spinner
<Home
Michigan House Republicans
Rep. John Reilly – Vote Explanations
RELEASE|October 1, 2020
Contact: John Reilly
Roll callDateBill NumberVote Explanation
18-JanHB 5008I voted for House Bill 5008, which would make an exception to state law requiring the display of fire escape routes in prisons where the prisoners could see them and indeed prohibit it. We shouldn’t force our jails and prisons to post what essentially could become escape maps for inmates. It passed 71-36.
28-JanHB 4309I voted no on concurring with the Senate substitute on House Bill 4309, which I voted against previously. The Senate change was technical in nature and the essence of the bill (to impose licensure and regulation on fantasy sports betting) was the same. Concurrence passed 95 – 12.
38-JanSB 309I vote for Senate Bill 309, which would reduce the $100 commercial vehicle fee for tow trucks to $50, which is what other commercial carriers pay. Happy to reduce a fee. It passed 105 – 2.
48-JanSB 184I voted no on Senate Bill 184, which would remove from statute the requirements for licensing and continuing education of athletic trainers and have the executive branch promulgate new rules. This is a step in the wrong direction; the legislature should be re-establishing its ability to make policy while reducing executive regulations, not giving away more of its authority to the executive branch. It passed
58-JanSB 434I voted no on Senate Bill 434, which would impose licensure on mobile salons and direct the executive branch to come up with all the rules they want to make this possible. Michigan already has among the worst, most burdensome occupational licensing requirements for cosmetologists and their practices; we don’t need an additional layer of licensing and regulation on top of it. This should have been a simple legalization, not giving the a department the power to make up expansive new rules. The bill passed 102 – 5.
6 – 108-JanSB 466 – 469, 539I voted for Senate Bills 466 through 469 and 539, which would make reforms to Michigan’s foster care system to implement changes required by the federal Family First Prevention Services Act: it would -Create a new Qualified Residential Treatment Program for children placed in congregate care. -Implement new assessments for children in foster care with priority on placement with family members or in family foster homes. -Add new documentation and accountability requirements for decisions on child placement. -Allow greater input by family members and other adults with a relationship to the child. -Require courts to approve final placement in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program. -Reform background check requirements for child safety. Without changes to the foster care system, Michigan could lose millions in federal funding for the care of children in the system, and child care decisions should be made with detailed assessments that are documented and accountable. They passed unanimously.
118-JanSB 527I voted for Senate Bill 527, which would designate Beacon Boulevard in Grand Haven the Officer Scott Flahive Memorial Highway. Officer Scott Flahive worked for the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. On Tuesday, December 13th, 1994, Officer Flahive stopped a vehicle which contained two recently escaped criminals. While he approached the car, one of the suspects shot through the door with a rifle, striking and killing him instantly. Our law enforcement personnel continually place themselves in danger on behalf of our citizens and state and it is our duty to honor them. The bill passed unanimously.
1214-JanHB 4051I voted no on concurring with the Senate substitute on House Bill 4051, which would create a Michigan “CARES” hotline for mental health. The Senate changes were minor details but I voted no because I don’t think the hotline, which would cost $1 million to $2.5 million a year to operate, will be effective. I just yesterday spoke with a constituent with a family member that was just hospitalized for suicidal thoughts; people in these conditions call someone they know or go to a hospital, not call a complete stranger working for the government. (If they even know the number — how much will this cost in marketing?) Concurrence passed 101 – 7.
1314-JanHB 4020I voted for House Bill 4020, which would allow the purchase and possession of stun guns for people over age 21. It should have been 18, as this is age discrimination amongst adults, but better this than nobody at all be allowed to defend themselves with a stun gun. The bill passed 84 – 24.
1414-JanHB 4832I voted for House Bill 4832, which would designate a portion of I-94 in Jackson County the Deputy Gate Keeper George W. Haight Memorial Highway. George Haight was the first Department of Corrections employee killed in the line of duty, poisoned by an inmate in an elaborate escape attempt in 1893. It passed 107 – 1.
1516-JanHB 4704I voted for House Bill 4704, which would require Child Protective Services to document why an investigation was abbreviated and to allow for an abbreviated checklist in those cases. The Child Protection Law requires that an investigation checklist should be completed for all CPS investigations. A recent audit found that this checklist was not necessarily completed when the department conducted abbreviated investigations. Abbreviated investigations result when it becomes apparent that there is no child abuse or neglect very early in the investigation. It passed 103 – 2.
1616-JanHB 4705I voted for House Bill 4705, which would clarify what constitutes commencement of a child abuse investigation. A recent audit found that Child Protective Services, which is required to “commence” an investigation within 24 hours of receiving a complaint, would consider a phone call sufficient to be considered “commencement” of an investigation, not actually determining the well-being of the child in question. This bill specifies that an investigation is not deemed to have been started until CPS has made contact that provides information on the well-being of each child in a household where abuse and neglect is suspected. It passed unanimously.
1716-JanHB 4706I voted no on House Bill 4706, which would split a category in child abuse cases into two sub-categories. CPS currently has 5-category system: Category 1 is when the child is not safe and immediate action is needed. Category 2 is when there is evidence of abuse or neglect and a high risk of future harm. Category 3 is when there is a preponderence of evidence of abuse or neglect and the department is required to assist the family. If the family does not participate or the risk is not alleviated, the case can be reclassified to Category 2. Category 4 is when there is not a preponderence of evidence of abuse but there is a future risk. Category 5 is when there is no evidence of abuse. The bill would split Category 3 into two sub-categories, one in which CPS’ follow-up is need and another in which it is not. This bill, and the other CPS-related bills we are voting on today, are the result of the Auditor General’s report on his investigation into CPS. The incident in the report that led to this recommendation was an example where a child’s optometrist reported to CPS that the parents never got the child the glasses he or she needed and CPS, after ordering the parents to get the child’s glasses, never followed up to ensure that they did. Of course if the parents hadn’t actually gotten the glasses, the optometrist would have reported them again (doctors are mandatory reporters — they have to report these things to CPS). There is no need to split Category 3 into two sub-categories because there already is a category where follow-up is necessary: Category 2. CPS didn’t follow up with the parents because they didn’t need to. The Auditor General is a fact-finder, not a legislative advisor, but in this case his disagreement with the department (the actual experts) here led to a policy is not only unnecessary, but will probably create a great deal of additional work for an already overworked department following up on minor cases instead of more serious ones. The bill passed 105 – 1.
1816-JanHB 4707I voted for House Bill 4707, which would require an annual report by the Department of Health and Human Services outlining a review of each counties’ implementation of the standard child abuse and child neglect investigation protocols, which are required by law to be implemented in each county. Once the department can report that all 83 counties have implemented these protocols, the report would only be required every 5 years. The report would be sent to the legislature and the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. This was in response to a recent audit that found that not all counties have established protocols. The current law does not provide for oversight to ensure all counties comply. The bill passed unanimously.
1916-JanHB 4708I voted for House Bill 4708, which would add license-exempt Child Care and Development (CDC) providers to the Central Registry if a preponderance of the evidence shows the individual has perpetrated child abuse or neglect. CDC is a federal program, and therefore those wishing to only take on CDC program children are not required to get a license from the state of Michigan although they care for children in the same way as licensed providers. This was in response to an audit that found that unlicensed CDC providers that commit abuse or neglect are not automatically placed in the central registry even though state-licensed providers are. The bill passed 105 – 1.
2016-JanHB 4709I voted for House Bill 4709, which would require CPS to submit a quarterly report to the House and Senate Oversight Committees. This report would be required to provide the following measurements of data for all CPS cases in the 30 days prior to the report: – Was an investigation commenced within 24 hours after receiving a report? – Was a central registry review or clearance performed for all required individuals? – Was face to face contact made in the required amount of time? – Was a sibling placement evaluation completed when 1 or more children remain in the home after a removal? – Were the family members need and strengths assessments completed? – Was the supervisory review performed in a timely manner? – How Many CPS investigators have been concerned for their safety – How many investigators are using the mobile application or other tool to document compliance? This is in response to a recent audit that found multiple problems with reporting at CPS. The bill passed 103 – 3.
2116-JanHB 4816I voted no on House Bill 4816, which would create a bizarre scheme where certain counties would be able to propose taxing hotels to pay for a regional event center. For counties with populations between 250,000 and 300,000 (currently Kalamazoo, Ingham and Ottawa), they could pass an ordinance assessing up to 4% of room charges on local hotels to pay for event centers. Upon adoption of the ordinance, the county clerk shall send a notice to the owner of each hotel in the proposed assessment district, and if the clerk receives a written request for referendum from not less than 40% of the owners, or not less than 40% of the total number of rooms in all of the transient facilities, there would be a referendum in which each owner will have one vote for each room in the owner’s facilities. (Of course, the larger hotels would always prevail over smaller ones.) If a referendum isn’t called in 40 days, the ordinance would go into effect. However, for counties with between 170,000 and 180,000 or counties with populations between 300,000 and 400,000 (currently Muskegon and Washtenaw counties respectively), a referendum would be required. The bill would only apply in these five counties, until population changes would cause counties to fall in and out of these classifications. Aside from the strange population requirements that make this policy inconsistent across counties in time, I don’t support the concept of allowing a majority of hotels to impose taxes on the minority. The bill passed 80 – 26.
2216-JanHB 4291I voted for House Bill 4291, which would change the reporting dates for the pre-election and post-election campaign finance statements for candidate committees and ballot question committees to be the same as the filing dates for other reports. Aligning the reporting dates for pre- and post-election reports with the filing dates of other reports will bring consistency to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act and make it easier for candidates to remember the dates and avoid fines. It passed 100 – 6.
2316-JanHB 4245I voted for House Bill 4245, a book-closing supplemental budget for the previous fiscal year to account for some caseload costs at the Department of Health and Human Services that were higher than expected. The total was $174 million. This was necessary to meet obligations and the bill passed unanimously.
2421-JanSB 588I voted for Senate Bill 588, which would allow for discounts and refunds for spirits sold by specially designated distributors. Licensees would be allowed to return any unopened bottles of spirits to the distributor. We passed a similar measure for beer and wine last year and the law should be the same for all types of alcohol. It passed unanimously.
25 & 2621-JanHB 5146 & 5147I voted for House Bills 5146 and 5147, which would allow mortgage loan originators (MLOs) to get paid while they have their temporary license. Under current law, all MLOs are required to be licensed, but the licensure requirements vary depending on where the MLO works. MLOs employed by a federally insured financial institution are licensed and registered at the federal level (via the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) and are exempt from state licensure. To switch from a federal to state-licensed institution they have to complete pre-license training, continuing education, pass a criminal background check, and pass a test. Just because you move from one company to another doesn’t mean you lose the knowledge necessary for licensure. These bills ensure they can change jobs without losing the ability to make a living for an extended period. They passed unanimously.
2721-JanHB 5263I voted for House Bill 5263, which would phase out the so-called “Lifeline” program. This is a federal program that has provided a discount on land-line phone service to low-income individuals, since 1985, and Michigan added its own supplemental program in 1991. The federal government is now phasing the program out and Michigan should do the same. People don’t use land lines anymore. Michigan is one of only a handful of states that continues to have a state lifeline program, and this bill would provide a two-year phase out time to the few people still using the program time to adjust. The bill passed 79 – 28.
2822-JanHB 4335I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4335, which I voted for previously, to allow some hours required for a barber or cosmetology license to be interchangeable. The amendment didn’t change the bill content; it was a conflict substitute because the Governor signed SB 434 which amended the same section. Concurrence passed unanimously.
29 & 3022-JanHB 5002 & 5003I voted for House Bills 5002 and 5003, which would reinstate an option for children under 17 to purchase a $2 fishing license. Children under 17 currently are not required to purchase a fishing license, and they still would not be required to do so, but the option would encourage good habits and conversation about the value of supporting conservation efforts, which are funded by hunting and fishing licenses. The bills passed 101 – 5 and 98 – 8 respectively.
3122-JanHB 4266I voted for House Bill 4266, which would codify legal protections for electric cooperatives to build and expand broadband networks on existing infrastructure and within existing easements. It also provides a framework for bringing a legal action against an electric cooperative over property disputes and sets limits on damages that surrounding property owners may recover. Electric cooperatives primarily serve about 750,000 customers, mostly in rural Michigan. Although Michigan law and legal precedent allow for electric cooperatives to install broadband networks on their existing infrastructure, other states have experienced legal challenges. Missouri for example had very similar law and legal precedent but federal litigation resulted from the installation of new broadband facilities despite those provisions. In response, Missouri and five other states have since adopted legal protections. Without further certainty in statute, the concerns resulting from Missouri have led Michigan cooperatives to struggle with the decision of whether to risk building new broadband facilities within current law or consider updating thousands of easements with individual property owners. The bill passed 105 – 1.
3222-JanHB 5266I voted no on House Bill 5266, which would creates new requirements for electric cooperatives to follow when negotiating pole attachments with telecommunications and cable providers. The bill requires “just and reasonable” pole attachment rates, under the incorrect assumption that just and reasonable rates aren’t what are reached when two parties enter into negotiation. The government abridging the right to contract inevitably harms both parties — because it outlaws an option the parties would otherwise agree to. The inevitable result is less broadband access in these areas. See also, “The Myth of the Natural Monopoly,” online at https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly-0. The bill passed 105 – 1.
33 & 3423-JanHB 5195 & 5313I voted for House Bill 5195 and 5313, which change the fees for transferring a registration to a new vehicle, generally making them much lower. Currently, the fee is $8, and if the registration fee would be higher for the vehicle being transferred to than the original vehicle, that difference. Under these bills it would be a flat $10, and no additional cost for the difference. That makes it lower, by the difference of the two vehicles if the newer one is worth more (as is usually the case), and only $2 more if the newer vehicle is worth less. The bills passed unanimously.
35 & 3623-JanSB 650 & 651I voted for Senate Bills 650 and 651, which would eliminate a sunset on a provision that allows a teacher who is employed or contracted by an education management organization (EMO) to be the teacher of record in a district that operates a dropout recovery program. Dropout recovery programs were established and funded in 2012 to encourage districts to help students finish who have dropped out of school. Due to the nature and small size of these programs as well as the various age/grade levels being served, it makes sense for some districts to have a highly qualified teacher employed or contracted by an EMO since the teacher can serve students across multiple districts. However, there is no specific exemption in law for school districts who partner with an EMO to operate a dropout recovery program to have a teacher who is employed or contracted by the EMO to be the teacher of record. The bills passed 103 – 4 and 104 – 3.
