, their voices should be heard. Establishing a set timetable for when petition signatures should be reviewed prevents partisan driven delay tactics.

PASSED: 60-49

I voted YES on HB 4491 (Rep. Fink) Allows county clerks to access the Qualified Voter File (QVF) for the purpose of removing deceased people from the voter rolls. EXPLANATION: Ensuring the accuracy of the QVF helps maintain election integrity. County clerks being able to remove a deceased person from the voter rolls brings another level of review to the process.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4492 (Rep. Bollin) Allows some privately-owned buildings to be used as polling places. EXPLANATION: Expanding the list of allowable polling places makes it easier for small communities to establish polling locations.

PASSED: 106-3

I voted YES on HBs 4530-33 (Reps. Calley, Filler, Whitsett, & Puri) Moves the August primary election to June, eliminates the May election, and provides changes to current law to do so. EXPLANATION: Moving the primary election date to June will give voters more time to research the candidates that will be on the ballot in November. It will also give more time to our local and county clerks to make sure candidate filings and ballots are all done properly.

PASSED: 63-46, 67-42, 65-44, 65-44

I voted YES on HB 4257 (Rep. Johnson) Requires that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the governor be filed and made publicly available with the Office of the Great Seal and be transmitted to the Legislature. EXPLANATION: This will increase transparency into what the executive branch is doing. The people of the state of Michigan deserve a better understanding of exactly what the governor is entering into and agreeing to.

PASSED: 59-50

I voted YES on HB 4448 (Rep. Johnson) Ensures that any executive orders, proclamations, or directives that are issued under the Emergency Management Act (EMA) of 1976 do not extend the response time or otherwise limit the scope of a public bodies duties under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). EXPLANATION: The right of the people to request information from their government should never be set aside or limited even during an emergency. In fact, it is even more important during an emergency for people to know what government is up to.

PASSED: 98-11

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4164 (Rep. Berman) Requires courts to allow attorneys to access documents online free of charge. It also requires courts to accept documents through email. EXPLANATION: Providing greater access to court documents will help save people time, fees, and paperwork. This will also bring more transparency to the court process.

PASSED: 61-49

I voted YES on SB 16 (Sen. Zorn) Amends the Housing Law of Michigan to specify that a transfer of ownership would not constitute a change of ownership under certain conditions. EXPLANATION: This removes a costly and burdensome regulation put on Michiganders by government. This streamlines the process in which someone can transfer ownership of their property if the new owner is under common control.

PASSED: 101-9

I voted YES on SB 17 (Sen. Zorn) Amends PA 317 of 1968, which governs contracts between public servants and public entities, by increasing the maximum population of a city, village, township, or county from 25,000 to 40,000 for a public servant to serve as an emergency medical personnel, firefighter, public safety officer, or other additional services. EXPLANATION: This simply brings PA 317 of 1968 into line with changes that were made to other areas of law in 2015. This change brings greater clarity and consistency to Michigan’s laws and allows greater opportunity for smaller communities to find qualified public servants.

PASSED: 61-49

I voted NO on HB 4118 (Rep. Frederick) Updates the Law Enforcement Officer Separation of Service Record Act to require a corrections agency to maintain a record regarding the reasons for, and the circumstances surrounding, a corrections officer’s separation of service from the agency. EXPLANATION: Local levels of law enforcement should be able to hire who they feel is best for the job without state government mandating what records need to be maintained and looked at.

PASSED: 109-1

I voted YES on HB 4119 (Rep. Anthony) Amends the Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act to allow an employer to release information to a prospective employing corrections agency if the information is part of a record regarding the reasons for, and circumstances surrounding, a separation of service. EXPLANATION: Allowing an employer to release information on a former employee is a reasonable practice.

PASSED: 110-0

Thursday, April 29, 2021

I voted YES on SB 118 (Sen. McBroom) amends the State School Aid Act to reduce penalties levied against school districts that employ people who have not yet completed the application process to become fully certified or credentialed. EXPLANATION: With districts facing teacher shortages, it is important to give them greater leniency to ensure schools remain open. The penalties that are currently in place are too excessive for such a low-level offense.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4138 (Rep. Alexander) Amends section 82113 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to reduce the misdemeanor penalty for improper attachment of a snowmobile registration/number/decal to a civil infraction. EXPLANATION: Reducing penalties for minor offenses makes sense. There are too many things that are considered criminal under current law that do not need to be so heavily penalized.

PASSED: 109-0

I voted NO on HB 4089 (Rep. Allor) Classifies etizolam as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which would effectively ban the drug in Michigan. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should leave personal life decisions up to individuals. A free market is the best regulator of potentially poor life decisions.

PASSED: 75-34

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I voted YES on HR 60 (Rep. Johnson) A resolution to grant the House Standing Committee on Oversight the power to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, and examine books, records, and files related to employee separations and severance agreements entered into by the executive branch of state government. EXPLANATION: As Governor Whitmer has handed out multiple taxpayer-funded hush money payments, the people of Michigan deserve answers. Giving the Oversight Committee the ability to issue subpoenas will help Michiganders uncover why these payments were given and why top officials were instructed to keep quiet about them.

