November 30, 2012 Weekly Roll Call Report

Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting

Senate Bill 1360, Extend deadline on school employee pension reform choices: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To extend from October 26, 2012 to January 9, 2013, the deadline for public school employees to choose whether to contribute more toward the cost of their defined benefit pensions or else accept a slightly less generous benefit calculation formula, as required by a recently-passed pension reform law.

Senate Bill 909, Create Detroit regional mass transit authority: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
To create a new Detroit area regional transportation authority covering Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, and potentially others. Among other powers, the authority could levy property taxes (special assessments) and higher local vehicle registration taxes if approved by a majority of voters in the region, meaning a particular community could not “opt out” of the tax increase. The authority would be specifically authorized to create “rolling rapid transit” corridors along some streets and highways, potentially with dedicated lanes that other motorists could not use. It would be run by a board appointed by the counties and the City of Detroit.

Senate Bill 1021, Increase state property tax payments to locals: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To increase from $2 per acre to $4 per acre the amount the state pays to local governments as “payment in lieu of (property) taxes” (PILT) on state-owned land in their jurisdictions, and index the amount to inflation going forward.

Senate Bill 1240, Extend lawsuit liability waivers to certain social services agencies: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To give social services agencies licensed to oversee child adoptions, foster care and other child care issues immunity from liability for personal injury or property damage caused by the agency's provision of services, except for gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Senate Bill 402, Authorize physician impaired driver reports: Passed 56 to 52 in the House
To establish that while a physician has no affirmative obligation to report to the state or a third party any concerns about person's mental and physical qualifications to safely operate a motor vehicle, he or she may do so, and in such a report should recommend a license suspension of six months or more. The bill establishes that the physician has no liability for either making or not making such a report.

House Bill 5805, Exempt “health care sharing ministries” from insurance regulations: Passed 77 to 30 in the House
To establish that “health care sharing ministries” are not subject to state insurance regulations. These are an alternative to insurance, and facilitate voluntary health care cost sharing arrangements among people of similar and sincerely held religious beliefs.

House Bill 5261, Allow more school retiree “double dipping”: Passed 105 to 1 in the House
To allow a former school employee to work as a substitute teacher or coach in the district he or she "retired" from and still collect a pension in addition to the substitute or coaching pay. This would also apply if the "retiree" was employed by private firm under contract to provide substitute teachers.

House Bill 5881, Allow pension "double-dipping" by some “retired” prison workers: Passed 58 to 48 in the House on November 29, 2012
To allow retired prison employees to simultaneously collect pension benefits and a paycheck for going back to work in a prison, if the person is paid on a per-diem basis for a limited term, with no (additional) benefits, and for less than 1,040 hours annually (the equivalent of 26 40-hour weeks).

House Bill 6008, blish new “non-ferrous” mine taxation regime: Passed 62 to 45 in the House
To revise the taxation of “non-ferrous” mines (including new copper and other mineral mines in the Upper Peninsula). The bill is part of a package that would exempt these mines from property, income, sales and use taxes, and instead levy a “severance tax” based on the amount of material extracted. Various credits would be allowed against pre-operational start-up costs, including regulatory compliance costs. Most of the tax revenue would go to the local government, but some would go to a new state “rural development fund.”

Posted Nov 30 2012, 03:04 PM by admin5


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