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Rep Reilly: Vote Explanations 2021 – 2022
RELEASE|June 15, 2022
Contact: John Reilly
#DateExplanation
213-JanI proudly voted yes to elect Jason Wentworth as Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. Speaker Wentworth is an exceptional leader who will do what is right for our State. I look forward to working with him over these next two years. Speaker Wentworth was elected unanimously.
313-JanI voted yes to elect Representative Hornberger as Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Michigan House of Representatives. It has been a pleasure to serve with Representative Hornberger on the education committee these past 4 years. We have always worked well together and share many common goals. Speaker Pro-Tempore Hornberger was elected unanimously.
413-JanI voted yes to elect Gary Randall as the Clerk of the House. Clerk Randall is more than just the clerk. He has been an integral part of the House of Representatives for many years. Clerk Randall is retiring later this year and we will dearly miss his service. Clerk Randall was elected unanimously.
54-FebI voted yes on the House supplemental budget plan for COVID relief. Although I do not support all of the plan, and wish to see changes in the future, the legislature is ready and willing to get to work for the residents of our State. Here is what the plan includes: “Help afflicted job providers and their families •$150 million deposit into the unemployment trust fund ensures benefits for unemployed workers continue and helps offset the cost of fraudulent claims paid due to a lack of oversight from the Whitmer administration. •$55 million to ensure relief for local Michigan job providers currently facing higher unemployment system contribution costs. •$415 million to help restaurants and other small businesses who lost revenue because of the governor’s severe and arbitrary COVID restrictions. •$38.5 million to reimburse fees for liquor licenses and health department inspections as local businesses struggle to reopen. •$22 million to assist job providers facing penalties and interest on 2020 summer or winter property taxes. •$165 million to help families with rent and utility relief. •$510 million for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for families facing hunger. More funding is expected to follow. Get kids back in school •$363 million for districts committing to reopen in-person instruction by Feb. 15. All $1.65 billion in federal Title I funds would be allocated, and $12 million would cover benchmark assessments. The state could not shut down in-person instruction or sports activities, but local districts and local health departments could do so when appropriate based on COVID metrics. •$135 million for a voluntary, in-person summer semester for K-8 to help kids recover from learning loss during the pandemic, plus a credit recovery option for high school students. An additional $15 million helps districts launch before-and-after school programs. •$21 million for teachers and support staff helping students catch up on learning over the summer. •$5.8 million to help families participating in summer school offset transportation, tutoring and other costs. Fix the governor’s broken vaccine rollout •$22 million quarterly for closer monitoring and accountability in the governor’s troubled distribution plan. The state could not impose vaccination mandates. •$144 million for virus testing would be allocated quarterly, to improve oversight and efficiency. Total Cost: About $3.5 billion in federal and state funding” The plan passed 59-50, 60-49, 57-51, & 56-52.
611-FebI voted yes on SB 30, which renames a portion of I-94 as the Firefighter Coleman A. Tate Memorial Highway. Firefighter Tate died in the line of duty during a fire in 1981. His son, Joe Tate, is a current colleague in the House of Representative. The bill passed unanimously.
718-FebI voted yes on House Bill’s 4018, 4020, and 4021. The bills are vehicle bills which can be used to craft future omnibus supplementals. The bills passed unanimously.
823-FebI voted yes on HB 4126, which is a technical fix to the pheasant stamp program. The legislation would align the fees retained by authorized retailers with already established hunting and fishing licenses. The bill passed unanimously.
924-FebI voted yes on HJR A, which amends the State Constitution to require a two-thirds vote for passage of a bill during lame duck. HJR A puts a stop to last-minute, late night partisan deal making after an election. Ethics reform is a top priority for this Legislature, and that’s why we are making it one of the first issue we address. The joint resolution passed 102-7.
1024-FebI voted no on HB 4015, which would require third-party websites to disclose that they are not a state agency. The legislation comes from a place of concern and care, but there is not much of a problem to solve. The legislation is based off a constituent who used a third-party website to renew their license, and therefore, paid unnecessary fees. However, any google search for state business, specifically for license renewal, will feature top links to the SOS affiliated website. It is very difficult to find a non-SOS site that directly allows you to renew your license. Many websites simply provide a link or information to the SOS page. Furthermore, state websites have a .gov address as opposed to .com address. Lastly, I did find one site that allowed for state transactions to take place and it already had numerous disclaimers that it was not an official state site. The bill passed 102-7.
1125-FebI voted yes on HB 4247, which modifies tuition assistance benefits for certain survivors of Michigan police and fire fighters killed in the line of duty. The Police Officer’s and Fire Fighter’s Survivor Tuition Act (STG) uses a formula for any tuition awards. This bill removes many arbitrary guidelines to ensure the process is simpler. The bill passed unanimously.
122-MarI voted yes on HB 4043 & 4044, which requires state operated registries of psych beds, crisis beds, and substance disorder beds, to report data to the Michigan Crisis and Access Line. This package will increase transparency between state programs, and make coordinating access for those who need beds more efficient. The bills passed 109-1 & 108-2.
132-MarI voted no on HB 4067, which expands the list of advance trainings a dentist can receive in order to qualify for a “health profession specialty field license.” In conversations with local professionals it appears that many specialties are already permitted under state law, and if anything, I always have concerns over barriers to entry. The bill passed 108-2.
143-MarI voted yes on the House Concurrence to the supplemental budget recently passed by the Senate. The supplemental budget includes dollars for vaccine distribution, afflicted businesses, and schools, among other categories. The total package spend is $4.25 billion. All $1.49 billion in federal title I dollars would be appropriated, however, $840 billion of the total is tie-barred to HB 4049. HB 4049 prohibits DHHS from closing schools or sports activities, instead local health departments may issue emergency orders if certain metrics are met within a 14-day period: the number of cases is above 55/1,000,000, the percentage of positive tests is above 10%, each health facility in the area maintains a surge capacity below 20% in admissions or transfers, COVID hospitalizations have increased by 25% or more, and each facility in the area does not have a minimum 14 day supply of PPE. Furthermore, HB 4047 includes an additional $347.3 million tie-barred to SB 1, which requires legislative approval of any extension of emergency orders issued by the director of DHHS. Here are other details of the plan, though not in full: •$150 million deposit into the unemployment trust fund ensures benefits for unemployed workers continue and helps offset the cost of fraudulent claims paid due to a lack of oversight from the Whitmer administration. •$55 million to ensure relief for local Michigan job providers currently facing higher unemployment system contribution costs. •$90.2 million with language that prohibits any state-imposed mandates for individuals to receive the vaccine. Language is included that requires the department to report on how they will distribute vaccines to local health department and enrolled providers, provide transparency for the development and testing of the vaccines •$415 million to help restaurants and other small businesses who lost revenue because of the governor’s severe and arbitrary COVID restrictions. •$38.5 million to reimburse fees for liquor licenses and health department inspections as local businesses struggle to reopen. •$22 million to assist job providers facing penalties and interest on 2020 summer or winter property taxes. •$165 million to help families with rent and utility relief. •$510 million for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for families facing hunger. •$135 million for a voluntary, in-person summer semester for K-8 to help kids recover from learning loss during the pandemic, plus a credit recovery option for high school students. An additional $15 million helps districts launch before-and-after school programs. •$21 million for teachers and support staff helping students catch up on learning over the summer. •$5.8 million to help families participating in summer school offset transportation, tutoring and other costs. •$22 million quarterly for closer monitoring and accountability in the governor’s troubled distribution plan. The state could not impose vaccination mandates. •$144 million for virus testing would be allocated quarterly, to improve oversight and efficiency. •$10 million is set aside to provide parents with $50 for enrolling their student in a summer program and up to $200 for transportation, tutoring, or other costs. Further, an additional $10 million is appropriated to a grant program for districts to compete for an additional $100 per pupil to implement innovative summer semester programs for K-8 students or credit recovery programs for 9-12 graders. There is also an additional $20 million for student mental health needs. •There is an additional $136 million in School Aid Fund that would be added to ensure that each district would receive the equivalent of $450/pupil and is tied to schools offering 20 hours a week in-person instruction by March 22. I do not support every part of this supplemental budget, but our plan is a balanced and commonsense approach between the wants and desires of the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch. The bills passed 85-25, 77-33, & 60-50.
153-MarI voted yes on HB 4260, a school aid supplemental vehicle bill for fiscal year ’21. The bill passed unanimously.
163-MarI voted yes on HB 4061, which restricts the use of the public alert system. The public alert system will no longer be allowed to be used to announce a new law or executive order, but instead will be used to include threats that are unforeseen and will likely lead to immediate or nearly immediate loss of life or property such as a natural disaster, train derailment, etc. Overusing the state’s emergency alert system is a serious mistake. It will diminish the overall effectiveness of the system. The bill passed 63-47.
173-MarI voted no on HB 4224 & 4225, which exempts the purchase of PPE equipment and cleaning supplies from sales and use tax for business activities. I do not believe in picking winners and losers through sales and use tax exemptions for specific products or businesses. These types of bills erode current tax revenues and inhibit growth in future revenues. The bills passed 104-6.
189-MarI voted yes on HB 4127, which creates a procedure to remove people from the Qualified Voter File (QVF) who have a placeholder date of birth. There are currently 230 people according to an Auditor General audit who are in the Qualified Voter File with an age of over 122 years old. This does not mean these residents are that age, but are rather a result of antiquated voter files being transferred to the QVF. The legislation would require the SOS to send a prepaid postage and preaddressed note as required by federal law to the 230 voters so that they can verify their date of birth. If the voter does not return the card or participate in any voter activity prior to the first business day after the second November general election from receipt of their notice, their registration will be cancelled. If a voter returns the notice, but their signature does not match the QVF, then the voter will be notified by their clerk and their registration record will be challenged until the discrepancy is remedied. The bill passed 61-48.
199-MarI voted yes on HB 4128, which provides a procedure to remove people from the qualified voter file (qvf) if they have not voted in the last 20 years. The legislation would require the SOS to send the same notice as found in HB 4127, with the same requirements that their signature must match the QVF. The bill passed 66-43.
209-MarI voted yes on HB 4129, which requires the SOS to post names of local clerks on their department website who have not completed required continuing education courses. A recent audit of the Bureau of Elections showed 21% of jurisdictions in Michigan were without fully accredited elections officials, and the legislature must ensure these officials are held accountable. The bill passed 87-22.
219-MarI voted yes on HB 4130, which changes the due date of lobby reports from January 31st and August 31st to February 28th and September 30th. Currently, campaign finance and lobby reports have the same due date, therefore the Bureau of Elections cannot meet the statutory deadlines to properly review the reports. The bill passed unanimously.
229-MarI voted yes on HB 4131, which grants the Bureau of Elections 30 days to review campaign finance reports instead of 4 days. 79% of campaign statements were not reviewed within 4 days but took on average 33 days. This bill will reflect current practice. The bill passed 108-1.
239-MarI voted yes on HB 4134, which increases the allowable precinct size from 2,999 voters to 4,000 voters. Moreover, the bill requires city and township clerks to maintain a permanent absentee voter application list. This legislation will save municipalities dollars, poll workers, supplies, and materials. The bill passed 79-30.
249-MarI voted yes on HB 4135, which requires voting jurisdictions with more than one precinct to utilize an absentee voter (av) counting board to count all absentee voter ballots. Last year’s election brought into question whether ballots can be counted in a timely manner. Currently, stacks of AV ballots are inserted into voting machines during lulls in the polling place. While this is an accepted practice, it gives off a wrong appearance. The legislature should continue to support legislation which promotes trust in our elections process. This bill would help to limit that practice. The bill passed 104-5.
259-MarI voted yes on SB 1, which requires the legislature to approve an extension of emergency orders issued by DHHS. DHHS orders would be valid for 28 days, after which they would be subject to legislative scrutiny. The legislature is a co-equal branch of government, and current law provides too much authority to one department under the executive branch. It is the duty and role of the legislature to represent the residents of Michigan, not one unelected department head. The bill passed 59-50.
269-MarI voted yes to override the Governor’s line item vetoes on House Bill 4047 & House Bill 4048. Remember, HB 4047 passed by a margin of 85-29. Furthermore, HB 4048 passed by a margin of 77-30. 73 yes votes are the required number of votes to override a veto. The Governor line item vetoed a $150 million deposit into the UIA Trust Fund, and even worse, $450 million to afflicted businesses. The $150 million covers the state’s share of payouts of fraudulent claims due to errors within the Unemployment Insurance Agency. The UIA Trust Fund is funded by businesses who pay into the funds, therefore, it is likely they will have to pay more in taxes. The bill even allowed for federal funds to replace state funds by May 1st. The veto override failed 64-45. (Original vote was 85-29 in support just six days ago). Moreover, the Governor line item vetoed $426 million to support afflicted businesses that lost revenue from closure in compliance with orders from DHHS and the Governor’s office. The $426 million could be used for property taxes, liquor licenses, or other fees. The state closed these businesses; thus, it is the responsibility of the state to assist these businesses and workers. Instead, the funds were vetoed, and the override failed by a margin of 66-43. (Original vote was 85-29). Neither of these line item supplementals were tie-barred to other bills or dealt with shifting power from the executive to the legislature or from DHHS to local health departments. I also voted yes to override the Governor’s line item vetoes on HB 4048. This included $21 million to support summer school efforts to make up for loss of learning time, among other legislative items. The veto overrides failed 64-45 & 65-44. (Original bill passed 77-30 – six days ago). Both of these bills passed on March 3rd with a greater than two-thirds majority (the threshold to override a veto). Nonetheless, all four of the veto overrides did not pass during yesterday’s session.
2710-MarI voted yes on HB 4219 & 4220, the OWI expungement package. The legislation allows the court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense, which is currently ineligible for expungement. The expungement is not eligible for automatic expungement but petition only. People who made mistakes are to be given a chance to clean up their public record. For many, this is a life-changer. We are correcting an injustice. The bills passed 93-17.
2810-MarI voted yes on HB 4053, to rename a portion of M-120 as the “Deputy Ernest W. Heikkila Memorial Highway.” Deputy Heikkila was killed in the line of duty when his cruiser was struck by another car. The bill passed 109-1.
2910-MarI voted yes on SB 114 & SB 29, which formally restores the line items which were vetoed by the Governor. The bills passed 60-50 & 66-44.
3010-MarI voted no on HB 4308 & 4309, which eliminates the sunset for .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). I do not believe we should permanently set in statute the .08 limit. Some studies believe the limit is too low, while others believe it is too high. Regardless, eliminating the sunset would make future efforts to reform the BAC limit more difficult. Furthermore, the limit of .08 is adopted by all fifty states to simply comply with the federal government to maintain highway funding. The bills passed 105-5.
3111-MarI voted no on HB 4040, which excludes apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs as proprietary schools in order to obtain state and federal funds. I do not believe these programs should be excluded but should still follow the same requirements as proprietary schools. The bill passed 107-3.
3216-MarI voted yes on HB 4122, which would reform the county veteran service grants. The bill would make technical changes to the program to ensure equitable distribution of dollars if the full $50,000 per county is unavailable for distribution. The bill passed 108-1.
3317-MarI voted yes to concur in Senate changes on SB 114 and SB 2, supplementals for school aid and economic relief. The Senate added in book-closing transfers for fiscal year 20 that were not able to be accomplished last year, such as transferring $100,000 in available general funds from the Standards and Training/Justice Training Grants line item to the Public Safety Officers Benefit Program line item. The bills passed 60-49 & 64-45.
3417-MarI voted no on HB 4171 and 4172, which expands the eligibility for the first responder presumed coverage fund. This legislation will open the fund to more claims, and hence, will increase costs. It is possible that the expansion in eligibility will raise costs beyond what the fund can absorb. I also believe we should have more discussion on presumption of causes. Studies show that firefighters are at a tremendous risk of cancer as opposed to the average American, however, there are instances where cancers developed by firefighters may not have been the result of their job. The bills passed 106-3.
3517-MarI voted no on HB 4210, which exempts certain broadband equipment from property taxes. A broadband company must resolve a lack of broadband service, reach certain upload and download speeds, among other things. Nevertheless, I have consistently opposed targeted tax breaks to specific industries or companies. I do not believe it is the role of government to pick winners and losers through our tax code; our tax system is already incredibly complex, and specific exemptions only make the system more confusing. Furthermore, targeted exemptions mostly harm local governments. The bill passed 59-50.
3617-MarI voted yes on SB 186, which places Michigan’s industrial hemp program into compliance with finalized USDA rules. The legislature voted yes last term to correspond our hemp program to interim USDA rules, but now there was a need to update various parts of our state operated program. Many of the changes are highly technical, such as changing the registration and license cycle to February 1st through January 31st from the current December 1st through November 1st cycle. The bill passed 108-1.
3717-MarI voted yes on HB 4469, which included the most recent list of approved projects supported by the revenues of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The revenues in the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund are derived from the development of state owned-mineral resources. This is a yearly bill as required by Michigan’s Constitution. For anyone interested, Section 35 of Article IX discusses the MNRTF. Moreover, this years MNRTF included dollars to go toward the Lost Lake Nature Park expansion. The bill passed 104-5.
3818-MarI voted yes on HB 4115, which allows local units of governments to extend the allowable hours for selling alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. I still disagree with the license fee included in the bill (my reasoning for voting no last term), but there has been unprecedented hardships endured by local businesses over the last year. The legislature needs to do all we can to assist struggling businesses, and even if one disagrees with the allowable hours in the bill, it will still be up to determination of local governments. The bill passed 61-47.
3918-MarI voted yes on SB 100, which adds “foster care” as a defined term in the section of the Child Caring Institutions Act. This bill is very technical, but the reasoning for this addition of language is to comply with changes made to the Family First Prevention Services as part of the 2018 federal budget act. Moreover, the simple change ensures that children who need to be placed in residential facilities are still able to do so without risking losing federal funds. The bill passed unanimously.
4018-MarI voted yes on House Bills 4383-4392, which subjects the legislature and governor to FOIA. The Center for Public Integrity ranks Michigan 50th in the nation for transparency. These bills will make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan. All bills passed unanimously.
4124-MarI voted no on HB 4050, which will allow the DNR to exempt certain specific location of game species from any FOIA request. I am weary of voting yes on any FOIA exemptions when it has been a goal of the legislature to do the exact opposite. Not to mention that the current practice of FOIA for game species is very rare. The bill passed 91-16.
4224-MarI voted no on HB 4123, which would allow for municipalities to finance any wastewater and drinking water projects utilizing energy performance contracting under the state’s revolving loan fund. Although the fund has been fiscally secure, I am concerned about any increases in eligibility to the fund and any potential and unforeseen costs. Furthermore, to qualify, the projects must meet the definitions already defined in Michigan’s performance contracting statutes. Therefore, I am concerned about some areas being able to meet the definitions easier than others, and thus, creating a winner and loser system among municipalities. The bill 104-3.
4324-MarI voted yes on HB 4363, which extends the time from 180 days to 210 days for the DNR to approve or deny an application for a proposed sale of surplus land. This will give the public more time to weigh in on any proposals. The bill passed 105-3.
4424-MarI voted no on HB 4348, which requires pharmacy benefit managers to have a Michigan license. The bill will also require PBM’s to provide the Legislature with annual reports, create uniformity in pharmacy reimbursements, among other details. The bill passed 97-10.
4524-MarI voted no on HB 4350, which only allows for rebates to be applied if the rebate is not for a drug with a lower-cost generic equivalent. The motive behind the bill is to try and prevent pharmacy benefit managers from steering consumers to certain drugs, but I believe this will be unnecessary with the bills yet to be voted on (coming soon) which will deal with gag clauses and ensuring that consumers can be directed by pharmacists to more cost-effective medicine. The bill passed 101-6.
4624-MarI voted no on HB 4353, which allows for copay coupons to go toward the consumers’ out-of-pocket maximum. These coupons are a problem and actually are barred by Medicare, Medicaid, and VA, because they serve as an economic inducement. This will likely raise insurance costs. The bill passed 98-9.
4724-MarI voted no on HB 4346, which limits the monthly price cap on prescription insulin to $50 for each 30-day supply. The bill is well intentioned but a mandate on the health insurers will not get to the root of the problem. There are 3 manufacturers who control the majority of the insulin market with no robust generic market, which has kept prices high. This may place a $50 cap on what your insurance company can charge, but the manufacturer drug prices will likely increase. Therefore, your health insurance company will raise their costs and find other ways to make up for any financial losses. Furthermore, patients enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, ERISA, or the uninsured, will not see any assistance from the legislation. The bill passed 91-16.
4824-MarI voted yes on HB 4356, which allows consumers to use an online or mobile platform to renew their contact prescriptions if their prescription hasn’t changed in the past five years. The bill passed 56-51.
4924-MarI voted yes on HB 4351 & 4352, which Prohibits an insurer from requiring a patient to pay a higher co-pay than the cost of the dispensed medication and bans pharmacy benefit managers from prohibiting a pharmacy from disclosing the current price of a medication. The bills passed 106-1.
5024-MarI voted yes on HB 4345, which requires insurers to count out-of-network prescriptions toward any out-of-pocket maximum if the cost of the drug is less than the average cost of an in-network pharmacy drug. This bill should drive costs down and will allow for cheaper drugs to be more easily purchased by families. The bill passed 100-7.
5124-MarI voted yes on HB 4355, which allows out-of-state providers to provide telehealth services in Michigan. The bill passed 56-51.
