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March 7, 2014 Weekly Roll Call Report

strong>Senate Bill 783, Let landlords ban medical marijuana use: Passed 31 to 7 in the Senate

To prohibit the use of medical marijuana on any portion of private property that is open to the public, or where it is banned by the property owner. The bill would also permit a landlord to refuse to rent a residence to someone who uses medical marijuana on the property. Because the bill amends an initiated law adopted by the people, it requires a three-fourths supermajority vote in the Senate and House.


Senate Bill 821, Revise 2012 “personal property tax” reform law: Passed 36 to 2 in the Senate

To revise details of a 2012 law that distributes some state use tax revenue to local governments, as a replacement for revenue they lose due to reductions in the "personal property tax" imposed on business tools and equipment. The bill is part of proposal to essentially replace all of the foregone local government revenue from a 2012 personal property tax reform law, instead of replacing most of it. For any of this to happen voters must approve related changes to the state use tax in an August, 2014 ballot initiative; the current proposal is intended to forestall local government opposition to that measure.


Senate Bill 821, Whitmer amendment to impose "Amazon" internet sales tax: Failed 12 to 26 in the Senate

To "tie-bar" the personal property tax reform bill described above to Senate Bill 658, which would impose state sales tax on catalog or internet purchases made from sellers outside the state that have an affiliation with a different business located in Michigan, in the manner pioneered by internet retailer Amazon.com. The amendment would require the internet sales tax legislation to become law for the personal property tax bill to do so.


Senate Bill 667, Prohibit minors from using “e-cigarettes”: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

To prohibit minors form using electronic vapor cigarettes, making it a misdemeanor crime punishable by a $50 fine, community service in a hospice or long term care facility, and being ordered into a health promotion and risk reduction program. Senate Bill 668 bans selling or giving minors e-cigarettes.


Senate Bill 711, Extend Cobo sales tax break: Passed 100 to 10 in the House

To extend for another two years a sales tax exemption for the purchase of tools and equipment by a contractor if these are used to fix or renovate Cobo Hall in Detroit.


Senate Bill 608, Revise Medicaid expansion funding; authorize extra spending: Passed 65 to 44 in the House

To adjust spending in the current year budget to reflect fund source changes triggered by adoption of the federal health care law Medicaid expansion starting in April. The bill also appropriates $215 million in additional spending on roads (including $100 million for extra winter maintenance costs), money for Amtrak-related rail improvements, government pre-school programs, low income heating bill subsidies, veterans programs, marina projects, and much more. The House removed a Senate-passed $5.5 million appropriation involving purchase of the Steelcase "Pyramid" building for a loosely defined, education-related "public/private partnership," along with other spending including more money for "land banks." The bill would also authorize $60.3 million in new debt for state college and university construction projects.


House Bill 4295, Add additional spending to current school budget: Passed 107 to 3 in the House

To appropriate extra money for various school-related purposes, including a $51.7 federal "early learning challenge grant" the state applied for and received. Among other things this will pay for government programs that promote “physical, social, and emotional health...for high-needs children from birth to kindergarten entry,” in ways that are "culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate." The money can also be used to train the employees who perform these activities, and figure out how and what to measure in assessing them. The bill also authorizes (but does not yet fund) contracting for a student nutrition and behavior tracking software program for schools. It would also appropriate $5 million more for transition costs related to dissolving the fiscally-failed Buena Vista and Inkster school districts; $2 million for a year-round school pilot program; $3.9 million for contracts to provide students "information technology education opportunities; and more. Finally, it makes adjustments to the current school aid budget to reflect lower than expected student counts.

Posted 3/7/14 in MichiganVotes
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