37 & 3823-JanHB 5187 & 5188I voted no on House Bills 5187 and 5188, which are window-dressing for corporate welfare bills coming soon, which would extend the tax exemptions we currently offer one data center company (Switch) to other data center companies in Michigan. The tax exemptions take money away from the School Aid Fund. The bills claim that “an amount equal to all revenue lost to the school aid fund as a result of the exemption…must be deposited into the state school aid fund.” This is what I call the Bucket Game, where we dedicate some particular revenue stream to a particular recipient, when at the end of the day, all that actually does is shift financial pressure that gets compensated later. It works both ways; suppose for example we pass a tax increase to fund computers in schools. Schools can then take whatever they were spending on computers before and spend it on whatever else they want. More fundamentally, every time the government picks winners and losers, the people lose, because they’re interfering with natural market forces. We see more data centers might come to Michigan if they don’t have to pay local taxes, but we don’t see all the companies that don’t come to Michigan because the tax burden for everyone else has to be higher to make up the difference. These are just financial games to justify special interest deals. The bills passed 95 – 12 and 96 – 11 respectively.
39 & 404-FebHB 4126 & 4127I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 4126 and 4127, which I voted for previously, to require pregnancy health warning labels on marijuana products. (As I said on my first vote, I don’t generally support product labeling mandates, but with so much misinformation about marijuana being some kind of miracle drug, it’s important to note that this is not safe for a developing baby.) The Senate amendments made technical changes to reflect the reorganization order of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency but the essence was the same. Concurrence passed 100 – 4.
414-FebHB 4577I voted for House Bill 4577, which would name a portion of M-52 between Owosso and Perry the Michigan Desert Storm Veterans Memorial Highway. The law requires that all road signage be paid for with private funds before the Department of Transportation erect any signage, so there is no cost to taxpayers to memorialize the veterans of Operation Desert Storm. It passed unanimously.
5-FebHCR 12I don’t usually post explanations on House resolutions because they are not passed by recorded roll call vote, but because I voted no in committee, I wish to explain my vote against House Concurrent Resolution 12, which would urge Canada not have a radioactive waste storage site on the shores of Lake Huron. My vote against the resolution does not necessarily mean I support the plan as it was presented, but the brief testimony today was not sufficient for me to vote with certainty on a complex issue to which we were just introduced. There is enormous confusion about nuclear waste. It conjures images of barrels of glowing green liquid, not the solid assemblies they actually are. Stainless steel inner and outer liner with concrete between them. They don’t leak and there is no liquid. The “contamination” of water is so low-level you can drink it. (This has been done before Congress.) Nuclear energy is the cleanest and safest form of energy available, and we had too little information before weighing in on another country’s policy. I must assume that concerned groups in Canada have discussed this with their officials, and I would defer the matter to the NRC, EPA, and Trump administration in general on foreign energy policy. The resolution was passed without a vote, and as it happened, Canada withdrew the proposal anyway.
425-FebHB 4926I voted no on House Bill 4926, which would remove intermediate school districts’ enhancement millage cap and eliminate a requirement to calculate expired exemptions. It would revise methods used by local governments to calculate the taxable value of commercial “personal property” (tools and equipment) and industrial property for purposes of receiving state reimbursement of foregone taxes under the complex system of exemptions and subsidies for property taxes that are levied these assets. This is yet another “clean up” bill on the personal property tax and also expand the ability to seek enhancement millages (i.e. tax increases). It passed 96 – 9.
435-FebHB 4927I voted for House Bill 4927, which would clarify the calculation of personal property tax (PPT) reimbursement for school operation loss that is not reimbursed by the School Aid Fund and exclude local authorities that first levied a millage after 2013 from receiving a PPT reimbursement. This makes a technical change to allow hold harmless and out-of-formula districts to receive PPT reimbursements. This is a correction as to which authorities may receive a PPT reimbursement under the dynamic formula. Municipalities that first levied a millage after 2013 should not be included. It passed unanimously.
445-FebHB 4928I voted no on House Bill 4928, which would allowing the Local Community Stabilization Authority (LSCA) to receive a portion of the Local Community Stabilization Share (LCSS) revenue for the LCSA’s cost to implement and administer the act. The LCSA funding would increase by 1 percent from the previous year, each year starting after fiscal year 2019. This is in order to distribute personal property tax reimbursements to municipalities. This is yet another personal property tax “clean up” bill but the legislature can simply appropriate this money in the budget. It passed 96 – 9.
455-FebHB 4929I voted no on House Bill 4929, which would include school district and ISD debt, school district hold harmless, and SET millages that are eligible to be captured by a tax increment finance authority (TIFA) in the calculation of a personal property tax (PPT) reimbursement starting with 2020 calculations. This is yet another PPT “clean up” that would allow TIFAs to capture increased PPT reimbursements. It passed 91 – 14.
465-FebHB 4930I voted no on House Bill 4930, which would allow municipalities to “correct” 2013, 2014 and 2015 personal property taxable values. Municipalites who identify inaccurate personal property tax values could see an increase in PPT reimbursements but the amount is unknown. Municipalities already have had multiple opportunities to calculate and revise their personal property taxable values. It passed 93 – 12.
47 – 496-FebHB 5159 – 5161I voted for House Bills 5159 through 5161, which would prohibit the use of vitamin E acetate in e-cigarettes and vapor products. While both the governor and president 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. As of October 15, 2019, of the 867 reported lung injuries from vaping products, 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 102 – 2.
50 – 526-FebHB 4567 – 4569I voted no on House Bill 4567 through 4569, which would increase fines, impose new reporting requirements, hike license fees and extend bans on commercial fishermen from taking specific species of fish in Michigan waters. They would ban commercial fishermen from taking yellow perch in Saginaw Bay. Commercial fishermen are already banned from harvesting walleye and lake trout. Commercial fishing is almost extinct in Michigan, down to just 13 family-owned fisheries, and these bills may finish them off, which would effectively eliminate the ability of fish loving consumers in Michigan to purchase locally harvested fish. The bills passed 72 – 32 and 73 – 31.
53 & 5418-FebHB 5117 & 5118I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bills 5117 and 5118, which I voted for previously, to extend the statute of limitations for Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act claims from 6 months to 18. The Senate amendment was purely technical to include an additional Senate bill that was needed to update another section of law. Concurrence passed unanimously.
5518-FebHB 5124I voted to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 5124, which I voted for previously, to assist to low-income homeowners at risk of facing foreclosure. The Senate changed the opt-out requirement for cities, villages, and townships to an opt-in, except within Wayne County; removed the requirement the county treasurer post the parameters of the reduction program on their website, if they have created such a program; allowed a person who is in default of a current payment plan to still be eligible for this tax reduction program; and when a reduction of tax liability under this new program occurs, the debt must be paid off within three years. Also, the Senate amended it to require the elected council or board of a city, village, or township wishing to partake in a program to approve a resolution stating so. I support all of these changes and concurrence passed 105 – 2.
5618-FebSB 68I voted for Senate Bill 68, which would extend the statute of limitations for Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act claims from 6 months to 18. We already passed this but needed to update another section of law; HB 5117 updates Section 6431 of the Judicature Act while this bill updates Section 6452. It passed unanimously.
57 & 5818-FebHB 4274 & 4275I voted for House Bills 4274 and 4275, which would allow the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) to provide an annuity retirement option to public school and state employees. ORS would be required to provide at least two fixed annuity options and may provide a variable annuity option. Employees should have more options on how they want to invest their money for retirement. They passed 59 – 48 and 58 – 49.
59 & 6118-FebHB 4551 & 4552I voted no on House Bills 4551 and 4552, which would exempt disabled veterans from needing a “passport” sticker on their vehicle to enter a state park and that they may park in handicapped spaces. While I appreciate the intention, moving the disabled veteran designation from the clearly read license plate to a tab system will make it much harder for law enforcement to determine if a vehicle is allowed to park in a handicap parking space, or is allowed to enter a state park for free. Disabled veterans can already obtain handicapped-designated plates and hangers, and it would have been simpler to just allow them to obtain the state park sticker free of charge. The bills passed 105 – 2.
6018-FebHB 5315I voted for House Bill 5315, which would allow a restaurnat located on Northern Michigan University’s campus to obtain an alcohol license. We have passed similar bills for other colleges and I would prefer we just create a set of rules for all college campuses, but this is still better than the current situation where the restaurant cannot obtain a license. The bill passed 104 – 3.
6218-FebHB 4831I voted for House Bill 4831, which would require the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to approve in writing another agency’s decision to exercise an option to extend a contract. This would provide more oversight from DTMB when agencies are exercising options to extend a contract and more transparency to the procurement process. It passed 106 – 1.
6318-FebHB 5015I voted for House Bill 5015, which would require salary and benefit information of state employees be posted online. This information is already available through the Freedom of Information Act; the bill just makes it so people that want to know don’t have to file a request and pay a fee. The list will not include name, initials, electronic e-mail address, Social Security number, phone number, street address, or other information that could be used to identify an employee or employee’s beneficiary. This encourages government transparency and helps educate taxpayers on how their tax dollars are being spent. The House of Representatives already does this. The bill passed 104 – 3.
6418-FebHB 5164I voted for House Bill 5164, which would change the frequency for when the state inspectors must perform a full inspection of a high-pressure boiler from every two years to every three years. The full internal inspection of high-pressure boiler systems is a very time-consuming process and is very burdensome for the entity and the department, and the industry standard for the inspection of high-pressure boiler systems is every three years. The bill passed 98 – 9.
6519-FebHB 4152I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4152, which I voted for previously, to correct an odd oversight such that an individual born to unmarried parents prior to October 1, 1978 can conduct a search for their birth record at their local registrar at no additional fee. The Senate simply made a technical update to reflect an unrelated change in that law since the House passed in last year. Concurrence passed unanimously.
6619-FebHB 4689I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 4689, which I voted for previously, that would allow temporary door barricades in school buildings. The department would be responsible for adopting standards for the installation of these devices. The Senate adopted an S-1 substitute that would exempt an existing temporary door barricade that is already installed in a school from these requirements. Concurrence passed unanimously.
67 & 6819-FebHB 4923 & 4924I voted for House Bills 4923 and 4924, which would make knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, selling, distributing, or installing a counterfeit airbag a 4-year felony. This is a life-endangering type of fraud; not sure why we didn’t decide to include ball joints as well. The bills passed 106 – 2.
6919-FebSB 118I voted no on Senate Bill 118, which would provide for a specialty license plate for Blue Star Families. This is a family with a member in active military service. Michigan currently has 29 specialty license plates, and this would make 30. The bill doesn’t specify how military service is verified, what happens when someone retires from service and is therefore no longer a Blue Star Family, and I don’t know if there is any penalty for fraud. This is all unnecessary complication when you can just get a bumper sticker. The bill passed 106 – 2.
7019-FebSB 693I voted for Senate Bill 693, which would revise details of a $15 million agricultural disaster loan program authorized by prior legislation. It would allow for longer-term and lower interest loans, among other details. These are estimated to have no fiscal impact and expected to make the program more effective. The bill passed 106 – 2.
71 & 7219-FebSB 29 & 30I voted for Senate Bills 29 and 30, which would provide enhanced penalties for second or subsequent convictions for third and fourth degree child abuse. Currently, second or subsequent convictions for second degree child abuse carry enhanced penalties, but there are no such enhanced penalties for third or fourth degree child abuse. This bill makes the penalties for third and fourth degree more consistent with the penalties for second degree, and longer prison sentences for people with prior child abuse convictions are proportionate. The bills passed 95 – 13.
73 & 7419-FebHB 5148 & 5149I voted for House Bills 5148 and 5149, which would provide exemptions for attorneys to advertise and provide legal services to adoptive and biological parents who are involved in court-supervised adoptions. Laws passed in 2016 were aimed at curtailing the practice of unregulated child transfers also known as “rehoming” but accidentally curtailed lawyers from advertising and providing legal adoptive services. This was not the intent and these bills correct the error. They passed unanimously.
7519-FebHB 5141I voted for House Bill 5141, which would allow voting jurisdictions to pool resources to create absent voter counting boards to count absentee ballots. With the passage of Proposal 3 last year to encourage no-reason absentee, there is a concern that local clerks will not be able to count the absentee ballots in a timely manner. This gives clerks more flexibility. It passed 106 – 2.
7619-FebHB 4396I voted for House Bill 4396, which would repeal an outdated law that outlined penalties for abandoning a building on a road that interferes with the flow of traffic. Not sure when people leaving buildings on the side of the road was ever a problem, but this law is not used and should be removed. It passed unanimously.
7719-FebHB 5194I voted for House Bill 5194, to change the weight limit in the definition of “automobile or light truck” from 10,000 pounds to 14,000. This bill provides needed clarity in the law as it is no longer necessary for mechanics to have an additional certification to work on vehicles between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds. It passed unanimously.
78 – 8219-FebHB 4680 – 4684I voted no on House Bills 4680 through 4684, which would eliminates $5 license plate fees for various veteran and military license plates. Besides the concern that specialty plates cost more to make and it was likely represented when they were enacted that these new plates would have no cost because those buying the plates pay the additional $5, the bills are tie-barred to another bill to create another new specialty plate for female veterans. The state doesn’t need to be creating special new license plates again and again with no end in sight. The bills passed 106 – 2.
8320-FebHB 4152I voted (again) to concur with the Senate substitute of House Bill 4152, to correct a weird glitch that required a law to allow an individual born to unmarried parents prior to October 1, 1978 to conduct a search for their birth record at their local registrar at no additional fee. The substitute addressed a conflict with a recent law and concurrence passed unanimously.
8420-FebHB 4689I voted (again) to concur with the Senate substitute of House Bill 4689, to allow for a temporary barricade in a school. The update was again technical and concurrence passed unanimously.
8520-FebHB 5043I voted to concur with the Senate amendment to House Bill 5043, which would require a recipient of public mental health services to be notified that they may request mediation and have both parties engage in mediation regarding a dispute against a community mental health services program. The Senate version allows the parties to agree to voluntarily suspend their dispute resolution, unless precluded by a report of an apparent or suspected violation of rights under Chapter 7, which is the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services section. Concurrence passed unanimously.
86 – 10220-FebHB 5341 – 5355 & 5400I voted for House Bills 5341 through 5355 plus 5400, which together would allow micro brewers to self-distribute up to 2,000 barrels of beer to a retailer or distributor annually. Any on-premises sales from a micro brewer’s taproom would not be included when calculating the 2,000 barrel limit. Under current law Michigan has a “3-tier” system of brewers, distributors, and retailers, and brewers are not allowed to sell directly to retailers. (I don’t support this at all.) Under this package, micro brewers would be able to self-distribute, encouraging even more diversity and competition to make tasty beverages. Some of the bills contained regulations I dislike, but all of the bills are tie-barred together (i.e. they only go into effect if all of them are signed into law), so they are essentially one thing; an all-or-nothing proposition. So I voted for them all. On balance, this is a big step in the right direction. The bills passed by a range of votes, from 97 – 7 to unanimous support.