5224-MarI voted no on HB 4357, which prohibits drug manufacturers from giving gifts to prescribers worth more than $63. Part of the high cost of health care are consumers being prescribed drugs partly based on the relationship between prescriber and manufacturer. Nevertheless, this is an attempt to legislate morality. An immoral manufacturer and prescriber will still find a way around the bill and I have doubts this will actually help to lower the cost of healthcare, and if anything, this is the government mandating the terms of a relationship between two industries. The bill passed 102-5.
5324-MarI voted no on HB 4354, which would cap the coinsurance or copay for oral chemo at $150 per 30-day supply. This was a difficult bill as I have heard from residents on many sides of the issue. My no vote is very similar to my no vote on HB 4346. This legislation would not impact patients with ERISA, Medicare, Medicaid, and the uninsured. Moreover, it does not address the underlying issue of the high prices charged by pharmaceutical companies. This is another instance where your insurer will simply make up the cost in another way, likely by raising costs. The bill passed 91-15.
5424-MarI voted yes on HB 4359, which expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) to improve access to safe anesthesia services in Michigan. HB 4359 allows CRNAs to practice in any of the following settings: A hospital inpatient or outpatient facility; A freestanding surgical center; An office of a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; and any other office or facility in which diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are provided to a patient. The bill passed 82-25.
5524-MarI voted no on HB 4347, which requires manufacturers to submit information to the Department of Insurance when they increase the wholesale acquisition cost of prescription drugs by more than 15% in a given year. I have concerns over the State of Michigan instituting stricter rules than the federal government, furthermore, this may lead to state bureaucrats deciding on what drug costs are acceptable and which ones aren’t. The bill passed 100-7.
5624-MarI voted no on HB 4358, which prohibits an insurer from removing a prescription drug within a plan year. This will place limitations on formulary changes which would restrict a health plan’s ability to manage them in a cost-effective and consumer-focused way. The bill passed 99-8.
5724-MarI voted yes on HB 4349, which requires hospitals to post a copy of their charge descriptions online. The bill passed 104-3.
5824-MarI voted no on HB 4014, which requires speed limits to be rounded to the nearest multiple of five miles an hour that is within five miles an hour of the 85th percentile speed. In most cases, the result of these changes will be minimal but may lead to lower or higher speeds in some areas than are expected by drivers. The bill passed 94-13.
5924-MarI voted no on HB 4211 & 4212, which would increase the penalties for forcefully disarming a law enforcement officer. Anyone looking to forcefully take an officer’s weapon is not going to be discouraged when confronted with a 20 year prison sentence instead of a 10 year prison sentence. I do not believe this bill will serve as a deterrent. The bills passed 100-7.
6024-MarI voted yes on HB 4429, which designates a portion of highways US-2 and US-41 in Delta County as “Darryl M. Rantanen Memorial Highway.” Trooper Rantanen was killed in the line of duty while pursuing a stolen vehicle. The bill passed 106-1.
6125-MarI voted no on SB 46, the Senate companion bill of HB 4210, which exempts certain broadband equipment from property taxes. A broadband company must resolve a lack of broadband service, reach certain upload and download speeds, among other things. Nevertheless, I have consistently opposed targeted tax breaks to specific industries or companies. I do not believe it is the role of government to pick winners and losers through our tax code; our tax system is already incredibly complex, and specific exemptions only make the system more confusing. Furthermore, targeted exemptions mostly harm local governments. The bill passed 57-49.
6225-MarI voted yes on HB 4026, which creates an option to purchase a two-year recreational passport for individuals who obtain a two-year vehicle registration (HB 4117). The bill passed unanimously.
6325-MarI voted yes on HB 4117, which creates an option for a two-year vehicle registration. The bill passed unanimously.
6425-MarI voted yes on HB 4243-4245, which amends penalties and sentencing guidelines for the manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance. Current law includes fentanyl sentencing guidelines being grouped with other schedule 1 or 2 controlled substances. This package maintains strict guidelines for manufacturing, delivering, or possessing fentanyl or other derivatives, but lessens the guidelines regarding others. An example is the manufacturing of 50 grams or more, but less than 450 grams, of any mixture containing a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance. The current penalty is a felony punishable by not more than 20 years, and under this package the penalty would be reduced to not more than 10 years (unless the controlled substance is fentanyl or any derivative). This package has a lot of details, but in short, will start to reform our outdated drug sentencing laws. The bills passed 103-3, 102-4, & 104-2.
6525-MarI voted yes on HB 4035, which 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. The bill passed unanimously.
6625-MarI voted yes on HB 4022, which requires DTMB to list state employee’s salary information to their website. The information will include position title, classified or non-classified civil service distinction, salary, and benefits information. The bill passed 79-27.
6725-MarI voted yes on HB 4376 and 4377, which waives licensing fees for veterans and military service members and their dependents who hold an out-of-state license. I believe this is a great first step to waiving out-of-state licensing fees for non-military members. The bills passed unanimously.
6813-AprI voted yes on HB 4568, 4569, & 4571. The package extends the income tax filing date to May 17th, as well as extending the corporate income tax filing to June 1st. Moreover, it extends the income tax filing for city income taxes to May 17th or June 1st (dependent upon circumstances). The bills passed 108-1 (HB 4568), and unanimously.
6914-AprI voted yes on HB 4055 & 4056, which extends the eligibility for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and Michigan Tuition Grant Program. These programs were disrupted due to COVID, and it is necessary for students who had school disrupted through no fault of their own to have continued access to these important funds. The bills passed 107-3.
7014-AprI voted yes on HB 4029, which allows for stun guns to be available for sale and possession for anyone 18 years of age or older. The bill passed 78-32.
7114-AprI voted no on House Bill’s 4282-4285, which makes the filing fee for numerous offices (legislature, county commissioners, township officers, etc.) nonrefundable and requires the fund to go toward voting equipment. Running for office is an enormous commitment of time and money, and we should not be placing more roadblocks in front of people who feel called to serve their local communities. The bills passed 90-20.
7214-AprI voted no on HB 4343, which would require school officials to count an excused absence in an instance where a student is absent to play “taps” at a military honors funeral. It is not the role of the legislature to mandate to schools how they are to handle excused v unexcused absence. This is something that should be handled on the local level. The bill passed 105-5.
7315-AprI voted yes on HB 4149, 4151, and 4152, which reclassifies certain misdemeanors as civil infractions. HB 4149 deals with failing to attach a name and address to a fishing tip-up and fishing with more than the authorized number of fishing lines. HB 4151 and HB 4152 are regarding various hunting infractions such as violations related to supplemental feeding of deer, and failing to exhibit a fur harvester’s license. The bills passed unanimously.
7420-AprI voted yes on HR 60, to grant the Oversight Committee the power to subpoena documents related to employee separations and severance agreements entered into by the executive branch of government. The resolution passed 59-50.
7520-AprI voted yes on HB 4272, which allows for fuel containers that are made in Michigan, and remain in Michigan, to not be entered into interstate commerce. The bill will allow for fuel cans to be manufactured which are distinct to Michigan and stamped with the words “Made in Michigan.” The current fuel cans were meant to limit emissions and be environmentally friendly, yet the opposite has taken place. These fuel cans have resulted in more difficulty and spills, which is simply leading consumers to modify the design on their own. The bill passed 75-34.
7620-AprI voted yes on HB 4184, which expands the authority of district court magistrates to hear matters related to medical and recreational marijuana. District court magistrates cannot preside over criminal issues, but only civil law concerns. This bill will ensure that these matters are heard and solved in a timely manner. The bill passed 107-2.
7720-AprI voted no on HB 4201-4204, which creates penalties (civil infraction with a $500 fine) for entering a school bus without authorization or impeding or obstructing a school bus. There are already crimes in place to handle these problems. If someone enters a bus to commit a crime that is unthinkable such as assault or kidnapping, there are already penalties for assault or kidnapping. Allegedly, there have been issues with a parent attempting to take their children from the school bus over custody disagreements. Nonetheless, breaking custody agreements as agreed upon by a court will result in criminal penalties. I have concerns this package will only criminalize well intentioned parents who need to get their kid off the bus for whatever reason it may be. Moreover, the package allows a school to use a stop-arm camera system on their school bus but requires for the photographic and video recordings to be given to police if requested as evidence. If the videos or photos are needed, they can be obtained by a warrant. The package passed 100-9, 102-7, 100-9, & 102-7.
7820-AprI voted yes on HB 4263-4266, which amends the public school employees retirement act, the state employees’ retirement act, the judges retirement act, and the state police retirement act, to set the assumed rate of return (anywhere from 6.8% for pensions and 6.95% for OPEB, to 6.25% for pensions and 7% for OPEB, dependent upon the retirement act), to require the use of updated morality assumptions, and to utilize layered amortization. This package will help to continue our efforts in ensuring that unfunded and underfunded liabilities do not accumulate in our state retirement systems. The bills passed unanimously, unanimously, 69-39, & unanimously.
7921-AprI voted yes on HB 4019, which authorizes $110,000 in private, donated funds to be received by the National Guard to be distributed as a one-time grant for those who were deployed to the U.S. Capitol. This is a result of efforts undertaken to support the troops after reports of raw meat and metal being served to Guard members . The bill passed unanimously.
8021-AprI voted yes on HB 4142, which reclassifies the following misdemeanors as civil infractions: failure to exhibit or display a snowmobile registration; lost, mutilated, or illegible snowmobile registration/number/decal; and operating a snowmobile on a highway right-of-way. The bill passed unanimously.
8121-AprI voted yes on HB 4141, which reclassifies penalties for moped registration fee violations as civil infractions. The bill passed unanimously.
8221-AprI voted yes on HB 4143, which reclassifies the following misdemeanors as civil infractions: failure to properly register or operating an unregistered vehicle; temporary registration plate violations; failure to transfer title; and failure to obtain a Michigan plate. The bill passed 107-1.
8321-AprI voted yes on HB 4150, which reclassifies penalties related to farm related vehicles that violate registration requirements as civil infractions. The bill passed unanimously.
8422-AprI voted no on HB 4289 and HB 4290, which would create the Michigan first-time home buyer savings program. I voted no on very similar legislation in 2017, which was vetoed by than Governor Snyder. His veto letter summarizes my no vote explanation, “The bills (SB 511 and 512 of 2017) are contrary to the goal of a simple, fair, and efficient tax code with limited deductions or credits. While promoting home ownership is a laudable objective, I do not generally support using the tax code to incentivize taxpayer behavior because it favors some taxpayers over others, and does not provide transparency of government expenditures.” The bills passed 89-15 & 86-18.
8522-AprI voted no on HB 4454-4461, which is a complete revamp of our solid waste and recycling laws. These bills contain tons of new language, which will increase regulations on trash haulers, landfills, and even home composting. I am concerned these bills may result in independent trash haulers being put out of business by favoring the “big” companies. Increased regulation can be more easily absorbed by corporations and companies which have the necessary resources at their disposal. Some of these new regulations include increases of the application fees for a type II and type III landfill operating license, as well as requiring counties to meet new recycling standards of a 30% residential recycling rate by 2029. The argument isn’t over recycling, but rather how a mandate will be implemented. One such way may be to force independent haulers to collect recycling, which could drive them out of business. These companies do not currently collect recycling because it is not cost efficient. As always, government mandates will drive up costs on businesses which will be passed along to the consumer. This inherently hurts lower income households and families. The package passed 86-13, 87-17, 86-18, 88-16, 83-21, 87-17, 82-19, & 78-26.
8627-AprI voted no on concurring in the senate substitute to SB 46, which provides for broadband property tax exemptions. The substitute raised the speed levels for equipment to qualify for the tax break. My reason for my initial no vote on this bill, as well as its companion House bill, was not because of the speed requirements in the bill but rather due to tax issues surrounding fairness. The bill passed 58-51.
8727-AprI voted no on HB 4067, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate made minor changes, including an enacting date. Here is my original no vote explanation, “I voted no on HB 4067, which expands the list of advance trainings a dentist can receive in order to qualify for a “health profession specialty field license.” In conversations with local professionals it appears that many specialties are already permitted under state law, and if anything, I always have concerns over barriers to entry. The bill passed 108-2.”. The bill again passed 108-2.
8827-AprI voted no on HB 4382, which limits the sale of smoke alarms to those that use non removable batteries that last for at least 10 years (or permits the smoke alarms to be sold if they use another power source utilizing a new technology). A smoke alarm that doesn’t meet these requirements can only be sold if the alarm is also connected to a central monitor system and through ancillary components. This is a mandate placed on retailers and manufacturers, and it is not the role of the government to determine the type of smoke alarm you place in your house. The bill passed 89-20.
8927-AprI voted yes on HB 4052, which provides that Michigan will observe daylight saving time year-round, contingent on changes in federal law, and other neighboring states making the change to daylight saving hours. Not allowing states to observe DST year-round is an antiquated practice. Moreover, studies show that there are health problems and learning problems in the days following a time change. The bill passed 87-22.
9027-AprI voted yes on HB 4443 & 4444, which adjusts the formula for the distribution of unclaimed bottle deposit revenue and creates a half of a cent per container tax credit for distributors. Distributors are required to issue and refund the 10 cent deposit to the retailer. Furthermore, they pick up returned beverage containers from retailers. This package is a common sense solution to changes to recycling and bottle deposit that we have witnessed as a result of COVID and its effect on businesses.
9127-AprI voted yes on HB 4200, which requires the Board of State Canvassers to make an official declaration regarding the number of signatures on an initiative petition no later than 100 days before the election at which the proposal is to be submitted. There is no reason for petition signatures to take hundreds of days to review, and it can often lead to political games being played. The bill passed 60-49.
9227-AprI voted yes on HB 4491, which allows for county clerks to access the qualified voter file (QVF) to remove deceased people from the voter rolls. The current practice to removing deceased people from the voter rolls is restricted to city and township clerks and the Secretary of State. The bill passed unanimously.
9327-AprI voted yes on HB 4492, which allows for some privately owned buildings to be used as polling places. The building cannot be owned by a person that is a sponsor of a political or independent committee. It is currently becoming more difficult for clerks to secure polling locations in schools and churches, and this is a bill that should help to alleviate the problem. The bill passed 106-3.
9427-AprI voted no on HB 4530-4533, which moves the August primary election to June and eliminates the May election. This limits the amount of time for new candidates to run for office, and grants them less time to meet their communities. Nonetheless, I would have supported this package if it was implemented with a progressive change. I did like portions of the package. However, one may argue we could slowly move the election back on a gradual scale, instead of all at once. I am concerned a switch from August to May will lead to a less prepared populace and lower turnout. The bills passed 63-46, 67-42, 65-44, & 65-44.
9527-AprI voted yes on HB 4257, which 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. An example includes the 2016 MOU between Governor Snyder and the Premier of Ontario. The bill passed 59-50. Nearly the same bill was introduced in 2018 (SB 822), which was then vetoed by Governor Snyder. The legislation has nothing to do with the current administration, but instead is an effort at increasing transparency.
9627-AprI voted yes on HB 4448, which would prevent an executive order that is issued under the Emergency Management Act from delaying a response to a FOIA request. There are concerns that emergency EO’s and other rule makings, would be used as a reason to avoid FOIA requests and other inquiries by the public. The bill passed 98-11.
9728-AprI voted yes on HB 4164, which allows for attorneys to access court documents online free of charge. It also requires courts to accept documents through email if they already so by fax. This is a common sense measure to modernize our court system. The bill passed 61-49.
9828-AprI voted yes on SB 16, which specifies that a transfer of ownership to another person is not a change in ownership if it is under common control (e.g. property owner transfers property to an LLC that they own). The bill passed 101-9.
9928-AprI voted yes on SB 17, which allows for a public servant to serve as an emergency medical personnel, firefighter, public safety officer, or other additional services, in a city, village, township, or county, with 40,000 residents. (Current law is 25,000). This will allow for more communities to address potential staffing shortages. The bill passed 61-49.
10028-AprI voted yes on HB 4118 & 4119, which requires a corrections agency to maintain a record regarding the reasoning and circumstances for a corrections officer’s separation of service from the agency. This bill will help to ensure that Michigan has the best officers and that bad behavior isn’t hidden by an officer’s resignation. It also promotes and facilitates sharing of employment records between law enforcement agencies and corrections agencies. The bills passed 108-2 & unanimously.
10129-AprI voted yes on SB 118, which reduces the penalty placed on school districts for employing individuals who ae not certified or credentialed to 50% of the amount paid to the individual. The current penalty structure is excessive, especially considering difficulties schools have faced as a result of COVID-19. School districts have found themselves in tough spots to fill open positions. This bill will grant districts necessary leniency. The bill passed unanimously.
10229-AprI voted yes on HB 4138, which will reduce the misdemeanor penalty for improper attachment of a snowmobile registration, number, and/or decal, to a civil infraction. The bill passed unanimously.
10329-AprI voted no on HB 4089, which would classify etizolam as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and essentially ban the drug in Michigan. Etizolam is not scheduled at the federal level and can be used by people to help treat anxiety disorders and in some cases insomnia. Etizolam is prescribed in Japan, India, and Italy. Nonetheless, because of potential misuses of the drug, there have been other states which have banned its use. I do not believe we should make that decision yet in Michigan. The bill passed 75-34.
1044-MayI voted yes on HB 4325, which requires local area agencies on aging to conduct criminal background checks on volunteers, employees, and independent service providers. This bill is the result of the Aging and Adult Services Performance Audit as conducted by the Auditor General. The audit found that the AASA needs to improve its policies for sub-agencies and subcontractors. The bill passed 109-1.
1054-MayI voted yes on HB 4591, which would prohibit non-disclosure agreements for all public employees and place limits on severance pay. Public employees include , but are not limited to, civil service officers, the executive branch, and the legislative branch. The bill passed unanimously.
1065-MayI voted yes on HB 4064, which creates the Office of the State Employees Ombudsman. The ombudsman will be able to properly hear concerns of state employees as well as potentially investigate any wrongdoing. The bill passed 87-21.
1075-MayI voted yes on HB 4540, which establishes transit officers as law enforcement officers, granted they receive the same training and licensure requirements. The bill passed 107-1. I voted no on HB 4541, which deals with regulations regarding streetcars (primarily the Q-Line). The bill includes good things, but it also includes worrisome provisions. This includes a civil infraction for anyone over the age of two who is eating or drinking on a streetcar or within a station, as well as a civil infraction for someone listening to music on a streetcar without headphones. I believe these penalties are too stiff, nor should these policies be set by the state, but rather by local governments and/or operators of the streetcar. I believe it is proper to rather ask someone to put in headphones, instead of handing out a civil infraction. The bill passed 93-15.
1085-MayI voted yes on HB 4497, which requires MDHHS to notify the public and local health department of an aerial spraying at least three business days before the spraying is scheduled. It also requires the DHHS to share the approximate date and time, and the procedure to opt-out if one is available. I support strengthening the opt-out provision of the bill, but this is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 82-26.
1095-MayI voted yes on HB 4445, which reduces from seven to two, the number of events a motorsports event facility must have to obtain a liquor license. Our liquor license laws are incredibly complex, and I support any legislation to make the process simpler. The bill passed unanimously.
1105-MayI voted yes on HB 4728, which prevents state or local emergency orders from prohibiting or limiting graduation ceremonies at schools for the graduating class of 2021. The current DHHS orders are a one size fits all approach, and assumes that schools cannot safely figure out how to hold a ceremony. Thank you to the Walled Lake students and superintendent who testified in support of the bill, and to Oakland Schools for their card of support. The bill passed 60-48.
1116-MayI voted yes on SB 141-144, which is a package of bills which allows for greater flexibility of small winemakers and similar out of state companies to self-distribute their products. Small distillers should have the same ability to self-distribute their products like beer, wine, and cider manufacturers. Our plan would expand the variety of alcoholic beverages a consumer would be eligible to purchase at retails stores. The result? More access for consumers to their favorite products and more job creation across our state. Moreover, SB 144 is of high importance to our community. The bill will allow businesses who currently hold a Class C pilot program license to simultaneously hold an SDM license. My office was contacted over this very issue, and I am pleased to see this legislation pass. The bills passed unanimously.
1126-MayI voted yes on HB 4001, which prohibits legislators from voting on bills when a conflict of interest exists. There are already conflict of interest provisions in our Constitution, and in House rules, but HB 4001 strengthens the policies. The bill ensures conflict of interest policies also include if the potential legislation benefits an immediate family member of the legislator (spouse, dependent child). The bill passed 105-3.
1136-MayI voted yes on HB 4031, which amends MIOSHA reporting requirements. Current law states that family farm owners must report to MIOSHA a death or serious injury within 8 hours of the accident. This bill would change the reporting requirement to seven days and reduce the penalty for failing to report on time from $7000 to a $500 civil fine. There were constituents within Rep. Kahle’s district (the bill sponsor) who forgot to report to MIOSHA after a family member fell through the roof of a farm, and was killed, while making emergency repairs ahead of an impending storm. As you can imagine, the family was in shock and grief, and the last thing on their minds was speaking with MIOSHA. Consequently, the family was fined $5000. This is another example of a government agency having too much power and being out of touch with the residents of our state. It isn’t difficult to show compassion, but apparently in this case the government agency decided it was in its best interest to inflict more pain. The bill passed 83-25.
11411-MayI voted yes on HB 4237, to repeal the Michigan estate tax. The state no longer collects the estate tax, and we should not keep outdated laws on the books. The bill passed 58-49.
11511-MayI voted yes on HB 4599 and HB 4560, which modifies the distribution of funds under the horse racing laws. There is now more money coming into the Agriculture & Equine Industry Development Fund due to sports betting and online gaming, which will allow for an increase in horse racing revenue. It is the intent of the legislature that the increase in horse racing revenue, and its distribution, will help increase racing opportunities and county fairgrounds and provide a reason to breed and race horses in Michigan. The bills passed 106-1.