PASSED: 59-50

I voted YES on HB 4272 (Rep. Johnson) Declares that portable fuel containers made in Michigan do not affect interstate commerce and are therefore able to be sold in Michigan after being previously banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EXPLANATION: The new fuel containers designed to comply with the EPA regulations do not work. The result is gas spills and frustration for consumers with the EPA rule not achieving the goal for which it was designed.

PASSED: 75-34

I voted YES on HB 4184 (Rep. O’Neal) Allows a district court magistrate to hear and preside over civil infraction actions under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act and the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. EXPLANATION: Expediting the civil infraction process for these two acts will save court and taxpayer resources. As low-level offenses, these civil infractions can be handled at a lower court level other than having a formal hearing with a judge.

PASSED: 107-2

I voted NO on HBs 4201-04 (Reps. O’Malley, Carter, Jones, & VanWoerkom) Prohibit unauthorized persons from entering a school bus without the permission of the school bus driver. The bills also allow school districts to install cameras on the stop sign arm of a bus. EXPLANATION: There is already existing law that limits who is allowed on school buses with the driver’s permission. Additional language is not needed in law to further prohibit who can and cannot be on the bus.

PASSED 100-9, 102-7, 100-9, 102-7

I voted YES on HBs 4263-66 (Reps. Paquette, Johnson, Bollin, & Brann) Amend the Public School Employees Retirement Act, State Employees’ Retirement Act, Judges Retirement Act, and State Police Retirement Act to set the assumed rate of return, require the use of updated mortality assumptions, utilize layered amortization, and make other changes. EXPLANATION: Having underfunded these liabilities for many years, making the payments more in line with actual yearly returns will help ensure these plans are fully funded into the future. Doing so is fiscally responsible and will help save taxpayers from increased costs down the road.

PASSED 108-0, 108-0, 69-39, 108-0

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4019 (Rep. Albert) Substituted in the Senate to authorize funds that were donated for the National Guard that were deployed to Washington, D.C. in January. EXPLANATION: These funds were privately donated for grants to Guard members who received raw meat and food with metal in it during their deployment in Washington. The members of our National Guard deserved better. As funds for these grants were donated, no taxpayer dollars were appropriated.

PASSED: 108-0

I voted YES on HBs 4142, 4141, 4143, & 4150 (Reps. Coleman, Bolden, Clements, & Glenn) Reclassify multiple low-level misdemeanors in the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) as civil infractions. EXPLANATION: These violations should not result in a criminal record. Small fines are a more appropriate course of action for those who do not strictly adhere to these rules.

PASSED 108-0, 108-0, 107-1, 108-0

Thursday, April 22, 2021

I voted NO on HBs 4289-90 (Reps. Damoose & Manoogian) Create the Michigan First-Time Home Buyer Savings Program Act and amend the Income Tax Act to allow a deduction up to $5,000 for a single and $10,000 for a joint return for contribution to the first-time home buyer savings account for up to 20 years. EXPLANATION: There are already plenty of programs that support first-time home buyers. Another tax carveout is not needed.

PASSED: 89-15, 86-18

I voted NO on HBs 4454-61 (Reps. Howell, Cambensy, Sowerby, Rabhi, O’Malley, Martin, VanSingel, & Tate) Reorganize and modernize Part 115 (Solid Waste) of the Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to improve the planning process for landfill sites and reorganizes and increases access to recycling and composting opportunities. EXPLANATION: Further regulating the environmental waste community and increasing penalties for non-compliance makes competition more difficult for smaller businesses in the industry.

PASSED: 87-17, 87-17, 86-18, 88-16, 83-21, 87-17, 84-19, 78-26

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

I voted YES on HBs 4568-69 & 4571 (Reps. Hall, Beeler, & Yancey) Amends the Income Tax Act and City Income Tax Act by extending the income tax filing date for tax year 2020 taxes to May 17, 2021 and, in some cases, to June 1, 2021. EXPLANATION: These extensions will bring clarity to Michigan taxpayers following the IRS moving the federal tax filing date to May 17, 2021. Having one tax filing date for state and federal taxes will help ensure all Michiganders know when their taxes need to be filed by.

PASSED 108-1, 109-0, 109-0

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I voted NO on HBs 4055-56 (Reps. Anthony & VanSingel) Extends eligibility for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) and the Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) Program for undergraduate students enrolled in the Spring of 2020 and the 2020-21 academic year. EXPLANATION: Extending the eligibility for this year’s students depletes resources and hinders the ability of future students to access them. If these programs are going to be in place, then they should be available to all students who meet the criteria.

PASSED 107-3, 107-3

I voted YES on HB 4029 (Rep. Hoitenga) Allows stun devices to be available for sale, possession, and reasonable use to individuals 18 years of age or older. EXPLANATION: Michiganders have the right to keep and bear arms. There is no reason why law-abiding people should not be allowed to use stun devices in order to defend themselves.