10325-FebHR 227I voted for House Resolution 227, a resolution to reaffirm the right of Michigan residents to keep and bear arms under the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963 and the Constitution of the United States. The resolution noted that “Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963 clearly affirms a right to keep and bear arms. This provision prescribes that the primary purpose of the right to keep an bear arms is not related solely to hunting, but undoubtedly allows Michigan citizens to be able to protect their selves and families from the private lawlessness of other persons or potential tyranny of governments.” Despite being a non-binding resolution, 32 of my colleagues voted “no” on affirming the basic human right to defend oneself. I salute Rep. Gary Eisen for putting us on record on this. The resolution passed 75 – 32.
104 – 10625-FebHB 4735 – 4737I voted no on House Bills 4735 through 4737, which would require anyone requesting through FOIA any department study of game species to sign an affidavit they will not use the location information contained in the study for hunting purposes. A violation would result in a misdemeanor penalty and fines ranging from $100 to $5000, depending on the species. Using studies as a means to site game might be unsportsmanlike, but it’s much more problematic to set this new precedent of establishing restrictions on the usage of public information. The bills passed 87 – 20 and 85 – 22.
10725-FebHB 4508I voted no on House Bill 4508, which would impose an extensive regulatory regime on “travel insurance” (covering things like cancellations, lost luggage, and travel-related medical expenses). Michigan law already defines travel insurance and it is unnecessary to create additional regulations on such a small line of insurance products. This will reduce competition and drive up costs. The bill passed 105 – 2.
10825-FebHB 4740I voted for House Bill 4740, which would establish the Dr. T. K. Lawless County Park in Cass County as a Dark Sky Preserve. This does not impose restrictions on light use by park users, who are asked to use nighttime lighting in moderation, arrive with headlights on low beam, and use courtesy in dealings with others. However Cass County is attempting to have the county park awarded an International Dark Sky Park designation for the property. The bill passed 106 – 1.
109 – 11625-FebHB 4254 – 4260 & 4265I voted no on House Bills 4254 through 4260 and 4265, which would create special penalties for assault and battery of senior citizens. In addition to assault and battery already being serious crimes, Michigan already has a criminal statute on vulnerable adult abuse. Penalties should be consistent based on the nature of the crime, not the special status of the victim. Additionally, judges have discretion based on the facts of each case to set the appropriate penalty. The bills passed by a range of 88 – 19 to 102 – 5.
117 – 12125-FebHB 5054 – 5058I voted for House Bills 5054 through 5058, which would create an address confidentiality program that permits a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking to apply to have an address designated by the Attorney General to serve as the victim’s address for receiving mail. Allowing perpetrators to have access to a victim’s identifying or location information creates an additional opportunity for harmful contact for survivors and their family members that can be avoided. The bills passed unanimously.
122 – 12425-FebHB 5401, 5402 & 5463I voted for House Bills 5401, 5402, and 5463, which would authorize the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or a local sheriff to expeditiously issue Local Watercraft Controls for temporary No Wake Zone (NWZ) orders on inland lakes during high water conditions when requested by a local governing body. The department can currently issue permanent NWZs, but it can take several months to implement. It also provides the structure for the DNR to consider a longer term, but not permanent order. This would provide assistance in preventing further water damage to homes and property during high water conditions. The bills passed unanimously.
12526-FebHB 4476I voted for House Bill 4476, which would requires all projects with a cost greater than $300,000 to be bid competitively, and restricts counties to a maximum of $800,000 annually expended under the non-competitive bid option. Under current law, all road construction projects (including both construction and preservation) over $100,000 are required to be bid competitively. Any projects less than $100,000 may be done with that agency’s workers. This bill allows local agencies to work on small to medium size projects, which increases competition and gives road agencies additional options to conduct road work efficiently. The bill passed unanimously.
126 & 12726-FebHB 5197 & 5198I voted for House Bills 5197 and 5198, which would allow municipalities to archive construction documents electronically. This will save municipalities from spending funds on record storage that can be used to provide enhance or additional services to their residents and protect the documents from fire, misplacement, similar loss. The bills passed 104 – 1.

12826-FebHB 4042I voted for House Bill 4042, which would create the Nurse Licensure Compact to allow registered or licensed nurses to practice in states other than Michigan and reciprocally, allow registered or licensed nurses in other states that are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact to practice in Michigan. Thirty-four states are members of the Nursing Licensure Compact, which reduces burdensome regulations. And with the continuous need for healthcare workers, the Nurse Licensure Compact may assist in closing the gap by allowing nurses to practice across borders and through telenursing. The bill passed 55 – 50.
1293-MarHB 5421I voted for House Bill 5421, which would clarify that the law against electronic eavesdropping does not apply to using security monitoring devices in a person’s own residence, unless done for a lewd or lascivious purpose. This is common sense and the bill passed 106 – 2.
1303-MarHB 5336I voted for HB 5336, which would revise details of the rules for receiverships involving commercial property. It clarifies that the rules apply to a receivership for an interest in personal property and real property, fixtures, and any personal property related to or used in operating the real property. It also requires an owner to provide a list of all creditors and other known interested parties within 7 days after a receiver is appointed. The receiver must then provide all creditors and other known interested parties with notice and a copy of any order governing its appointment. Also, if the receiver concludes that the receivership property is likely to be sufficient to provide a distribution to creditors (other than those holding a perfected lien), then the court may order the receiver to give notice to all creditors and other interested parties that they need to submit claims. The bill adds several new definitions, including “adequate protection,” “court rules,” and “secured party.” The changes were supported by judges and business lawyers. The bill passed 105 – 3.

131 & 1323-MarHB 5490 & 5491I voted for House Bills 5490 and 5491, which would allow a court appointee to operate a medical-marijuana facility or a marijuana establishment. Currently, laws related to medical and recreational marijuana have no statutory provisions allowing a court-appointed individual to operate a medical-marijuana facility or marijuana establishment. This is problematic because there are times when a court needs to appoint a receiver, personal representative, or guardian to manage or run commercial property. This will be interesting, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Let’s see what happens! The bills passed 107 – 1.
1334-MarHB 5479I voted for House Bill 5479, which would prohibit the use of public resources (i.e. our tax-dollars) from paying for gun buy-up programs. A gun buy-up is the government or other entity hosting a gun buying event — typically not to resell them, but to destroy them. These are typically described by the misleading term “buy-back,” which is inaccurate, because the government cannot buy “back” what it never owned to begin with. If a private organization wishes to spend its donors money for no purpose but to destroy perfectly good, resalable firearms, that is their right, but it is totally inappropriate for taxpayer dollars that should be spent on roads, schools, public safety, and anything else to instead be spent in the totally wasteful act of buying used guns. The bill passed 58 – 49.
1344-MarSB 253I voted no on Senate Bill 253, which would prohibit lawsuits against certain real estate agreements/contracts unless made in writing and signed by the party to be charged. This would overturn a recent Court of Appeals decision that upheld the legal principle going back decades, if not centuries, that a contract is a contract and a promise is a promise, whether made verbally or in writing. Contracts in writing are far easier to enforce, because their authenticity is more difficult to dispute, but a verbal promise is still a promise, even if it is the burden of the opposing party to prove that the promise was made. Many contracts have been agreed to by handshake, and courts have upheld their validity, so long as it can be shown that the agreement was made. This bill would essentially declare all verbal contracts covered by the terms of the bill to be null and void. We should not pass a law that would void existing contracts. People agree to contracts with the expectation that they can redress their disputes in court and this bill deprives them of that protection. The bill passed 104 – 2.
1354-MarHB 5289I voted for House Bill 5289, which would eliminate the fee for a Michigan Certificate of Stillbirth. We recently passed a law allowing a one-time tax exemption for stillbirth, so long as they provide a certificate of stillbirth. To obtain the certificate, a family must apply for one through the State Registrar, which includes a search of the State of Michigan Vital Records for a fetal death report. The records search can cost $46 or more. Requiring a taxpayer to purchase a certificate of stillbirth for the purposes of a tax exemption defeats the purpose of the tax exemption. It passed 100 – 6.
1364-MarHB 5333I voted for House Bill 5333, which would state that money in the Forest Development Fund shall only be used for providing principal and interest payments on any bonds or notes of the authority; for forest management operations and practices; for obtaining and maintain certification of sustainable forestry standards in the state forest; and administration and enforcement of the registered forester program. This would restrict use of the fund for anything other than its stated purposes. The immediate prior administration did an excellent job of managing the fund, increasing revenues through economic activity, using the funds only for their stated purpose, dipping into the fund balance only for state forest related things such as to purchase needed forest firefighting equipment. There are concerns that the current administration could see this nice pot of money and once again raid it to solve other, unrelated problems in state government. The bill passed unanimously.
1374-MarHB 5053I voted for House Bill 5053, which would include performance-related liquidated damages or performance targets with incentives provisions in all procurement contracts entered into by the department or state agencies. The state shouldn’t be held liable for a vendor failing to meet the requirements of a contract. This will ensure the state will not be liable for the failures of a vendor in a contracted requirement. The bill passed unanimously.
138 – 1414-MarHB 5492 – 5495I voted for House Bills 5492 through 5495, which would make the state government’s information technology projects more efficient, effective and accountable. They would centralize all information technology (IT) services by the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, (Currently, some projects are done through Health and Human Services. Remember how it turned out when Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services developed the ObamaCare website?), require a quarterly report on all projects involving information technology services, and require the Department provide certain information to the auditor general for each information technology vendor contract or maintenance project exceeding $250,000. The bills all passed unanimously.
143HB 513410-MarI voted for House Bill 5134, which would lower the age to operate a carnival ride from 18 to 16 years for all rides. Current minors are only allowed to operate rides designed for children or rides that don’t contain any electrical or mechanical controls. With unemployment so low, carnivals and amusement parks are struggling to find enough employees of age to operate all the rides they have to offer. Our plan provides additional flexibility for staffing, and brings Michigan law in line with 37 other states that have a minimum age of 16 – or no minimum age at all – to operate carnival rides. The bill passed 97 – 8.
145HB 544310-MarI voted no on House Bills 5443 and 5444, which would create a new program called the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program and the Kinship Caregiver Advisory Council. Bureaucratic welfare programs in general are conducive to fraud and abuse and this one would have an impact on the Department of Health and Human Services finances. This is the kind of program that should be operated by private organizations, but putting government in charge of this will tend to displace them while creating more bureaucracy. The bills passed 98 – 7 and 99 – 6.
145HB 544410-MarI voted no on House Bills 5443 and 5444, which would create a new program called the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program and the Kinship Caregiver Advisory Council. Bureaucratic welfare programs in general are conducive to fraud and abuse and this one would have an impact on the Department of Health and Human Services finances. This is the kind of program that should be operated by private organizations, but putting government in charge of this will tend to displace them while creating more bureaucracy. The bills passed 98 – 7 and 99 – 6.
146SB 76210-MarI voted no on Senate Bill 762, which would change the definition of “qualified city” to allow Saginaw to continue a tax on the city of Saginaw for police and fire. In 1979, Saginaw voters imposed a limit on local tax revenue, and a 2002 ballot proposal to raise the limit failed. Saginaw voters have defeated repeal efforts of the caps seven times since 1979. In 2004, the legislature stepped in and gave the city a new ability to fund their administrative boards, but the county population has since dropped to no longer fall under the definition of “qualified city.” I don’t support efforts by the state to overturn the will of the people of Saginaw to raise their taxes. The matter should be resolved locally. The bill passed 91 – 14.
147SB 37310-MarI voted no on Senate Bill 373, a $9 million school budget supplemental consisting mostly of pork that our schools don’t want. In last year’s budget, schools asked us to help remove many of these pork projects from the budget, saying they would prefer the money to spend as they best see fit, not earmarked for special interests that came to Lansing to sell their programs. These include things like an online algebra program, a “Michigan Education Corps”, a career exploration pilot program (as if schools have no career programs in place now), and an “industrial and technological education and workforce preparation” program. Schools should have the freedom to spend our education dollars in the way they see as most effective for students. The bill passed 101 – 4.
148, 152SB 15110-MarI voted no on Senate Bill 151, a $312 million budget supplemental that is a mixed bag of pork, funds for legal settlements, and a few good things. Much of it funded various construction projects at our universities, some I support (at OU) and some I don’t (LSSU doesn’t deserve another time of taxpayer money). $35 million is to pay for a new education grant program, $16 million is to pay for Pure Michigan ads, $25 million is to fight the coronavirus (how? The bill doesn’t specify), $500,000 for security at the Michigan International Speedway, $3 million for a grant to fund some kind of market development related to tire-derived fuels, and so on. This bill should have at least gone before the Appropriations Committee so each item could be properly vetted. The bill passed 99 – 6.
149HB 550211-MarI voted for House Bills 5502 and 5503, which make technical changes to laws to comply with changes made in House Bill 4689, which I voted for, that would allow the use of temporary barricades on school doors. The bills passed unanimously.
150HB 550311-MarI voted for House Bills 5502 and 5503, which make technical changes to laws to comply with changes made in House Bill 4689, which I voted for, that would allow the use of temporary barricades on school doors. The bills passed unanimously.
151HCR 1712-MarI voted yes on HCR 17, “a concurrent resolution to urge the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to appeal the federal court ruling invalidating the waiver for Michigan’s Medicaid work requirements, defend the waiver, and uphold its intended purpose of encouraging self-sufficiency.” The bill passed 56-51.
153SB 54312-MarI voted no on SB 543, which would allow for businesses to use biometrics technology to verify a person is 21. I have concerns over who will have access to this data, how it is stored, and how it may be shared. The bill passed 100-7.
154HB 433212-MarI voted no on House Bills 4332 and 4333, which would make it a crime to knowingly kill, torture, or mutilate an animal, or threaten to do any of those things, with the intention of inflicting stress on or exerting control over another person. It also increases various penalties for broadened animal abuse crimes. I appreciate the sincere intention to prevent animal cruelty and punish abusers that I know motivates these bills, but I am concerned, first, that it is dangerous to be criminalizing people’s intentions or punish behavior according to what a perpetrator’s perceived motivation is. Crimes should be punished based upon the acts, not the intentions. This is, effectively, the criminalization of thought. Furthermore, I am concerned that there may be unintended consequences of these bills for people with farm animals, and we should be very cautious when creating new felonies. They passed 90 to 15 and 88 to 17.