11611-MayI voted no on HB 4421 & 4419, a supplemental school aid and general fund appropriation bill. It is time for the state to say no more to federal dollars. Billions of dollars have been flowing into the states from the federal government. This is creating a cycle of dependency and I am concerned with the long term effects this will have on our state; Whether it be inflation, debt, or the persistent need to rely on the federal government to solve any problems. The bills passed 96-11 and 60-47.
11711-MayI voted no on HB 4397, the subcommittee appropriation bill for DEGLE. The bill contains many good things including boilerplate language for emergency dam repairs ($15 million). Nonetheless, there are other boilerplates I disagree with such as money to re-establish brownfield grants. The bill passed 56-51.
11811-MayI voted yes on HB 4394, the subcommittee appropriation budget for Agriculture and Rural Development. The budget either kept current spending or reduced the amount. Moreover, it contained important boilerplate language such as limiting severance agreements within the department (MDARD). The bill passed 57-50.
11911-MayI voted yes on HB 4395, which is the subcommittee appropriation for the Department of Natural Resources. The budget supports programs for wildlife and fisheries management, parks and rec areas, forest management, and so forth. HB 4395 contains important boilerplates such as ORV trail improvement and maintenance. Overall, the budget is not increasing in spending. The bill passed 58-49.
12011-MayI voted yes on HB 4401, the subcommittee appropriations for community colleges. I am pleased that the budget includes boilerplate language which would implement reporting requirements for free and open speech policies on campus. The bill passed 85-22.
12111-MayI voted no on HB 4407, the subcommittee appropriations for school aid. I am pleased with the amounts included for special education, and the pork spending not included. Nonetheless, the budget added language that creates new programs that should not be dictated from the state level, such as, a teacher network which allows for educators to share best practices ($5.5 million). The bill passed 89-18.
12211-MayI voted yes on HB 4408, the subcommittee appropriation for the department of education. There are no proposed fee increases, and the House did not include unnecessary recommendations such as $100,000 for a state poet laureate. The bill passed 57-50.
12311-MayI voted yes on HB 4403, the subcommittee budget for Judiciary. The budget stayed relatively the same from the previous years. the amount spent increased but only because it included a transfer of the Michigan Indigent Commission from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to the judicial branch. The bill passed 59-48.
12412-MayI voted yes on HB 4404, the budget for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This years budget includes no fee increases, and includes a new boilerplate section that the department shall submit reports containing feedback from Bureau of Community and Health Systems inspections. The bill passed 56-51.
12512-MayI voted yes on HB 4405, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services budget. There are no fee increases, the funding is on a quarterly basis, and includes boilerplates to increase transparency within the department. The bill passed 58-49.
12612-MayI voted no on HB 4399, the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services. The DHHS budget includes a lot of new boilerplates, including $1.6 million for a nurse practitioner advanced mental health provider four year pilot project through Wayne State University. I am concerned there are parts of this subcommittee budget that should be placed in other areas (such as higher ed). The bill passed 59-48.
12712-MayI voted yes on HB 4396, the Department of Corrections budget. The budget includes boilerplates which are important such as $250,000 for Goodwill Flip the script and $850,000 for the EXIT Program. Both programs exist to help provide employment and job training for ex-offenders in an effort to reduce recidivism rates. The bill passed 65-42.
12812-MayI voted yes on HB 4466, the budget for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The budget includes funding to ensure the Chesterfield Township Home for Veterans remains fully functional, as well as no new fee increases. The bill passed 66-41.
12912-MayI voted yes on HB 4409, the Transportation budget. The budget includes an additional $600 million in funding to support roads and bridges, and creates a new one-time funding line for rail freight/economic development. The bill passed 63-44.
13012-MayI voted yes on HB 4400, the Higher Education budget. Oakland University has consistently been toward the lower end of higher ed. appropriations. HB 4400 will increase their base appropriation from $53,147,400 to $58,829,500. The 10.1% percent change is the highest among public universities. A vibrant and growing OU will attract new students to our area of the state, and will hopefully lead to them obtaining jobs and buying/renting in Oakland County. The bill passed 57-50.
13112-MayI voted yes on HB 4406, the budget for the Michigan State Police. The budget does not change too much from the previous year, but does include $6 million to implement recommendations from the Michigan Join Task Force on Jail and Pre-Trail Incarceration. The bill passed 67-40.
13212-MayI voted yes on HB 4398, which is the General Government Budget. This includes the AG’s office, Department of Civil Rights, Executive Office, Legislature, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Department of State, Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, and Department of Treasury. The budget includes baseline spending consistent with the current fiscal year. The bill passed 57-50.
13312-MayI voted no on HB 4298-4304 a package of bills to amend the Mobile Home Commission Act. Among other things, the package mandates that mobile home park owners must offer at least a one-year lease, as well as language which increases the size of LARA by requiring them to hire new full time inspectors and one full-time auditor. The bills passed 90-17, 94-13, 89-18, 91-16, 91-16, 90-17, 97-10.
13413-MayI voted yes on HB 4288, which allows flow-through entities the opportunity to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level. This is a highly technical bill, but its necessary as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law a few years ago. The bill passed 88-18.
13513-MayI voted yes on HB 4082, which prohibits the State Administrative Board from making an inter-departmental transfer if doing so will result in an increase or decrease to an appropriation item by more than 3% of $125,000. The legislature controls the spending for the budget and the state board should not have this power out of their jurisdiction. The bill passed 58-49.
13613-MayI voted yes on HB 4669, which creates a transportation bond repayment sinking fund for the repayment of road bonds. Although the bill is technical, this will provide more oversight on our bond usage as it can often lead to out of control spending. The bill passed 58-49.
13718-MayI voted yes on HB 4326, which allows for coding to be considered a foreign language for the purpose of fulfilling high school graduation requirements. The bill passed 59-49.
13818-MayI voted yes on HB 4485, which eliminates the sunset of a max $.50 tax on cigars. If the $.50 tax expires then the new cigar tax will go up to 32% of the wholesale price. The bill passed 83-25.
13918-MayI voted yes on SB 49, which allows for locations to hold both an simultaneous on premise and off premise tasting room license. This bill passed last term, but unfortunately did not make it through the legislative process. The bill passed unanimously.
14019-MayI voted yes on HB 4074, which encourages schools to implement a program of instruction in free enterprise and entrepreneurship. I opposed this legislation in the past because it was a mandate on schools to implement this program. I am pleased to see the compromise in this year’s legislation to ensure it is optional for schools. The bill passed 95-13.
14119-MayI voted yes on HB 4218, which will allow for the winner of multistate lottery games to remain anonymous. Eleven states already allow for winners to remain anonymous, and people have a right to privacy. The bill passed 107-1.
14219-MayI voted yes on HB 4431, which would allow for charitable organizations to host charitable gaming events that go beyond midnight without paying an additional license fee for the whole day. This will provide necessary flexibility for charitable organizations when conducting their events. The bill passed 107-1.
14320-MayI voted yes on HB 4063, my legislation to allow a parent or legal guardian of a minor being educated at home to issue a work permit for the minor. Present law states that a homeschooler shall be issued a work permit by the issuing officer of the school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or nonpublic school in which the minor’s residence or prospective employer is located. When seeking a permit, the homeschooler must present a statement with how many hours per week the student is being homeschooled. This is for both the CA-6 work permits for minors under 16, and CA-7 work permits for minors 16 and 17 years of age. This is simply a formality and places the school in an awkward position as they do not know the student, nor does the student or the student’s family know the school. The bill passed by an overwhelming and bipartisan margin of 98-10.
14420-MayI voted yes on HB 4088, which allows for the feeding of wildlife and birds if: no more than two gallons of bait be available at one time, and the feed is not more than 300 feet from a residence. Feeding and baiting bans have caused severe stress on communities that rely on hunting as part of their local economies. This bill is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 61-47.
14520-MayI voted no on HB 4603, which allows for agriculture commodity commissions, councils, and boards the permanent option of holding meetings remotely. I am concerned of the precedent set, and have opposed similar bills in the past year. The bill passed 103-5.
14620-MayI voted yes on SB 77, 79, & 80-94. These are the Senate budget bills which are unanimously approved by the House to ensure that the House and Senate can now go to our budget reconciliation conference. As noted, the bills passed unanimously.
14725-MayI voted yes on HB 4295, which allows state employees and their spouses to own medical marijuana facilities. The employees or their spouses cannot work or represent the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The bill passed 97-11.
14825-MayI voted yes on HB 4698, which makes it a misdemeanor crime if one knowingly raises a false active shooter alarm. The misdemeanor would be a 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine of $1000. The bill passed 104-4.
14925-MayI voted yes on HB 4501, which prohibits MiOSHA from assessing penalties for violating emergency rules on a first offense if an employer takes corrective actions to address the violation. Moreover, the bill requires MiOSHA to reimburse any fines if the fines were issued under executive orders which were ruled as unconstitutional. These fines are often massive and crippling for businesses. Recently, the Governor apologized for violating her department’s own restaurant COVID order. Neither her, her friends, or the restaurant will be facing penalties. We need to show the same amount of grace to all other businesses and citizens throughout the State: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2021/05/23/whitmer-apologizes-after-photo-shows-her-bar-violating-own-order/5234477001/. The bill passed 74-34.
15026-MayI voted yes on SB 400, part of the OWI expungement package. SB 400 would extend the time for filing an expungement application from three years to five years. The bill passed 91-18.
15126-MayI voted yes on HB 4132 & HB 4133, which creates a felony for knowingly providing false info on an absentee ballot application. The same legislation passed the House last year by a vote of 74-29. The bills passed 66-43 & 65-44.
15226-MayI voted no on HB 4641, which allows for the extension of filing deadlines for Neighborhood Enterprise Zones affected by COVID-19 policies. I am not in support of NEZ areas, and other projects, which results in winners and losers for who has to pay property taxes. The bill passed 101-8.
15326-MayI voted yes on HB 4242, which is a re introduction of HB 5552 of last term. The bill removes the prohibition on the exporting of minnows, wigglers, and crayfish. The bill passed 66-43.
15426-MayI voted yes on HB 4030 & 4498, which reduces various CPL and related fees. The bills caps the maximum fees for fingerprints to $60, and reduces CPL renewal fees from $115 to $45. The bills passed 66-43 & 67-42.
15526-MayI voted yes on HB 4207, which creates a barber apprenticeship program. Currently, a barber needs to complete 1800 hours of a barber college to be licensed. This bill will create an approved apprenticeship program for anyone who is not going down the collegiate path. The bill passed 106-3.
15626-MayI voted no on HB 4394-4409, and 4466, which are procedural budget votes to proceed to our budget conference committee. All bills failed.
15727-MayI voted yes on HB 4293 & HB 4294, which prohibits decisions about employment as a substitute teacher as a subject of collective bargaining and allows districts to hire substitute teachers who they deem to be the best fit for the position without a permit. The decision would be solely left up to the district. The bills passed 56-52.
15827-MayI voted no on HB 4256, which allows for service animals to be trained in public buildings and public accommodations (any place that offers goods and services). Currently, service animals are permitted into these buildings if they are accompanied by their owner but are not permitted if accompanied by their trainer. The issue is that this conflicts with current ADA standards. One of the interest groups in opposition to the bill stated that “Under the ADA, a ‘service-dog-in-training’ is not considered a service dog and can be denied access into places of accommodation. The dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places.” The bill passed 94-14.
15927-MayI voted yes on SB 157 and SB 312, which provides licensing reciprocity for veterans and military service members and their dependents who hold an out of state license or registration. This is a great first step in licensing reform. The bills passed unanimously.
16027-MayI voted no on HB 4516-4517, and HB 4740-4746, which modifies the definition of industrial hemp and marijuana by removing the requirement that THC comes from Delta-9. This is due to Delta-8 products entering the market; Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid. Now, the definition of marijuana will include products that have a THC concentration of more than .3% or THC in an amount greater than set by the state. I do not believe we should already be updating the legal definitions of hemp and marijuana in Michigan as it has only been 3 years since voters approved Initiated Law 1 of 2018. Moreover, we do not yet have many studies on Delta-8. The package passed by a variety of margins, including 102-6 & 103-5.
1612-JunI voted yes on HB 4667, which prohibits a governmental entity from producing, issuing, or requiring a COVID-19 passport. The bill passed 62-47.
1622-JunI voted yes on HB 4451, which allows for the SOS to designate a third party as an eligible examiner to administer the written driving test outside of a branch office. The bill passed 105-4.
1632-JunI voted no on HB 4467 & 4468, which creates a corrections officer wellness board within the Michigan Department of Corrections. The MDOC already has a wellness unit, which could be the focus of our efforts. I do not believe another created board will help to lessen the stress of corrections workers. The bills passed 98-11 & 99-10.
1642-JunI voted yes on HB 4823 & 4824, which would eliminate the $3 million cap that could be deposited into the Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund (AEIDF) from both the internet gaming tax revenue and sports betting tax revenue. Any current surplus over $3 million is deposited back into either the internet gaming fund or sports gaming fund. It seems to make more sense to keep the dollars in the AEIDF fund itself. The bills passed 88-21 & 87-22.
1652-JunI voted no on HB 4125, which requires for anyone installing the “electrical components” for a renewable energy source to be a licensed electrician. There is no data which shows the need to have companies hire a licensed electrician to install these units. Not to mention, these units have been safely installed since the technology was established. We have received no reports in Michigan of deaths, or injuries, due to faulty installations. This is an example of guild protection, which will likely result in increased costs for renewable energy. The bill passed 93-16.
1663-JunI voted yes on HB 4376 and 4377, which were returned from the Senate with minor changes, including changing the tie bar. The bills provide a waiver of licensing fees for veterans and service members and their dependents who hold an out-of-state license. The bills passed unanimously.
1673-JunI voted no on HB 4631 & 4632, which exempts public and regional airport authorities from needing a conviction or plea prior to asset forfeiture in certain cases relating to drug offenses. Current law already provides adequate tools to prevent drug trafficking, but regardless, I have concerns with the Constitutionality of these bills and its potential effect on increasing unnecessary and problematic searches and seizures. The bills passed 77-33 & 80-30.
1683-JunI voted no on HB 4059, which would no longer require re-evaluations after a child is diagnosed with autism to be eligible for Medicaid behavioral health treatments. I agree with opponents who argue that annual re-evaluations are intended to provide clear feedback to families, and without them, children could be receiving intervention treatments that no longer help the child. Moreover, an annual re-evaluation could result in new recommendations for different ASD services. The bill passed 108-2.
1693-JunI voted yes on HB 4637, which allows for townships to change their name with elected board approval and a majority vote of township voters. The bill passed 94-16.
1703-JunI voted for House Bills 4249-4251, which would prohibit the use of vitamin E acetate in e-cigarettes and vapor products. While all levels of government have regrettably imposed major bans on e-cigarettes and vaping products that may harm public health by driving people to smoking cigarettes, vitamin E acetate, which is not found in commercial vaping products appears to be the actual culprit behind vaping-related hospitalizations. Figures have shown that of the 867 reported lung injuries from vaping products in 2019, 86% reported using a THC (cannabis) product and 100% of the fluid samples taken contained vitamin E acetate. This is an obvious health problem with no conceivable need: vitamin E acetate is not even an addictive substance or flavor enhancer; it is a thickener. The bills passed 108-2, 107-3, & 108-2.
1713-JunI voted yes on HB 4878, which adds synthetic nicotine 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. Michigan has a no stricter than the feds rule, so if the Feds again lowered the age to 18, then our laws would have to be amended. The bill passed 105-5.
1723-JunI voted no on HB 4780-4783, which requires distributors to charge the 10-cent deposit or face criminal penalties. Currently, distributors are getting around this process if they fill beverages in another state. However, the answer is not to strengthen the law. Michigan’s current bottle deposit laws are in serious need of reform, not greater criminalization. The bills passed 106-4, 104-6, 104-6, & 104-6.
1738-JunI voted no on HB 4224 & 4225, which were returned from the Senate. The bills exempt the purchase of PPE equipment and cleaning supplies from sales and use tax for business activities. I do not believe in picking winners and losers through sales and use tax exemptions for specific products or businesses. These types of bills erode current tax revenues and inhibit growth in future revenues. The bills passed 102-7.
1748-JunI voted yes on HB 4122, which was returned from the Senate. The bill would make technical changes to the county veteran service grant program to ensure equitable distribution of dollars if the full $50,000 per county is unavailable for distribution. The bill passed unanimously.
1758-JunI voted yes on SB 10, which allows for veteran services boards to hold closed sessions when interviewing veterans’ applications for benefits. These hearings often divulge materials and information which would be sensitive to the applicant (health records, familial status, etc). The bill passed unanimously.
1768-JunI voted yes on HB 4562 & 4563, which modifies the parole board review process. The bills extend the amount of time a parole board may conduct a subsequent review after denying parole only in certain circumstances. In some cases, it does not make sense to conduct a parole review every year, and it also forces victims to relieve traumatic crimes every year, even if there is no chance of parole. Nonetheless, the bills are specifically tailored to only apply to cases where a prisoner’s history makes it clear that there is a risk of public safety and they cannot be paroled. The bills passed 101-8.
1778-JunI voted yes on HB 4604, which designates a portion of I-75 in the city of Madison Heights as the “Captain Jeffrey Brozich Memorial Highway.” Captain Brozich was a 20-year veteran of the Madison Heights Fire Department, who passed away due to a medical emergency while on duty. This is the least we can do to express our gratitude and appreciation for his bravery and service. The bill passed unanimously.
1788-JunI voted yes on HB 4700, designating the bridge on M-13 over the Cheboyganing Creek as the “Sergeant Kristopher J. Gould Memorial Bridge.” Sergeant Gould was killed in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan. Thank you to Representative Beson for introducing this legislation. The bill passed unanimously.
1799-JunI voted yes on HB 4680-4686, which is an ethics reform package. The package does numerous thing including creating a permanent, bipartisan legislative ethics committee, requiring financial disclosure for legislators on a form submitted to the legislative ethics committee, and requiring financial disclosures for state officers in the executive branch to the State Ethics Board. The bills passed by a variety of margins including 64-45 & 68-41.
1809-JunI voted yes on HB 4690 & 4691. HB 4690 expands the list of lobbyable officials to include legislative and executive staff. Lobbyists spend time and money on legislative staff that is not currently required to be reported, and we need more transparency in this area. HB 4691 prohibits lobbyists from receiving civil appointments to state boards and commissions. The bills passed 93-16 & 106-3.
1819-JunI voted yes on HB 4687 & 4688, which prohibits a former member of the Legislature and a former department head of an executive office from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving office. The bills passed 93-16 & 97-12.
1829-JunI voted yes on HB 4689, which prohibits current members of the legislature from becoming a lobbyist in another state. This very thing happened last term in Michigan –> https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/11/17/state-lawmaker-lobbies-elsewhere-while-serving-michigan/6328574002/?gnt-cfr=1. The bill passed 106-3.
1839-JunI voted yes on HB 4692, which expands penalties for lobbyist gift violations. Currently, unlawful gifts to officials that are valued less than $3,000 are subject to a fine of $5,000. This bill will increase the fine to $7,500. The bill passed 107-2.
1849-JunI voted yes on House Joint Resolution D, which amends the State Constitution to allow the Legislature to withhold pay from a member who acts unethically or is excessively absent. This would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. The bill passed 81-28.
1859-JunI voted yes on HB 4733 & 4734, which allows for an annuity retirement option for public school and state employees. The bills passed 105-4.
1869-JunI voted yes on HB 4945, which allows for a K-8 school district to authorize a strict discipline academy, as opposed to current law which allows for SDA’s to be authorized by a K-12 district. The bill passed 57-52.
1879-JunI voted no on SB 437, which as State Representative says, “which allows for one developer to receive a $10 million subsidy from the state. The government shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers.” This one developer has consistently delayed their project, and now needs another extension due to issues stemming from COVID-19. Nonetheless, we should not be giving out subsidies to specific private companies. The bill passed 87-22.
18810-JunI voted yes on SB 155-156, which allows for pharmacists to fill an emergency supply of insulin for an individual with no remaining authorized refills. Specifically, SB 156, requires an insurer to cover the emergency supply if insulin is already covered under the insured’s policy. The bills passed unanimously & 108-1.
18910-JunI voted yes on SB 440, which exempts certain Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners from certificate of need regulations. I support repealing our certificate of need regulations in entirety, and believe this is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 82-27.
19010-JunI voted no on HB 4656, which restores a circuit court judgeship in the 25th circuit court in Marquette County. The legislature in 2012 eliminated one circuit court judgeship due to the Judicial Resources Recommendations. The JRR reasoned there was a “judicial excess” of judges in Marquette County. I do not believe we should already reverse course on the recommendations of the JRR. The bill passed 104-5.
19115-JunI voted no on HB 4380, which creates the Michigan Military and Veteran Services Support Fund and Governing Board. I do not believe more boards or commissions are the solution to solve many issues facing our veterans. Moreover, there are not enough details to know how the funds will be used or its purpose. The bill passed 97-12.
19215-JunI voted yes on HB 4240 & 4241, which revises and clarifies the disposition of forfeiture funds from civil asset forfeitures. This package will ensure these funds are possessed the same way as other revenue which comes into local units of government (primarily through the treasurer). Currently, there is too much opportunity for fraud in the system. The bills passed 106-3 & 108-1.
19315-JunI voted yes on HB 4694, which updates the financing statement forms that are required to be used by the Secretary of State. This will bring our forms in alignment with the Law Institute and Uniform Law Commission. The bill passed unanimously.