PASSED 78-32

I voted NO on HBs 4282-85 (Reps. Calley, Sabo, Koleszar, & Bollin) Makes the filing fee nonrefundable for legislative offices, county commissioners, county offices, and township officers and requires the funds to go into a fund for voting equipment. EXPLANATION: Filing fees being refundable is an odd process, but eliminating the refund effectively is a fee increase.

PASSED 90-20, 90-20, 90-20, 90-20

I voted NO on HB 4343 (Rep. Coleman) Amends the Revised School Code to require local districts to consider an absence excused when a student is not in attendance at school for purposes of playing “Taps” at a military honors funeral for a deceased veteran. EXPLANATION: Local schools should be making decisions that are right for them, not the government creating yet another mandate that they must follow. If a school wants to allow a student to be excused for playing “Taps” at a military funeral they should be able to do that, but demanding every school make that required is government overreach.

PASSED 105-5

Thursday, April 15, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4149 (Rep. Damoose) Amends section 48738 of the NREPA to reclassify failing to attach a name and address to a fishing tip-up and fishing with more than the authorized number of fishing lines as civil infractions. EXPLANATION: Our state criminal laws are so complex and intermingled that it is impossible for law-abiding residents to keep up with the constant changes. Someone making an honest mistake while fishing should not receive serious criminal prosecution.

PASSED 106-0

I voted YES on HB 4151 (Rep. Johnson) Amends section 43560 of the NREPA to reclassify the misdemeanor penalty for failing to exhibit a hunting, fur harvester’s, or fishing license as a civil infraction. Currently, a violation is punishable by imprisonment up to 90 days and/or a $25-250 fine. Under the bill, a violation is a civil infraction punishable by not more than a $150 fine. EXPLANATION: Reducing punishments for something that shouldn’t be so excessively regulated is the right path to go down.

PASSED 106-0

I voted YES on HB 4152 (Rep. Howell) Amends section 43558 of the NREPA to reclassify several hunting violations as civil infractions. EXPLANATION: These violations should not result in a criminal record. Small fines are a more appropriate course of action for those who do not strictly adhere to these rules.

PASSED 106-0

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4050 (Rep. Cherry) Allows the DNR to exempt certain specific location information of game species when responding to a FOIA request. EXPLANATION: DNR should not be exempt from providing information to the public when it is requested through FOIA. A 12-month delay on releasing this information to protect a herd from an unfair hunting advantage would be more reasonable than indefinite exemption.

PASSED 101-6

I voted NO on HB 4123 (Rep. Griffin) Clarifies in statute that municipal wastewater and drinking water projects utilizing energy performance contracting are eligible for financing under Michigan’s state revolving loan fund (SRF) programs. EXPLANATION: By allowing local municipalities further access to this money, it is opening the door for them to take advantage of artificially low interest rates falsely incentivizing the number of projects to be bonded. This would place an undue burden on taxpayers with costs that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

PASSED 104-3

I voted NO on HB 4363 (Rep. Howell) Extends the time period prior to the Natural Resources Commission being able to act on a proposed land sale, acquisition, or disposal in order to provide the public more time to weigh in on a proposal. EXPLANATION: Extending the time for the Commission to act from 180 days to 210 days is not necessary. The process currently in place allows plenty of time without drawing out more government work.

PASSED 104-3

I voted NO on HB 4346 (Rep. Cambensy) Changes the monthly price cap on prescription insulin to $50 for each 30-day supply of prescription insulin. EXPLANATION: While this bill has good intentions, government should not be mandating what private companies can charge for their products. Capping prices would likely lead to higher premiums for other plan enrollees.

PASSED 91-16

I voted YES on HB 4356 (Rep. Meerman) Allows individuals to utilize a telemedicine service to have their contact prescription renewed if their prescription has not changed since their last eye examination. EXPLANATION: Allowing people to have their unchanged contact prescriptions renewed through telemedicine offers patients a convenient way of getting their prescriptions without having to go into the office if they so choose.

PASSED 56-51

I voted YES on HB 4359 (Rep. Whiteford) Expands the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) to allow them to practice to the full extent their training allows without supervision by a physician. EXPLANATION: CRNAs go through vigorous training and education and. Forcing CRNAs to be watched over by a doctor reduces the flexibility for hospitals and clinics, particularly in rural areas. This bill does not mandate that they can’t be watched over by a doctor, and poor service will be a bad reflection on a hospital or clinic if the standard of care is insufficient.

PASSED 82-25

I voted NO on HB 4351 & 4352 (Rep. Whitsett & Allor) Allows pharmacists to provide the current selling price of a comparative generic or name brand drug to an individual purchasing a drug. Additionally, the bill prohibits a pharmacist from entering into a contract that would restrict them from disclosing the current selling price of a comparable generic of a name brand drug. Also, prohibits an insurer from requiring a patient to pay a higher co-pay than the cost of the dispensed drug and bans a PBM or insurer from prohibiting a pharmacy from disclosing the current selling price of a drug. EXPLANATION: Additional layers of government regulation, red-tape, and mandates don’t lower the overall cost of prescription drugs. Although the intent here is admirable, it is yet another government solution to a government made problem.

