Tuesday, October 17th, 2023
I voted NO HB 4625, 4626, 4628, 4629, 4630, 4633, 4636, 4637, 4639, 4640, and 4643 (Reps. Carter, Hope, Barbec, O’Neal, Lightner, Breen, Lighter, Breen, Dievendorf, Glanville, Edwards, Wilson, and Mckinney) Would require use of a screening tool for diversion of juveniles. Would limit to only 3 months the time period to complete the terms of a juvenile diversion agreement. Would require courts to use a screening tool before placing a juvenile case on the consent calendar. Would require courts to use a detention screening tool before ordering the detention of any juvenile pending hearing. Would expand the duties of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) to include juvenile cases. Would alter the factors considered by the trial court when deciding whether to try a juvenile offender in the same manner as an adult. In addition, the bill would limit the time a juvenile can spend on the juvenile court’s consent calendar to 6 months. Would eliminate the ability of juvenile court judges to assess late fees in juvenile prosecutions. Would eliminate the ability of trial court judges to assess any fees or costs on juveniles tried as adults. Would change references in the Social Welfare Act from Children’s Ombudsman to Child Advocate. Would change references in the Probate Code from Children’s Ombudsman to Child Advocate. Would change references in the Foster Care and Adoption Services Act from Children’s Ombudsman to Child Advocate. EXPLANATION: This bill package would not solve the current crisis of troubled youth. We need to work on strengthening families to ensure that they don’t get in front of a judge to begin with.
HB 4625 PASSED: 72-38; HB 4626 PASSED: 67-43; HB 4628 PASSED: 74-36; HB 4629 PASSED: 61-49; HB 4630 PASSED: 85-25; HB 4633 PASSED: 58-52; HB 4636 PASSED: 58-52; HB 4637 PASSED: 56-54; HB 4639 PASSED: 92-18; HB 4640 PASSED: 92-18; HB 4643 PASSED: 90-20
Wednesday, October 18th, 2023
I voted NO on SB 55 (Sen. Chang) Would extend the deadline from February 15, 2021 to December 1, 2023 to allow the governing board of a local assessing unit to adopt a resolution allowing for continuance of the poverty exemption in certain circumstances. Allows the local board to extend continuance of the poverty property tax exemption of 75%, 50%, 25% or any other percentage reduction as approved by the state tax commission for the immediately preceding year (one-year lookback) at the July or December board of review. EXPLANATION: If we are worried about people not being able to pay property tax, then the conversation of uniformly lowering or eliminating property tax needs to begin, not handing out tax exemptions.
I voted NO on SB 384 (Sen. Hertel) Would amend the Insurance Code of 1956 (PA 218 of 1956) to state that barring any additional actuarial risk, an insurer cannot do any of the following to an individual based on the individual’s “status as a living donor”: Deny coverage. Cancel coverage, Refuse to issue an insurance policy/certificate, determine the price or premium for coverage, vary a term or condition of coverage. EXPLANATION: This decision should be left up to the free market. If insurers feel there is a certain risk with an organ donor and don’t wish to cover that individual, they should be free to do so.
I voted NO on SB 506 (Sen. Klinefelt) Would amend Section 3119 of the Michigan Food Law of 2000 to extend the sunset on certain food service licensing fees to December 31, 2027. If the sunset is not lifted or extended, authority to collect the fees would end on December 31, 2023. EXPLANATION: We need to end all frivolous bureaucracy fees in this state.
I voted NO on SB 507 (Sen. Anthony) Would modify the City Income Tax Act to provide new and modified city income tax collection procedures and expand certain conditions to all cities that enter into an agreement with the Department of Treasury to administer, enforce, and collect the city income tax. EXPLANATION: This legislation is paving the way for cities to more easily implement a city income tax.
I voted NO on SB 508 (Sen. Hertel) Would amend section 7 of the Farm Produce Insurance Act, 2003 PA 198 to specify the amount a voting member of the Farm Produce Insurance Authority board could receive as per diem compensation and mileage reimbursement for attending board meetings or while performing duties on behalf of the authority. Specifically, the bill would limit the reimbursement amount established by the board to $75.00 for per diem compensation and mileage reimbursement. There are 8 voting members of the board eligible to receive reimbursement. The board meets twice each year. EXPLANATION: These members should not be paid this much compensation for travel expenses.
I vote NO on SB 510 (Sen. Cavanagh) Would amend the Grain Dealer’s Act to extend the time the MDARD is provided in the statute to issue or deny an initial or renewal license under the act from not more than 30 days to not more than 60 days after the department receives a complete application from an applicant. EXPLANATION: MDARD should be able to work within the original 30-day time frame.