19415-JunI voted no on SB 37, a budget supplemental for Fiscal Year 21. The budgets includes over $2 billion in federal dollars being spent on numerous line-items. I do not think we need to continue to spend and utilize federal COVID dollars to assist State programs. I have concerns over the long term effects of federal entanglement with state issues. The bills passed 105-4.
19517-JunI voted yes on HB 4066, which prohibits local governments from taxing or regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, or registration, of knives or knife making components if if it more restrictive than state law. The bill passed 69-41.
19617-JunI voted yes on HB 4332, which allows for registration stickers on off road vehicles to be placed on the front of the vehicle. The bill passed unanimously.
19717-JunI voted yes on HB 4521, which allows for an HIV positive individual to be an organ donor when the recipient is also HIV positive. The bill passed unanimously.
19817-JunI voted no on HB 4762, which prohibits a person performing transplants from refusing to perform based on a physical or mental disability. I agree with the intent behind the bill, however, this practice is already (and rightfully) banned by federal law. Moreover, this may have a long term effect where physicians are forced to take actions which they may disagree with on complex and often not straight forward cases. The bill passed 107-3.
19917-JunI voted yes on HB 4557, which waives liquor license fees for 2022. This is a step in the right direction to assist struggling businesses who have been put in difficult situations often due to policies set forth by the government. The bill passed 98-10.
20017-JunI voted yes on HB 4558-4560, which prorates or credits license fees during a state of emergency. Each bill deals with a different section of law: public health code, state license fee act, and the skilled trades act. The bills passed 100-10.
20117-JunI voted yes on HB 4561, which refunds fees paid by food establishments during 2021. The bill passed 97-10.
20217-JunI voted yes on SB 256, which is a one time transfer of funds from the comprehensive transportation fund into the transportation administration collection fund. This is part of our upcoming budget negotiations with the Governor. The bill passed 110-0.
20317-JunI voted yes on SB 438, which clarifies an officer does not have to issue an appearance ticket for DUI’s in lieu of the person being taken into custody. The bill passed 109-1.
20417-JunI voted yes on HB 4364-4366, which allows for audiologists and speech language pathologists to the list of people who may sign the SOS required certificate to indicate a communication impediment designation on a license, state ID, or registration. The package passed unanimously.
20517-JunI voted no on HB 4812, which would remove from the purchase price any downpayment assistance or equity that is gifted to a low-income individual by a nonprofit organization, and would in return result in a lower assessed value for the home and lower property taxes. I have concerns that a) it is not the role of the government to artificially inflate or deflate assessed values of homes, and also b) this may result in problems with local units of government and how to properly generate property tax revenue. The bill passed 103-7.
20617-JunI voted no on HB 4828, which requires the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to submit a report to the legislature on payday lending institutions. The legislature can already request reports without needing it in statute, and a lot of the information which will be in the report is already readily accessible online. The bill passed 102-7.
20717-JunI voted no on HB 4528, which requires training for election challengers and increased training for election inspectors. I am not opposed to new training – that is not the reason for my no vote. Rather, I believe the bill results in redundant mandates. The bill would require for a challenger to complete training within 90 days of the election at which they wish to serve. Therefore, you could train 10 days before the August election, but then have to train again in early September before the November election. The bill passed 105-4.
20822-JunI voted no on HB 4123, which was returned from the Senate. Here is my original no vote explanation, “the bill would allow for municipalities to finance any wastewater and drinking water projects utilizing energy performance contracting under the state’s revolving loan fund. Although the fund has been fiscally secure, I am concerned about any increases in eligibility to the fund and any potential and unforeseen costs. Furthermore, to qualify, the projects must meet the definitions already defined in Michigan’s performance contracting statutes. Therefore, I am concerned about some areas being able to meet the definitions easier than others, and thus, creating a winner and loser system among municipalities. The bill 104-3.” The Senate simply added technical amendments. The bill passed 107-3.
20922-JunI voted on HB 4540, and 4541, which were returned from the Senate. Here is my original vote explanation, “I voted yes on HB 4540, which establishes transit officers as law enforcement officers, granted they receive the same training and licensure requirements. The bill passed 107-1. I voted no on HB 4541, which deals with regulations regarding streetcars (primarily the Q-Line). The bill includes good things, but it also includes worrisome provisions. This includes a civil infraction for anyone over the age of two who is eating or drinking on a streetcar or within a station, as well as a civil infraction for someone listening to music on a streetcar without headphones. I believe these penalties are too stiff, nor should these policies be set by the state, but rather by local governments and/or operators of the streetcar. I believe it is proper to rather ask someone to put in headphones, instead of handing out a civil infraction. The bill passed 93-15.” The Senate added language that agencies have to be authorized by the state to appoint the law enforcement officers.
21017-JunI voted yes on HB 4434, which does two things. First, it requires the UIA to use plain language in all communications, policies, and rules. The second is that it would prohibit the UIA from disbursing the additional $300 federal unemployment assistance supplement (does not include 1099 gig worker payments). Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced all COVID-19 rules would be lifted on June 22nd. This ought to include the extra $300 a week. It is time to get our State back to normal, and to return workers to the workforce. Our businesses are struggling and some are permanently or partially closed because they cannot find workers. The bill passed 60-49.
21117-JunI voted yes on HB 4735, which designates a portion of US-127 as the “PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway.” PFC Fitch was from St. Johns and served during the Vietnam War in the United States Marine Corps, where he made the ultimate sacrifice. He was only 20 years old at the time of his death. The bill passed unanimously.
21217-JunI voted yes on HB 4739, which renames a portion of M-49 as the “Marine Sergeant Michael P. Hodshire Memorial Highway.” Sergeant Hodshire passed away in 2005 of wounds sustained from gunfire near Fallujah, Iraq. The bill passed unanimously.
21322-JunI voted yes on HB 4724, which allows a homeowner to capture evidence of criminal activity using audio and video security equipment. This is already occurring at many houses, but is technically illegal according to state law. Michigan’s eavesdropping statute requires for the consent of the parties involved in the conversation. This bill will clean up the law regarding security monitoring in or at a residence. The bill passed unanimously.
21422-JunI voted yes on HB 4462 & 4658, which creates a protest process for an unsuccessful bidder to protest an award decision through Department of Technology Management and Budget. Furthermore, the bills require the department to post on its website the name of the vendor that was awarded the contract, and the amount of the contract. The bills passed unanimously.
21523-JunI voted yes on HB 4644, which allows for taxpayers to claim an exemption for their unborn child. Prenatal care and other pregnancy related costs are often very expensive for many families, and lowering the costs will lead to better health outcomes for moms and their babies. The bill passed 58-52.
21623-JunI voted yes on HB 4718, which allows for counties to provide CPL applications and renewal services to out of county individuals. During COVID-19 restrictions, some counties did not provide CPL services while others did. However, you are only able to take advantage of the service if you live in that county. This bill will clarify that residency is not a factor. The bill passed 77-33.
21723-JunI voted no on HB 4839, which allows for one AV ballot application to be sent out which includes all elections held in a calendar year. This may result in ballots being mailed out to voters who no longer live at that address or even in Michigan. A voter who may request AV ballots in January might not live in Michigan by November. The bill passed 106-4.
21823-JunI voted no on HB 4845, which requires the SOS to develop and provide training for clerks on signature verification. The rules will be promulgated by the department and the legislature will weigh in on the rules through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Nonetheless, rules are only temporary, and can/will change with every new Secretary of State. I have concerns this may vest too much power in the state department of Michigan. The bill passed 106-3.
21923-JunI voted yes on HB 4778, which will prohibit state agencies from using messaging apps that allow for deletion of messages to avoid FOIA. The bill passed unanimously.
22023-JunI voted yes on HB 4832, which designates a portion of M-34 as the “Patrolman Bobby Lynn Williams Memorial.” Patrolman Williams was shot and killed while in the line of duty. The bill passed 109-1.
22123-JunI voted no on HB 4527, which creates more rigorous safety standards for Carnival and Amusement rides. I do not disagree with the bill in theory, but it places the enforcement burden on LARA. The division of LARA who will inspect and license these rides has just under 10 employees. I do not find it feasible for 10 or so employees to complete the task. The bill passed 84-26.
22223-JunI voted yes on HB 4945 which was returned from the Senate. The bill allows for a K-8 school district to authorize a strict discipline academy, as opposed to current law which allows for SDA’s to be authorized by a K-12 district. The bill passed 57-53.
22323-JunI voted yes on SB 303, 304, HB 5007, & HB 5053. This bill package requires voters to present identification to vote at the polls. Instead of signing an affidavit, anyone who shows up to vote without an ID will be given a provisional ballot to vote. Any provisional voters would then have to show proof to their local clerk’s office that they were registered to vote. The package also waives the fee and will provide free state personal identification cards to any Michigan resident who does not have the means to afford a state ID. Eighty percent of the public supports requiring identification to vote, according to this month’s Monmouth University poll. In 2018, the Pew Research Center found that 76 percent of Americans favored requiring everyone to show a government issued photo ID to vote, compared to only 23 percent who opposed it. The bills passed 58-52 & 56-54.
22424-JunI voted for House Bill 4080, which would allow for the use of pneumatic guns for hunting where firearms are allowed. These guns are a based on new technology and are easier to handle and use than firearms. The laws should be updated to allow their usage; hunting rules were not intended to favor combustion over compressed air as a means of propulsion. The bill passed 69-38.
22524-JunI voted no on HB 4725, which includes county corrections officers among the entities permitted to be subjected to compulsory arbitration. This will result in increased expenditures for counties. Act 312 does not require an arbitration panel to take a local government’s ability to pay into primary consideration in rendering an award. The bill passed 97-10.
22624-JunI voted yes on HB 4787, which allows for a person with military vehicle experience to receive a waiver for the knowledge test when applying for a Commercial Driver’s License in Michigan. The skills test is already waived for drivers who have at least two years of experience operating heavy military vehicles. The bill passed unanimously.
22724-JunI voted no on SB 459, which modifies a filing for neighborhood enterprise zone certificates. This is another example of a NEZ development needing more time to complete their project. We shouldn’t be supporting one company through tax handouts, and we shouldn’t certainly be giving them more time. The bill passed 90-17.
22824-JunI voted yes on HB 4222 & 4223, which transfers the court of claims from the court of appeals to the 4 circuit courts spread out across the state. The court of appeals is an appellate body and has never been properly equipped to function as a trial court. The bills passed 84-23 & 83-23.
22924-JunI voted yes on HB 4980, which would allow for organized drag races in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park when authorized by the DNR. You are not allowed to drag race on the highway, and the DNR recently applied similar logic to these sand dunes. This activity has been allowed for decades, and there’s no reason to now reverse course. The bill passed 96-12.
23024-JunI voted yes on HB 4037 (introduced by Rep. Hornberger), HB 4038 (introduced by myself) & HB 4538 (introduced by Rep. Camilleri), to end the mandatory administration of the ACT WorkKeys to all 11th graders. I have consistently fought for this legislation over the past five years, and I am once again proud to help lead the charge on this issue. Thank you to Speaker Pro-Tem Hornberger & Representative Camilleri for their great work and leadership in getting this bill package across the finish line in the House. Representative Hornberger’s bill removes the requirement from the school aid act, my bill removes the requirement from the school code, and Rep. Camilleri’s bill sets up a fund to ensure that any school wishing to still administer the exam (or a similar workplace readiness exam) will have the dollars to do so. The bills passed 72-37, 72-37, & 88-21. Onto the Senate! I am hopeful this term we can get these bills sent to the Governor.
23124-JunI voted no on SB 501, which reforms our UIA system. One part of the bill reinstitutes the Michigan Works! Work Registration requirements (which I support) but another section of the bill allows for manufacturing employees to be granted a waiver from the work registration requirement for up to 90 days. I do not believe we should be permitting only one area of industry the ability to be granted a waiver. The bill passed 103-6.
23224-JunI voted no on HB 4516, 4517, 4740-4746, which were returned from the Senate with minor changes. The bills modify the definition of industrial hemp and marijuana by removing the requirement that THC comes from Delta-9. This is due to Delta-8 products entering the market; Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid. Now, the definition of marijuana will include products that have a THC concentration of more than .3% or THC in an amount greater than set by the state. I do not believe we should already be updating the legal definitions of hemp and marijuana in Michigan as it has only been 3 years since voters approved Initiated Law 1 of 2018. Moreover, we do not yet have many studies on Delta-8. The package passed by a variety of margins, including 102-6 & 103-5.
23324-JunI voted yes on HB 4359, which was returned from the Senate. The bill expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) to improve access to safe anesthesia services in Michigan. HB 4359 allows CRNAs to practice in any of the following settings: A hospital inpatient or outpatient facility; A freestanding surgical center; An office of a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; and any other office or facility in which diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are provided to a patient. The bill passed 96-12.
23424-JunI voted yes on HB 4434, which was returned from the Senate. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “The bill does two things. First, it requires the UIA to use plain language in all communications, policies, and rules. The second is that it would prohibit the UIA from disbursing the additional $300 federal unemployment assistance supplement (does not include 1099 gig worker payments). Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced all COVID-19 rules would be lifted on June 22nd. This ought to include the extra $300 a week. It is time to get our State back to normal, and to return workers to the workforce. Our businesses are struggling and some are permanently or partially closed because they cannot find workers.” However, the Senate was not able to get the votes for immediate effect which means the bill will not go into effect until March of 2022 (if signed) essentially making the bill void. Nonetheless, it is still important to vote on where we stand on the issue. The bill passed 59-49.
23524-JunI voted no on HB 4516, 4517, 4740-4746, which were returned from the Senate with minor changes. The bills modify the definition of industrial hemp and marijuana by removing the requirement that THC comes from Delta-9. This is due to Delta-8 products entering the market; Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid. Now, the definition of marijuana will include products that have a THC concentration of more than .3% or THC in an amount greater than set by the state. I do not believe we should already be updating the legal definitions of hemp and marijuana in Michigan as it has only been 3 years since voters approved Initiated Law 1 of 2018. Moreover, we do not yet have many studies on Delta-8. The package passed by a variety of margins, including 102-6 & 103-5.
23624-JunI voted yes on HB 4359, which was returned from the Senate. The bill expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) to improve access to safe anesthesia services in Michigan. HB 4359 allows CRNAs to practice in any of the following settings: A hospital inpatient or outpatient facility; A freestanding surgical center; An office of a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; and any other office or facility in which diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are provided to a patient. The bill passed 95-13.
23724-JunI voted no on HB 4410, 4411, & 4421, the majority of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. For the most part the Legislature kept spending flatline for departments from last year (and that is a good move). Nonetheless, I felt this year was a year where we could truly attempt to shrink our budget. Residents in the 46th have had to make tough economic decisions in the face of COVID, inflation, and other economic factors, and I desire the same for our state government. The bills passed by a variety of margins, including 104-4.
23824-JunI voted no on HB 4410, 4411, & 4421, the majority of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. For the most part the Legislature kept spending flatline for departments from last year (and that is a good move). Nonetheless, I felt this year was a year where we could truly attempt to shrink our budget. Residents in the 46th have had to make tough economic decisions in the face of COVID, inflation, and other economic factors, and I desire the same for our state government. The bills passed by a variety of margins, including 104-4.
23924-JunI voted no on HB 4410, 4411, & 4421, the majority of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. For the most part the Legislature kept spending flatline for departments from last year (and that is a good move). Nonetheless, I felt this year was a year where we could truly attempt to shrink our budget. Residents in the 46th have had to make tough economic decisions in the face of COVID, inflation, and other economic factors, and I desire the same for our state government. The bills passed by a variety of margins, including 104-4.
24024-JunI voted no on SB 28, which creates a $10 million appropriation within the created “post-acute injury provider relief fund.” This fund will be available to companies who claim to experience a systemic deficit as a result of required charges under the auto insurance fee schedule. First, the funds will be awarded on a first-in, first-out basis. Therefore, this will not be for all companies. Historically, these funds (paid for with taxpayer dollars) only grow over time to accommodate more organizations. Secondly, the fee schedule has yet to go into effect. Part of the reasons our auto insurance rates are high is because of this very problem that the schedule is attempting to address. Our rates declined by 18% in the first year since our auto insurance reforms based almost solely on projections, and ought to continue to decline. However, I am happy the bill provides quarterly reports to the legislature that will include information on how the fund is being distributed and will make the approval or denial of funds transparent to the public. The bill passed 95-13.
24124-JunI voted no on SB 27, a $384.7 million supplemental budget bill which will go toward numerous areas including MDE, MSP, Treasury, and others. The reason I voted no was the same reason why I voted no on similar bills last week, that I desire our state government to be leaner in our budgets with residents having to make difficult economic decisions in the light of numerous economic factors. The bill passed 106-3.
24230-JunI once again voted no on HB 4224 & HB 4225. The votes this time were to override the Governor’s veto. Here is my original no vote explanation, “I voted no on HB 4224 & 4225, which were returned from the Senate. The bills exempt the purchase of PPE equipment and cleaning supplies from sales and use tax for business activities. I do not believe in picking winners and losers through sales and use tax exemptions for specific products or businesses. These types of bills erode current tax revenues and inhibit growth in future revenues. The bills passed 102-7.” This time the bill passed 62-47 (which means the override failed), as 40 democrats changed their vote to no to stop the veto override. Regardless, I do not support the package.
24330-JunI voted yes on SB 60, which permits individuals who have worked and been licensed in a similar capacity for three consecutive years to take the mechanical contractors exam. This will allow for individuals with more hands-on hours and experience to grow in their professions. This bill is also a step in the right direction as part of the overall licensure conversation. The bill passed unanimously.
24430-JunI voted no on HB 4378 & 4379, which exempts the installation, replacement or repair of a whole home generator from the assessment of true cash value for a home. There is already a long list or projects which are exempted, but I have concerns over whether or not this is the role of state government. The bills passed 107-2.
24530-JunI voted no on HB 4087, which requires the state emergency management division to stockpile medical supplies and compile a public inventory. The state already maintains an emergency stockpile of medical equipment as through a program with the CDC; if anything we can look at expanding or fixing that program as opposed to creating a new section of law. The bill passed 97-12.
24630-JunI voted yes on HB 4659, which exempts prescriptions for a dialysis related drug administered at home from electronic prescription requirements. I voted no on the public act last term which mandated electronic prescriptions, and therefore, am pleased to see us making necessary exceptions. The bill passed unanimously.
24730-JunI voted no on HB 4822, which states that COVID-19 cases will be presumed to have been contracted at work for first responders. An employer can challenge that claim, but as we know, many have contracted COVID-19 and do not know where they became infected. This will lead to increased workers’ compensation costs. Moreover, this is only picking one type of profession, or industry, in creating a presumption. The bill passed 104-5.
24830-JunI voted no on HB 4842, which reduces the gross profit that the MLCC receives on liquor. I agree with that part of the bill; however, another section creates an MLCC reduction for small distillers that produce spirits with at least 40% Michigan grain. I do not believe it’s the role of the government to try and promote a 40% threshold, not to mention 40% appears to be an arbitrary number. The bill passed 90-17.
24930-JunI voted yes on HB 5092, which mandates the UIA use plain language in communications and determinations. This is a tremendous piece of legislation, as the UIA is still causing difficulty for many residents. The bill passed unanimously.
25030-JunI voted yes on SB 372, which eliminates the requirement that telephone companies must print a phone book for customers. The bill passed 81-28.
25130-JunI voted yes on HB 4205 & 4206, which would establish a free snowmobile weekend each year. This is a step in the right direction and will attract more people to explore snowmobiling. The bills passed 103-6.
25230-JunI voted yes on SB 507-509, which would provide extensions for the renewal of licenses and registrations, and require the SOS to have walk in appointments. The SOS would also be required to waive late fees. The bills passed 94-15 & 93-16.
25330-JunI voted yes on SB 559, which reduces the number of motorsports events that a facility is required to have each year to obtain a liquor license from seven to two events. The bill passed 107-1.
25430-JunI voted no on the veto override for line items regarding HB 4411. The veto override failed.
25530-JunI voted no on SB 28, the appropriations bill for the budget. This did not decrease the growth of government, one of my top priorities. The bill passed 79-30.
25621-JulI voted yes on the initiative petition to repeal PA 302 of 1945, the Emergency Powers of Governor Act. This public act was ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court. It is right for the legislature to repeal any Michigan statute that is ruled unconstitutional by our state courts. The initiative petition passed 60-48 , and will go into effect as it cannot be vetoed by the Governor.
25721-JulI voted no on the veto override for line items regarding HB 4411. The veto override failed.
25821-JulI voted yes on the senate substitute to HB 4375, to rename a portion of US-127 as the “PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway.” The Senate added language designating part of M-50 to I-69 as the “Ensign Francis Flaherty Memorial Highway.” The bill passed unanimously.
25921-JulI voted yes on HB 4305, which eliminates a requirement to report the number of people in attendance at a campaign fundraiser. Keeping a count of the number of participants is relatively unimportant, and the Michigan SOS testified in support of the bill. The bill passed 103-5.
26021-JulI voted yes on HB 4425, which allows a state political party to change their name to an affiliated national political party. This is primarily in response to the U.S. Taxpayers Party in Michigan being named differently than the Constitution Party and expressing a desire to be aligned with the national name. The bill passed unanimously.
26121-JulI voted no on HB 4788, which would provide a framework for term limits for elected general law village officers. These officers are up for election every two to four years, dependent upon the office. If the public does not support their officer, they can vote them out, hence there is no need for these term limits. The bill passed 59-49.