PASSED 106-1, 106-1

I voted NO on HB 4347 (Rep. Witwer) Mandates reporting requirements for drug manufacturers. EXPLANATION: Adding another government regulation further complicates the process of doing business. Reducing regulations and government intervention should be the focus of the Legislature.

PASSED 100-7

I voted NO on HB 4353 (Rep. Kahle) Requires an insurer to count all drug rebates received for a drug toward the insured’s maximum out-of-pocket costs or plan deductible. EXPLANATION: Government should not be mandating how private businesses give out or count rebates for their customers.

PASSED 98-9

I voted NO on HB 4345 (Rep. Beeler) Requires insurers providing prescription drug benefits to count out-of-network prescriptions purchased by insured individuals toward any out-of-pocket maximum or cost sharing requirements if the cost of the prescription drug is less than the average cost of the drug in network pharmacies. EXPLANATION: Expanding government control and dictates of the private sector is not the proper role of government.

PASSED 100-7

I voted NO on HB 4350 (Rep. Young) Clarifies which prescription drug rebates would be considered “kickbacks” to ensure patients are able to receive the most cost-effective prescription drug. EXPLANATION: Government should not be picking winners and losers. If changes are necessary, then they should be made across the board and not for only certain rebates.

PASSED 101-6

I voted NO on HB 4348 (Rep. Calley) Creates a regulatory framework to license Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). HB 4348 requires mandatory quarterly reports from all PBMs wishing to operate in Michigan and provides the Legislature with an annual report, bans spread pricing, creates uniformity in pharmacy reimbursements, institutes fair auditing processes for pharmacies, restricts retroactive fees, and prohibits steering. EXPLANATION: Further licensing and regulation is the wrong approach. There is all sorts of corruption in the healthcare industry. Although this may lower the costs in the short run, it further expands government control in healthcare.

PASSED 97-10

I voted NO on HB 4357 (Rep. Roth) Prohibits a drug manufacturer from giving gifts to a prescriber that have a cumulative value of $63 or more in a given month. EXPLANATION: While this practice may be unethical and should reflect poorly on those who partake in it, these are private employees, government should not be stepping into the private marketplace.

PASSED 102-5

I voted NO on HB 4358 (Rep. Hammoud) Prohibits an insurer from removing a prescription drug from its prescription drug list within a plan year. EXPLANATION: If there is no language built into the contract restricting an insurer from removing a drug during a plan year, then it is on the consumer to either negotiate the contract or seek a new insurer with that provision included.

PASSED 99-8

I voted NO on HB 4354 (Rep. Rendon) Amends the Michigan Insurance Code of 1956 (MCL.500.100 to 500.8302), adding a new section creating a parity provision for IV and orally administered chemotherapy treatments. EXPLANATION: Setting prices for private industry products is not the role of state government. The free market and consumer demand should be what prices are dependent upon.

PASSED 91-15

I voted NO on HB 4349 (Rep. Berman) Requires hospitals to post a digital copy of their charge description master on their website for viewing by the public. Additionally, it requires hospitals to update any changes made to the charge master annually. EXPLANATION: The federal government already requires that hospitals post similar information, and no further requirements are necessary.

PASSED 104-3

I voted YES on HB 4355 (Rep. Bollin) Allows health care professionals licensed in states other than Michigan to provide telehealth services in Michigan. EXPLANATION: Increasing access to care for people to have more choices is the right thing to do. Removing regulations between a patient and their chosen health care provider will make it easier for people to receive the care they need.

PASSED 56-51

I voted YES on HB 4014 (Rep. Slagh) Modifies the procedure for determining speed limits. EXPLANATION: Allowing greater local autonomy and flexibility when determining speed limits will bring speed limits more in line with the interest of the community.

PASSED 94-13

I voted NO on HB 4211 & 4212 (Rep. Mueller & LaGrand) Increases the penalties for disarming a law enforcement officer of a firearm if accomplished by force or violence and amends sentencing guidelines. EXPLANATION: Disarming a police officer is already a crime with attached penalties. There is no need to increase the criminal level of the crime or increase the penalties.

PASSED 100-7, 100-7

I voted YES on HB 4429 (Rep. LaFave) Designates a portion of highways US-2 and US-41 in Delta County as “Darryl M. Rantanen Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Trooper Darryl M. Rantanen was in pursuit of a stolen vehicle when his vehicle was forced off the road and struck a tree. Trooper Rantanen was killed in the line of duty on May 27, 1974. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED 106-1

Thursday, March 25, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4117 & 4026 (Rep. Johnson & Eisen) Amends the “Michigan Vehicle Code” by creating an option to request a two-year vehicle registration and an option to purchase a two-year recreational passport for those who obtain a two-year vehicle registration. EXPLANATION: Giving drivers more options will reduce inconvenience and wait times at local Secretary of State offices. This option gives drivers the freedom to choose a one- or two-year vehicle registration and recreational passport.

