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Ban gas chamber for pets; subsidies for hospitals and Flint businesses; authorize new school taxes; regulate drones; more
The House held a pro-forma session with no votes this week, but the Senate passed a number of bills in its final session before the Nov. 8 election.
Senate Bill 979, Authorize .5 mill Flint property tax for spending and subsidies: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize creation of a new Flint authority with the power to impose a 15 year 0.5 mill local property tax, and use the money for unspecified government spending and subsidies to business owners.
House Bill 4388, Authorize 3-mill "sinking fund" property tax for school security and computers: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To allow school districts to impose a 3 mill property tax for 10 years for a “sinking fund” that can be used to buy computer equipment, software and security equipment. Under current law schools can levy up to 5 mills for 20 years for a much narrower range of uses.
Senate Bill 25, Give TEDF subsidies to hospitals: Passed 35 to 2 in the Senate on October 20, 2016
To allow Transportation Economic Development Fund subsidies and spending for hospitals. TEDF money is a type of subsidy in which the state pays for access improvements related to a particular developer’s plant or project.
Senate Bill 732, Exempt Masons lodges from property tax: Passed 31 to 6 in the Senate
To exempt property owned by Masons' lodges from property tax, under a presumption that "Masonic activities" are by definition charitable purposes eligible for a tax break.
Senate Bill 1073, Authorize electronic hunting and fishing licenses: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize the development and use of an electronic hunting license that individuals could display on a smartphone or other electronic device, to be ready by March 1, 2018. Senate Bill 1075 also passed, to authorize the same for fishing licenses.
Senate Bill 97, Require agencies disclose federal aid requests to legislature: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate
To require state agencies that apply for any form of federal or other financial assistance to notify legislative leaders, relevant committees and the legislature’s fiscal agencies within 10 days, with the notice including any conditions or stipulations associated with receiving the assistance.
Senate Bill 1076, Mandate 5 feet of clearance to pass bicycle: Passed 34 to 2 in the Senate
To prohibit passing a bicycle while driving a motor vehicle unless there is at least five feet of clearance between the vehicle and the bike. This would be permitted in no-passing zones too, if there is room to pass with the required clearance.
Senate Bill 992, Regulate aerial drones: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize the use of aerial drones for commercial purposes in Michigan, if the operator is authorized or licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Recreational use would also be permitted subject to federal rules. The bill would preempt local government restrictions on drone ownership or operation, but allow local regulations on use within their jurisdiction. It would also prohibit improper use of drones, including privacy violations, and authorize misdemeanor penalties. Finally, the bill creates a state commission to develop more detailed rules.
Senate Bill 403, Ban gas chamber for dog and cat euthanasia: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To require an animal control or protection shelter to use only injections of a commercially prepared solution for euthanizing a dog or cat. The use of gas chambers would be banned, although reportedly they are already no longer used.
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.