26221-JulI voted no on SB 408, which 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. I do not necessarily oppose the idea, but the bill was brought out of committee today straight to the floor without a vote of the Judiciary Committee, and I am uncomfortable with how quick the process played out with the bill. The bill passed 93-15.
26321-JulOn March 10th of this year I voted yes on HBs 4219&20, the OWI expungement package, which allows for a court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense. This type of expungement is currently ineligible under state law. These bills only apply to petition-based expungement, not automatic expungement. These bills were returned from the Senate and I again voted yes on their passing. Both bills passed 92-16.
26421-JulAlso on March 10th of this year I voted no on HBs 4308&09, bills to eliminate the sunset for Michigan’s .08 blood alcohol level. As before, I believe passing these bills will make future efforts to reform Michigan’s BAC limit more difficult. Although I again voted no, both bills passed 104-4.
26521-JulI voted yes on HBs 4837, 4838 & 4840, a package of bills which intend to reform the Michigan Election Law. 4837 would prohibit third party organizations from having access to the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF), 4838 would prohibit voting machines and electronic poll books from being connected to the internet, and 4840 would standardize the retention period for various election-related materials. The bills passed by a margin of 75-33, 71-31, and 80-28 respectively.
26621-JulI voted yes on HB 4719, which provides that an individual 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. Generally, it does not take a long time for an individual to be sentenced for a low-level conviction. If a defendant is found guilty of a misdemeanor or a plea has been entered, he may be immediately sentenced. However, sentences for felonies are usually determined at a separate sentencing hearing. A pre-sentence report is prepared before sentencing and, sometimes, a busy docket will push back sentencing for a couple of months. An individual convicted of first-degree murder should be immediately committed to the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections pending sentencing. I believe this legislation will save a county resources and free up additional space in local jails. HB 4719 passed 100-8.
26721-JulI voted no on HB 4712, which 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. This bill was introduced to assist a specific development project at the former Ford Wixom Assembly Plant which began in 2011. On December 13, 2011, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Board, now the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, approved two brownfield projects located at the former assembly plant site, each worth $10 million in Michigan Business Tax Credits. Since 2011 the site has a history of projects that have been announced but not come to fruition. The current project shouldn’t be extended since it will most likely not be completed either. This site has had almost 10 years to develop and complete a project, yet the job has not been completed. There is no guarantee an additional five years will allow for any further construction on the site. The bill passed 87-21
26821-JulI voted no on HBs 4523&24, bills that will create a local rail grade separation grant program within the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Rail Grade Separation Fund within the department of Treasury. While this specialized grant program may help local units of government deal with the costs of grade separation which can be substantial, there is currently no identified funding source for this program. The bills both passed by a margin of 104-4.
26921-JulI voted yes on HBs 4837, 4838 & 4840, a package of bills which intend to reform the Michigan Election Law. 4837 would prohibit third party organizations from having access to the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF), 4838 would prohibit voting machines and electronic poll books from being connected to the internet, and 4840 would standardize the retention period for various election-related materials. The bills passed by a margin of 75-33, 71-31, and 80-28 respectively.
27014-SepI voted yes on SB 48, which designates a portion of I-94 as the “Kevin D. White Memorial Highway.” The bill passed 101-3.
27114-SepI voted no on SB 616 & 617, which eliminates the sunset for .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). I do not believe we should permanently set in statute the .08 limit. Some studies believe the limit is too low, while others believe it is too high. Regardless, eliminating the sunset would make future efforts to reform the BAC limit more difficult. Furthermore, the limit of .08 is adopted by all fifty states to simply comply with the federal government to maintain highway funding. The bills passed 101-3.
27221-SepI voted no on HB 5094 which extends the sunset to use $3.5 million of the Crime Victim’s Rights Fund to fund the statewide trauma system until September 30, 2022. I believe we can find other ways to fund the system as opposed to taking money away from one fund to give to another. The bill passed 81-23.
27322-SepI voted no on HB 4400 & SB 82, the omnibus budget and higher education budget. The budgets include language restricting mandates on vaccines and masks, but, I am unconvinced the language will be enforced. Furthermore, HB 4400 is an 8.3% increase in general fund spending. SB 82 includes an increase of 5.6% in total state resources for our universities. I do not support these increases. The bills passed 97-8 & 99-6.
27429-SepI voted yes on HB 4861, which removes outdated requirements for school bus drivers that are insulin dependent. Insulin dependent individuals used to not be permitted under federal law to be school bus drivers, but this was changed in 2018. This bill simply updates the Michigan law to reflect federal standards. The bill passed unanimously.
27529-SepI voted no on HB 4821, which requires the Michigan law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument Fund Commission to maintain the Law Enforcement Memorial. Current law requires the commission to be dissolved once the memorial is erected, and for any leftover funds to be used to maintain the monument. I do not yet see the need to mandate the commission to also provide upkeep, as this could be done through other groups or companies. The bill passed 102-2.
27629-SepI voted yes on SB 128, which amends the hours auto dealers must be open. Current law prescribes that they must be open for 30 hours per week for an entire year. This bill allows for dealers to have an additional four weeks a year without meeting the 30 hour threshold. I support the bill going further but this is a step in the right direction. The bill passed unanimously.
27730-SepI voted yes on SB 277, which allows for county clerks to access the qualified voter file (QVF) to remove deceased people from the voter rolls. The current practice to removing deceased people from the voter rolls is restricted to city and township clerks and the Secretary of State. The bill passed 80-25.
27830-SepI voted yes on HB 4837, which I voted yes on HBs 4837& 4838, which reforms the Michigan Election Law. HB 4837 would clarify the Bureau of Elections can access the QVF but prohibit third party organizations from having access to the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF). The bills passed by a margin of 72-33.
27930-SepI voted no on HB 4528, which was returned from the Senate with changes, here is my original no vote explanation, “I voted no on HB 4528, which requires training for election challengers and increased training for election inspectors. I am not opposed to new training – that is not the reason for my no vote. Rather, I believe the bill results in redundant mandates. The bill would require for a challenger to complete training within 90 days of the election at which they wish to serve. Therefore, you could train 10 days before the August election, but then have to train again in early September before the November election. The bill passed 105-4.” The bill passed 81-24.
28030-SepI voted yes on HB 4492, which allows some privately owned buildings to be used as polling places, such as golf course banquet centers. The bill passed 84-21.
28130-SepI voted yes on HB 4660, which allows for funeral processions to have the right away if they have a flag marker or activate their hazard lights. The original law was written in 1949 before the invention of headlights. The bill passed unanimously.
2826-OctI voted yes on SJR G, a joint resolution to protect state employee communications with members of the legislature. This resolution would have ended up on the ballot if 2/3rds of the chamber supported the resolution. The joint resolution passed by a margin of 65-38 (not enough for a joint resolution). This same joint resolution passed the Senate 35-0, committee unanimously (the representatives who voted yes in committee inexplicably changed their vote to a no), and passed last year as a bill by a margin of 108-0. That’s right… 108-0. Now you might be asking yourself why did the legislation change this term from a bill to a joint resolution? It is because the Governor vetoed the bill, and apparently the veto was enough to be the deciding factor in this term’s vote. Nothing changed in the bills from one year ago other than formatting. SB 686: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/…/pdf/2019-SEBH-0686.pdf SJR G: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/…/pdf/2021-SEJRS-G.pdf
2836-OctI voted yes on HR 175, to call for the removal of Director Olson from the UIA. Director Olson is no longer the director (as of September 30th), but we felt it appropriate to put representatives on the record as to where they stand with the direction of the agency. The agency has let (and is still letting) thousands of Michiganders down. Our offices daily receive phone calls from residents looking for help with the agency, often in dire circumstances. The resolution passed 57-46.
2846-OctI voted no on HB 4075 & 4076, which modifies signage for parking spaces designated for people with disabilities. The new picture now will show a person and wheelchair in a moving and forward position. I do not believe this is of the utmost importance, nor does the current signage indicates a person is not active or on the move. The bills passed 101-2 & 100-3.
2856-OctI voted yes on HB 5041, which increases the adult-to-child ratio for in-home childcare providers from 1:6 to 1:7. No licensing standards are changed in the bill. The bill passed 99-4.
2866-OctI voted no on HB 5042, which requires an childcare license applicant to disclose the ownership interest in the child care center, if: the owner is a trust, the applicant must disclose the names and addresses of all the beneficiaries. If the owner is a limited liability company, the applicant must disclose the names of all members and managers. There are 7 “if” statements in the bill, and the remaining 5 are like the ones I just shared. I believe this will create unnecessary barriers to entry in an area which needs desperate attention. Barriers to entry in childcare organizations are not inherently wrong, but I do not believe this bill is the answer. The bill passed 97-6.
2876-OctI voted no on HB 5043, which requires the MDE to establish family childcare networks to support home based childcare providers. I believe this can be done through the private sector and through other innovative groups in this sphere. The bill passed 87-16.
2886-OctI voted no on HB 5044 which requires the MDE to develop a contract model for infant and childcare providers which will be funded within the Federal Care and Development Block Grant. The bill appears to pick winners and losers out of who gets contracts from the state. The bill passed 87-16.
2896-OctI voted yes on HB 5045, which will require for LARA to make public any special investigations conducted on childcare organizations and if any corrective actions have been taken. The bill passed 99-4.
2906-OctI voted yes on HB 5046, which creates a 90-day grace period for childcare centers, group childcare homes, and family childcare homes to become compliant with any LARA or MDHHS rules. The bill passed unanimously.
2916-OctI voted yes on HB 5047, which permits for childcare providers to maintain an online licensing notebook within LARA’s electronic database. The bill passed 102-1.
2926-OctI voted yes on HB 5048, which outlines requirements for childcare centers in multiple occupancy buildings. This is to ensure these multiple-use settings are held to a standard where children are kept safe. The bill passed unanimously.
2936-OctI voted yes on SB 280, which requires the Board of State Canvassers to complete the canvass of petitions within 100 days after the petition is filed with the Secretary of State. The bill passed 55-48.
2946-OctI voted no on HB 5003, which moves the sunset dates for various sections of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to 2025. There is debate over what the fees should be for various parts of the section of law (such as the fee for drinking water and wastewater operator certification). I do not believe we should put off the debate for another four years. The bill passed 89-14.
29513-OctI voted yes on HB 4431, which was returned from the Senate. The bill would allow for charitable organizations to host charitable gaming events that go beyond midnight without paying an additional license fee for the whole day. This will provide necessary flexibility for charitable organizations when conducting their events. The bill passed 105-1.
29613-OctI voted yes on HB 4711, which expands liquor licenses to be granted to the baseball stadiums of EMU and OU under certain circumstances. The professional Northwoods league is played at these stadiums, and it would not make sense to restrict the rules on professional games. The bill passed 102-4.
29713-OctI voted yes on HB 4921, which aligns the reporting date for medical marijuana facilities and adult use marijuana facilities. The bill passed 105-1.
29813-OctI voted yes on HB 5260, which would update the requirements for who is considered a qualified trade organization (QTO) that is eligible to provide training for used car dealer licensure. Currently, the SOS is not very transparent over why an organization is denied being eligible, and this bill would allow for QTO’s to correct any deficiencies if they are denied by the department. The bill passed 94-12.
29914-OctI voted yes on the concurrent Senate substitutes to SB 303, 304 and HB 5007, which makes various changes to Michigan election law. Changes include, but are not limited to: prohibits the SOS and local clerks from sending out unsolicited AV ballot applications, all provisional ballots will be tabulated by the board of county canvassers, prohibits third party entities from contributing money or gifts to pay for election related activities, and would eliminate the ability to sign an affidavit on election day instead of providing proper identification. HB 5007 allows for residents of Michigan to obtain a State ID for free. Other forms of ID which are acceptable include driver’s license, federal issued photo identification, passports, military ID with photo, student ID, and tribal ID card with photo. The bills passed 56-51.
30014-OctI voted no on SB 25, which would allow a disabled veteran to deduct income attributable to the cancellation or discharge of student loans. Student loan debt is a massive issue affecting millions of Americans and is caused by of a plethora of reasons. This bill considers the income level of a disabled veteran ($0) but does not consider the income of a potential spouse. Whereas, non-disabled veterans, and other borrowers in general (young American adults, working class families, etc.) may be in a worse financial debt situation, but cannot claim a deduction. I believe we first need to take a holistic approach to this deepening problem. The bill passed 105-2.
30114-OctI voted no on HB 4270 & 5267, which exempts the sale of feminine hygiene products from the sales and use tax. I have consistently voted no on bills which create a two-tier system to sales and use tax: products that are subjected to the taxes, and products which are not subjected to the taxes. If we wish to lower the sales and use tax, then we ought to do so across the board. Not to mention taxes will likely be raised somewhere else to make up for the $7 million in loss revenue, as cutting spending to make up for loss revenue is a heavy political lift. The bills passed 94-13.
30214-OctI voted yes on HB 5259, which creates an additional circuit court judgeship in the 20th circuit in Ottawa County because of recommendations from the State Court Administrative Office. The bill passed 57-40.
30314-OctI voted yes on HB 5376, which allows flow-through entities the opportunity to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level. This is a highly technical bill, but it’s necessary because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law a few years ago. The bill passed 105-2.
30419-OctI voted no on HB 5404 and HB 5405, which creates the student opportunity scholarship act. These bills create a tax credit scholarship program for K-12 students in Michigan by amending the income tax act to create a tax credit for contributions made to any scholarship granting organizations. Individuals and businesses can donate to nonprofit organizations, which will in turn provide private school scholarships. I do not believe we should create a tax credit to incentivize this program. Nor do I believe there is anything to stop private businesses and individuals from creating and donating to scholarship programs under our current tax structure as written. The bills passed 55-48.
30519-OctI voted yes on HB 4026 & HB 4117, which creates an option to purchase a two-year recreational passport and to purchase a two-year vehicle registration. The bills passed unanimously & 101-2.
30619-OctI voted yes on SB 220, which allows for the online renewal of farm-related license plates. The bill passed 87-16.
30719-OctI voted yes on HB 4535 & 4536, which prohibits ORV’s on snowmobile trails during winter months. ORV’s on snowmobile trails in winter months have led to safety issues and is a problem for many areas of the state. The bills passed 101-2 & 91-12.
30819-OctI voted yes on HB 4449, which eliminates the annual filing report for Professional Limited Liability Companies if no information has changed from the previous year, as well as eliminating the annual filing fee and late filing fee for this circumstance. The bill passed 60-43.
30919-OctI voted no on HB 4801 & 4802, which creates a registration process within the Michigan Department and Rural Development for electric vehicle charging stations. We already have EV stations around the state, and the market is growing organically. I do not believe we need a new registration process, and instead should rely on existing practices. The bills passed 85-18 & 88-15.
31019-OctI voted yes on HB 5080 & 5081, which exempts sales and use tax from delivery and installation. If the bills only involved exemptions for the delivery and installation of “x” products/goods I would have voted no, but the bills keep things fair for all deliveries and installations. The bills passed 69-34.
31120-OctI voted yes on HB 5290, which requires MDOT and road agencies to post all roads that are not restricted during frost law application. Currently, posting must indicate all seasonal roads that are restricted during frost law application. The bill passed unanimously.
31220-OctI voted no on HB 5163, which requires a hospital that treats over 50 patients a year in their emergency department for an opioid related overdose to implement a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program. The bill also requires MDHHS to establish a grant program to support the MAT’s. DHHS is already issuing grants for this program and the program is already in place. However, this bill requires hospitals to implement a MAT program (if they meet the over 50 patient’s threshold) even if they have another successful and similar program already in place. The bill passed 96-8.
31320-OctI voted yes on HB 5166, which allows for community-based organizations and their staff to distribute opioid antagonists, primarily Naloxone. The bill passed 100-4.
31420-OctI voted yes on HB 5072, which codifies federal law which exempts affiliated hospital pharmacies that are under common control by the same parent health system from having to be licensed as a drug wholesale distributer-broker if they meet certain conditions. This essentially removes the requirement for additional and duplicative paperwork. The bill passed unanimously.
31526-OctI voted yes on HB 4364 & 4365, which allows for audiologists and speech language pathologists to the list of people who may sign the SOS required certificate to indicate a communication impediment designation on a license, state ID, or registration. The package passed unanimously.
31626-OctI voted yes on HB 4295, which allows state employees and their spouses to own medical marijuana facilities. The employees or their spouses cannot work or represent the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The bill passed 97-7.
31726-OctI voted yes on HB 4066, which prohibits local governments from taxing or regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, storage sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, or registration, of knives or knife making components if if it more restrictive than state law. The bill passed 66-38.
31826-OctI voted no on SB 696, which extends the sunset date to October 1st, 2025, for public water supply operator training and certification fees. We can operate this program with already existing general fund dollars and not with unnecessary fees. The fees generated $503,900 in 2020-21, which is a blip in our general fund budget. The bill passed 95-9.
31926-OctI voted no on HB 4071 & 4072, which is a two part bill package. The first part that I agree with increases the penalty for child abuse if the child is found to be a vulnerable child. This is one of the most grotesque crimes imaginable. Nonetheless, the original bill was replaced with a floor substitute that tailored the definition of “developmental disability.” The bill as introduced defined “developmental disability” (alongside other requirements) as resulting in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas: (i) self-care, (ii) receptive and expressive language, (iii) learning, (iv) mobility, (v) self-direction, (vi) capacity for independent living, (vii) economic self sufficiency. The substitute reduced the categories to (i) self care, (ii) receptive and expressive language, (iii) learning, and (iv) self direction. Therefore, I believe that there will be kids who will fall through the cracks and not be as protected by the law as others. The bills passed 101-3, and 100-4.
32026-OctI voted yes on HB 4316, which creates a pathway for a certified nurse aide to become a registered medication aide. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide a vital role in the safety of our nursing home residents. They also assist in eliminating the nurse shortage. These qualified professionals could fill a larger role though if they are allowed to administer scheduled drugs under the supervision of licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Allowing CNAs to become medication aides will also provide them with a pathway to grow in their careers in addition to helping address the necessary healthcare workforce issues. The bill passed 56-48.
32126-OctI voted yes on HB 5089, which allows during the COVID-19 pandemic (as declared by the U.S. DHHS) a professional nurse to provide training to a nurse candidate without a permit. The bill passed 94-10.
32226-OctI voted no on HB 4722, known as the “Airbnb legislation.” The bill will mainly prevent local units of government from restricting the use of short term rentals (with some exceptions). This is an instance where I believe that local control is the correct answer. Nevertheless, this is an issue where residents need to make their voices heard. The state cannot solve every answer. If displeased, residents throughout the State must make their voices heard with their votes when pressed with issues such as ordinances regarding short term rentals. The bill passed 55-47.
32326-OctI voted no on SB 687 & 688, which creates the student opportunity scholarship act. These bills create a tax credit scholarship program for K-12 students in Michigan by amending the income tax act to create a tax credit for contributions made to any scholarship granting organizations. Individuals and businesses can donate to nonprofit organizations, which will in turn provide private school scholarships. I do not believe we should create a tax credit to incentivize this program. Nor do I believe there is anything to stop private businesses and individuals from creating and donating to scholarship programs under our current tax structure as written. The bills passed 55-49.
32427-OctI voted yes on HB 4693, which allows a tenant to receive up to one month of rent credit for referrals (currently restricted to 1/2 month). I do not believe this is a state issue, however, it was put into law by the 1980 legislature. This bill is a step in the right direction. It passed 104-2.
32527-OctI voted no on HB 4997 & 4998, which clarifies the left center turn lane can only be used for making a left hand turn and not as a passing lane or merge lane. This is another opportunity for more tickets to be written, as it does not allow for circumstances to determine the intent of the driver. Regardless, these rules are already in the traffic manual. The bills passed 95-11.
32627-OctI voted no on HB 4281, which is a potential tax carve out for two cities. The bill modifies the population threshold for qualified cities from 15,000 to 15,500 to ensure that the City of Romulus and Harper Woods can levy/continue to levy a special assessment. Nonetheless, special assessments can already be done through townships. The bill passed 95-11.
32728-OctI voted no on House Bills 4766-4771. This bill package does a lot, but the crux of the package is state government mandating to local governments how to handle contracts with questionable asbestos abasement contractors. Local governments can remedy situations with asbestos contractors without state interference. I trust our local officials in the 46th District and Oakland County to know what is best for their communities, rather than a statewide approach. The bills passed 97-8.
32828-OctI voted no on HB 5026, to amend the State’s 9-1-1 law and to address the shortfall in the 9-1-1 fund. The bill removes the sunset on the Emergency 911 Enabling Act (which I support), provides for an audit on the collection of fees (I support), but raises fees on prepaid phones to ensure Next Generation 911 services. I do not believe the remedy to the shortfall in the 9-1-1 fund is to automatically raise fees, but rather we should pursue an audit first, and then determine to raise fees if it is necessary. The shortfall may be due to other reasons other than an incorrect fee structure. The bill passed 99-6.
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3731-DecI voted yes on HB 5327 to designate a portion of US-127 as the “Trooper Starr Memorial highway.” Trooper Starr was struck and killed by a drunk driver while serving in the line of duty. The bill passed unanimously.
3741-DecI voted no on HB 5261-5264, which adds new requirements for the posting of nonopioid directive forms by hospitals and health insurers. These forms are already available in many circumstances on various insurer and hospital websites. The bills passed by a margin of 96-4, 91-9, etc.
3751-DecI voted no on SB 103, which allows for incumbent electric transmission companies right of first refusal. This bill is blatantly anti-free market and will only drive up electric costs in market. The bill passed 71-29.
3762-DecI voted no on HB 5190, which requires students to take a half credit of personal finance to receive a high school diploma. Personal finances and financial concepts are often already included in existing course standards. The bill passed 57-43.