PASSED 106-0, 106-0

I voted NO on SB 46 (Sen. Nesbitt) Amends the General Property Tax Act to exempt eligible broadband equipment from taxation if that equipment is built in an area lacking broadband service. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not be carving out special tax breaks for certain businesses or industries. Government should not be picking winners and losers in the private sector.

PASSED 57-49

I voted YES on HB 4243 & 4245 (Rep. Alexander & LaGrand) Amends the Public Health Code to revise penalties for manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance. Also amends sentencing guidelines and probation for certain offenses. EXPLANATION: Reducing penalties for a victimless crime makes sense, even if it is deemed a poor lifestyle.

PASSED 103-3, 104-2

I voted NO on HB 4244 (Rep. Anthony) Amends the sentencing guidelines to reflect changes made by HB 4243 and to reclassify several manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance offenses for purposes of scoring the guidelines. EXPLANATION: Expanding penalties for a victimless crime is not the answer. Greater opportunities for gainful employment for able-bodied individuals would far better regulate drug abuse.

PASSED 102-4

I voted YES on HB 4035 (Rep. VanSingel) Requires the DNR to pay their share of lake level assessments on state-owned lands when invoiced without requiring local governments to file a lawsuit for reimbursement. EXPLANATION: Money is already allocated to DNR for this purpose. DNR should be using the money allocated as it was intended without forcing local drain commissions to sue the state just to get the money they were due in the first place.

PASSED 106-0

I voted YES on HB 4022 (Rep. Berman) Requires the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) to list salary and benefit information of state employees on the internet. EXPLANATION: State department and employee transparency and accountability is appropriate. This will also help reduce the likelihood a state employee is given an unfair or excessive salary.

PASSED 79-27

I voted YES on HB 4376 & 4377 (Rep. Schroeder & Anthony) Amends the State License Fee Act by waiving the initial licensing fee for dependents of active duty or veterans of the Armed Forces and amends the Skilled Trades Regulation Act by creating licensing reciprocity for active duty, veterans, & dependents of the armed forces. EXPLANATION: As military families have to move around due to different deployments, allowing family members who are already licensed in one state to waive initial licensure fees when they move to Michigan will reduce the burden of making them move.

PASSED 106-0, 106-0

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4122 (Rep. Glenn) Provides for various technical changes and efficiencies regarding how County Veteran Service Grants are distributed and accounts for distribution of funds if the full $50,000 per county is unavailable for distribution. EXPLANATION: Distributing county veteran funds in an equitable way to all of Michigan’s counties helps to ensure that veterans in all parts of the state get the resources they need and have earned. Making it easier to get existing benefits to our veterans is important and admirable.

PASSED 108-1

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4469 (Rep. Allor) Provides $37.8 million for 30 land acquisition and 46 recreational development projects supported with revenues from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). The MNRTF Board approved these projects in December 2020. EXPLANATION: Michigan’s constitution currently restricts funds for these development projects. Any unspent money would go into a slush fund and collect interest. Instead of continuing to spend these restricted funds, the state should amend the constitution and free up the funds with accrued interest to reduce budgetary constraints and alleviate pressure on taxpayers.

PASSED 104-5

I voted NO on HB 4171 & 4172 (Rep. Allor & Yaroch) Expands the eligibility for first responders to receive funding from the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund (FRPCF). EXPLANATION: Increasing the number of claims to the FRPCF could raise costs for the fund beyond what it can absorb, and first responders should be compensated from local revenue, not from the state.

PASSED 106-3, 106-3

I voted NO on HB 4210 (Rep. Griffin) Amends the Railroad Act to exempt eligible broadband equipment from taxation if that equipment is built in an area lacking broadband service. EXPLANATION: Carving out special tax exemptions for specific industries is not the job of the Legislature. Government should not be picking winners and losers in the private sector.

PASSED 59-50

I voted NO on SB 186 (Sen. Lauwers) Creates a state operated program for industrial hemp growers under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) final rules. Compliance with the USDA rules must be reflected in state statute for MDARD to submit a state plan for approval to USDA. The state has until March 21, 2021 to come into compliance with the new USDA rules to allow growers for the upcoming season. EXPLANATION: While this bill had some good components, such as the remediation of hemp with too high of THC levels and the expanded window for harvesting after an inspection, conforming to federal regulations without trigger language to reduce regulations in the event federal regulations loosen subject the state to higher regulations. Additionally, some of the regulations and broad authority granted to MDARD goes too far, even beyond the federal regulations.

PASSED 108-1

I voted YES on SB 29 (Sen. Stamas) Provides supplemental school aid appropriations that were previously vetoed by the governor. EXPLANATION: All students, no matter where they go to school, should be able to safely return to their classrooms. The governor vetoed this funding, but did not veto public school funding, unfairly picking winners and losers. The Senate made minor procedural changes and is why the House had to vote on this again.

PASSED 59-49

I voted YES on SB 114 (Sen. Stamas) Provides economic relief supplemental appropriations that were previously vetoed by the governor. EXPLANATION: Getting money into the hands of businesses forced to be shut down by the governor and her unelected bureaucrats is critical for the economy of our state. How anyone could have originally voted for this legislation to support afflicted businesses and now vote against it is unfathomable and seems like partisan politics. The Senate made minor procedural changes and is why the House had to vote on this again.