155HB 445412-MarI voted no on House Bills 4332 and 4333, which would make it a crime to knowingly kill, torture, or mutilate an animal, or threaten to do any of those things, with the intention of inflicting stress on or exerting control over another person. It also increases various penalties for broadened animal abuse crimes. I appreciate the sincere intention to prevent animal cruelty and punish abusers that I know motivates these bills, but I am concerned, first, that it is dangerous to be criminalizing people’s intentions or punish behavior according to what a perpetrator’s perceived motivation is. Crimes should be punished based upon the acts, not the intentions. This is, effectively, the criminalization of thought. Furthermore, I am concerned that there may be unintended consequences of these bills for people with farm animals, and we should be very cautious when creating new felonies. They passed 90 to 15 and 88 to 17.
156HB 458712-MarI voted yes on HCR 17, “a concurrent resolution to urge the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to appeal the federal court ruling invalidating the waiver for Michigan’s Medicaid work requirements, defend the waiver, and uphold its intend
157HB 528612-MarI voted yes on HB 5286, which ensures that fees for late rent can be included in eviction proceedings. This is a matter of a private contract, and hence should have little government oversight. The bill passed 80-27.
158SB 41512-MarI voted yes on SB 415, which amends the Credit Card Arrangements Act to only apply to unsecured loans or extensions of credit that are made for personal, family, or household purposes. This is a reintroduction of a bill from a previous term. The bill passed unanimously.
159SB 26912-MarI voted no on SB 269, which would impose penalties on tax preparers if they engage in various activities such as failing to sign a return or claim for refund. There are unscrupulous tax preparers but I have concerns this legislation will harm those who simply made a mistake. The bill passed 104-3.
160HB 557612-MarI voted no on HB 5576, which creates a Michigan Reconnect Grant for individuals to earn an associate disagree or certificate tuition free. Although the program is well intentioned, there are similar programs that already exist and the bill lays out strict standards for individuals such as you must be 25, which may lead to a winners and losers scenario. The bill passed 93-14.
161HB 558012-MarI voted no on HB 5580, which is part of the Michigan Reconnect bill package. Here is my explanation for my no vote on the main package of the bills. Typically, these packages are tie-barred, and therefore you either vote yes or no on the whole package. “I voted no on HB 5576, which creates a Michigan Reconnect Grant for individuals to earn an associate disagree or certificate tuition free. Although the program is well intentioned, there are similar programs that already exist and the bill lays out strict standards for individuals such as you must be 25, which may lead to a winners and losers scenario. The bill passed 93-14.” HB 5580 passed 95-12.
162HB 526512-MarI voted yes on HB 5265, which is a vehicle bill for a later budget bill and contained no appropriations. The bill passed unanimously.
163HB 542617-MarI voted yes on HB 5426 and HB 5427, which will require a framework to help better the state’s capabilities of responding to cybersecurity emergencies and protect critical infrastructure. The bills passed 91-19.
164HB 542717-MarI voted yes on HB 5426 and HB 5427, which will require a framework to help better the state’s capabilities of responding to cybersecurity emergencies and protect critical infrastructure. The bills passed 91-19.
165HB 431317-MarI voted no on HB 4313, which creates a $25 pheasant hunting license. Pheasant licenses are already allowed in some circumstances and this would increase the number of licenses, reversing a trend of decreases. The bill passed 76-14.
166HB 468617-MarI voted yes on HB 4686, which allows for people who have placed themselves on the voluntary disassociated list for casino’s to take themselves off. Many people placed themselves on the list due to addiction or financial issues, and there situations may have since changed. It would also allow them to attend events held on casino property such as weddings or conferences even if they do not wish to gamble. The bill passed 89-20
167HB 502417-MarI voted no on HB 5024 & 5025, which would grant a township the power to levy a tax for mosquito abasement. Townships can already use general fund dollars for mosquito abasements without raising taxes. The bills passed 72-19 & 76-16.
168HB 502517-MarI voted no on HB 5024 & 5025, which would grant a township the power to levy a tax for mosquito abasement. Townships can already use general fund dollars for mosquito abasements without raising taxes. The bills passed 72-19 & 76-16.
169HB 543717-MarI voted yes on HB 5437, which would expand liquor licenses to include PGA events in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, & 2025. The bill passed 91-1.
170HB 468617-MarI voted yes on HB 4686, which allows for people who have placed themselves on the voluntary disassociated list for casino’s to take themselves off. Many people placed themselves on the list due to addiction or financial issues, and there situations may have since changed. It would also allow them to attend events held on casino property such as weddings or conferences even if they do not wish to gamble. The bill passed 91-18.
171SB 12517-MarI voted yes on SB 125, which ensures active duty military personnel are exempt from certain filing requirements related to unclaimed property. The bill passed unanimously.
172HB 491017-MarI voted yes on HB 4910 and 4911, which will close loopholes that has led to abuse by people falsifying the need for an emotional support animal. The bills would install stricter penalties on anyone falsifying a claim, while still providing protections for those who need service animals. The bills passed 59-33 & 67-26.
173HB 491117-MarI voted yes on HB 4910 and 4911, which will close loopholes that has led to abuse by people falsifying the need for an emotional support animal. The bills would install stricter penalties on anyone falsifying a claim, while still providing protections for those who need service animals. The bills passed 59-33 & 67-26.
174HB 549617-MarI voted yes on HB 5496, which modifies our coal ash landfill law to conform to EPA regulations and rules. The bill passed unanimously.
175SB 71117-MarI voted yes on SB 711, which creates a “limited production manufacturer” license that allows for entities to purchase bulk alcohol if the alcohol will be used to manufacture another alcoholic product. In this instance, a “license” is not adding government restrictions. The bill passed 92-1.
176SB 71217-MarI voted yes on SB 712, which allows for township trustee resignations to be recognized immediately and for members to be compelled to attend a meeting if they must reach quorum. This is in response to a situation in the Village of Hesperia. The bill passed 92-1.
177SB 75417-MarI voted yes on SB 754, which restores the 79th District Court judgeship to 3 judges as opposed to 2. With an increase in caseloads, this elimination no longer made sense. The bill passed 92-1.
178SB 81217-MarI voted yes on SB 812, which puts UIA into compliance with federal standards over how we define what is a valid search for work. The bill passed 92-1.
179HB 539717-MarI voted yes on HB 5397, which is a bill that will be used as a vehicle bill for a later budget bill. The bill passed unanimously.
180SB 26817-MarI voted no on SB 268, which is the last piece of the Michigan Reconnect package. Here is my no vote explanation from before on the main bill of the package, “I voted no on HB 5576, which creates a Michigan Reconnect Grant for individuals to earn an associate disagree or certificate tuition free. Although the program is well intentioned, there are similar programs that already exist and the bill lays out strict standards for individuals such as you must be 25, which may lead to a winners and losers scenario. The bill passed 93-14.” SB 268 passed 81-12.
181HB 431317-MarI voted no on HB 4313, which creates a $25 pheasant hunting license. Pheasant licenses are already allowed in some circumstances and this would increase the number of licenses, reversing a trend of decreases. The bill passed 78-15.
182HB 502417-MarI voted no on HB 5024 & 5025, which would grant a township the power to levy a tax for mosquito abasement. Townships can already use general fund dollars for mosquito abasements without raising taxes. The bills passed 72-21 & 75-18 when the votes were reconsidered.
183HB 502517-MarI voted no on HB 5024 & 5025, which would grant a township the power to levy a tax for mosquito abasement. Townships can already use general fund dollars for mosquito abasements without raising taxes. The bills passed 72-21 & 75-18 when the votes were reconsidered.
184HB 412517-MarI voted no on HB 4125, which changes the amount earmarked for schools from the Renew Michigan Fund from .954% to 1.012%. I am concerned over what general fund programs may see losses from the change. The bill passed 88-6.
185HB 557617-MarI voted no on HB 5576, which creates a Michigan Reconnect Grant for individuals to earn an associate disagree or certificate tuition free. Although the program is well intentioned, there are similar programs that already exist and the bill lays out strict standards for individuals such as you must be 25, which may lead to a winners and losers scenario. The bill passed 93-14 when the House first took up the legislation. On return from the Senate, the bill passed 82-12.
186HB 558017-MarI voted no on HB 5580, which is part of the Michigan Reconnect bill package. Here is my explanation for my no vote on the main package of the bills. Typically, these packages are tie-barred, and therefore you either vote yes or no on the whole package. “I voted no on HB 5576, which creates a Michigan Reconnect Grant for individuals to earn an associate disagree or certificate tuition free. Although the program is well intentioned, there are similar programs that already exist and the bill lays out strict standards for individuals such as you must be 25, which may lead to a winners and losers scenario. The bill passed 93-14.” HB 5580 passed 95-12. On return from the Senate, the bill passed 84-10.
187HB 540117-MarI voted yes on HB 5401, which allows for temporary speed restrictions during high water conditions. The bill passed unanimously.
188HB 546317-MarI voted yes on HB 5463, which is tie-barred to HB 5401. HB 5463 allows for political subdivisions to apply for temporary emergency rules in water control zones. The bill passed unanimously.
189HB 474017-MarI voted yes on HB 4740, which designates Dr. T.K. Lawless Park in Cass County as a dark sky preserve. The bill passed unanimously.
190HB 472917-MarI voted yes on HB 4729, which appropriates $125 million to help state and local communities response to the coronavirus crisis. The bill passed unanimously.
191HB 570429-AprI voted yes on House Bill 5704, which protects emergency responders by requiring a hospital to notify them if a patient they have transported has tested positive for Covid-19. This amends a law that has the same notification system in place for first responders who assist patients diagnosed of having AIDS or HIV. The bill passed 102-0.
192HB 570930-AprI voted yes on HB 5709, which amends the 1976 emergency management act. The legislation makes it so an individual who is responsible for a state civil infraction under the emergency management act will not pay a civil fine of more than $100. A business who is responsible for an infraction will not pay a fine of more than $500. The bill passed 62-38.
193SB 85830-AprI voted yes on SB 858, to not extend the state of emergency declaration. The Legislature is a direct link to the people of Michigan – and we must have representation in this challenging, important process as a co-equal branch of government. The bill passed 59-41.
194-196HB 5412-541413-MayI voted yes on House Bills 5412-5414, which reforms Michigan’s telemedicine laws. The bills ensure two different things: 1) Telemedicine visits are completed through a secure system. 2) Doctors who use telemedicine will be permitted to use store and forward technology. An easy example of store and forward technology is your family physician sending a video to a specialist who you are planning to visit. The bills passed unanimously.
197-198HB 5415 & 541613-MayI voted yes on House Bills 5415 & 5416, which expands access to telemedicine visits for Medicaid recipients. Telemedicine is only going to increase and has great potential. Although it isn’t an answer to every problem, as some ailments are easier to diagnose in-person, there is an opportunity for greater preventive care, quicker access to medicine, and lower costs. The bills passed unanimously.
199HB 536813-MayI voted yes on HB 5368 which establishes transit officers as law enforcement officers, granted they receive the same training and licensure requirements. The bill passed 103-2.
200HB 536913-MayI voted no on HB 5369, 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 102-3.
201-203HB 5417-541919-MayI voted yes on House Bills 5417-5419, which authorizes a parent or legal guardian to create a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order for their minor child. The decision to create a DNR is one of the most difficult choices any parent could imagine making in their lives. Both parents in the event of separation would have to sign the order, as would a licensed physician. Two witnesses would also need to be present. House Bill 5418 specifically establishes procedures for how a school should handle a student with a DNR. I felt comfortable voting yes on this bill because it contains immunity from liability for any employee who is acting in what they deem is the best interest of their pupil. Various school groups including the Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Catholic Conference, Washtenaw ISD, among others, supported the bill. The bills passed 104-1, 103-2, and 104-1.
204HB 548819-MayI voted yes on HB 5488, which is an extension of Public Act 64 of 2017. Here was my yes vote explanation for Public Act 64 of 2017: In 2014, the state Supreme Court struck down the courts from imposing any court costs on defendants that weren’t expressly authorized by law, wiping out about 75-100 million dollars a year that paid for the courts. Following that 2014 decision, the legislature passed a temporary law authorizing courts to impose “any cost reasonably related to the actual costs incurred by the trial court without separately calculating those costs involved in the particular case, including, but not limited to” costs related to salaries and benefits for court personnel, goods and services necessary for court operations, and expenses necessary to the operation and maintenance of court facilities. That law was due to expire. These bills extend that temporary law by another 3 years, and create a commission to work out a long-term solution. They passed 85-23 and 103-5 respectively.” Typically, I would not support another extension on the sunset, but this is a unique circumstance. Legislators were preparing to hold meetings over the issue, but these were put on hold due to the covid-19 pandemic. The bill passed 101-4.
205HB 576619-MayI voted yes on HB 5766, which extends the deadline to file an appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal to August 31st. Many individuals and businesses have not received their assessments because of policies stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill passed unanimously.
206-208HB 4965, 4966, & 497119-MayI voted yes on House Bills 4965, 4966, and 4971, which allows for local road commissions to spend funds allocated by the state to fulfill their asset management plans. Asset management plans are submitted by road agencies to the transportation asset management council to ensure there is necessary oversight on road and transportation projects. Currently, 75% of funding must be spent on city or village major streets, and 25% for city or village local streets. This package would allow for flexibility that is needed among the different road agencies. The bills passed 101-4, 101-4, and 105-0.
210HB 541127-MayI voted yes on HB 5411, which makes it a crime to falsely represent oneself as a census taker. The bill passed 106-1.
211SB 71827-MayI voted yes on SB 718, which extends a roadside drug testing pilot program from five counties to the entire state. The bill passed 77-30.
212-213HB 5217 & 521827-MayI voted no on House Bills 5217 and 5218, which allows for a collegiate athlete in Michigan to profit off their likeness. I am not opposed to collegiate athletes profiting off their likeness, but the problem is better off solved by the NCAA or on the federal level. A state by state framework may lead to the issue being drawn out longer than anticipated. The bills passed 94-13 and 95-12.
214HB 554127-MayI voted yes on HB 5541, which is part of a three-bill package. This bill package allows for an individual to include certain internal information found on their license and registration to show they have a communication impediment. We have heard of instances where traffic stops are difficult for drivers who are autistic, and/or are deaf and hard hearing. It is our hope that these bills can ease any possible tensions between the officer and the driver. Specifically, HB 5541 allows for the information to be included on a State ID, whereas the other 2 bills deal with enhanced licenses and registration. The bill passed unanimously.