3772-DecI voted no on HB 5522; a budget supplemental. This bill has been construed to be a yes or no vote on placing police in every single school. The school resource officer portion of the bill was only one line item and does not put officers in all schools. The specific line item for SRO’s was a $50 million grant (increase from $10 million), which is paid for with state dollars and one time federal dollars. The state dollars (as it is a budget item) are not guaranteed every year and will have to be reappropriated again next year. There is a chance of departments receiving the grant, hiring an officer, only to fire them in a year if the money runs out. Nonetheless, my main opposition to the bill is the rest of the spending (again, a good chunk is dependent upon one-time federal spending). The bill includes $15 million for a police athletic league, millions for signing bonuses, and $55 million for move to Michigan incentives, among other line items. It is because of these line items and others that I voted no on the bill. The bill passed 97-3.
3782-DecI voted no on HB 4798 & 4974, which requires a prosecuting attorney to keep the personal information of any victim confidential unless the info is part of the events & circumstances of the charged crime. I believe that defense attorneys should still be provided with this information due to its necessity to prepare an adequate defense. The bills passed 95-5.
3792-DecI voted yes on HB 5130-5133, a package which makes minor changes to various law enforcement employment and licensure standards. Changes include clarifying that a law tribal law enforcement officers license enters an inactive state on separation from employment and creating a recoupment scale regarding the loan forgiveness program. The bills were supported by various police organizations and passed by a margin of 97-8, 95-4, etc.
3802-DecI voted yes on HB 5502-5506, which allows for manufacturers to file their exempt manufacturing personal property directly with the state as oppose to local filing. The bills passed unanimously.
3812-DecI voted no on HB 4172, which expands the presumption of causation for first responders to more cancers and to more positions (paid-on call, and volunteer). The legislation will open the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund to more claims even if there is not a provable causation. The bill passed 96-3.
3827-DecI voted yes on HB 4959, which amends the Motor Carrier Act and requires a monthly publishing of applicants for a certificate of authority. This is to ensure proper communication between MSP and LARA. The bill passed 99-4.
3837-DecI voted yes on HB 4960, which requires police agencies to enter a vehicle in the LEIN system not less than 24 hours after ordering a vehicle removed. This bill is in response to a federal court ruling against the City of Detroit that stated they violated the 14th amendment because of their LEIN policy. The bill passed 102-1.
3847-DecI voted yes on HB 4232, which would allow a 17-year-old to sell/serve alcohol. This is a commonsense measure addressing labor market shortages in industries where alcohol is present. The bill passed 64-39.
3857-DecI voted yes on HB 5295 & 5296, which allows licensed chiropractors to create professional corporations with other licensed medical professionals. This is a good package which allows for greater patient care. The bills passed 99-4.
3868-DecI voted yes on HB 5351, which increases the limits of the small business taxpayer personal property tax exemption from $80,000 to $160,000. The bill passed 58-46.
3878-DecI voted no on SB 242 & 245, which provides for four-year terms for county commissioners (as opposed to the current two). The two-year term limits align with both the state House and Congress, and issues with term limits are more so over the cap and not how often elections are held. The bills passed 75-29.
3888-DecI voted no on SB 494, which extends the sunset for the Freshwater Protection Fees until December 31, 2026. I do not believe we should extend out the sunset five years. The bill passed 100-4.
3898-DecI voted on HB 4674 & 4675, which extends various timeframes for the crime victims compensation act. I have concerns over how the bills may affect current claims, and the vast increase in emergency and grant awards. The bills passed 95-8.
3908-DecI voted no on HB 5602-5604 & SB 671, a corporate welfare package that will hurt Michigan’s economy. These bills are in a long line of similar legislation that proponents argue will incentivize companies to come and stay in our state. However, statistics and studies show that corporate handouts and picking winners and losers has not incentivized our economy. This legislation is simple – economic development funds will be created with taxpayer dollars to be doled out to big companies in the name of revitalization. A company, instead of spending their own profits on projects, will be spending your dollars in an attempt to create jobs. In essence, this is a great example of robber baron tactics. It is a reverse Robinhood; stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. My colleague State Representative Steve Johnson summed up the issue perfectly, “This is one of the most anti-free market things I’ve ever seen. This is big business getting into bed with big government.” Thank you to my other colleagues such as Representative Yousef Rabhi and Representative Shri Thanedar for their speeches against the package. The package passed 83-21.
3919-DecI voted yes on HB 4427, which modifies penalties for a minor in possession of tobacco. A first offense under this bill will not be considered a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor can have a long-lasting effect on an individual’s life, especially for a minor. The bill passed unanimously.
3929-DecI voted yes on HB 5286, which requires the use of flashing lights on speed limit signs in work zones (or digital speed limit signs). This is to ensure that drivers have greater visibility and knowledge of the speed limit. The bill passed unanimously.
3939-DecI voted yes on SB 674, which repeals Section 10 of the Motor Fuel Tax Act. Section 10 required taxes to be paid on fuel held in storage when a tax rate increase on motor fuel goes into effect. The bill passed 98-4.
3949-DecI voted no on SB 723, which clarifies a date for a NEZ application. This specific NEZ application is regarding a Brush Park Development Project. I have consistently opposed NEZ’s and other corporate projects. The bill passed 85-14.
3959-DecI voted yes on SB 698, which allows for personal property that was relocated due to COVID-19 to be assessed at its normal location for the upcoming tax year. The bill passed unanimously.
3969-DecI voted no on HB 5488 & 5489, which authorizes Michigan to enter into an interjurisdictional compact for the practice of psychology. I have concerns that the compact may cede some portion of our licensing rules to other states. The bills passed 95-7.
3979-DecI voted no on SB 637 & 638, which lays out guidelines for the jail diversion fund and the behavioral health jail diversion grant program. The program will mandate for DHHS to create the program, whereas I believe local health departments and local officials ought to have a say over the details. I do not believe this issue is a one size fits all approach. The bills passed 91-11.
39814-DecI voted yes on SB 759, which allows health professionals who hold an out of state license to practice in Michigan during an epidemic-related staffing shortage. The bill passed 88-14.
39914-DecI voted yes on HB 5448, which provides a change in statute to allow for the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design to reopen as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Detroit. The Pensole Design Academy will be relocating from Portland to Michigan. The bill passed 101-2.
40014-DecI voted yes on SB 213, which ensures that any visiting restrictions on long term care facilities does not apply to the long-term care ombudsman. The bill passed unanimously.
40114-DecI voted no on HB 5370, which clarifies the procedures and infractions for making a left turn in a spot that is not an intersection. I do not believe our current left turn laws need clarification, and the penalties in place seem to be modest enough. The bill passed 93-10.
40214-DecI voted no on HB 5523, a $1.077 billion supplemental. The supplemental primarily deals with DHHS and various related line items, such as presumptive eligibility for the MI Choice Fund. I do not support continuing to spend billions in federal spending, especially in light of its effects on monetary policy and other economic factors (wholesale prices measure rising 9.6%, inflation hitting numbers last seen in 1983, etc.). The bill passed 98-4.
40314-DecI voted yes on HB 5252, which requires the SOS to post the date petitions for a proposed ballot question is filed and to provide regular updates as to where it is at in the process. The bill passed unanimously.
40414-DecI voted yes on HB 5258, which allows county clerks to email proofs of ballots to the Secretary of State. Current law requires the proofs to be mailed. The bill passed unanimously.
40514-DecI voted yes on SB 212, which requires a candidate for office to provide all necessary information on their affidavit of identity. This will lessen the work load on clerks and election officials. The bill passed unanimously.
40614-DecI voted no on SB 461 & 462, which requires a Medical Marihuana applicant to provide a $100,000 liability insurance policy to the Marihuana Regulatory Agency to obtain a license. This is just another example of guild protection. The bills passed 94-8.
40714-DecI voted yes on HB 5449, which creates a process for a mobile homeowner to obtain a title for their home if they are also the owner of the property where the home is located. The bill passed 101-1.
40814-DecI voted no on HB 4970, which requires all school personnel to complete seizure first-aid response training. This is another unfunded mandated placed on schools and teachers which must be addressed in the budget. The bill passed 85-17.
40914-DecI voted yes on SB 728, which requires for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to have open meetings. The ICRC recently came under fire for entering into a closed door meeting to discuss the redrawing of maps. This led to bipartisan dismay at their practice. The bill passed 100-2.
41014-DecI voted yes on HB 5274-80, 5534, and 5594, which reforms the Michigan CPS Central Registry. The CPS Central Registry has had issues for many years, including constitutionality problems. This legislative package strikes a balance between people who shouldn’t be on the list vs. those who clearly should be on the list and who should remain on the list. The bills are fairly technical and a further analysis can be found on the official legislative page, nonetheless, they were supported by the Michigan AG, Bethany Christian Services, ACLU, and a host of other organizations. No organization put in a card of opposition. The package passed unanimously.
41114-DecI voted no on SB 764, which allows for wagering losses to be deducted on the state income tax. The bill passed 72-30.
41214-DecI voted no on HB 4398, a book closing federal funds supplemental package. This budget package contains around $747 billion in federal spending. My no vote is the same as for HB 5523, and the effects this spending will have on our economy. Furthermore, the bill contains one time grants that I find inappropriate such as $9 million for the auto show. Line item grants are often things which should be funded by private organizations and companies, and not by the taxpayers. The bill passed 94-9.
41314-DecI voted yes on HB 5613, which prevents the use of the State Administrative Board to transfer any funds appropriated to the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Fund. The board has been abused by the executive to diminish the role of the legislature in the budget process. The bill passed 95-8.
41414-DecI voted no on SB 769 & 771 (as well as the Senate substitute to HB 5603), which are the Senate versions of HB 5602-5604. My vote explanation for HB 5602-5604 is the same for this package. These bills are a corporate welfare package that will hurt Michigan’s economy. These bills are in a long line of similar legislation that proponents argue will incentivize companies to come and stay in our state. However, statistics and studies show that corporate handouts and picking winners and losers has not incentivized our economy. This legislation is simple – economic development funds will be created with taxpayer dollars to be doled out to big companies in the name of revitalization. A company, instead of spending their own profits on projects, will be spending your dollars in an attempt to create jobs. In essence, this is a great example of robber baron tactics. It is a reverse Robinhood; stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. My colleague State Representative Steve Johnson summed up the issue perfectly, “This is one of the most anti-free market things I’ve ever seen. This is big business getting into bed with big government.” Thank you to my other colleagues such as Representative Yousef Rabhi and Representative Shri Thanedar for their speeches against the package. The package passed 82-21.
41514-DecI voted no on SB 85, which appropriates $1 billion of taxpayer funds into the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund. This fund is labelled as an idea to attract companies and jobs to Michigan, but has historically not worked. It is grotesquely anti free market, and any funds left at the end of the year does not lapse into the general fund. The bill passed 78-25.
41625-JanI voted yes on House Bill 4031, which amends reporting requirements for family farms. Current law states that family farm owners must report to MIOSHA a death or serious injury within 8 hours of the accident. This bill would change the reporting requirement to seven days and reduce the penalty for failing to report on time from $7000 to a $500 civil fine. The Senate added a substitute which ensured that family farms were more properly defined. The bill passed 76-25.
41725-JanI voted no on HB 4277-4279, commonly referred to as the hands free driving package. The package makes it illegal to not use a hands free device in your vehicle. First, there are already penalties and laws for reckless and distracted driving, and other driving infractions (such as texting and driving). Second, studies have shown that holding your phone to your ear as opposed to using a hands free device does not make any difference. One such study posted on the website Zurich states, “The report (from the National Safety Council) shares significant research showing hands-free phones offer no significant safety benefit when driving. “Hands-free devices and voice command systems are not safer,” the NSC report declares, further explaining these systems, like their handheld counterparts, “create a cognitive distraction as the driver mentally engages with interactive tasks.” Lastly, this package will have a much wider affect on individuals who may not be able to afford cars that already have built in hands free devices. The bills passed 75-26 & 76-25.
41825-JanI voted yes on HB 4188, which allows for public school employees to have an annuity retirement option. The bill passed 96-5.
41925-JanI voted yes on HB 5117, which is a technical bill that fixes a loophole in current law to help ensure the final disposition of a body of a decedent. Current law does not provide for the situation when a person of highest priority authorizes decisions for a funeral, but fails to authorize final disposition of the body in a timely manner. The bill passed 99-2.
42025-JanI voted yes on HB 5541, which allows applicants to use their scores from the “Universal Bar Examination” to practice law. This codifies existing practice. The bill passed unanimously.
42126-JanI voted yes on HB 5625, which would waive repayment for the nearly 700,000 PUA recipients who were approved under the invalid criteria from repayment. This is the start of our UIA reform package. The bill passed 101-1.
42226-JanI voted yes on HB 5528, which would ensure employer-funded accounts are not affected by the improperly paid PUA benefits. The bill passed 97-5.
42326-JanI voted yes on HB 5549-5554, which seeks to improve both customer service and transparency at the unemployment agency (UIA). To help applicants get a response, HB 5553 would establish a clear, prompt timeline for the agency to make a determination on each claim. A timeline in HB 5551 would also ensure the UIA does not delay seeking repayment from honest claimants who received benefits due to a mistake by the agency. When claims are appealed, HB 5554 would require the agency to provide all necessary information to the administrative law judge reviewing the appeal. HB 5552 would create an independent unemployment insurance advocate to provide oversight and investigate complaints about the agency, including complaints from people who have applied for benefits. Two reporting requirements will strengthen transparency about critical aspects of the agency’s work. HB 5549 would require a regular report to the unemployment insurance advocate about administrative appeals and federal monitoring reviews. HB 5550 would require monthly online posting of the amount in the unemployment trust fund, which is supported by taxes on Michigan employers. The bill package passed by a variety of margins including 74-28, 102-0, 69-33, etc.
42426-JanI voted yes on HB 5525, which deposits $250 million from the American Rescue Plan Act into the UIA Trust Fund. There is a chance that the assessment on employers will be raised to offset the stat share of fraudulent payments made by the UIA. This burden shouldn’t be placed on businesses. The bill passed 101-1.
42526-JanI voted no on SB 145 (& HB 4290), which would create the Michigan first-time home buyer savings program. I voted no on very similar legislation in 2017, which was vetoed by than Governor Snyder. His veto letter summarizes my no vote explanation, “The bills (SB 511 and 512 of 2017) are contrary to the goal of a simple, fair, and efficient tax code with limited deductions or credits. While promoting home ownership is a laudable objective, I do not generally support using the tax code to incentivize taxpayer behavior because it favors some taxpayers over others, and does not provide transparency of government expenditures.” The bill passed 86-16.
42627-JanI voted yes on SB 654, which reorganizes the 27th Circuit Court and the 51st Circuit Court with Oceana and Lake Counties. This is a recommendation from the State Court Administrative Office. The bill passed unanimously.
42727-JanI voted yes on SB 694, which would add a circuit court judge in Wayne, Muskegon, and Ottawa. This is also based on a recommendation from the State Court Administrative Office. The bill passed unanimously.
42827-JanI voted yes on HB 4969, which requires conservation officers to wear a body-worn camera while on duty. It is right to hold DNR officers to similar standards to other first responders. The bill passed 71-31.
42927-JanI voted no on HB 4799 & 4780, which creates a state framework to govern and control the enforcement and creation of security interests in rents. This does not need a statewide approach, and can be done through contract negotiations. The bills passed 99-3 & 98-4.
43027-JanI voted yes on HB 5386, which allows for the costs of a special assessment district to be spread equally among property owners. Special assessment districts may still be funded on a pro rata frontage basis if agreed upon. The bill passed unanimously.
43127-JanI voted yes on HB 5165, which updates the rules and guidance for the Sliding Fee Discount Program to follow the federal requirements. Michigan’s outdated rules meant certain facilities had their federal National Health Service Corps status revoked. The bill passed unanimously.
43227-JanI voted no on HB 5524, a $184,600,000 supplemental spending package. Some of the line items such as convention and visitors bureau relief ($30 million) and $10 million to pay for server training fees when handling alcohol did not seem an appropriate use of the monies. The bill passed 96-6.
4331-FebI voted no on HB 4953, which requires the MDE to distribute informational packages to schools (grades K-8) which lay out different paths for students such as dual enrollment, post grad public sector opportunities, etc. There are already schools who provide information to students about career/future pathways, and would do (and currently do) a much better job than the MDE. Furthermore, there are already plenty of resources which are available to students through Google and other search engines. The bill passed 94-11.
4341-FebI voted yes on HB 5433-5435, which requires the state to coordinate with the feds to ensure GI benefits can be used to pay for occupational licensing, or registration fees. The bills passed 93-12 & 91-14.
4351-FebI voted yes on HB 4994, which allows for shoe repair businesses to donate unclaimed shoes after 6 months. The Michigan Uniform Unclaimed Property Act lists items as only abandoned after three years. This has led to cobblers being clogged with shoes. Here is a helpful article on the issue: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2021/09/21/unclaimed-shoes-clog-mi-cobblers-ultra-specific-bill-could-help/8420161002/. The bill passed 102-3.
4368-FebI voted no on HB 5523; a budget supplemental bill returned from the Senate (I also voted no on the original bill). The Senate increased the funding on the bill from $1.077 billion to $1.216 billion. Furthermore, changes included things such as $10 million for a new state science laboratory (we haven’t received reports there are any issues with the current laboratory). The bill passed 98-6.
4378-FebI voted yes on HB 4410, a technical budget supplemental bill which was returned from the Senate. This bill removes language from the original bill and replaces it with new language which authorizes for MTU to pay $8.4 million for the H-Stem Engineering and Health Technology Complex – Phase 1 project. The bill passed unanimously.
4389-FebI voted yes on HB 4973, which shifts the liability for damages to bridges and roads from a commissioner of highways for a township to the proper agency. This is a technical fix because the commissioner of highways no longer has authority over the roads. The bill passed unanimously.
4399-FebI voted yes on HB 4194, which would prohibit pelvic, vaginal, rectal, or prostate examinations on anesthetized or unconscious patients unless there is written informed consent, a court order, or in an emergency. Unless certain circumstances are met (such as those listed), no patient should have an invasive examination performed. The bill passed unanimously.
4409-FebI voted yes on HB 4887, which clarifies an adult and juvenile can be transported into custody at the same time if they are arrested together. The bill passed 79-27.
4419-FebI voted yes on HB 5074-5077, which starts to reform the certificate of need (CON) commission. Various changes include requiring the CON legislative commission to meet more regularly, and for more reports to be made public. I will always support changes to Michigan’s certificate of need laws after Beaumont Hospital was denied its ability to establish a hospital in Oxford. The package passed unanimously.
4429-FebI voted yes on HB 5558 & 5559, which prohibits knowingly performing research on an aborted fetus. These babies deserve the same dignity and respect in death as any other babies, infants, or toddlers. This bill does not deal with stem cell research as that is defined and governed by Article I, Section 27, of the Constitution of Michigan of 1963 (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(iwflooz4ujbdi4ubjwhypc15))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-Article-I-27). The bills passed 55-51.
44310-FebI voted no on HB 4948, 4950, & 4951, a package of bills which make various changes to MSHDA. Some of the changes included allowing for MSHDA to have remote meetings to fulfill open meeting requirements, and increasing the residential purchase price through MSHDA to $294,600. The bills passed 96-9 & 94-11.
44410-FebI voted yes on HB 4252, which updates the cost sharing schedule for rail grade crossings between local road authorities and rail companies. This is to implement an MDOT study from 2019 that was to determine a fair cost sharing agreement. The bill passed 101-4.
44510-FebI voted yes on HB 4996, which requires the governor to announce the dates of a special election to fill a vacancy within 30 days of the vacancy. This bill was introduced and sponsored by my colleague Andrea Schroeder, who unfortunately and sadly passed away in October after a long and hard fought battle with cancer. The bill passed 80-25.
44616-FebI voted yes on HB 4195, which provides that a divorce complaint filed with a trial court shall not be made public until the defendant is served. This is a great example of common sense legislation. The bill passed unanimously.
44716-FebI voted no on HB 5662 & 5663, which makes updates to our CDL process to conform with new federal guidelines. I would prefer for the federal government to review their changes as their new updates (e.g., registering the training with the feds, which is overstepping their role) do not seem to be a proper step in the right direction. The bills passed 96-8.
44816-FebI voted yes on HB 4534, which allows for a late application to be filed to claim a principal residence exemption. The bill passed unanimously.
44916-FebI voted no on SB 412, which exempts prior authorization in regards to HIV drugs, AID drugs, and drugs which are used for opioid withdrawal management. I agree with the proponents of the bill that the prior authorization system needs to be reformed, but I am concerned that a carve out approach will only lead to more confusion in the system. The bill passed 97-8.
45016-FebI voted no on HB 5315, which increases penalties for trespassing on the Mackinac Bridge, Zilwaukee Bridge, the Rouge River Bridge, and the MacArthur Bridge. The bill would specify a felony up to four years in prison, or a fine up to $2,500, for anyone who trespasses. This seems harsh for anyone foolishly trespassing, and felonies should not be something which are created lightly. Nevertheless, proponents argue that we need to do this to increase security, but anyone looking to critically harm our infrastructure will not be deterred by a four year penalty. The bill passed 99-6.
45116-FebI voted no on HB 5666, which removes the 3% floor in the School Bond Qualification and Loan Program (state ran program). I do not believe this needs to be a process which involves the state. The bill passed 102-3.
