For example: Raise gas tax a lot? Yes No
Give taxpayer cash to developers; permissive regs for Uber; ban local bag bans and more
Senate Bill 1153, Give cash subsidies to Dan Gilbert and other developers: Passed 30 to 7 in the Senate
To authorize a new way of giving up to $250 million worth of state subsidies each year to certain developers and business owners selected by state or local political appointees. This would use the device of “abating” employee income tax withholding requirements to give virtual cash subsidies to select business owners. Reportedly the bills are intended to deliver subsidies to Detroit developer Dan Gilbert and up to 14 others around the state.
Senate Bill 1061, Give cash subsidies to smaller developers and business owners too: Passed 29 to 8 in the Senate
To authorize a new way of giving state subsidies to certain developers and business owners selected by political appointees on local brownfield authority boards. This would use the device of “abating” a particular firm's income tax withholding to give its owner virtual cash subsidies - and reduce state revenue available for other purposes - similar to the Dan Gilbert subsidies described above.
Senate Bill 627, Authorize “public-private partnerships” with broad powers: Passed 30 to 6 in the Senate
To give state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements with a particular business for purposes of building a transportation project or health care (hospital) or laboratory facilities. These operations could be ones solicited by a private developer, and would benefit from the government partner's tax exemptions and its power to impose property tax levies, borrow, take private property using eminent domain, levy tolls and user fees and more. Among (many) other things this would authorize new toll roads or toll lanes. The government agency involved could choose the private sector actor without necessarily having to accept the lowest bid.
House Bill 4637, Regulate Uber, Lyft, etc.; preempt local bans: Passed 31 to 4 in the Senate
To establish a regulatory framework to enable “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft to operate, including a preemption on local government restrictions, regulations or bans. Taxis and limousines would henceforth be subject to the same state rules. The companies would need a state permit, pay state fees for three years and carry specified liability insurance. Passengers would be covered by insurance similar to provisions for taxis but with higher liability limits. The companies would be responsible for driver background check and vehicles inspections that meet specified standards. The cars would have to bear signs, with ride requestors given specified information and options. Street hailing and the use of cab stands by the network company vehicles would be prohibited.
Senate Bill 1085, Give certain companies subsidies for hiring non-resident: Passed 23 to 13 in the Senate
To expand the definition of “new job” that makes selected businesses eligible to collect certain state "21st Century Jobs Fund" subsidies, so a firm located in a border county could get a subsidy or tax break for hiring a person who does not live in Michigan.
House Bill 5851, Limit Tax Increment Finance Authorities; require transparency: Passed 60 to 48 in the House
To establish new revenue limits and reporting and transparency requirements for downtown development authorities. The bill is part of a package that applies these new standards to different types of "TIF" authorities that have the power to skim local property taxes to support their own projects and subsidies.
House Bill 5400, Expand scope of practice for nurses: Passed 102 to 5 in the House
To expand the scope of practice allowed for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (including nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists), so they can provide more medical services without being under the direct supervision of a physician, including house calls and "doctor's rounds" in a hospital.
Senate Bill 853, Preempt local plastic bag bans: Passed 62 to 46 in the House
To preempt local governments from imposing regulations, restrictions or taxes on plastic grocery bags or other "auxiliary containers," defined as a disposable or reusable bag, cup, bottle or other packaging. Washtenaw County has already imposed a bag tax and reportedly others are considering bans.
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.