215SB 35027-MayI voted yes on Senate Bill 350, which amends the General Law Village Act. Currently, villages must pass a resolution every year to collect their own delinquent taxes rather than turning it over to the county for collection. SB 350 would allow for one resolution that would be in effect until otherwise repealed, instead of a resolution that needs to pass every year by the village. Most villages see the annual resolution as repetitive and just a formality. The bill passed unanimously.
216HB 509727-MayI voted no on HB 5097, which allows for a new type of payday lending loan. The new loan may be up to $2,500 and for 90 days or longer (with a maximum of one year). The borrower may also take out another $2,500 loan at the same time as long as it is from a different licensee. The bill will likely result in administrative growth at the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Also opposed to the bill was a wide-ranging coalition consisting of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, Habitat for Humanity, and Pennies from Heaven. The bill passed 58-49.
217HB 525327-MayI voted yes on HB 5253, which requires the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to submit to the legislature a report of licensed payday lending companies and any complaints against the companies. The bill passed 98-9.
218-219HB 5395 & 539627-MayI voted yes on HB 5395 & 5396. The bills include no appropriations and will simply be used as a “vehicle” for any future budget bills. This is not a new procedure – similar methods have often been used in past years. The bills passed 57-50.
220HB 41593-JunI voted yes on HB 4159, which is a technical fix to clean up the law surrounding the Michigan brownfield development program. The bill passed unanimously. 
221HB 54813-JunI yes on HB 5481, which updates our standards on Appraisal Management Companies (AMC) to meet federal requirements. This is to ensure that AMC’s can appraise properties on federally backed loans. The bill passed unanimously. 
222SB 1723-JunI voted yes on SB 172, which amends notice requirements for insurance companies in Michigan. Currently, insurers must provide an annual statement of their privacy policies – even if their policy has remained unchanged for years. An insurance company will still have to provide an annual statement if their policies have changed or if they are sharing information with certain nonaffiliated third parties. The insurance company will not have to provide an annual statement if they do not fall into the category listed above. 32 other states have already passed a similar bill. The bill passed 91-18. 
223SB 3063-JunI voted no on SB 306, which allows for businesses in “principal shopping districts” and “business improvement districts” to place special assessments on homes and residential property owners who reside in these special districts. I do not believe in creating special zones where residential owners can be taxed with little representation. Only 1 residential owner will have a say on the board of these districts as to whether they should be taxed.  The bill passed 91-18. 
224HB 47923-JunI voted yes on HB 4792, 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. Thank you to Representative Beau Lafave for his leadership on this often-overlooked issue. The bill passed 60-49. 
225-226HB 5248 & 52493-JunI voted yes on HB 5248 & 5249 which makes changes to the Children’s Ombudsman Act. These bills were crafted in response to the Office of Children’s Ombudsman (OCO) Performance Audit that was released by the Office of the Auditor General. These bills will strengthen the fact-finding process and will increase transparency by requiring the OCO to release their findings to the public. The bills passed unanimously. 
227-228HB 5339 & 53403-JunI voted yes on HB 5339 & 5340, which allows for a “locator” to find and collect unclaimed property on behalf of the owner. The process for
229HB 57003-JunI voted yes on HB 5700, which amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Current law states that an applicant cannot receive a license if their spouse is employed by the state government (because of a potential of conflict of interest). The definition is too broad as there are many state government positions that would not have any conflicts of interest. HB 5700 strikes a good balance between ensuring there are not conflicts of interests, as well as ensuring that certain applicants should not automatically be disqualified. Here is a list of the current job postings, many of which are far away from the medical marihuana industry: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/michigan. The bill passed 100-9. 
230-232SB 278 & 279, HB 554110-JunI voted yes on SB 278, SB 279, and once again on HB 5541. Please see the vote explanation below for why I originally voted yes on HB 5541. SB 278 allows for the information to be included in an operator and chauffeur’s license, while SB 279 allows for the information to be included in an enhanced drivers license. The senate added language in HB 5541 to more closely mirror SB 278 & 279. The bills passed unanimously. “I voted yes on HB 5541, which is part of a three-bill package. This bill package allows for an individual to include certain internal information found on their license and registration to show they have a communication impediment. We have heard of instances where traffic stops are difficult for drivers who are autistic, and/or are deaf and hard hearing. It is our hope that these bills can ease any possible tensions between the officer and the driver…”
233-234HB 5137 & 513810-JunI voted yes on HB 5137 & 5138, 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 105-3.
235HB 529910-JunI voted yes on HB 5299, which allows probation for certain major controlled substance offenses. Currently, probation is not allowed for major controlled substance offenses. This bill will grant courts and prosecutors necessary flexibility in handling these cases. The bill passed 105-3.
236HB 562710-JunI voted yes on HB 5627, which repeals section 7415 of the Public Health Code. HB 5627 will allow prosecutors to amend or reduce charges for serious drug offenses, as current law states that charges may not be reduced at all prior to arraignment. The bill passed 105-3.
238-239HB 5657 & 565810-JunI voted yes on HB 5657 & 5658, which reflects the changes made in HB 5627 to also apply to the Prison Code and the Code of Criminal Conduct. The bills passed 104-4 & 108-0.
240SB 94010-JunI voted yes on SB 940, which extends the deadline to file an affidavit to claim the principal residence exemption for the 2020 summer tax levy. This extension is because of issues with filing due to circumstances that stem from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill passed unanimously.
241HR 27717-JunI voted yes on House Resolution 277, a non-binding resolution discouraging local units of government from abolishing their local police departments. The resolution passed  79-29.
242SB 69017-JunI voted yes on SB 690, which appropriates some of the funds that were granted to us by the federal government for coronavirus relief. The bill includes various monies to be spent on education such as distance learning grants and summer school opportunities, agriculture, health & human services, hiring more UIA employees to help to fix claims, etc. The bill passed unanimously.
243HB 514117-JunI voted yes on HB 5141, which was returned from the Senate with some changes. My original yes vote explanation can be found below. Among the changes are that counting boards cannot be used for the November general election unless the agreement is either entered into with the county, or if the agreement includes a voting jurisdiction that has previously used an absent voter counting board. The bill passed 107-1. “I voted for House Bill 5141, which would allow voting jurisdictions to pool resources to create absent voter counting boards to count absentee ballots. With the passage of Proposal 3 last year to encourage no-reason absentee, there is a concern that local clerks will not be able to count the absentee ballots in a timely manner. This gives clerks more flexibility.”
244, 246HB 5195 & 531317-JunI voted yes on HB 5195 and 5313, which were returned from the Senate. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted for House Bill 5195 and 5313, which change the fees for transferring a registration to a new vehicle, generally making them much lower. Currently, the fee is $8, and if the registration fee would be higher for the vehicle being transferred to than the original vehicle, that difference. Under these bills it would be a flat $10, and no additional cost for the difference. That makes it lower, by the difference of the two vehicles if the newer one is worth more (as is usually the case), and only $2 more if the newer vehicle is worth less. The bills passed unanimously.” The Senate added minor changes such as ensuring that the transfer of registration funds would be deposited in the transportation administration collection fund through October 1st of 2023. The bills passed unanimously & 82-26.
245HB 584317-JunI voted yes on HB 5843, which appropriates $6 million dollars to assist in helping to clean up the damage caused by the historic flooding in Midland. The money will be spent out of the general fund, specifically the emergency contingency fund which is housed within the department of state police. The bill passed 107-1.
247HB 444917-JunI voted yes on HB 4449, which was returned from the Senate. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted for House Bill 4449, which would repeal limits on the reimbursement of certain chiropractic services by auto insurance. Currently a chiropractor can only be reimbursed by PIP for services that were defined within the chiropractic scope of practice prior to January 1, 2009. This would allow chiropractors to be reimbursed through PIP coverage for services that they can legally provide through the scope of practice expansion. It passed 102 – 5.” The Senate added language which would make the bill effective on July 2nd of 2021. The bill passed 106-2.
248HB 578117-JunI voted yes on HB 5781, which will allow for on premise licensees (restaurants that serve alcohol and bars that serve food) to sell and serve alcohol in a commons area that is within a social district. The districts would be designated by local governments. The bill passed unanimously.
249HR 27618-JunI voted yes on House Resolution 276, to oppose the policies regarding the placement of covid-19 patients into nursing homes. The resolution asserts that better alternatives were available for covid-19 patients such as open field hospitals. Thank you to Representatives Lynn Afendoulis, Steve Johnson, and Ryan Berman, for their moving words in support of the resolution. The resolution passed 71-32.
250HCR 2418-JunI voted yes on House Concurrent Resolution 24, to have the Governor compile and make publicly available the following data: Daily number of available hospital beds occupied by patients since January 1, 2020; Daily number of available hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients since January 1, 2020; Daily number of emergency room visits in total and daily number of emergency room visits by patients testing positive for COVID-19 since January 1, 2020; Daily number of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations and confirmed COVID-19 deaths that are related to retirement homes or nursing homes since January 1, 2020; Daily number of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations and confirmed COVID-19 deaths of individuals who have had other pre-existing or underlying health conditions since January 1, 2020; Daily number of ventilators available and daily inventories of hospital personal protective equipment (PPE) since March 10, 2020; Daily quantities of PPE possessed by the state and the quantities distributed to each hospital since March 1, 2020; Number of medical professionals who have been furloughed, had work hours reduced, or received a cut in pay since March 10, 2020; and The daily number of COVID-19 tests conducted since March 10, 2020, including positive and negative results. The resolution passed 69-37.
251HB 576118-JunI voted yes on HB 5761, which would allow a property owner to defer their 2020 summer property taxes if they sign an affidavit attesting to economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The bill passed unanimously.
252HB 581018-JunI subsequently voted yes on HB 5810, which assists local governments with deferred property taxes by creating a summer 2020 property tax advance payment program. The short-term financing would be an interest-free loan provided to counties that then must be repaid to the state. The bill passed unanimously.
253HB 581118-JunI voted yes on HB 5811, which would allow certain restaurants to sell alcohol-to-go. The bill would require beverages to be sold in qualified containers. My office has heard from restaurant owners in the 46th district who have supported this idea since the start of the pandemic. The bill passed 104-1.
254HB 582718-JunI voted yes on HB 5827, which would allow for hours of clinical practice performed out of state to count towards the requirements for licensure as a dental therapist. The bill passed 105-1.
255HB 548218-JunI voted yes on HB 5482, which would place a suicide prevention phone number on student identification cards for grades 6-12. The bill includes a provision that a school district will not be held liable if they do not print a suicide hotline number on the i.d. cards. The bill passed unanimously.
256HB 438923-JunI voted yes on HB 4389, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate replaced the reporting requirement created in the original version of the bill with the current statewide practice of reporting the use of firefighting foam. The Senate also eliminated the civil fine that was included in the House version and added a measure to ensure there wasn’t an unfunded mandate. The bill passed unanimously.
257HB 531523-JunI voted yes on HB 5315, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The bill would allow a restaurant located on Northern Michigan University’s campus to obtain an alcohol license. We have passed similar bills for other colleges and I would prefer we just create a set of rules for all college campuses, but this is still better than the current situation where the restaurant cannot obtain a license. The Senate adopted a substitute to resolve a conflict with another bill (HB 4912) that was signed into law by the Governor. The bill passed 103-2.
258HB 540023-JunI voted yes on HB 5400, which was returned from the Senate with changes. I voted yes on the original bill to pass out of the House, which was part of a larger package to allow micro brewers to self-distribute up to 2,000 barrels of beer to a retailer or distributer annually. The Senate adopted a substitute to have HB 5400 reflect changes from another bill (SB 711) that was signed into law by the Governor. The bill passed 102-1.
259SB 96323-JunI voted yes on SB 963. Last term the legislature agreed that we would pass and present budgets to the governor on or before July 1st. A legislature cannot bind a future legislature, so this isn’t enforceable, but it’s a sign of good faith negotiations. Unfortunately, due to circumstances stemming from the covid-19 pandemic it was not possible to wrap this up by July 1st. Senator Hertel’s bill has the good faith measure go into effect by July 1st of 2021. The bill passed unanimously.
260-261SB 248, SB 25424-JunI voted no on SB 248 & SB 254, which requires prescriptions under certain circumstances to be electronically transmitted as opposed to written. I voted no on HB 4217 a few months ago (see explanation below). These bills are very similar and tie-barred together. If a prescriber failed to electronically transmit a prescription – without a waiver – they would be facing a $250 fine for each violation. The bills passed 105-3. “I voted no on House Bill 4217, which would require prescriptions be filled electronically from the practitioner to the pharmacist — written prescriptions would be illegal. Law should not dictate the type of system a doctor should utilize in the doctor’s private practice, nor mandate doctors buy the software in order to send prescriptions electronically.”
262SB 94224-JunI voted yes on SB 942, which is similar to the social district bills which passed the House last week. The bill would allow a manufacturer of mixed drinks to sell canned mixed drinks from their taprooms. The bill passed 107-1.
263SB 17324-JunI voted yes on SB 173, which will prohibit pay to play practices between towing companies and local units of government. We have heard stories of some towing services entering into contracts with municipalities by offering them a portion of their towing service fees. This practice will undoubtedly lead to higher costs, less transparency, and will reduce the trust between citizens and their local government. The bill passed unanimously.
264SB 68624-JunI voted yes on SB 686, which protects whistleblowers by prohibiting a state department from disciplining staff for communicating with a legislator. The bill passed unanimously.
265HR 28224-JunI voted yes on House Resolution 282, to support the timely issuing of permits for the construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel Project and to ensure that the pipeline meets the energy and petroleum demand of the entire upper Midwest and upper peninsula of Michigan. The resolution passed 80-28.
266SB 63024-JunI voted no on SB 630, which establishes a new drug wholesale distributers-brokers license in Michigan. I am concerned the legislation will result in guild protection. Furthermore, the bill increases application licensing fees for pharmacists. The bill passed 99-9.
267HB 560224-JunI voted yes on HB 5602, which amends the state construction code to revise provisions concerning the installation of low-voltage electric security fences on commercial property. Michigan municipalities are adopting regulations to effectively make low-voltage security fences unusable, even after companies have invested in the installation to protect their important assets. It is our hope that this legislation would help to support professionals acting under the construction code. The bill passed 68-40.
268HB 579524-JunI voted yes on HB 5795, which allows for the electronic signature of wills. Nearly all transactions – including massive end-of-life transfers under pension plans, brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, and similar matters – can be made electronically. However, our state law still requires wills to be in writing and have a physical signature to be valid. The bill passed 57-51.