PASSED 64-45

Thursday, March 18, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4115 (Rep. Berman) Amends the Liquor Control Code by allowing local units of government to extend the allowable hours for selling alcohol from 2 am to 4 am. EXPLANATION: Businesses understand the needs of their customers better than the government does. Pushing back the time of when restaurants can serve alcohol gives greater flexibility to these business owners and their customers.

PASSED 61-47

I voted YES on SB 100 (Sen. Bizon) Adds “foster care” as a defined term in the section of the Child Caring Institutions Act that sets the parameters for Qualified Residential Treatment Programs. EXPLANATION: Recent federal law changes designed to prevent children from entering foster care required an update to the term “foster care” in state law.

PASSED 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4383-4385 & 4387-4391 (Rep. Berman, Tisdel, Glenn, Posthumus, Outman, Haadsma, Camilleri, & LaFave) Creates a new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to provide for the public inspection of legislative records created after January 1, 2022. EXPLANATION: Opening records of the Legislature allows for greater government transparency. The people of Michigan deserve to have their elected officials, at all levels, accountable to them.

ALL PASSED 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4386 & 4392 (Rep. T. Carter & Bollin) Amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to effectively subject the Offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and their employees to FOIA beginning January 1, 2022. EXPLANATION: Just as the Legislature should be accountable to the people, so should the governor, lieutenant governor, and their employees. As recent hush money payments by Gov. Whitmer to one of her top officials were recently discovered by a media FOIA request, opening the governor’s office to FOIA helps to ensure this never happens again. Had the hush money payment been made to someone in the governor’s office, this would never have been discovered due to a lack of transparency.

PASSED 109-0, 109-0

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4127 (Rep. Hall) Creates a procedure to remove people with unknown dates of birth from the Qualified Voter File (QVF). EXPLANATION: Errors in the QVF need to be rectified. With people listed as over 122 years old on the voters list, updated information is necessary to help ensure deceased people are not voting.

PASSED 61-48

I voted YES on HB 4128 (Rep. Calley) Creates a procedure to remove people from the QVF who have not voted in the last 20 years. EXPLANATION: Maintaining accurate QVF information is critical in operating honest elections. If someone has not voted since the 2000 November general election, there is a good chance they moved, are deceased, or may not even live in the state anymore.

PASSED 66-43

I voted YES on HB 4129 (Rep. Marino) Requires the Secretary of State to post names of local clerks who have not completed required continuing education courses. EXPLANATION: Understanding of laws and processes is critical in administering accurate and efficient elections. Posting the name of anyone who is not caught up on the Secretary of State website will be a deterrence for clerks who may otherwise not be caught up on required election training.

PASSED 87-22

I voted YES on HB 4130 (Rep. Koleszar) Changes the due date of lobby reports from January 31 and August 31 to February 28 and September 30 respectively. EXPLANATION: Changing the dates allows the Bureau of Elections (BOE) more time to properly review lobbying reports. Properly reviewing this information better ensures truthful and honest reporting.

PASSED 109-0

I voted YES on HB 4131 (Rep. Sabo) Modifies the timeline by which the Bureau of Elections (BOE) must review campaign finance reports by changing the 4 days to 30 days. EXPLANATION: BOE reports that it takes, on average, 33 days to review these campaign finance reports. Updating the required time eliminates an unrealistic expectation.

PASSED 108-1

I voted YES on HB 4134 (Rep. Bollin) Increases precinct sizes, allows precinct consolidation in the August primary election, and requires the use of permanent absent voter (AV) application lists. EXPLANATION: Increasing precinct sizes requires fewer election workers and helps reduce the cost of running an election.

PASSED 79-30

I voted NO on HB 4135 (Rep. Bollin) Requires voting jurisdictions with more than one precinct to establish an absent voter (AV) counting board to count AV ballots. There is an exception for jurisdiction with two precincts and less than 6,000 registered voters. EXPLANATION: Clerks already have the option to do this. There is no reason to mandate a one-size fits all process for the state and absentee voter counting boards are costly for smaller communities.

PASSED 104-5

I voted YES on SB 1 (Sen. Theis) Amends the Public Health Code by requiring the Legislature to approve any extension beyond 28 days of emergency orders issued by the director of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). EXPLANATION: Too much authority is currently given to the director of DHHS in making decisions regarding emergency orders. As the Legislature is the voice of the people, having input from the Legislature ensures that the people of Michigan are heard in matters that affect their lives. Allowing unelected bureaucrats to hold unlimited authority without the approval of the Legislature is reprehensible.

PASSED 59-50

On March 3rd, I voted YES on HB 4049 (Rep. Hornberger) Modifies who has the authority to close certain schools to in-person instruction and prohibit certain sporting events in emergency orders issued in response to an epidemic. EXPLANATION: Restricting who has the ability to close schools is important, but stronger restrictions on unelected bureaucrat authority was necessary. SB 1 brought those tougher restrictions. I advocated passionately for a 28 day limit on emergency authority and SB 1 brought this to the conversation, earning my support for HB 4049.

