Legislation watch

My Legislators' Key Votes

How my representative and senator voted on important or interesting measures
My ZIP Code     My Street Name  such as "Broadway"

Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. sarahanthony@house.mi.gov
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734 . senchertel@senate.michigan.gov

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House Bill 5488: Let courts keep imposing operations costs on defendants
Passed 101 to 4 in the House on May 19, 2020
To extend until October of 2022 a law that permits courts to impose any costs on guilty defendants that are reasonably related to the actual costs of operating the court, including building maintenance expenses, court employee benefit expenses and more, and do so without tying those expenses to the particular case. The controversial 2014 law that authorized these impositions has already been extended once, and the introduced version of this bill would have added another three years, not two years.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 690: Allocate epidemic relief money for state and schools
Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on May 13, 2020
To allocate Michigan's $523.7 million share of federal relief dollars approved by Congress to help state governments and schools deal with the coronavirus epidemic. The allocations include $125 million for subsidies to licensed child care providers who give discounts this spring; $15 million for school district summer school programs (distributed based on the epidemic’s “impact in the communities” serve they serve); $100 million to pay for giving $1,000 bonuses to local law enforcement and public safety personnel, emergency first responders, 9-1-1 operators and others; $178 million to give a temporary $3 per hour bonus to “direct care workers” covered by Medicaid and other social welfare programs; $50 million in grants to buy personal protection equipment to “priority providers” designated by the state health and welfare department, and more.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5412: Facilitate more use of telemedicine
Passed 105 to 0 in the House on May 13, 2020
To revise the definition of “telemedicine” in the state insurance code, by replacing a requirement that a patient be able to interact in real time with the off-site health care professional at the time the services are provided, with a requirement that the health care professional "must be able to examine the patient via a...secure interactive audio or video telecommunications system, or through the use of store and forward online messaging." House Bills 5413 to 5416 amend other laws to make similar changes in Medicaid and related social welfare programs, and also remove current restrictions that prohibit getting telemedicine services at home.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 899: Extend coronavirus epidemic liability waivers for medical care providers
Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate on May 7, 2020
To extend through the end of the coronavirus state of emergency a medical malpractice liability exemption granted to health care professionals and facilities by the 1976 state “Emergency Management Act.” The law the bill would amend now limits the governor's exercise of extraordinary emergency powers - and the liability exemptions the bill would extend - to 28 days unless the legislature approves an extension, which it has declined to do.

This means that Gov. Whitmer's epidemic related executive orders now rest their authority primarily on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor Act,” which does not place limits on how long a governor may retain such powers, and also does not grant liability protections to doctors and hospitals during an epidemic.

Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 899: First Democratic amendment on extending medical care liability waiver
Failed 16 to 22 in the Senate on May 7, 2020
To limit the proposed medical care provider liability waiver extensions in Senate Bill 899 to "the assessment or care of an individual with a confirmed case or a suspected case of COVID-19."
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 899: Second Democratic amendment on extending medical care liability waiver
Failed 16 to 22 in the Senate on May 7, 2020
To not extend the proposed liability waivers to a hospital or medical care provider that acted "with an intent to harm or discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity."
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 858: Accelerate lifting of epidemic lockdowns
Passed 22 to 16 in the Senate on April 30, 2020
To amend a 1976 “Emergency Management Act,” one of two state laws that grant extraordinary emergency powers to a governor. This law limits these powers to 28 days unless extended by the legislature, which on the same day as this vote the legislature declined to do. This make makes Gov. Whitmer’s exercise of emergency powers more reliant on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor” law, which does not limit how long a governor may retain these powers and does not require legislative approval.
The bill does two things. It essentially “writes into” this law (“incorporates by reference”) the current coronavirus epidemic executive orders that have been imposed under its authority, but with different termination dates for many than in the governor’s order. In general, orders that are more restrictive of business reopening get earlier end-dates, and ones easing state regulations (including those on medical care providers and facilities) are extended for a longer time. Bars and restaurants could reopen with social distancing protocols on May 16 under the bill.
Second, it adds to this law “social distancing” protocols for businesses and public accommodations that are somewhat more general and flexible than those in the current orders.