I voted NO on SB 511 (Sen. McCann) Would amend the Public School Employees Retirement Act to implement language from the Higher Education budget pertaining to UAAL payments for the MPSERS seven. The implementation involves adjusting current language in the act to incorporate appropriations made for FY 2023-24. Additionally, the bill lowers the payroll growth assumption used for actuarial purposes from 1.75% to 0.75% as part of an effort to reduce the growth assumption to zero. EXPLANATION: While this legislation would mean that universities would put less money into MPSERS, this creates a financing gap that the state would have to fill on top of the $200 million appropriation the House made earlier this year.
Thursday, October 19, 2023
I voted YES on HB 4965 (Rep. Andrews) Would amend the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act by updating the definition of video service to ensure video streaming providers and their customers are not charged franchise fees. EXPLANATION: Video streaming providers do not use the same infrastructure as cable companies and shouldn’t be forced to pay for something they don’t use.
I voted NO on HB 4861 (Rep. Snyder) Would allow Muskegon County to sell a plot of land that is currently restricted for public use. EXPLANATION: They should make the plot of land available for the general public to purchase, instead of handing it over to an organization receiving taxpayer funding.
I voted NO on HB 5074 (Rep. Snyder) Would modify the rules regarding economic development tax increment financing agreements to allow a retroactive 5-year extension on the initial 15-year capture cap. This bill would allow for additional flexibility in economic development deals, and many of those outlast local officials and developer staff. It’s crucial to allow current local officials and stakeholder staff the flexibility to ensure the best outcomes for everyone involved. EXPLANATION: Economic development distorts market signals, leaving everyone worse off. We should be moving to more free markets, not picking winners and losers through misguided economic development schemes.
I voted NO on HB 4850 (Rep. Glandville) Would allow active-duty military service personnel to seek an exemption from state jury service for the duration of their active-duty service period. To qualify for the exemption, active-duty military service members must present a copy of their active-duty military orders as proof of current service. This bill would serve as the state counterpart to the federal law that grants active-duty service members an exemption from jury service. EXPLANATION: Active duty members overseas are already exempt; opening the door for active duty members residing at home during service goes too far.
I voted NO on HB 4942 (Rep. Dievendorf) Would provide for the transfer of ownership of the Roosevelt parking structure to the Michigan House of Representatives for the sum of $1. EXPLANATION: This is a parking structure right next to the capitol that many representatives and house staff use to park. By giving the House this property, the Speaker of House has one more section of Lansing under his control, meaning the parking ramp could become a gun-free zone for our staff.
I voted NO on HB 4844 (Rep. Witwer) Would amend Sections 3, 5, 7, and 10 of PA 336 of 2020 (MCL 390.1733, 1735, 1737, and 1740) by specifying that universities, athletic associations, conferences, or other groups that have authority over intercollegiate athletics are not allowed to prevent a student-athlete from earning compensation from a third party as a result of their name, image, likeness, or athletic reputation as long as the contract with the third party does not require the student-athlete to advertise during official, mandatory team activities. EXPLANATION: Taxpayer-funded coaches should not be trying to raise private sector money to attract athletes to their schools.
I voted NO on HB 4816 (Rep. Wilson) Would prohibit preventing high school students from receiving compensation for their name, image, or likeness. EXPLANATION: Its expected school will propose millages with the purpose of building nice athletic facilities to attract NIL-caliber students. Allowing high school students to participate in NIL deals will lead to public schools focusing on incorrect priorities.
I voted NO on HB 4608 (Rep. Pohutsky) Would create licensure for dietician nutritionists and nutritionists along with requirements that must be met to qualify and licensing fees. EXPLANATION: Licensure schemes gatekeep people out of industries while further raising the cost of entering a market. Voluntary associations and accreditations are better than government stamps of approval.
I voted NO on HB 4718 (Rep. Pohutsky) Would prohibit as a defense to a crime the fact that the victim had a certain sexual orientation or gender identity. EXPLANATION: People have the right to make whatever legal defense they believe will prove their innocence. This is tyrannical and will possibly result in more inaccurate judicial decisions.
I voted YES on HB 4897 (Rep. Shannon) Would allow a county road commission to enter into an agreement with MDOT to perform road work and share equipment. EXPLANATION: This allows for greater cooperation and promotes efficiency based on the specific needs of the county and what the department and road commission can provide, to enhance performance capabilities.
“Elected officials have a duty to be as open and transparent as possible,” said Carra, R-Three Rivers. “Lawmakers should never trade their silence for information about corruption that benefits the politically connected in their communities. Our job is to represent all the voices of our districts.”