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February 23, 2018 MichiganVotes Weekly Roll Call Report

English as Official Language, More Road Repair Money, a Foster Care Alternative

Senate Bill 798, Establish foster care alternative: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate

To establish an alternative for court-ordered foster care that would allow a parent or guardian to sign a “safe families” power of attorney form delegating to another person (potentially but not necessarily a family member) the care, custody or property of a minor child for up to 180 days with no intimation of “abandonment,” subject to rules prescribed by the bill including background checks, home inspections and more.

House Bill 4053, Establish English as official state language: Passed 62 to 46 in the House

To establish English as the official state language. This would apply to government activities, but not to private sector activity. It would require governmental documents, records, meetings, actions, and policies to be in English, but would not prohibit them from also being in another language.

Senate Bill 551, Give political branches input on Natural Resource Trust Fund spending: Passed 56 to 53 in the House

To establish a Natural Resources Trust Fund advisory board comprised of the Governor, the state Treasurer, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House (or their designees) and one member of an existing NRTF governing board, which would make non-binding recommendations for annual spending and operation of the fund. State land oil and gas royalty money is earmarked for this fund, which acquires and develops more land for recreational purposes

House Bill 5190, Extend major sports event liquor licenses to golf: Passed 108 to 0 in the House

To extend a law that authorizes special liquor licenses for national sporting events, which allows the sale of liquor in designated theme areas related to the event. The bill would add the Professional Golf Association tournaments in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

House Bill 4321, Authorize extra $160 million for road repairs: Passed 109 to 0 in the House

To appropriate $160 million from state general fund revenue to road repairs, and $15 million for "next generation technologies, hydrogen fueling stations, and demonstration projects related to enhanced transportation services for senior citizens." The road repair money would be divided between the state and local governments according to the usual road tax allocation formula.

SOURCE:, 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

Most viewed bills

2017 Senate Bill 584
Expand concealed pistol “gun free zone” exemptions

  2017 House Bill 4158
Require conviction for property forfeiture

  2017 House Bill 4687
Authorize local rent control mandates on landlords

  2017 House Bill 4220
Require utilities provide customer “smart meter” opt-out



Bills Introduced
Amendments Introduced
New Laws Passed