On the day the bill passed an angry breakdown occurred in lockdown-easing negotiations between Michigan's Republican Senate Majority Leader. This bill will not be signed by the governor and will not go into law, but may be significant as a political statement from the majority party in a co-equal branch of government, the legislature.

Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 858: Accelerate lifting of epidemic lockdowns
Passed 59 to 41 in the House on April 30, 2020
The House vote on the coronavirus epidemic response bill described above.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 5709: Revise penalties for violating governor’s orders during declared emergency
Passed 62 to 38 in the House on April 30, 2020
To revise the penalties in the laws that authorize a governor to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including the statewide “lockdowns” ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. The current law makes violations “a misdemeanor,” and the bill would add a “civil infraction” provision and specify fines of either $100 for individuals, and up to $500 for businesses or other entities. House Bill 5710 makes the same change in the other state of emergency law.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Resolution 111: Urge governor to allow elective procedures in hospitals: Adopted on a voice vote
To adopt a non-binding resolution that would "urge the Governor to allow elective procedures in hospitals and to allow healthcare providers the freedom to determine their capacity to handle elective procedures."


House Resolution 250: Authorize lawsuit over epidemic emergency orders: Adopted on a voice vote
To authorize the Speaker of the House to commence legal action on behalf of the House of Representatives, challenging the authority and actions of the Governor, and the executive branch generally, taken during the coronavirus epidemic.