PASSED 60-50

I voted YES to override the governor’s line item vetoes of HB 4047 (Rep. Beson) Gov. Whitmer vetoed funding for the Unemployment Insurance Agency and afflicted business relief. EXPLANATION: Getting money into the hands of businesses forced to be shut down by the governor and her unelected bureaucrats is critical for the economy of our state. How anyone could have originally voted for this legislation to support afflicted businesses and now vote against it is unfathomable and seems like partisan politics.

NOT PASSED 66-43 (two thirds vote required)

I voted YES to override the governor’s line item vetoes of HB 4048 (Rep. Paquette) Gov. Whitmer vetoed funding for summer school reimbursements, non-public school support, and incentives to safely reopen schools. EXPLANATION: All students, no matter where they go to school, should be able to safely return to their classrooms. The governor vetoed this funding, but did not veto public school funding, unfairly picking winners and losers.

NOT PASSED 65-44 (two thirds vote required)

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4219 & 4220 (Rep. Yancey & Bellino) Allows the court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense, which is currently ineligible for expungement. The bill only applies to petition-based expungement, not automatic expungement. EXPLANATION: Allowing individuals to get certain convictions expunged from their records removes barriers to education and employment.

PASSED 93-17, 93-17

I voted YES on HB 4053 (Rep. VanWoerkom) Designates a portion of highway M-120 in Muskegon County as “Deputy Ernest W. Heikkila Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Deputy Heikkila was responding to an accident when his vehicle was struck by another car and he was killed. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.

PASSED 109-1

I voted NO on HB 4308 & 4309 (Rep. Hammoud & Filler) Eliminates the sunset on the 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold for operating while intoxicated (OWI) per se and several related provisions. Currently, the BAC threshold for OWI per se is set to increase to 0.10 on October 1, 2021. EXPLANATION: Some people may be safe to drive at a 0.12 BAC whereas others are not safe at a 0.04 BAC. Other metrics can be used to ensure reckless and unsafe driving does not occur.

PASSED 105-5, 105-5

I voted YES on SB 29 (Sen. Stamas) Provides supplemental school aid appropriations that were previously vetoed by the governor. EXPLANATION: All students, no matter where they go to school, should be able to safely return to their classrooms. The governor vetoed this funding, but did not veto public school funding, unfairly picking winners and losers.

PASSED 60-50

I voted YES on SB 114 (Sen. Stamas) Provides economic relief supplemental appropriations that were previously vetoed by the governor. EXPLANATION: Getting money into the hands of businesses forced to be shut down by the governor and her unelected bureaucrats is critical for the economy of our state. How anyone could have originally voted for this legislation to support afflicted businesses and now vote against it is unfathomable and seems like partisan politics.

PASSED 66-44

Thursday, March 11, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4040 (Rep. Frederick) Amends the Proprietary Schools Act to exclude apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs under the National Apprenticeship Act as proprietary schools in Michigan. EXPLANATION: Cutting regulations and making skilled trades education further accessible gives more students the opportunity to begin these careers. No new state or federal money is allocated from this legislation.

PASSED 107-3

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4043 (Rep. Whiteford) Requires information gathered by the electronic inpatient bed registry through the Department of Health and Human Services to be reported to the Michigan crisis and access line. EXPLANATION: This bill simply streamlines government work and ensures MiCAL has as accurate of data as possible. This data already is in the hands of government and no new government entities are created from this bill.

PASSED 109-1

I voted NO on HB 4044 (Rep. Whiteford) Requires state-operated registries related to mental health to report data to the Michigan crisis and access line. EXPLANATION: Health facilities, professionals, or contractors would not be held liable for intentionally inputting inaccurate information into the registry, opening the door for someone to purposefully enter the wrong information to decide where someone is treated.

PASSED 108-2

I voted YES on HB 4067 (Rep. Frederick) Adds “dental public health, oral medicine, orofacial pain, and oral and maxillofacial radiology, and dental anesthesiology” to the list of advance trainings that a dentist can receive in order to qualify for a “health profession specialty field license.” EXPLANATION: Michigan currently only recognizes seven of the twelve nationally recognized dental specialties. This bill brought the other five up to the same level as the seven without any additional education or testing requirements, simply allowing them to obtain specialty licenses but not making it a requirement.

PASSED 108-2

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4047 (Rep. Beson) Disperses state tax dollars for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, business grants, and property and unemployment tax reimbursements. EXPLANATION: HB 4019 was merged with HB 4047 with revisions and brings major pro-life, privacy, and free market violations. These issues, particularly the allocation of funding for contact tracing and surveillance without a warrant, are intrusive and inappropriate governance.