269HB 421724-JunI voted no on HB 4217, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate took parts of the bill and placed them into Senate Bill 248 & 254. I voted no on those bills a couple hours ago (please see the explanation below): “I voted no on SB 248 & SB 254, which requires prescriptions under certain circumstances to be electronically transmitted as opposed to written. If a prescriber failed to electronically transmit a prescription – without a waiver – they would be facing a $250 fine for each violation. The bills passed 105-3.
270HB 576124-JunI voted yes on HB 5761, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate added language that would allow for those affected by the dam failure in Midland to also apply, as well as amending the legislation to make the language of the bill more consistent with other summer property tax deferrals. Here is my original yes vote on HB 5761, “I voted yes on HB 5761, which would allow a property owner to defer their 2020 summer property taxes if they sign an affidavit attesting to economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The bill passed unanimously.” The bill passed unanimously.
271HB 581024-JunI voted yes on HB 5810, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate added language that provides payment options to the counties. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I subsequently voted yes on HB 5810, which assists local governments with deferred property taxes by creating a summer 2020 property tax advance payment program. The short-term financing would be an interest-free loan provided to counties that then must be repaid to the state. The bill passed unanimously.” The bill passed 107-1.
272-273HB 4546, 456724-JunI voted yes on HB 4546 & 4547, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate moved the effective date back due to ensure the legislation could be properly implemented. The Senate also added language to allow for a student to be dual enrolled if they have a GPA of 2.5, rather than receiving a qualifying score to enter the program. Here was my original yes vote explanation, “I voted for House Bills 4546-47, which would make students eligible for reimbursement for dual enrollment courses taken over the summer. Dual enrollment should be expanded to provide the easiest access for students to take advantage of these great opportunities and the bills passed unanimously.” The bills passed unanimously.
274HB 540724-JunI voted no on HB 5407, which beginning in 2022 would essentially mandate that the only type of smoke detectors sold can be ones that have a non-removable battery that lasts for at least 10 years. A smoke alarm that doesn’t meet these standards can be sold only if the alarm is connected to a central monitoring system, or through a Wi-Fi system. The bill passed 89-19.
275HB 557524-JunI voted no on HB 5575, which would make changes to the rural development fund program to allow for more entities to participate in the program. I voted no on establishing the fund in 2018 for the following reason, “I voted no on House Bill 6064, which would create a “Rural Development Fund Program” financed 50-50 with private contributions and taxpayer money. I don’t support taxpayer money artificially encouraging investment in specific areas. It passed 81 – 25.” Therefore, I do not support expanding the program. The bill passed 101-7.
276HB 558924-JunI voted yes on HB 5589, which would allow for a pawnbroker to charge 4% interest to a customer, rather than the currently allowed 3% interest. I do not believe the state should be involved in private contractual agreements between the pawnshop and the borrower, therefore, this bill is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 67-41.
277HB 583724-JunI voted yes on HB 5837, which would add de-escalation training and similar measures to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. This legislation was supported by a broad coalition, including, the ACLU and Michigan Chiefs of Police. The bill passed unanimously.
278HB 586124-JunI voted no on HB 5861 which would create a grade separation grant program for the separation of motor vehicle traffic and railroad traffic. I do not believe the current fiscal situation warrants the creation of a new state grant program, rather I would want this bill discussed next budget year. I also believe it is feasible these projects could be appropriated through the standard appropriations process as opposed to creating a new program. The bill passed 106-2.
279SB 85024-JunI voted yes on SB 850, which place the Michigan industrial hemp program in compliance with the USDA interim final rules. Currently, the hemp industry is operating as a pilot program. This bill would ensure that industrial hemp is not subject to changing rules and statutes; it also lessens the licensing fee from $1450 to an annual $1250. The bill passed unanimously.
280-282SB 935-93724-JunI voted yes on Senate Bills 935-937, which would allow for taxpayers whose business has been negatively impacted because of a covid-19 executive order to have their use, sales, and income taxes to be collected in November. Many businesses are still struggling and cannot currently afford to pay their taxes. The bills passed 101-7, 99-9, and 98-10.
283SB 58524-JunI voted yes on SB 585, to designate a portion of US-31 as the PFC Brett Witteveen Memorial Highway. On Feburary 19th, 2017, PFC Witteveen was killed by a roadside bomb in Fallujah while on patrol. PFC Witteveen paid the ultimate sacrifice and he will never be forgotten. The bill passed unanimously.
284HB 447524-JunI voted yes on HB 4475, to designate the bridge over Cheboyganing Creek on M-13 as the Sergeant Kristopher J. Gould Memorial Bridge. Army Sgt. Gould died February 27th, 2011 in Afghanistan from wounds received when insurgent fighters attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. He was only 25 years old. Sgt. Gould paid the ultimate sacrifice and he will never be forgotten. The bill passed unanimously.
285HB 526724-JunI voted yes on HB 5267, to rename a portion of US-127 in Isabella County as the Lance Corporal Justin Ellsworth Memorial Highway. Marina Lance Cpl. Justin M. Ellsworth was killed in combat on November 13th, 2004 in Al Sadan, Iraq by an improvised explosive device. Cpl. Ellsworth paid the ultimate sacrifice and his memory will never be forgotten. The bill passed 106-1.
286HB 533424-JunI voted yes on HB 5334, to rename a portion of US-10 as the Cpl. Casey P. Zylman Memorial Highway. Cpl. Zylman received the Bronze star, Purple Heart, and Good Conduct medal. He was killed in 2007 while serving in Mosul, Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Cpl. Zylman paid the ultimate sacrifice, and he will never be forgotten. The bill passed 106-1.
287SB 51724-JunI voted no on SB 517, which would mandate MDOT to hire a contractor to conduct a feasibility study on toll roads in Michigan. I do not believe we should be spending transportation dollars on a toll study when those dollars could best be used for fixing our roads and other forms of infrastructure. The bill passed 56-51.
288HB 531424-JunI voted yes on House Bill 5314, which would allow county road commissions to finance the purchase of property over 30 years instead of the current limit of 15 years. Giving county road commissions more flexibility on property purchase payments will allow for more money to be spent directly on road repairs. While this could potentially lead to more long-term financial liability, this is the road commissions’ responsibility and road repairs are urgently needed today. This is a re-introduction of HB 4120 which was vetoed by the Governor. The original bill passed 103 – 6. HB 5314 passed 105-2.
289HB 486624-JunI voted yes on HB 4866, which will allow for certain military surplus vehicles (Humvee or HMMVV) to be deemed a historic vehicle. This would allow them to be registered as a roadworthy vehicle. The bill also includes safety provisions such as the vehicle cannot be half-tracked and that it was authorized to be sold to citizens. The bill passed 95-12.
290-292SB 876-87824-JunI voted yes on Senate Bills 876-878, which would extend the renewal date for licenses and ID cards during a declared emergency. The bills passed unanimously.
293HB 443724-JunI voted no on HB 4437, which establishes continuing education requirements for a funeral director to maintain their license. I believe the funeral directors can set up licensing requirements through their own organizations, rather than through the state. The bill passed 99-8.
295-296HB 5824, 582524-JunI voted yes on HB 5824 & 5825, which codifies rules by the Governor which extended the deadlines for the Board of Review, County Equalization and Tax Tribunal Jurisdiction. It also extends the deadline for an individual to file an appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. This is a one-time extension due to the circumstances from the covid-19 pandemic. The bills passed unanimously.
297HB 583224-JunI voted no on HB 5832, which would create crisis stabilization units. There are already existing programs and operations which help people during various crises’ whether behavioral or mental, and I am concerned that this legislation, though well intentioned, may harm their mission. The bill passed 102-5.
298HB 517824-JunI voted yes on HB 5178, which would create a uniform community mental health service credentialing plan. Currently, providers must be credentialed through individual Medicaid health plans, which could result in numerous and repetitive credentials. This bill will streamline the process and was a priority of the Michigan Bipartisan House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force. The bill passed unanimously.
299HB 567224-JunI voted yes on HB 5672, which would prohibit an employer from requiring an employee from implanting any devices into their bodies (e.g. microchips). The bill passed 104-2.
300HB 585924-JunI voted yes on HB 5859, which would allow for Huron and Sanilac Counties to consolidate their probate courts into one combined district. The bill passed unanimously.
301HB 445924-JunI voted no on HB 4459, which caps an emergency service by a non-participating provider to 150% of the Medicare service. Health care professionals have concerns with this legislation as they believe it will result in them bearing the brunt of the cost. The bill passed 101-5.
302HB 446024-JunI voted yes on HB 4460, to require a provider to notify individuals who are receiving non emergency patient health care of the costs which result from them being a nonparticipating provider. The provider would have to notify the individual 14 days before providing the service or during a pre-consultation. The bill passed unanimously.
303-304HB 4990, 499124-JunI voted no on House Bills 4990 & 4991, which adds a penalty to the Public Health Code for any violations found under HB 4459 & 4460 (see previous vote explanations). Unfortunately, this may result in providers being hurt, while the insurance company is the one with the ultimate knowledge of the service. The bills passed 104-2.
305SJR G24-JunI voted yes on Senate Joint Resolution G, which would amend the state constitution to specify that electronic data and electronic communications of every person shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. The joint resolution passed unanimously.
306HB 439121-JulI voted no on HB 4391, which was returned from the Senate with changes. HB 4391 would require MIOSHA to develop rules for firefighters’ use of foams containing PFAS. The Senate added language to ensure MIOSHA would not make changes that go beyond the intent of the bill, but I still have concerns with the original legislation. The bill passed 103-4.
307HB 555121-JulI voted yes on HB 5551, which would decriminalize the improper attachment of a snowmobile registration/decal from a misdemeanor penalty to a civil infraction. This is common sense and overdue legislation. The bill passed unanimously.
308HB 568421-JulI voted yes on HB 5684, which further decriminalizes penalties related to snowmobiles. Among other things, the bill reduces the failure to exhibit or display a snowmobile registration from a misdemeanor (up to 90 days and/or a $500 fine) to a civil infraction of not more than $150. The bill passed unanimously.
309HB 568521-JulI voted yes on HB 5685, which will reclassify 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 103-4.
310HB 568621-JulI voted yes on HB 5686, which will reclassify misdemeanors related to registration violations for farm-related vehicles to a civil infraction. The current penalty is the standard “up to 90 days in jail and/or a $100 fine,” whereas this bill would replace it with no jail time and a fine up to, but not more than $150. The bill passed 106-1.
311HB 568721-JulI voted yes on HB 5687, which would reclassify the penalty for failing to exhibit a boating safety certificate from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 106-1.
312HB 568821-JulI voted yes on HB 5688, which would amend another section of the Michigan Vehicle Code which would further ensure that the penalty for operating a vehicle without a valid registration certificate or plate is a civil infraction, as opposed to a misdemeanor. The bill passed 103-4.
313HB 568921-JulI voted yes on HB 5689, which would reclassify the penalty for failing to present a snowmobile safety certificate from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 105-2.
314HB 569021-JulI voted yes on HB 5690, which would reclassify the penalty for temporary instruction permit violations from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed unanimously.
315HB 569121-JulI voted yes on HB 5691, which would reclassify the penalty for unauthorized use of dealer plates from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 105-2.
316HB 569221-JulI voted yes on HB 5692, which would reclassify the penalty for snowmobile safety standard violations and operation or riding a snowmobile without a helmet from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 100-7.
317HB 569321-JulI voted yes on HB 5693, which would reclassify the penalty for improperly crossing the road or street with an Off-Road Vehicle from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 105-2.
318HB 569421-JulI voted yes on HB 5694, which would reclassify the penalty for failing to exhibit a hunting, fur harvester’s, or fishing license from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed unanimously.
319HB 569521-JulI voted yes on HB 5695, which would reclassify the penalty for failing to attach a name and address to a fishing tip-up and fishing with more than the authorized number of fishing lines from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 105-2.
320HB 569621-JulI voted yes on HB 5696, which would reclassify the penalties regarding section 15 of the Motor Carrier Fuel Act from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 101-6.
321HB 569721-JulI voted yes on HB 5697 which would reclassify the penalty for failing to attach a name, driver license number, or sport card number to a ground blind on public land, failing to attach a name, driver license number, or sport care number to a tree stand, scaffold, or raise platform on public land, and certain violations related to the feeding of deer from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 106-1.
322HB 569821-JulI voted yes on HB 5698, which would reclassify the penalty for moped registration fee violations from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed 106-1.
323HB 580221-JulI voted yes on HB 5802, which would reclassify the first and second offense for driving on a suspended license from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. This does not apply to individuals whose licenses are suspended due to intoxicated, reckless driving, or any other violations which harms another driver or passenger. The bill passed 105-2.
324HB 580321-JulI voted yes on HB 5803, which reflects the changes from HB 5802 (see previous vote explanation) in another section of law. Specifically, Section 16a of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The bill passed 105-2.
325HB 580421-JulI voted yes on HB 5804, which reflects the changes from HB 5602 (see previous vote explanation) in another section of law. Specifically, MCL. 28.243. Furthermore, the bill ends the requirement to collect biometric data for driving on a suspended license. The bill passed 105-2.
326-331HB 5046-505122-JulI voted no on House Bills 5046-5051. 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 99-9, 97-11, 99-9, 99-9, & 91-17.
332SB 14522-JulI voted yes on SB 145, which would allocate $28.7 million dollars from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for 18 land acquisition and 60 recreational development projects. The revenues in the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund are derived from the development of state owned- mineral resources. Currently, the MNRTF is statutorily and constitutionally restricted as to how the monies can be spent. In 2018, I voted yes on SJR O, to ask the voters to approve a constitutional amendment to allow the Natural Resources Trust Fund and State Park Endowment Fund to be spent on local parks as well as state parks. Nevertheless, the bill includes funding for restoration, renovations, and improvements of the Bear Creek Nature Park, Marsh View Park, and the Sherman Memorial Village Park. The bill passed unanimously.
333SB 95622-JulI voted yes on SB 956, which would prohibit covid-19 patients from being transferred from other facilities into nursing homes, unless the nursing home has a separate dedicated unit for covid-19 patients (the bill would prohibit the patients from being under the same roof); and would instead require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop centralized intake facilities for these patients. Each of the eight health regions in Michigan would have a facility. The bill passed 74-34.
334HB 512622-JulI voted yes on HB 5126, which modernizes the notification process for draining district projects. The bill would ensure that property owners understand the estimated costs and are better informed about drain district projects. Furthermore, the bill requires details about the project to be posted on the county drain commissioner’s website. The bill passed 107-1.