45216-FebI voted yes on HB 4351 & no on HB 4352, which allows pharmacists to provide the current selling price of a comparative generic (HB 4351) & prohibits an insurer from requiring a patient to pay a higher co-pay than the cost of the dispensed medication and bans pharmacy benefit managers from prohibiting a pharmacy from disclosing the current price of a medication (HB 4352). I originally voted yes on HB 4352 with the above vote explanation, but voted no on the concurred in Senate changes as it was just passed out of the Senate today. I do not believe there was proper time to evaluate any policy changes that the Senate added to the legislation.
45317-FebI voted no on HB 4084, which makes it a misdemeanor on a first offense to illegally litter more than 3 cubic feet. The current penalty is a civil infraction. I generally do not believe in increasing penalties to misdemeanors on a first offense. The bill passed 94-7.
45417-FebI voted yes on HB 5058, 5060, 5061, and 5617, which allows for hemp based topical and consumable products to be sold. There have been some interim rules in place, but this will help to bring sustainability to the industry. The bills passed by a margin of 98-3, 99-2, etc.
45517-FebI voted yes on HB 5304, which codifies existing rules and creates new exemptions for self serve alcohol dispensing machines. Dispensing machines would be permitted if customers use technology/keycard which are purchased from an employee to order their beverage , the machines are limited to a single serve dispense, and the machines do not dispense spirits. Currently, these machines are only permitted if they are located at the patron’s table. Nevertheless, this is an emerging industry. The bill passed 74-27.
45622-FebI voted no on HB 5527, which allows for community colleges to maintain $100 million in outstanding obligations for new job training programs. This is an increase to the $50 million in outstanding obligations they are currently allowed to maintain. The bill passed 82-22.
45722-FebI voted no on SB 445, which clarifies that to qualify for federal PUA claims the claimant must be able and available to perform suitable work to satisfy work registration requirements. I agree with the concept, but voted no, because federal PUA benefits are no longer in effect, and therefore the legislation is unnecessary. The bill passed 101-3.
45823-FebI voted yes on SB 129, which updates the dollars amount in the Summer Resort and Park Association Act. The specified numbers have not been updated since 1897. The bill passed unanimously.
45923-FebI enthusiastically voted yes on HB 5686, which requires legislative approval for changes to the Pupil Accounting Manual (PAM). PAM has been wielded by the MDE to stifle and suppress innovation by school districts. This has been an ongoing issue even in the 46th district. Certain schools which I represent have attempted to be forward thinking and unconventional, only to be intimidated by the MDE and its auditors regarding PAM. I look forward to this bill advancing through the legislature. The bill passed 54-50.
46023-FebI voted yes on HB 5637, which adds COVID-19 treatments to the Right to Try Act. This adds protections for health care professionals when treating their patients within the framework which already exists in state law. The bill passed 56-48.
46124-FebI voted no on HB 5334, which creates a fund raising plate for prostate cancer awareness. The funds must be created in conjunction with the Prostate Cancer Understanding Prevention Screenings (P.C.U.P.S.) Foundation. I would support the bill if it was not meant for one specific foundation. The bill passed 98-5.
46224-FebI voted yes on HB 5472, which designates a portion of I-75 as the “Army Specialist Deangelo Snow Memorial Highway.” The bill passed unanimously.
46324-FebI voted yes on HB 5572, which designates a portion of I-94 as the “Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Highway.” The bill passed unanimously.
46424-FebI voted yes on HB 4173, which removes the cap of $2,000 that a county can offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who committed a crime. The bill passed unanimously.
46524-FebI voted yes on SB 720-722, which updates the tobacco products tax act by amending definitions, stamping protocols, enforcement practices, etc. Modernization was necessary, and if anything, the bills simply codify current practice. The bills passed 78-23, 81-20, & 80-21.
4661-MarI voted no on HB 4242, which was returned from the Senate with changes. I voted yes on the original bill, but the Senate increased the permit fee for licensed bait dealers from $25 to $500. The bill passed 86-18.
4671-MarI voted yes on HB 5449, which was returned from the Senate. The bill creates a process for a mobile homeowner to obtain a title for their home if they are also the owner of the property where the home is located. The bill passed unanimously.
4681-MarI voted yes on HB 5054, a budget supplemental that appropriates $1.5 billion to shore up local government pension funds. The supplemental also rewards local governments who have followed best practices, and sets a framework for other locals to transition to best practices (e.g. shifting from pay as you go retiree healthcare to pre-funding). The bill passed 71-33.
4691-MarI voted yes on my bill, HB 5657, which will allow for parents to obtain information from child fatality review teams concerning the cause of death of their child. Currently, child fatality review teams (on a county level) will meet to discuss circumstances surrounding a child’s death. But, the information can only be shared with select parties, and parents are not privileged to have access to the information. I am glad to report that all my colleagues voted yes on the legislation, and it passed 104-0!
4701-MarI voted yes on SB 768, which provides much needed financial relief to Michiganders all throughout the State. Our plan reduces the State income tax from 4.25% to 3.9%. The 4.25% (once 4.35%) was always meant to be a temporary measure, yet it has been in law for over 15 years. Furthermore, the legislation would create a state child tax credit worth $500, and would increase exemptions for those aged 62 and older, by allowing an additional $20k (single) or $40k (filing jointly) exemption on retirement income. The bill passed 62-42.
4712-MarI voted yes on HB 5712, which designates a portion of M-85 as the “Sergeant Craig S. Frank Memorial.” The bill passed unanimously.
4722-MarI voted yes on HB 5588-5589, which eliminates the requirement that dangerous dogs be marked with tattoos. This requirement is obsolete, and outdated. The bills passed 103-1.
4732-MarI voted yes on SB 251, which updates the commercial fishing statutes to match items which were removed in the 2020 Fisheries Order 243.21. It makes sense to match department rules to State law. The bill passed 95-9.
4742-MarI voted yes on HB 5701, which allows temporary locking barricades to be installed on any door in a school. Current law, only allowed for these devices to be installed on doors of rooms with a capacity of 50 people or less. The bill passed unanimously.
4753-MarI voted no on SB 246 & 435, which increases the amount of debt to $300,000 that MDHHS can pay through a health care provider program. I do not support increasing outstanding liabilities for state departments. The bills passed 96-9 & 97-8.
4763-MarI voted yes on HB 4494 & 4495, which prohibits the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) from sharing personal information of licensees for marketing purposes. The bills passed 99-6.
4778-MarI voted yes on SB 465 & 466, which allows local governments to enter into an agreement with MDOT to exchange federal aid for state aid. The bills passed unanimously.
4788-MarI voted yes on HB 5720, which designates a portion of US 131 as the “Sergeant Ryan J. Proxmire Memorial Highway.” The bill passed 100-1.
4799-MarI proudly voted yes on HB 5570, to temporarily suspend the Michigan fuel tax on gasoline (27.2 cents per gallon). The bill will grant a gas tax holiday for the next 6 months. The $750 million budget cost will also be backfilled in a future bill, as our state budget is flushed with cash. This comes days after Governor Whitmer urged Congress to suspend the federal gas tax. Michiganders have been forced to deal with skyrocketing prices that are unprecedented and dire. U.S. gas prices have quickly reached an all-time high, and there’s every indication they could increase even more in the coming weeks. Residents need tangible savings now. This can’t wait. The bill passed 63-39.
4809-MarI voted yes on HR 250, which urges the Governor and Attorney General to halt any efforts to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, and to adopt any policies which may help to create a climate for energy independence in the U.S. The resolution passed 62-40.
48110-MarI voted yes on SB 11, which requires counties to still issue concealed pistol licenses during a state of emergency. The emergency orders first issued under the Emergency Management Act, and the Emergency Powers Act, and then under the Public Health Code, were used to infringe on residents second amendment rights. The bill passed 58-43.
48210-MarI voted yes on HB 4003, which creates a civil fine, as opposed to a current felony penalty, for having an expired concealed pistol license (CPL). To be eligible for the reduced fine, the CPL can not be expired for more than 1 year, and the person must still be eligible to obtain a CPL. Currently, a CPL holder could be charged with a felony if they are carrying a concealed pistol just one day after their license expires, regardless if they are eligible and simply forgot to renew. The bill passed 74-27.
48310-MarI voted yes on HB 5187 and 5188, which prevents a governor from issuing any executive orders which prohibits, regulates, or curtails, any lawful use of firearms and ammunition. This bill stems from Michigan being only 1 of 7 states to close the firearm industry business during COVID-19 shutdowns, by not designating them as essential. The legislation would place us in line with the other 43 states in the union. The bills passed 61-40 & 62-39.
48410-MarI voted yes on HB 5703, which requires schools to publicly post parental rights in locations that are easily accessible to parents. The posting will include Article VII of the Constitution of the State of Michigan, and Section 10 of PA 289 of 1995, which states: “Public Notice of Parental Rights in Education: Constitution of the State of Michigan (1963) Article VIII Section 1. Encouragement of education. Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. Section 2. Free public elementary and secondary schools; discrimination. The Legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for the education of its pupils without discrimination as to religion, creed, race, color or national origin. State of Michigan Revised School Code; Act 451 of 1976 Chapter 380. Section 10. Rights of parents and legal guardians; duties of public schools. It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil’s parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil’s intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive environment.” This legislation will help remind parents of their protected rights that not only allow (we don’t need a law for that), but actively encourage them to be involved in their children’s education. The bill passed 85-16.
48510-MarI voted yes on HB 4078, which allows a person to transport or possess an uncased, legally owned loaded firearm, in any vehicle, if the vehicle is on private land. If the person transporting is not the owner of the private land, they must have permission from the landowner or lessee. This bill does not impact public safety and would keep individuals from being unnecessarily prosecuted. The bill passed 65-36.
48610-MarI voted yes on HB 5555, which allows employers to pay their UIA taxes on a quarterly basis. This is a common sense and simple reform. The bill passed unanimously.
48710-MarI voted yes on HB 5664, which allows for employers to still use paper records for UIA audit purposes. Before COVID-19, UIA auditors had to go in person to different businesses and review their books. Now, the UIA auditors are still working virtually, but demanding businesses to digitize their records. For many businesses, this process would take forever to complete and be a waste of time and money. The simple solution is for the UIA auditors to go back in person. The bill passed 63-36.
48810-MarI voted yes on HB 4897, which allows election day challengers to be in the clerk’s office and satellite offices. Proposal 3 allowed for anyone to register on election day at the clerk’s office but did not speak to whether challengers were allowed at the location. The same goes for satellite offices which can receive absentee ballots. The bill passed 54-47.
48910-MarI voted yes on HB 5288, which prohibits an AV ballot applicant from using an e-signature to request an AV ballot application. This policy is already in place in other states, both ran by Democrats and Republicans. The legislature permitted for this process to occur for online registration (e-signature), but not for applying for a ballot online without an actual signature. Rather, the SOS went ahead and implemented this policy on their own. The bill passed 58-43.
49010-MarI voted yes on HB 5268, which does not allow election offices to send out unsolicited absentee voter ballot applications. AV ballot applications can still be sent to anyone who has applied for an AV ballot or is placed on the permanent AV ballot list. The bill passed 56-45.
49110-MarI voted no on HB 4065, which creates the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate. Several other states have a similar recognition program, but Michigan does not. However, I believe this is too restricted to Vietnam, and could include World War II, the Korean War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and so on. The bill passed 99-2.
49210-MarI voted yes on HB 4876, which requires election inspectors to indicate their party affiliation. The bill passed 55-46.
49310-MarI voted yes on HB 5253, which prohibits third party money from being used to conduct an election. The SOS and local governments can still receive funds from any government entities to conduct elections, rather this would not allow for nonprofit groups such as the Center for Technology and Civic Life to fund elections. The bill passed 57-44.
49415-MarI voted yes on SB 244, which subjects proofs of service in court actions to felony perjury penalties if they are a false statement. The bill passed unanimously.
49515-MarI voted no on HB 5611 & 5612, which exempts adult and children diapers and briefs from the use and sales tax. My no vote explanation is the same for why I voted no on HB 4270 (which passed 94-13). I have consistently voted no on bills which create a two-tier system to sales and use tax: products that are subjected to the taxes, and products which are not subjected to the taxes. If we wish to lower the sales and use tax, then we ought to do so across the board. The bills failed 49-54 & 50-53. My democratic colleagues who voted yes on previous measures in the past voted no on this package due to agitation over last week’s vote to suspend the gas tax.
49615-MarI voted no on HB 5678, which eliminates license plate fees for veteran and military license plates. I’m unsure as to the long term effects of having some specialty plates be fee free, while others have fees attached, and whether or not this will increase the budget for the Secretary of State. The bill passed 101-2.
49716-MarI voted no on HB 5682, which increases penalties for assault if the victim is a health professional or medical volunteer. Assault is assault, and I do not believe penalties should be tied to professions. Someone should not pay less in fines if they maliciously assault someone walking down the street, as opposed to a health professional. The bill passed 88-16.
49816-MarI voted yes on HB 5586, which allows for Mt. Pleasant to transfer property back to the State Administrative Board to only then be transferred back to Mt. Pleasant. This is a process which occurs fairly regularly to update deed restrictions, yet needs legislative approval because the State Administrative Board needs legislative permission to transfer the property. The cost of the transfer is $1. The bill passed 71-33.
49917-MarI voted yes on HB 5659 & 5660, which requires state nursing home inspectors to receive input from nursing home staff regarding state regulations on nursing homes and to pass that information on to lawmakers. Hopefully this will keep seniors safer. The bills passed 100-3.
50017-MarI voted yes on HB 4912 & 5804, which codifies various veterinarian functions. The package includes, most importantly, ensuring that animal owners can have a telehealth appointment without requiring a previous in-person visit. The bills passed 85-17 & 71-31.
50117-MarI voted no on SB 618, which removes the 3% floor in the School Bond Qualification and Loan Program (state ran program). I do not believe this needs to be a process which involves the state. The bill passed 100-3.
50217-MarI voted yes on HB 5797, which is a placeholder supplemental budget bill. This bill currently contains $0 of spending. The bill passed unanimously.
50322-MarI voted yes on HB 5566, which caps the amount of a late payment fee at the greater of $50 or 10% of the amount. This would permit for trial courts to properly determine cases regarding issued rental contracts. The bill passed 67-38.
50422-MarI voted yes on HB 5287, which changes the reference in Michigan Election Law from city or township party committees to county party committees. The bill passed 102-3.
50523-MarI voted no on SB 247, which makes several changes to the prior authorization request process. A lot of the changes I do support, however, I believe this is a process that should be negotiated by the insurers and physicians, and not necessarily accomplished through the state government. The bill passed 103-2.
50623-MarI voted yes on HB 5384, which ensures a student in the armed forces counts toward the 75% postsecondary school requirement for any schools designated as a specialty school. The bill passed 103-2.
50723-MarI voted yes on HB 4810 & 4811, which removes the requirement that the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) is included on a high school transcript. Furthermore, the package removes the requirement that the MME has a writing component. This is a common sense measure. The bills passed 104-1.
50823-MarI voted yes on HB 5671 & 5704, which amends the Cottage Food Law. The legislation permits for cottage food operations to use third parties for deliveries, as well as creating an optional registration system where the seller can include a registration number on any food labels instead of their home address. The registration numbers would be administered by the MSU Product Center. The bills passed 61-44.
50923-MarI voted yes on HB 5742-5748, which permits for MDARD to issue certificates of free sale on various exports (e.g. pesticide products, fertilizer products, e.g.). This package is codifying existent practices. The package passed unanimously.
51024-MarI voted no on SB 565, which is a supplemental budget bill. The bill picks winners and losers. Monies are allocated to certain projects in certain areas of the state, such as $20 million to the Northern Michigan Tourism and Sports Fund, and $55 million for a recreational greenway in Grand Rapids. You also have taxpayer dollars going to private organizations, such as Sec. 354 of the bill which allocates $20 million given to nonprofit 501(c)3’s to “stabilize and enhance neighborhoods.” The bill passed 95-7.
51124-MarI voted yes on SB 302, which requires a voting registration application to include a statement that it is a felony to vote in more than one jurisdiction. The legislation was supported by the association of municipal clerks. The bill passed 62-40.
51224-MarI voted yes on HB 4163, which aligns state law with federal law that certain campaign materials do not need to include the payor’s address, unless the material is sent through the US Mail. The bill passed 58-44.
51324-MarI voted yes on HB 5695, 5696, & 5726, which permits for 16 year old’s to work for an alcohol wholesaler in limited capacities. You can already be 18 and work for a wholesaler in limited capacities, therefore the 21 to drink argument is already immaterial. This will expand the pool of eligible employees. The bills passed 83-19, 86-17, & 84-19.
51424-MarI voted yes on HB 5871, which allows for medical marijuana licensees to sell products up and across the supply chain to other licensees. The bill passed 101-2.
51524-MarI voted no on HB 5525, which is as supplemental budget bill primarily dealing with the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Monies include $8.9 million for contract staff and $20 million for a call center. This is on the heels of an Auditor General report that the UIA didn’t ensure background checks for 5,500 employees, some of whom had histories of identify theft and embezzlement. We should not be allocating more money to the UIA (as much as it needs to be fixed) without first fixing the underlying and root issues. The bill passed 98-5.
51612-AprI voted yes on HB 5765, which allows retired correction officers to come back to work without their retirement benefits being effected. Michigan has a drastic shortage of workers within the department of corrections. The bill passed 101-3.
51712-AprI voted yes on my legislation, HB 5629, to designate a portion of M-24 as the “Orion Veterans Memorial Highway.” I was approached by local veterans with this idea, and was glad to introduce the legislation. The bill passed unanimously.
51813-AprI voted yes on HB 5569, 5732, 5572, and 5773, to reform the Secondary Road Patrol funding. The package would replace the current Justice System Fund assessment with a permanent funding source from the Michigan liquor tax. The tax scheme does not change, rather the funding source does. The package passed 101-1, 91-11, & 75-27.
51913-AprI voted no on HB 5777, which requires the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to develop a parental resource guide for parents of deaf or hard of hearing children. Moreover, the legislation creates a 15 member advisor committee within the MDE to help create resources, guides, and assessment tools. I am not against reforming the ASL system, or creating new resources. However, I believe the answers can be found on a local school district level with local resources, as opposed to a centralized process in the MDE. The bill passed 92-10.
52013-AprI voted no on HB 5875, which extends the sunset for the county maintenance of effort rate. This program deals with counties providing Medicaid nursing home services in county-owned services. This sunset has been continuously extended since 1984, to ensure that counties pay a lower rate (pre 1984 rate). I believe we need to finally fix the issue, instead of continuing to kick the can down the road. The bill passed 99-3.
52127-AprI voted no on SB 871, which extends the deadline for an MDOT tolling study from July of 2022 to January 31st of 2023. There has been plenty of time to conduct a study since July 8th of 2020 (when the original study bill was signed into law). The bill passed 76-27.
52227-AprI voted yes on HB 5512, which permits for medical marijuana users to enter into specialty treatment courts. The bill passed 87-16.
52327-AprI voted yes on HB 4730, which modifies the process for the availability and content of treasurer records. In essence, the bill requires for county treasurers to provide copies of property tax records even if the records are incomplete. Moreover, the bill ensures that the charges for these records cannot be extraordinary (HB 4730 restricts the charge to $1500 for each request of a qualified data file). The bill passed 66-37.
52428-AprI voted yes on SB 627 & 628, which establishes a Michigan-Indiana State Line commission to look into a possible remonumentation of the Michigan-Indiana state line. Remonumentation creates more secure land records and reduces the cost of future surveys. The bills passed unanimously.
52528-AprI voted no on SB 258 & 259, which mandates newspapers must publish notices and provide access to the notice on their websites. Moreover, the website must be maintained by a state association of newspapers. I believe papers should post notices online, as print circulation is at an all-time low, however I do not believe in the mandate. The bills passed 61-38 & 62-37.
52628-AprI voted yes on HB 5876, which eliminates duplicative language that requires a public vote before certain hospitals are sold or transferred. The hospital authority still has to approve any transfer of assets. This bill is narrowly tailored to the sale of the North Ottawa Community Hospital. The bill passed 76-23.
52728-AprI voted no on HB 5968-5969, and yes on HB 5970. I support parts of the package, but not others, and my mixed vote on the package reflects my thoughts. HB 5968 creates a healing and recovery fund for the Michigan Opioid lawsuit dollars; however, the fund will hold the dollars until the legislature appropriates the monies. I wish to see that process sped up and am worried about any future legislatures and how they may handle the fund. The bill says the funds will not lapse into the general fund, but any budgetary language is subject to change in future years. HB 5969 creates an opioid advisory settlement fund committee; I have voted no on numerous committees in the past, and believe we have ample best practices as to how we should appropriate any settlement money. Lastly, HB 5670 prohibits additional civil litigation from a party already covered by the settlement. This is a commonsense measure. The package passed 89-10, 86-13, & 95-4.
5284-MayI voted no on SCR 25, which waives the Constitutional requirement that increased compensation for Michigan State Police Troopers (and other department employees) be included in the executive budget recommendation. This procedure and new contract between the MSP and the State for fiscal year 22-23 should have been included in the executive’s budget (as required by the Constitution), and not fixed by the legislature. The bill passed 99-4.
5294-MayI voted yes on SB 166, which allows for non-controlled substances to be filled when written by licensed out of state advanced practice registered nurses (aprn’s) and physician assistants. The bill passed unanimously.
5304-MayI voted no on HB 5248, which essentially allows a city of any size to levy a special assessment for police and fire. Currently, only populations and incorporated villages can levy these assessments regardless of their population. These special assessments are on top of already existing millages. The initial passage of the special assessment district must be voted on by the public but are often subject to highly tactical and organized special interest groups. I am concerned the bill will inevitably lead to an increase in taxes during a time when people’s pockets are hurting. The bill passed 91-12.