PASSED 85-25

I voted NO on HB 4048 (Rep. Paquette) Provides school funding for summer programs, district grants, reopening incentives, and benchmark assessments. EXPLANATION: Schools are drowning in cash and don’t need billions of dollars in additional funding. Taking billions of dollars in federal funding for education and offsetting it with far less in state funding would be a common-sense solution. Appropriating $1.8 billion in federal funds and $1.2 billion less in state funds would free up tax dollars for the state moving forward and would be a far more fiscally responsible decision for our state, but there is no indication of anything like this happening.

PASSED 77-33

I voted YES on HB 4260 (Rep. Albert) Provides placeholder for school aid appropriations for fiscal year 2020-21. EXPLANATION: This bill has no substance in its current form and is simply meant to streamline future legislative considerations.

PASSED 110-0

I voted YES on HB 4061 (Rep. Slagh) Amends the Public Threat Alert System Act to further define “public threat” and restrict use of the public alert system for the enactment of executive orders or new laws. EXPLANATION: This system was created to warn the public about immediate threats to public safety. This legislation restricts when the system can be used to actual emergencies and not when a new politically driven executive order or law is signed.

PASSED 63-47

I voted NO on HB 4224 & 4225 (Rep. Lilly & Anthony) Exempts personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies used to prevent COVID-19 for businesses from sales and use taxes from March 10, 2020 thru December 31, 2021. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should not be carving out special tax exemptions for individuals or businesses.

PASSED 104-6, 104-6

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4126 (Rep. Howell) Modifies Public Act 262 of 2020 that created a pheasant stamp program. EXPLANATION: Authorizes retailers who sell pheasant hunting licenses to keep a nominal percentage of the $25 license fee. The $25 fee already exists.

PASSED 109-0

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I voted NO on HJR A (Rep. Wentworth) Changes the requirements for passage of a bill during lame duck from simple majority to a two thirds majority. EXPLANATION: Historically, a lot of bad bills pass in lame duck and the intent of this joint resolution is admirable. That said, legislators cast votes and have the responsibility of representing their districts in a constitutional republic. It’s not the job of the Legislature to tie the hands of future legislators, it’s the job of the Legislature to uphold and defend the constitution and legislators should vote yes or no appropriately whether it’s lame duck or not.

PASSED 102-7

I voted NO on HB 4015 (Rep. Lightner) Requires that any third-party agency disclose on their website that they are not a state agency and any fee associated with their service. EXPLANATION: Nefarious activity is already a crime. Imposing penalties and burdensome regulations on industries who are operating lawfully is not necessary.

PASSED 102-7

Thursday, February 25, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4247 (Rep. Koleszar) Removes the needs-based requirements for the Survivor Tuition Act allowing more students who have lost their parents or spouses to be eligible for the program. EXPLANATION: This anti-discriminatory bill allows for more children of those who have died in the line of duty to be eligible for tuition free college. The act already exists, and all students should be eligible.

PASSED 109-0

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Thursday, February 18, 2021

I voted YES on HB 4018, 4020, 4021 (Rep. Albert) Provides placeholders for general and multi-department appropriations for fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21. EXPLANATION: These bills have no substance in their current form and are simply meant to streamline future legislative considerations.

PASSED 107-0, 107-0, 107-0

VOTES THIS WEEK (light week at the Capitol):

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I voted YES on SB 30 (Sen. Hollier) Designates a portion of highway I-94 in Wayne County as the “Firefighter Coleman A. Tate Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Coleman A. Tate was a firefighter for the Detroit Fire Department. He died in February of 1981 while serving the city. No state or local tax dollars will be used for this project; and more importantly, it’s a noble cause to memorialize.

PASSED 109-0

VOTES THIS WEEK:

Thursday, February 4, 2021

I voted NO on HB 4019 (Rep. Albert) Disperses federal COVID funding for vaccine distribution, testing, food assistance, and other areas. EXPLANATION: The allocation of funding for contact tracing and surveillance without a warrant is intrusive and inappropriate governance.

PASSED 59-50

I voted YES on HB 4047 (Rep. Beson) Disperses state tax dollars for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, business grants, and property and unemployment tax reimbursements. EXPLANATION: Businesses were forced to close by the governor and her administration. Therefore, the government should help provide relief for our small business owners and workers to make up for the hardship imposed on them by our governor and unelected bureaucrats.

PASSED 60-49

I voted NO on HB 4048 (Rep. Paquette) Provides school funding for summer programs, district grants, reopening incentives, and benchmark assessments. EXPLANATION: Schools are drowning in cash and don’t need billions of dollars in additional funding. Taking billions of dollars in federal funding for education and offsetting it with far less in state funding would be a common-sense solution. Appropriating $1.8 billion in federal funds and $1.2 billion less in state funds would free up tax dollars for the state moving forward and would be a far more fiscally responsible decision for our state, but there is no indication of anything like this happening.

PASSED 58-51

I voted NO on HB 4049 (Rep. Hornberger) Modifies who has the authority to close certain schools to in-person instruction and prohibit certain sporting events in emergency orders issued in response to an epidemic. EXPLANATION: Too much power is given to local health officials. The criteria for shutting down in-person education and sports is too weak and doesn’t contain a limitation on how long the local health official can shut down schools and sports if the criteria are met.

PASSED 57-52

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