335HB 550422-JulI voted yes on HB 5504, which would allow assessments for drain projects to be spread out over a 10-year period. This will lessen the financial burden to affected property owners. The bill passed unanimously.
336SB 89922-JulI voted yes on SB 899, which would provide immunity from civil or criminal liability for certain health care workers during a declared emergency. Every day, our front-line health care workers are forced to make incredibly difficult decisions while caring for patients under various circumstances. This plan will ensure they have critical legal protections, so they can focus their time and energy on providing the best care possible to patients battling corona virus. Nevertheless, under this plan, no one would be free from liability if they commit an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct. The bill passed 56-51.
337-339HB 5910-1222-JulI voted yes on HB 5910-12, which is part of the Return to Learn package. These bills will ensure that a framework of e-learning is in place for schools for this upcoming school year. It is important to provide schools with needed flexibility as we inch closer to Fall. The bills passed 56-48, 57-47, and 57-47.
340HB 591322-JulI voted no on 5913, which is the last bill of the Return to Learn Package. The legislation requires schools to choose an approved summative assessment from the MDE; they then must report the test data to the MDE who will report it to the legislature. Many of our schools already utilize benchmark assessments without the oversight of the MDE, and I believe this may lead to unintended consequences in the future. The bill passed 55-49.
341-342SB 373, HB 526522-JulI voted yes on SB 373 & HB 5265, which were part of an agreement with the Governor to balance the 2019-20 budget. Covid-19’s unprecedented ramifications include major shortfalls in the current state budget. This bipartisan agreement for the current budget year uses federal relief that already is available to assist students and local governments. We also were able to find dollars through state hiring freezes and prior year work-project lapses. Here is a link from the Senate Fiscal agency which provides more specific and detailed numbers as to how we balanced the budget: https://www.senate.michigan.gov/…/Publi…/Memos/mem072220.pdf . Over the past several days I have heard concerns that our budget agreement takes money primarily away from corrections and state police. The loss in state dollars will be back-filled using federal relief dollars. The bills passed unanimously.
343SB 94322-JulI voted yes on SB 943, which allows property tax owners who experienced economic hardship due to the covid-19 pandemic or Midland flooding to apply for a deferment of their summer 2020 property taxes. The bill passed 57-47.
344, 345, 346HB 5911-591317-AugI voted yes on House Bill 5911, which passed 81-25. I ended up voting no on HB 5912 due to language added in the Senate which defined 2 way interaction between a teacher and student. 2 way interaction includes, but is not limited to email, telephone, instant message, face to face, etc. Interaction must occur once a month but only to 75% of pupils in a district. The bill passed 77-29. Nevertheless, the big vote of the day was on HB 5913. I voted no on HB 5913, which passed 73-33. Thank you to all the residents who reached out to my office over this important issue; including over 100 emails and calls just from last night and this morning. Your input is still rolling in and is being heard by my office as well as other offices. Although the bill passed, I am proud of our community.
347SB 7451-SepI voted yes on Senate Bill 745, which is a supplemental budget bill. SB 745 appropriates $2.89 billion in federal funds from the Disaster Relief Fund (under FEMA) to add an additional $300 a week to UIA benefits in accordance with President Trump’s recent executive order. The bill also appropriates $9 million in general fund dollars to continue the clean up in Midland, as well as $8 million to create a barrier between Illinois and Michigan to prevent the spread of Asian Carp. The bill does not spend any additional state dollars; therefore, the bill is a “zero-balance bill” and has no fiscal impact. The bill passed 106-3.
348,349HB 4186, 41872-SepI voted yes on HB 4186 & 4187, to strengthen protection for Michigan consumers following data breaches. The bills would include strong steps for properly notifying individuals after a data breach to mitigate any potential damages. 45 other states have passed similar legislation and it is past due for Michigan to strengthen our Identity Theft Protection Act. The bills passed 99-10 & 97-12.
350HB 54702-SepI voted yes on HB 5470, which allows for the State Superintendent and State Treasury to submit quarterly reports on financially distressed school districts by mail, electronically, or in person. The current practice of submitting the report is by presentation before the House and Senate K-12 school aid appropriations subcommittees. All presentations thus far have been less than 30 minutes with no major updates. The bill passed unanimously.
351SB 5959-SepI voted yes on SB 595 which will transfer a deed on a 100 acre-site from Garfield Charter Township to the State and then back to the township. This will allow for the deed restrictions to be updated so mountain biking, snowshoeing, and similar non-motorized activities will be allowed on the trails of the site. The cost of the transaction is $1 to the township which will then be transferred back from the state. The bill passed unanimously.
352SB 7999-SepI voted yes on SB 799 which will transfer a 32.5 acre-site from the Gogebic County Road Commission to the State. This will allow for the State to revise the deed and then transfer it to Watersmeet Township. The Gogebic Road Commission does not use the site and Watersmeet Township wants to develop a park for residents and visitors. The bill passed unanimously.
353SB 1719-SepI voted yes on SB 171, which eliminates the sunset to allow for high school students to fulfill their foreign language requirement by either completing a CTE program or visual/performing arts instruction. Every single education group indicated their support for the bill (17 in total in the Education Committee) and none testified or indicated their opposition. The bill passed 67-38.
354-360HB 6116-61229-SepI voted for House Bill’s 6116-6122, which shifts funds from various sources, such as the 21st century job fund, back to the general fund. This is to help fulfill the supplemental budget that was recently agreed upon by the legislature and the Governor. The agreement included revenue under the assumption that money would be transferred into the general fund. The bills passed unanimously.
361, 362SB 473, 4759-SepI voted yes on SB 473 and 475, which updates the language in the Revised School Code and the Management and Budget Act to say “target foundation grant,” instead of “basic foundation grant,” in reference to a per pupil foundation grant. This is simply an update to language to help implement the Fiscal Year 2020 school aid budget. The bills passed 104-1 & 105-0.
363HB 569910-SepI voted for HB 5699, which reclassifies the penalty for failing to present a license while operating a vehicle from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The bill passed unanimously.
364HB 448310-SepI voted yes on HB 4483, which would develop a model program of instruction on cursive that is optional for districts to incorporate into their curriculum. Cursive writing connects students to historical and legal documents, and it has been argued that cursive helps to develop fine motor skills and overall penmanship. The bill passed unanimously.
365-370HB 4488-449310-SepI voted yes on House Bills 4488-4493, which makes it more difficult for someone to be denied a license to work on the basis of “good moral character.”  Currently, any sort of criminal record makes it nearly impossible to obtain an occupational license regardless of the severity of the crime committed. The bill package allows for “good moral character” clauses to still be applicable in some scenarios, e.g. child care facilities, but the heart of the legislation strikes at the fact that many people with criminal records cannot find a job which only increases the rate of recidivism. This will also give greater confidence to those on the path to obtain a license. The House under Speaker Chatfield has led the way on sensible and important criminal justice reform. The bills passed unanimously.
371HB 508510-SepI voted yes on HB 5085, which would allow for veterinarians to consult with pet owners the usage of Marijuana and CBD oil to help treat their animal. I do not believe the state government should be regulating the discussions of veterinarians and animal owners but voting no would only allow for the status quo to remain the same and this bill is a step in the right direction. The bill passed unanimously.
372HB 561110-SepI voted yes on HB 5611, which extends the timeframe from 2 to 5 years for claims against a marketable record title which need to be recorded. Industry experts have indicated to us that 2 years is not enough time to comply with standards. The bill passed unanimously.
373SB 92715-SepI voted yes on SB 927, which is a vehicle bill for the upcoming education omnibus budget. This legislation is procedural at this point, allowing flexibility as the Legislature continues work on finalizing the next state budget. The bill passed 58-51.
374HB 539615-SepI voted no on concurring in the Senate substitute to HB 5396, which is a mechanism that allows for the crafting of an omnibus budget bill. The bill failed 0-109 (again, this is purposeful).
375HB 515315-SepI voted yes on HB 5153 which ensures that the Michigan’s Child Protection Law and Child Abuse and Neglect Law match in language. There was inconsistency in Michigan law over “threatened harm,” and this bill simply allows for the courts to be involved in cases where CPS is investigating neglect. The bill passed 99-10.
376HB 613215-SepI voted yes on HB 6132, which eliminates the requirement that law enforcement confiscate and destroy a license plate when they detain a driver for a violation for which vehicle immobilization is required. Current requirements are an unnecessary and antiquated use of resources. Rather this bill would require an office to simply notify the SOS that a vehicle is immobilized. The bill passed unanimously.
377HB 529815-SepI voted yes on HB 5298, which will establish psychiatric residential treatment facilities for Medicaid recipients under the age of 21 for the provision of services beyond what can be provided at school, in the home, or through individual therapy. The federal government provides a structure for these facilities, but they have not been reflected at the state level. The bill passed unanimously.
378HB 417015-SepI voted yes on HB 4170, which designates a portion of highway M-52 as the “Trooper Byron J. Erickson Memorial Highway.” Trooper Erickson died in the line of duty and was survived by his wife and son. The bill passed 108-1.
379HB 555315-SepI voted yes on HB 5553, which designates a portion of I-75 as the “PFC Holly McGeogh Memorial Highway.” PFC McGeogh was 19 years old when she was tragically killed by a roadside bomb outside of Kirkuk, Iraq. The bill passed 108-1.
380HB 557015-SepI voted yes on HB 5570, which designates a portion of M-60 as the “Sergeant Matthew R. Soper Memorial Highway.” Sgt. Soper died after sustaining injuries from an IED while serving our nation in Bayji, Iraq. The bill passed 108-1.
381, 383HB 4954. 495515-SepI voted yes on HB 4954 & 4955, which develops a protest process for an unsuccessful bidder to protest an award decision and requires the department to post publicly the name of the vendor that was awarded the contract and the amount of the contract. This will increase transparency regarding the state’s procurement process. The bills passed unanimously.
382HB 613215-SepI voted yes on HB 6132, which eliminates the requirement that law enforcement confiscate and destroy a license plate when they detain a driver for a violation for which vehicle immobilization is required. Current requirements are an unnecessary and antiquated use of resources. Rather this bill would require an office to simply notify the SOS that a vehicle is immobilized. The bill passed unanimously.
384HB 505915-SepI voted no on HB 5059, which provides for reimbursements to ISD’s of tax increment revenues captured by a brownfield project. Local communities knowingly allow brownfield projects and the loss of revenues to various entities. The State should not be filling in for this program. Furthermore, the school aid fund will not be reduced but reimbursements would be taken from the school aid fund which reduces the amount of funds for the rest of the budget. The bill passed 97-12.
385HB 471715-SepI voted yes on HB 4717, 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. Thank you to State Representative Steve Johnson for his leadership on this issue. The bill passed 63-46.
386HB 619215-SepI voted yes on HB 6192, which requires an individual to provide a certificate from the friend of the court within 10 days of receiving the certificate for reinstatement of their license. This is simply a reinstatement of the status quo that was in effect before coronavirus. The bill passed 107-1.
387, 388HB 4993, 616223-SepI voted no on HB 4993 & 6162, which allows for a tax credit for donation to certain community foundations (4993) or a food bank/shelter (6162). I do not oppose a tax credit for these donations, but I oppose the piecemeal solution and have concerns over picking winners and losers in the form of tax credits. This also reverses the course of the legislature from 2011 which eliminated numerous credits and exceptions in attempt to make the income tax act simple and fair. The bills passed 74-31 & 82-23.
389HB 544323-SepI voted no on HB 5443, which was returned from the Senate with minor drafting changes. Here is my original no vote, “I voted no on House Bills 5443 and 5444, which would create a new program called the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program and the Kinship Caregiver Advisory Council. Bureaucratic welfare programs in general are conducive to fraud and abuse and this one would have an impact on the Department of Health and Human Services finances. This is the kind of program that should be operated by private organizations, but putting government in charge of this will tend to displace them while creating more bureaucracy. The bills passed 98 – 7 and 99 – 6” The bill passed 98-7.
390HB 505323-SepI voted yes on HB 5053, which was returned from the Senate. The bill passed unanimously the first time and dealt with state financing and management law. The Senate added language to include claw back provisions in State procurement contracts. The bill passed unanimously.
391, 392HB 5493, 549423-SepI voted yes on HB 5493 and 5494, which were returned from the Senate. The bills require the Enterprise Portfolio Management Office to produce a quarterly report on all department and enterprise wide IT projects. The Senate added language that would clarify the details of the report such as if a project is “x” days over their projection for when a project would be completed. The bills passed unanimously and 104-1.
393, 394SB 384, 38523-SepI voted yes on SB 384 and 385, which repeals the antiquated ban on scalping tickets. The current law is rarely enforced, but in instances of enforcement, the penalty is up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. The bills passed 93-12 & 91-14.
395, 396SB 927, HB 539623-SepI voted no on SB 927, the school aid budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. I would first like to focus on the positives of the budget, primarily Section 29(a), which will help to support Oxford and similar schools who were negatively affected by the 75/25 split, without harming any other districts. Nevertheless, I have concerns over unnecessary spending that will go to support vendors and other private organizations. These are dollars that would increase our school aid budget to be used by schools as they best see fit, as opposed to specific earmarks. Some examples are $1.5 million for Imagine Learning (Sec. 99u), $400,000 for the Michigan Fitness Foundation (Sec. 99w), and $150,000 for a “Return to Learn Study” (sec. 98a). Furthermore, I still have concerns over higher education spending being a part of the school aid budget. I believe we should do all we can to have the school aid budget be primarily for K-12 students. The bill passed 103-2. Here is a link to the fiscal analysis: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2019-2020/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2019-SFA-0927-R.pdf. I voted no on HB 5396, the general omnibus budget bill for Fiscal Year 2020-21. Although the budget situation drastically improved over the last few months, we are still not out of the woods. There are positives and victories in the budget, but I believe there are areas of the budget that could be better utilized in other ways. The budget includes sections such as $15 million in State spending for Pure Michigan. The bill passed 101-4. Here is a link to the fiscal analysis: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2019-2020/billanalysis/House/pdf/2019-HLA-5396-87CA42F5.pdf
397HB 485123-SepI voted yes on HB 4851, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The bill protects disabled veterans seeking exemptions in the event of errors by local tax collectors. There is nothing in current law that covers the veteran when this happens. The bill passed unanimously.
398SB 43223-SepI voted no on SB 432, which expands and clarifies a current law that exempts property taxes for technology-related nonprofits. I have consistently opposed bills that utilize our tax code to pick winners and losers. It is unfair for certain nonprofits, businesses, etc. to receive tax breaks over other competitors. The bill passed 91-14.