5314-MayI voted yes on HB 4375 & 5536, which will allow for retirees to return to work as substitute teachers without forfeiting their benefits. Moreover, the legislation will require the Office of Retirement Services to prepare reports on the unfunded accrued actuarial liability for retiree healthcare and pension benefits. The bills passed 102-1 & unanimously.
5324-MayI voted yes on HB 5781, an appropriation budget for the Michigan Department of Education. This year’s budget represents a 78.4% decrease from last year’s budget, primarily because of a decrease in federal dollars being spent ($1,807,625,600 -> $302,950,800). I am pleased to see less federal activity in one of our budget bills. The bill passed 57-46.
5334-MayI voted yes on HB 5778, the budget for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The budget is a 21.5% decrease from last year’s budget, but that is essentially because of the expiration of one-time funding from fiscal year 21-22. Moreover, the bill does not include executive proposed one-time funding and program funding increases. All in all, the budget remains stable. The bill passed 64-39.
5344-MayI voted no on HB 5792, which provides appropriations for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. HB 5792 represents a 3.2% gross increase, with 2.2% being an increase in federal spending. The bill passed 59-44.
5354-MayI voted yes on HB 5786, the appropriation bill for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). The bill includes a 1.8% increase over last year’s DIFS budget, but only because of economic adjustments due to salary and wage increases. The bill passed 56-47.
5364-MayI voted yes on HB 5798, the budget appropriation bill for military and veteran affairs. The budget includes important line items such as investment in Selfridge Air National Guard Base, and $1.2 million to help connect and provide veterans with support for mental health and substance abuse needs. The bill passed 68-35.
5374-MayI voted yes on HB 5789, the budget for the Department of Natural Resources. The budget remains stable from last year’s numbers; only being a 2% gross increase for fiscal year 2022-23. The bill passed 55-48.
5384-MayI voted no on HB 5790, the appropriation bill for State Police. The legislation is a whopping 65.3% gross increase from last fiscal year. Moreover, the legislation includes things such as $10 million in grants for riot gear and body armor, $57.5 million for move to Michigan incentives, and $15 million to support the existing police athletic league. The bill passed 78-25.
5394-MayI voted yes on HB 5784, the budget appropriation bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. The budget is a modest 3% gross increase from last fiscal year, and includes provisions which assist in helping families and children, and policies which ensure actuarial soundness in various health plans. The bill passed 55-48.
5405-MayI voted yes on HB 4077, which allows for self-service gas stations to leave their pumps on even if the station is unattended. This is an issue for a lot of Northern Michiganders who must drive many miles to a gas station. Safety measures are also included in the bill and the station must be approved by LARA to operate unattended. The bill passed 60-43.
5415-MayI voted yes on HB 5538, which would permit for a single entity, “design-builder,” to perform the design and construction of a school project. This will streamline the school construction process and reduce project timelines. Moreover, this is the process used for many city projects. The bill passed 74-29.
5425-MayI voted no on HB 5782, the EGLE (department of environment, great lakes, and energy) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023. This legislation is a 36.2% increase from last fiscal year. Federal funds are nearly doubled from last fiscal year. The bill passed 54-49.
5435-MayI voted no on HB 5780, the budget bill for the Department of Corrections. The budget is a small 1.6% increase, however, Michigan’s prison population has been consistently decreasing. This includes 1000 less people in prison over this past year. Therefore, the budget ought to reflect these statistics instead of growing each year. The bill passed 62-41.
5445-MayI voted no on HB 5787, the budget for judiciary. The legislation is a 62.1% gross increase over last year’s budget. Including federal spending increasing from $6,374,800 to $21,381,500. The bill passed 58-45.
5455-MayI voted no on HB 5791, the budget for the department of transportation. This budget is a 24.8% increase from last fiscal year. The bill passed 76-27.
5465-MayI voted no on HB 5779, the community colleges budget. This budget is a 60.5% increase over last fiscal year, and includes $173,700,100 of federal spending. Colleges and universities are continually increasing tuition fees, costs of books, etc. I do not believe we should keep increasing the budget for higher ed. The bill passed 76-27.
5475-MayI voted no on HB 5785, the community colleges budget. This budget is a 37% increase over last fiscal year, and includes $173,700,100 of federal spending. Colleges and universities are continually increasing tuition fees, costs of books, etc. I do not believe we should keep increasing the budget for higher ed. The bill passed 75-28..
5485-MayI voted no on HB 5795, the budget bill for school aid. The bill is a 18.4% increase from last fiscal year. I support various items in this budget, but disagree with the 51% increase in federal spending. The total amount of federal spending for school aid is now $3 billion ($3,070,818,500). We need to push back against increased federal control over our schools. I am often contacted by constituents wishing for changes in our school system (e.g. reforms to accountability measures and standardized testing), however, many things cannot be changed on a state level because of federal mandates. The more federal dollars that flow into our school system, the more mandates will be placed on our schools. The bill passed 65-38.
5495-MayI voted no on HB 5783, the general government budget bill. The total gross spending for HB 5783 is $7,926,057,800. The bill passed 68-35.
55010-MayI voted no on HJR R, to reform term limits in Michigan. The joint resolution would lower the overall time an official can serve (from 14 years to 12; currently one can serve 6 years in the House and 8 in the Senate) but would permit for the 12 to be served consecutively (e.g., 12 straight years in the House). Moreover, the initiative adds new disclosure requirements for legislators, the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. I do not believe the answer to help fix government is to amend term limits without also looking at a part time legislature. Lastly, term limits encourage more people to run for office and be involved in state government by lessening the amount of career politicians. The joint resolution passed 76-28, and if passed by a 2/3rd majority in the Senate, will go to the voters in the fall.
55110-MayI voted no on HB 5749, to ensure district court judges receive the same base salary as circuit court and probate court judges. In most systems district court judges do not perform the same work as circuit court judges, therefore, differences in salaries is not unfair and may be reasonable. The bill passed 96-8.
55210-MayI voted no on SB 993, 994, and yes on SB 995 (the Senate version of a previous House package that passed) . I support parts of the package, but not others, and my mixed vote on the package reflects my thoughts. HB 5968 creates a healing and recovery fund for the Michigan Opioid lawsuit dollars; however, the fund will hold the dollars until the legislature appropriates the monies. I wish to see that process sped up and am worried about any future legislatures and how they may handle the fund. The bill says the funds will not lapse into the general fund, but any budgetary language is subject to change in future years. HB 5969 creates an opioid advisory settlement fund committee; I have voted no on numerous committees in the past, and believe we have ample best practices as to how we should appropriate any settlement money. Lastly, HB 5670 prohibits additional civil litigation from a party already covered by the settlement. This is a commonsense measure. The package passed 95-9, 91-13, and 97-7.
55310-MayI voted yes on HB 5983 and 5984, which would allow for swim up bars in Michigan. This is fairly common in other states, and a proper reform of our liquor laws. The bills passed 100-3 and 100-4.
55418-MayI voted yes on SB 827-845, which are the Senate budget bills. Voting yes is a procedural action which moves along the process to have the budget go to a conference committee. The bills passed primarily by party line votes.
55519-MayI voted yes on SB 178, which allows for over-redeemers to request a refund from the state bottle deposit fund. This will allow for more businesses to have cash to cover various expenses. The bill passed 104-1.
55619-MayI voted yes on HB 5609, which reforms the evaluations of Michigan nursing homes. The bill makes many important changes, but the crux is that it ensures better surveying is to be done of nursing homes by LARA and that a quality performance officer will report criteria the department will use for their surveys. The bill passed 101-4.
55719-MayI voted no on HB 6019, which creates a feasibility study on nuclear generation. Nuclear energy is a clean, efficient, and economically resourceful form of renewable energy. I have consistently supported legislation to support a freer market for energy in Michigan, including renewables. However, I do not believe we need a study on something that has been studied for years and by various scientific communities. The bill passed 85-20.
55819-MayI proudly voted yes on HB 6012, to assist our Oxford schools. HB 6012 does the following: Provides $3.5 million over two years for a psychologist, family school liaison, mental health director, school resource officer, safety and security assessments, public relations consulting, private security, summer school, insurance copays, and legal services. $2.3 million for physical building repairs, a notification system, third party review, supplies replacement, and security cameras. $1 million for lost days. Moreover, my office has heard many concerns over assessments and teacher evaluations. The bill includes the specific language, “it is the intent of the legislature that results from summative assessments administered by the district during the 2021-2022 school year are not used for retention decisions, educator evaluations, and other high-stakes decisions. The department is encouraged to work with the district to determine alternative methods to comply with applicable state laws.” The bill passed unanimously!
55924-MayI voted no on HB 5801, to establish a Foster Care Improvement Commission. The commission would be housed within the legislative council. I do not believe we need a state commission to look at improving the system, and can instead rely on insight from foster care organizations and others doing this crucial work day in and day out. The bill passed 79-28.
56024-MayI voted no on HB 5974, and HB 6073-6075, which expands the definition of a “relative” to a non-parent adult by the fifth degree but not by blood (an adult with an emotionally significant relationship to the child) to expand kinship care options. I support the concept of the bills, but the bills say a fifth degree not by blood relation includes, “not related to a child within the fifth degree by blood, marriage, or adoption but who has a strong positive emotional tie or role in the child’s life or the child’s parent life if the child is an infant, as determined by the department or, if the child is in Indian child, as determined solely by the Indian child’s tribe.” This could potentially lead to a child in a Native American Michigan Tribe being placed with another family within the tribe that has no relation with the child. The bills passed 92-15, 104-3, 96-11, & 95-12.
56124-MayI voted no on HB 5975, which requires “trauma-informed training” for lawyer-guardians ad litem. This training is currently optional, and so far the system seems to be working. I do not believe in placing a mandate in this situation. The bill passed 98-9.
56224-MayI voted yes on HB 5976, which requires MDHHS to report on any savings that occur through the safe reduction of the number of children in the child welfare system, and to report on how those savings were reinvested. The bill passed unanimously.
56324-MayI voted yes on HB 5977, which requires DHHS to complete a comprehensive needs assessment to better understand where service gaps exist in our child care system and to ensure residential treatment options meet the needs of children who require any sort of intervention. The bill passed unanimously.
56424-MayI voted yes on HB 5978, which requires DHHS to work alongside any entities that perform family finding and engagement services. This will help to connect foster children with family members and others who can serve as caregivers. The bill passed unanimously.
56524-MayI voted yes on HB 5980, which allows for foster family homes in good standing to have a license which lasts for 3 years, as opposed to the current 2 year license. The bill passed unanimously.
56624-MayI voted yes on HB 5981, which updates the Michigan Zoning Act to reflect Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP’s). The QRTP’s were created by congress in the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018. The bill passed 72-35.
56724-MayI voted no on HB 6070, which creates a tax credit equal to 50% of the amount of wages paid during the tax year to each qualifying employee during any period in which the qualifying employee was on adoption leave. I support the idea, and believe this is an area of need. However, my issue is how this will effect businesses dependent upon the resources of the business and the size of the business. It will be easier for big businesses to claim a tax credit, than it would for small business, incentivizing more people to look to larger corporations for employment opportunities. The bill passed 95-12.
56824-MayI voted yes on SB 784, the Senate version of our new relief plan to cut taxes throughout our State. Michigan is flush with cash, and yesterday we were made aware of a multi billion dollar surplus in our state. Here is what our plan does: Reduces our state’s income tax rate to 4.00%. Increases the personal income tax exemption by $1,800. Creates a $500 per child tax credit to benefit all Michigan families. Increases the standard deduction for people age 67 and older to $21,800 single and $43,600 joint. Increases the senior deduction automatically every year with inflation. Increases the earned income tax credit to 20%. Expands property tax relief for disabled veterans and their families. I fundamentally believe that people, not government, are the best stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars. The bill passed 69-38.
56925-MayI voted no on SB 821, which allows for emergency authorities to issue bonds, notes, or purchase agreements for the purchase of personal or real property. Emergency authorities are when two or more municipalities incorporate to provide emergency services. This will create more debt with the responsibility being placed on taxpayers. The bill passed 93-14.
57025-MayI voted no on HB 5477, to regulate the sale of Kratom, restrict the sale to those 21 and older, and to create a licensure system. Kratom has been used in Southeast Asian nations for over a decade as an herbal medicine to assist and treat pain. Very little concrete evidence exists to suggest that Kratom is dangerous to consumers. According to some research, as of 2019, there have been 11 deaths and only two which were believed to be solely linked to Kratom (and not other issues such as drug usage). The FDA, in another study, linked 44 deaths to the drug but the vast majority of those deaths were in people who had other drug substances in their system. I always have concerns over the government stepping in to regulate herbal medicine, and other substances, used to treat pain (especially with the opioid epidemic). The bill passed 88-19.
57125-MayI voted no on HB 5890-5892, which amends the State Revolving Loan Program for drinking water and wastewater projects. The bills do good things such as reducing the burden of the application process, however I have concerns over powers it is granting to EGLE (Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) such as more flexibility in loan forgiveness because of incoming federal funds. The bills passed 96-11 & 95-12.
57225-MayI voted yes on HB 4239, which eliminates the requirement that a law enforcement officer issue a temporary vehicle registration plate when a vehicle is immobilized. The current process is cumbersome and could be streamlined. The bill passed 106-1.
57325-MayI voted no on HB 5734, which requires for concrete barriers to be around workers during nighttime construction work in work zones. Contractors can already do this, and other subcontractors may use different methods to keep their employees safe. Rather, this bill mandates they must specifically use concrete barriers. The bill passed 98-9.
57426-MayI voted yes on HB 6012, which was returned from the Senate. The Senate S-1 appropriated even more dollars for Oxford (an increase from $6.8 million to $9.828 million). The increase will be used to make up for any lost days. The S-1 also included $14 million for safety and security grants, and $12.5 million for implementation of critical incidence mapping for school safety. The bill again passed unanimously and was sent to the Governor for her signature!
57526-MayI voted yes on SCR 27, to reappoint Doug Ringler as Auditor General. Mr. Ringler has done an extraordinary job in a very difficult setting. The concurrent resolution passed and was adopted 79-26.
57626-MayI voted no on HB 5615 and 5616, which modifies the process for medical certification of a death record. There was a substitute added to the legislation which will require PA’s to update their legal practice agreement. The Michigan Academy of PAs estimate the legal fees will be around $900 per PA. The bills passed 93-12 & 98-7.
57726-MayI voted no on HB 6017, which extends the filing deadline for certain neighborhood enterprise zone certificates. I do not believe we should modify any of these agreements, and they should be held to strict standards. The bill passed 85-20.
5787-JunI voted no on HB 5859, which creates a learning loss recovery grant fund within the department of treasury worth up to $1500 per eligible student. This creates a quasi public-private partnership where money in the fund is distributed by a private vendor and then students can use the money to purchase supplies and services through a private “marketplace.” I have concerns over which private companies will benefit from this, and which ones will be left out (essentially picking winners and losers). The verification for a private vendor to be in the market place is created by the private vendor who helps to administer the program. The bill failed 51-56.
5797-JunI voted yes on HB 6042, which allows school boards to provide critical incident mapping data to law enforcement as opposed to the currently mandated building plans and blueprints. The bill passed unanimously.
5807-JunI voted yes on HB 5623, which allows the liquor control commission to provide a liquor license to Lake Superior State University. The bill passed 106-1.
5817-JunI voted yes on HB 6079, which names a portion of I-75 as the “Officer Jessica Nagle-Wilson Memorial Highway.” Officer Nagle-Wilson was tragically killed in the line of duty. The bill passed unanimously.
5828-JunI voted yes on HB 4820, which adds a definition of the Internal Revenue code to the Michigan Education Trust Act. This will just help with ensuring the program can be properly administered moving forward. The bill passed unanimously.
5838-JunI voted yes on SB 656, (the Senate version of HB 5304), which codifies existing rules and creates new exemptions for self serve alcohol dispensing machines. Dispensing machines would be permitted if customers use technology/keycard which are purchased from an employee to order their beverage , the machines are limited to a single serve dispense, and the machines do not dispense spirits. Currently, these machines are only permitted if they are located at the patron’s table. Nevertheless, this is an emerging industry. The bill passed 78-28.
5848-JunI voted yes on HB 5882, which allows for historic vehicles to be used on Michigan roads from Memorial Day through Labor Day Weekend. Currently, historic vehicles can be driven in the month of August only. The bill passed 105-1.
5859-JunI voted no on HB 5427, which allows municipal public employee retirement boards to meet remotely. I have consistently voted no on similar legislation. The bill passed 81-24.
5869-JunI voted no on HB 6020, which establishes the Student Mental Health Apprenticeship Retention and Training internship program. The funding for the program will likely be set aside in the next fiscal budget, and this simply creates the framework. I support the idea, and there must be more resources for improving mental health, but I have a few concerns with the bill. First, the grant program in and of itself is restricted to graduate-level mental health professional programs, but not other education graduate level programs. Moreover, the program requires the recipient to work at a public school for at least three school years. Lastly, the funding is provided for this budget but is not guaranteed in future legislatures (you cannot have appropriations guaranteed in any future budgets). You may have a situation where some school professionals receive the grant (lump sum of $15,000) and others do not. The bill passed 93-12.
5879-JunI voted yes on SB 447, which requires health insurers to share with employers the claim utilization data for any employees covered by health plans. This should help to create a fairer competitive bidding process. The bill passed 102-2.
58814-JunI voted yes on HB 4884 & 4885, which amends the process for removing school board members, ISD members, county, city, township, village officers, and county road commission members. Currently, the governor can remove an office holder if they are found guilty of a felony, willful neglect of duty, etc. The process starts with a request to the Governor. However, the Governor can simply ignore the request and not do anything. This package would create a 60 day timeline which makes it a requirement for the governor to review the request and notify the necessary parties of their determination. The bill passed 61-43 & 60-44.
58914-JunI voted yes on HB 4898-4901, which updates the estates and protected individual codes (EPIC) to ensure that financial caps in the law are kept up to date with cost of living adjustments according to the United States Consumer Price Index. The bills passed unanimously & 103-1.
59014-JunI voted yes on HB 5793 & 5794, the House budget bills for fiscal year 2022-23. The bills passed unanimously as a procedural motion as negotiations continue toward a final budget bill agreement between the House and the Senate.
59115-JunI voted yes on HB 4416, which essentially takes the language from the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and institutes it into state law. Our state law for housing, and restrictive conditions on deeds, is already held to federal law. However, it is important to ensure discrimination does not remain in deeds or property records. The bill passed unanimously.
59215-JunI voted yes on HB 5719, which treats limousines in the same category as other commercial vehicles by exempting them from some personal injury protection (PIP) requirements. Commercial policies are slowly being written lesser and less because of the costs associated with PIP. The bill passed 57-48.
59315-JunI voted no on HB 6087, which increases the fee range from $4.50 to $8.25 that the Michigan Liquor Control Commission may pay Authorized Distribution Agents. I have concerns over how this may effect the price of spirits. The bill passed 100-4.
59415-JunI voted yes on HB 5179 & 5180, which reforms work search requirements for the UIA. Primarily, the legislation requires an applicant to seek a job application, interview, enrollment in a workforce development program, enrollment or finishing a GED, etc. The package passed 56-49.
59515-JunI voted yes on HB 5965, which is a technical fix which allows HB 5871 to go into effect. HB 5871 allows for medical marijuana licensees to sell products up and across the supply chain to other licensees. The bill passed 104-1.
59615-JunI voted yes on HB 5839, which allows state employees and their spouses to own a marihuana facility. The bill passed 96-9.
59715-JunI voted no on HB 6013, which creates an MDE grant program to help pay student teachers and mentor teachers. However, the MDE is also responsible for creating the application process and the distribution of funds, which I have concerns will create a system that is not meant to achieve its goal because of the MDE’s track record. The bill passed 101-4.
59815-JunI voted yes on HB 5560, which allows police officers and prosecutors to share information regarding a sexual violence victim with domestic violence shelters. This will help to ensure survivors have supportive services available that are confidential. The bill passed unanimously.
59915-JunI voted no on HB 5679, which updates the list of serious misdemeanors. Some of these updates are necessary (leaving a child in a vehicle that results in physical harm), but others should not automatically be considered a serious misdemeanor such as malicious use of telecom services. Malicious is a broad word that has a range of definition. Moreover, if a misdemeanor is serious enough it ought to be classified as a felony. The bill passed 92-13.
60015-JunI voted yes on HB 5680, which allows for a court to blur a victim’s face if the court process is available through streaming. This is a common-sense measure meant to protect victim’s. The bill passed unanimously.
60115-JunI voted yes on HB 5681, which allows for a victim to give an impact statement remotely, as opposed to the current requirement in person. The bill passed unanimously.
60215-JunI voted yes on HB 5244, 6128, & 6215, which sunsets and repeals various COVID policies for the workplace. This includes some limited liability protections, and pulling back on quarantine and testing requirements. Public health guidance is changing, and has changed drastically since COVID workplace policies were first passed, and it is time for Michigan law to reflect this truth. The bills passed in a bipartisan manner of 73-32, unanimously, & unanimously.
60315-JunI voted no on HB 6108-6109, which raises the Michigan age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 (to match the federal law). First, I disagree with the feds raising the age to 21. Secondly, this is partly done over concerns that if we do not change our laws then we will lose part of our Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block grant money (from the feds). We need to stop allowing the federal government to bully our state legislatures, and to push back against overarching control. The bills passed 79-26 & 78-27.
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