399SB 13223-SepI voted yes on SB 132, which designates a portion of US-12 as the “Trooper Rodger M. Adams Memorial Highway.” Trooper Adams was just 26 when he died while serving with the Michigan State Police. He was responding to an accident call when a driver, who had fallen asleep at the wheel, struck his vehicle head-on. The bill passed 103-2.
400SB 43523-SepI voted yes on SB 435, which designates a portion of M-81, as the “Staff Sergeant Eugene H.E. Alex Memorial Highway.” Staff Sergeant Alex was 32 when he was killed encountering enemy forces in Baghdad, Iraq. The bill passed 103-2.
401HB 603023-SepI voted yes on HB 6030, which creates a framework for providing protection from COVID-19 liability in certain scenarios. Among other details, the bill provides minimum requirements for claims alleging exposure to COVID-19. The bill does not provide protection to anyone (e.g. a PPE provider) if they had knowledge their product was faulty and likely to cause injury. The bill passed 57-49.
402HB 603123-SepI voted yes on HB 6031, which provides protection from COVID-19 liability to certain persons regarding the reopening of a business or school. The bill makes clear that an employer is not liable under state occupational safety standards if they were operating in compliance with federal or state law, regulations, orders, etc. The bill passed 59-47.
403, 406HB 603223-SepI voted yes on HB 6032, which would prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who is absent from work either for being COVID-19 positive or having symptoms. The bill passed 73-33.
404HB 610123-SepI voted yes on HB 6101, which is part of the COVID-19 liability package. The bill adds necessary terms to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act, such as “COVID-19” and “public health guidance.” The bill passed 61-45.
405HB 615923-SepI voted yes on HB 6159, which provides liability protection to health care providers and facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Liability protection would not be in effect if the provider/facility was involved in willful misconduct, gross negligence, intentional and willful criminal misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm. The bill passed 58-48.
407HB 577023-SepI voted no on HB 5770, which stipulates a contract between restaurants and 3rd party delivery services before the service uses their likeness, trademark, or other properties. I do not oppose the intent behind the bill, rather I have concerns over the State being involved in contractual language between two private parties. I do not believe the government should determine what must be reflected in valid contractual agreements. The bill passed 104-2.
408HB 577723-SepI voted yes on HB 5777, 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. The bill passed 105-1.
409SB 66523-SepI voted yes on SB 665, which allows for certain microbrewers who produce less than 120,000 barrels of beer or less to operate up to three tasting rooms throughout the state. This bill will allow for greater growth in an already rapidly growing industry, and it is my intent to always support businesses in their attempts to be innovative. The bill passed unanimously.
410HB 584423-SepI voted yes on HB 5844, which eliminates a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 days for using a title regulated by the Public Health Code without registration or under a “suspended, revoked, or fraudulently obtained registration.” The bill passed unanimously.
411, 416HB 585423-SepI voted yes on HB 5854, which eliminates numerous mandatory minimum sentences regarding the Michigan Vehicle Code. Numerous studies have shown that mandatory minimums are often ineffective and simply cruel depending on the situation. The bill passed 103-3.
412HB 585523-SepI voted yes on HB 5855, which eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for parents who fail to comply with compulsory school attendance laws. Sending parents to jail for a set time period isn’t going to solve anything. The bill passed unanimously.
413HB 585623-SepI voted yes on HB 5856, which eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for certain misdemeanor hunting violations, such as taking or killing any fish contrary to any state rules. The bill passed unanimously.
414HB 585723-SepI voted yes on HB 5857, which eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for throwing objects at a train or vehicle on a train track, and for destroying or tampering with any light or banner connected to a track. The bill passed unanimously.
415HB 409823-SepI voted no on HB 4098, 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 55-51.
417-420, 422HB 4926, 4928-493024-SepI voted no on HB 4926, 4928, 4929, and 4930, which were returned from the Senate with changes. All these bills are related to one another. Here is my original no explanation for HB 4928, “I voted no on House Bill 4928, which would allow the Local Community Stabilization Authority (LSCA) to receive a portion of the Local Community Stabilization Share (LCSS) revenue for the LCSA’s cost to implement and administer the act. The LCSA funding would increase by 1 percent from the previous year, each year starting after fiscal year 2019. This is in order to distribute personal property tax reimbursements to municipalities. This is yet another personal property tax “clean up” bill but the legislature can simply appropriate this money in the budget. It passed 96 – 9.” The Senate substitutes simply changed the enacting dates. The bills passed 96-9, 96-9, 92-13, & 88-17.
421SB 75724-SepI voted no on SB 757, which authorizes some clerks to open absent voter ballot return envelopes between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the day before Election Day. Furthermore, this legislation would create different systems from township to township dependent upon if they meet the 25,000-population threshold to qualify. The bill passed 94-11.
423HB 498024-SepI voted yes on HB 4980, which was returned from the Senate with changes. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted for House Bill 4980, which would allow for certain misdemeanor and felony convictions to automatically be expunged from one’s criminal record after a period of years. This is the first of several major bipartisan criminal justice reform bills in a package.” The Senate clarified and added language to ensure that any records that are expunged are properly recorded by DTMB and MSP. The bill passed 93-12.
424HB 498224-SepI voted yes on HB 4982, which was returned from the Senate with changes. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted for House Bill 4982, which would allow a court to set aside any number of misdemeanor marijuana offenses, if the offense would not have been a crime if committed on or after December 6, 2018 (when the marijuana decriminalization ballot proposal began to take effect). Under the bill, there is a rebuttable presumption that a misdemeanor marijuana-related conviction was based on activity that would not have been a crime. However, this presumption may be rebutted by evidence presented by the prosecuting attorney. This still gives courts discretion, such as when the original conviction was the result of a plea agreement over a more serious original charge, but allows that those convicted of something that is no longer a crime may have their records cleaned. It passed 101 – 7.” The Senate added a technical definition for “misdemeanor marijuana offense.” The bill passed 98-7.
425HB 498524-SepI voted yes on HB 4985, which was returned from the Senate with changes. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted for House Bill 4985, which would allow multiple felonies or misdemeanors arising out of the same criminal transaction to be considered as a single felony or misdemeanor for purposes of eligibility for expungement. Under the bill, more than 1 felony offense or misdemeanor offense must be treated as a single conviction if the felonies or misdemeanors were contemporaneous, such that they all occurred within 24 hours and arose from the same transaction. The bill does not apply to an assaultive crime, crime involving the use or possession of a dangerous weapon, or a crime with a maximum penalty of 10 years or more. This is to prevent those otherwise eligible from expungement under this criminal justice reform package to not be disqualified if they were convicted of two offenses but stemming from one actual incident. It passed 98 – 10.” The Senate made simple technical changes that did not change the content of the bill. The bill passed 96-9.
426, 427HB 5339, 534024-SepI voted yes on HB 5339 and HB 5440, which were returned from the Senate. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted yes on HB 5339 & 5340, which allows for a “locator” to find and collect unclaimed property on behalf of the owner. The process for reclaiming property is too often difficult and burdensome, and this bipartisan package should ease the process. The bills passed 83-26.” The Senate added language that caps the fee at 25% of the recovery amount that a locator may charge. The bills passed 101-4, and 77-28.
428-433SB 1066-107124-SepI voted yes on SB 1066-1071, which would transfer money from the Michigan Film Promotion Fund, the Michigan craft beverage fund, the solid waste management fund, and the sex offenders registration fund, the transportation economic development fund, to the general fund for FY 2019-20. This bill is part of a larger agreement with the Governor to balance our budget for the current fiscal year. The bills passed unanimously.
434SB 110324-SepI voted yes on SB 1103, which deposits some of the marijuana tax revenue into the Michigan Transportation Fund to support our roads. The bill passed unanimously.
435HB 428824-SepI voted no on HB 4288, which gives the Department of Technology Management and Budget the authority to implement a new broadband program. I have concerns over how this may lead to greater regulations in the technology industry, as well as it being dependent upon a yearly appropriation by the legislature. Furthermore, I am worried the new requirements may not offer necessary flexibility and could potentially stifle future progress. The bill passed 96-9.
436SB 85224-SepI voted yes on SB 852, which would repeal and replace SB 850. Here is my yes vote explanation for SB 850, “I voted yes on SB 850, which place the Michigan industrial hemp program in compliance with the USDA interim final rules. Currently, the hemp industry is operating as a pilot program. This bill would ensure that industrial hemp is not subject to changing rules and statutes; it also lessens the licensing fee from $1450 to an annual $1250. The bill passed unanimously.” SB 852 is nearly identical but required changes from the USDA before Michigan’s hemp plan could be proved. The bill passed unanimously.
437HB 421324-SepI voted no on HB 4213, which would allow local governments to extend the allowable hours from selling alcohol from 2 am to 4 am. I support the concept, but an amendment was added to the bill that creates a new late-night permit fee of $250. This is unnecessary and only an opportunity for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to make money. The bill passed 77-27.
438SB 32124-SepI voted yes on SB 321, which allows for court officers and corrections officers who have died while serving our communities to be included in the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument. The bill passed unanimously.
439, 440SB 493, 49424-SepI voted no on SB 493 and 494, which would extend the granting of property tax abatements from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2025. These bills will allow for the age-old process of picking winners and losers to continue into the future, when the legislature should be pushing back on these schemes. The bills passed 93-12, and 92-13.
441SB 65924-SepI voted yes on SB 659, 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 95-10.
442-445HB 6169, HB 617024-SepI voted yes on HB 6169 & 6170, which improves security at private correctional facilities by expanding the definition of trespassing. A private correctional facility in Michigan has had a recurring problem with activist groups. These groups are paying people to throw contraband like weapons or drugs over the wall as a form of protest. This is a serious security issue, and our local law enforcement officers must be given the proper tools to arrest and prosecute bad actors. The bills passed 75-30 & 74-30.
446HB 592024-SepI voted yes on HB 5920, which creates a Sickle Cell Anemia fundraising license plate. Thank you to Representative Peterson for his moving speech and passion on the issue. The bill passed 103-2.
447HB 619024-SepI voted yes on HB 6190, which defines and distinguishes a public swimming pool from a learn to swim facility. Learn to swim facilities provide a valuable service to their members by teaching kids how to swim and hopefully avoid drowning accidents. Because of this, our plan makes sure state law includes a clear distinction between the two. The bill passed 104-1.
448HB 585324-SepI voted yes on HB 5853, which lessens the penalty for numerous offenses under the Michigan Vehicle Code from a fine of $500 to a civil fine up to $100, as well as from a misdemeanor with a fine of $1000 and imprisonment for up to one year to a civil fine of up to $100. An example of a current offense that is subject to a misdemeanor with possible imprisonment but would be changed to a civil infraction of $100 under this bill, would be if one transfers a vehicle to avoid forfeiture. The bill passed unanimously.
449-454HB 5846, HB 5847, HB 5849, HB 5850, HB 5851, HB 585224-SepI voted yes on HB 5846, which would eliminate numerous license sanction offenses. As of now, the SOS is required to suspend, revoke, or deny a license for things such as failing to report a change of address, or for using a fake ID to buy alcohol as a minor. Simply suspending or revoking a license in response to crimes committed does not typically solve any issues, but rather can make matters more complicated. The bill passed unanimously. I voted yes on HB 5847, which would eliminate license suspensions for selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor or for a minor purchasing or possessing alcohol. Once again, these situations can be rectified without the SOS being required to suspend, revoke, or deny a license. The bill passed unanimously. I voted yes on HB 5849, which removes, or revises references to provisions of law that would be eliminated under HB 5846 (see explanation above). The bill passed unanimously. I voted yes on HB 5850, which would eliminate license suspensions for missed child care payments under shared custody agreements. As I said for HB 5847, “these situations can be rectified without the SOS being required to suspend, revoke, or deny a license.” The bill passed unanimously. I voted yes on HB 5851, which would eliminate required license suspensions for certain drug related convictions. This bill would not be able to go into effect unless the federal government either amends the federal drug offense mandates under 23 USC 159 or allows for Michigan to not enforce the mandate. The bill passed unanimously. I voted yes on HB 5852, which removes a reference in law that would be eliminated by House Bill 5852 (see explanation above). The bill passed unanimously.
455HB 623524-SepI voted yes on HB 6235, which prohibits the denial, issuance, or renewal of a driver license for failure to appear before the court. Currently, the SOS may not issue or renew a license until the court informs the SOS that the person has resolved all outstanding matters regarding each notice or citation and the person has paid a driver license clearance fee ($45). The bill passed unanimously.
456SB 108024-SepI voted yes on SB 1080, which would increase the maximum number of years from 10 to 40 for a bond issued for a lake level project; This bill is in response to the Midland flooding. The bill passed 103-1.
458HB 548224-SepI voted yes on HB 5482, which was returned from the Senate with changes. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “I voted yes on HB 5482, which would place a suicide prevention phone number on student identification cards for grades 6-12. The bill includes a provision that a school district will not be held liable if they do not print a suicide hotline number on the i.d. cards. The bill passed unanimously.” The Senate fixed a drafting error in the definition of “public school academy.” The bill passed unanimously.
459HB 533624-SepI voted yes on HB 5336, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The original legislation updated and clarified the Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act, and the Senate simply changed a reference in the bill regarding “commercial property.” The bill passed unanimously.
460HB 549024-SepI voted yes on HB 5490, which allows for a court-appointed individual to operate a medical-marijuana facility. There are times when a court needs to appoint someone to manage or run commercial properties. The bill passed unanimously.
461HB 611924-SepI voted no on HB 6119, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate added language that would transfer funds from the State Convention Facility Development Tax Act to areas such as the Michigan Strategic Fund, as opposed to the original bill which transferred funds to the general fund. The bill passed 84-19.
462SB 97724-SepI voted yes on SB 977 & HB 5881, which creates a felony if someone knowingly fills out an AV ballot application without consent and with the intent to obtain multiple absent voter ballots for a person. Furthermore, it is a felony for someone to knowingly submit an AV ballot application containing false information or a forged signature. The bills passed 77-26 & 74-29.
463HB 588124-SepI voted yes on SB 977 & HB 5881, which creates a felony if someone knowingly fills out an AV ballot application without consent and with the intent to obtain multiple absent voter ballots for a person. Furthermore, it is a felony for someone to knowingly submit an AV ballot application containing false information or a forged signature. The bills passed 77-26 & 74-29.
464HB 528924-SepI voted yes on HB 5289, which was returned from the Senate. The Senate fixed a technical problem that would have caused the bill to come into conflict with PA 53. HB 5289 waives the fee for stillborn death certificates. The bill passed 99-4.
Michigan House Republicans

© 2009 - 2020 Michigan House Republicans. All Rights Reserved.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.