House Bill 4729: Authorize COVID-19 epidemic response spending
Passed 92 to 0 in the House on March 17, 2020
The House vote on the epidemic response funding bill described above.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 718: Expand roadside drug testing pilot program
Passed 28 to 9 in the Senate on March 17, 2020
To revise a 2016 law that ordered a roadside drug testing pilot program in five counties by extending it to the entire state.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 4908: Increase cap on state housing subsidy debt
Passed 35 to 2 in the Senate on March 17, 2020
To increase to $5 billion the current $3.4 billion cap on the amount of debt backed by the Michigan State Housing Developing Authority, which subsidizes housing developer borrowing.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 592: Allow "double dipping" for corrections pensioners
Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on March 17, 2020
To allow "retired" state prison employees to collect a pension while also getting paid to do corrections work as an independent contractor, or employed by one. Versions of this law are often passed when government agency employees who are permitted to begin collecting full pensions at a comparatively early age take advantage of this rather than continuing to work until a more typical retirement age.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5576: Gov. Whitmer’s “Michigan Reconnect” scholarship proposal
Passed 35 to 2 in the Senate on March 17, 2020
To authorize a college and trade school grant program for individuals age 25 and above, with grants in the amount needed to cover tuition and fees for career-oriented classes at a community college that is above the amount covered by other scholarships and government aid. It would also authorize one-time grants of $1,500 for completing a private apprenticeship program. This is the “Michigan Reconnect” program proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her 2019 State of the State address, and is projected to cost $46.3 million.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 268: Gov. Whitmer’s “Michigan Reconnect” scholarship proposal
Passed 81 to 12 in the House on March 17, 2020
The House version of this proposal, whose provisions will likely be divided among two or more bills.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5024: Let townships impose property tax for mosquito control
Passed 72 to 21 in the House on March 17, 2020
To permit townships to impose a 1 mill property tax for six years for mosquito abatement if voters approve, which would let these governments use existing tax revenue to pay for other spending instead.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 4910: Criminalize false emotional support animal claim
Passed 59 to 33 in the House on March 17, 2020
To make it a crime to falsely represent to a housing provider that a person has a disability or is in possession of an emotional support animal prescribed by a licensed medical service professional, and permit a housing provider to require reliable documentation to confirm this. The bill would also establish procedures, standards and required credentials (including state licensure) for a medical professional prescribing an “emotional support animal.” Falsely claiming this status, or falsely prescribing for it, would be subject to fines, jail or community service.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 4911: Authorize eviction for false emotional support animal claim
Passed 67 to 26 in the House on March 17, 2020
To allow a landlord to evict a tenant who falsely claimed that a member of household has a disability or is in possession of an emotional support animal prescribed by a (legitimate) medical service professional.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 812: Clarify unemployment insurance "work search" requirements
Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on March 12, 2020
To require the state unemployment insurance benefits agency (the Michigan Employment Security Commission) to specify what an individual would have to do to be considered "actively engaged in seeking work" for the purpose of remaining eligible while receiving these benefits.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 268: Gov. Whitmer’s “Michigan Reconnect” scholarship proposal
Passed 36 to 2 in the Senate on March 12, 2020
To authorize a college grant program for individuals age 25 and above, with grants in the amount needed to cover tuition and fees for career-oriented classes at a community college that is above the amount covered by other scholarships and government aid. It would also authorize one-time grants of $1,500 for completing a private apprenticeship program.
This is the “Michigan Reconnect” program proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her 2019 State of the State address, and is projected to cost $46.3 million.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5576: House version, Gov. Whitmer's “Michigan Reconnect” program
Passed 93 to 14 in the House on March 12, 2020
The House vote on a bill that contains the same provisions as Senate Bill 268 (above), Gov. Whitmer's “Michigan Reconnect” program.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 4587: Let landlords sue for delinquent late fees
Passed 80 to 27 in the House on March 12, 2020
To let landlords in eviction and delinquent rent collection actions claim unpaid monthly late fees of up to $50, or 10 percent of the rent amount.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 4332: Permit airbows for hunting during firearms season
Passed 70 to 37 in the House on March 12, 2020
To permit the use of pneumatic air bows to hunt game during any open season in which a firearm may be used, and permit disabled hunters to use air bows during bow season. These devices are like crossbows but use compressed air to drive an arrow.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 543: Authorize “secure identity verification device” to buy alcohol
Passed 100 to 7 in the House on March 12, 2020
To authorize the use by stores, bars and restaurants of a “secure identity verification device” to determine whether a person is old enough to buy alcohol. The methods could include the following, as described by the Senate Fiscal Agency: An electronic biometric scan referenced against certain photo identification cards; a photo identification previously verified by an electronic authentication process; a commercially available knowledge-based electronic authentication process; and an authenticated picture identification “securely linked to biometrics contemporaneously collected from the individual.”
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5286: Preempt local knife regulations
Passed 71 to 36 in the House on March 12, 2020
To preempt local government ordinances or rules on the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, purchase, manufacturing, etc. of a knife or knife-making components. A similar preemption restricts local gun regulations.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 716: Require legislative authorization for road repair borrowing
Passed 22 to 16 in the Senate on March 4, 2020
To prohibit a state transportation commission from borrowing more than $100 million in any fiscal year without first giving the legislature at least 30 days' notice. The bill would empower the legislature to halt the borrowing with a majority vote in the House and Senate. If this bill were passed and signed by the Governor (unlikely), it would likely lead to suspension of $3.5 billion in road repair debt that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the commission to approve, which it did on Jan. 30, 2020.

Related, the Senate also passed on a voice-vote a non-binding resolution declaring that it would not vote to appropriate money to pay the increased debt service on that new road borrowing. The resolution has no effect, but a future vote to deny appropriations to repay already-borrowed money could potentially trigger a state government showdown and fiscal crisis.

Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 5479: Ban government gun "buybacks"
Passed 58 to 49 in the House on March 4, 2020
To prohibit local governments from using any public resources for firearm purchase (“buyback”) programs. Governments could only buy guns from licensed dealers for law enforcement purposes.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Resolution B: Deny Heartwell nomination to chair Natural Resources Commission
Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate on February 27, 2020
To disapprove the appointment by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of former Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell as chairman of Michigan Natural Resources Commission. This follows the (reportedly related) Feb. 13 denial of Anna Mitterling's appointment to this commission, which has "exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game and sportfish" and designating which species may or may not be hunted. Heartwell’s nomination is opposed by the National Rifle Association because of his role as a “state membership coordinator” of antigun groups organized by former New York City mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 669: Revise state hospital rationing law (“certificate of need”)
Passed 21 to 16 in the Senate on February 26, 2020
To revise the powers of a state Certificate of Need (CON) commission that are related to “capital expenditures” for a new hospital or clinic, or expansion of an existing one. This commission has the power to approve or deny facility expansions, as well as any changes in the location, purpose or number of beds allowed in an existing facility, or plans to offer more clinical services. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports that the proposed change would have little practical effect because these regulated capital expenditures “are used to finance expansions of facilities and those expansions themselves require a certificate of need” from the commission.
This and similar laws in other states were enacted under a federal mandate in the 1970s with the intention of lowering health care spending by reducing investment in the field; 15 states have repealed the laws but 35 states, including Michigan, still have them.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 672: Revise psychiatric hospital rationing (“certificate of need”)
Passed 21 to 16 in the Senate on February 26, 2020
To exempt psychiatric hospitals or units from the rationing restrictions imposed under a state Certificate of Need law that requires medical service providers to get permission from a panel of existing providers before adding new or expanded facilities. In return for the exemption, private psychiatric hospitals and units would have to maintain half their beds for "public patients," defined as ones receiving social welfare benefits, or subject to a treatment order signed by a clinical psychiatrist, or deemed by a court to be a threat to themselves or others.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 4740: Establish another “dark sky preserve”
Passed 106 to 1 in the House on February 25, 2020
To designate Dr. T. K. Lawless Park in Cass County as a “dark sky preserve.” The term is not defined in this or a related statute but in general it means restricting outdoor lighting to a minimum.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 4736: Ban using open records requests to locate huntable game
Passed 85 to 22 in the House on February 25, 2020
To prohibit using information obtained in response to an open records request seeking Department of Natural Resources records related to resource-related restoration, management or research projects, for the purpose of locating game to hunt. This and House Bill 4735 would authorize a process by which an individual seeking such records could sign a form attesting that he or she will not use the information to take game or help others do so, subject to misdemeanor penalties for violations
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 4042: Authorize interstate nurse licensure compact
Passed 55 to 50 in the House on February 26, 2020
To authorize Michigan’s participation in an interstate nurses licensure compact that would allow registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/VNs) to get a multi-state license that is good in all states that join the compact.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 432: Expand subsidies for certain research and development operations
Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on February 18, 2020
To exempt from property taxes certain nonprofit operations that do product research and development for business and industry and also get certain state "economic development" subsidies and grants.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5347: Impose more "beer festival" rules
Passed 103 to 1 in the House on February 20, 2020
To revise details of rules for beer festivals, among other things stipulating that they can last more than one day without requiring a separate special license, permitting "micro brewers" to serve their own products at an event, repealing a requirement for regulators to determine whether an event is "appropriate," and more. This is one of a 16-bill package revising many provisions of Michigan’s extraordinarily detailed and extensive “liquor control” regulatory regime, which essentially writes into state law detailed rules governing the members of this cartel that would ordinarily be promulgated by an administrative agency.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5015: Require state agencies post salaries and benefits (but not names)
Passed 104 to 3 in the House on February 18, 2020
To revise the information that must be included in a 2016 law that required each state department to post its organizational staffing chart on a state website. As introduced, the bill required the name of each agency staffer to be listed with the title of their position, and the individuals salary and benefits. The version that passed the House deleted the requirement that the names to be posted.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Resolution A: Senate Resolution A, Oppose Heartwell's NRC nomination by defeating Mitterling's
Passed 20 to 16 in the Senate on February 13, 2020
To disapprove the appointment by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Anna Mitterling to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. Reportedly the real target of this action by the Senate Republican majority is Whitmer’s nomination of current NRC member and former Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell as chair of the commission, which has "exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game and sportfish," and designating which species may or may not be hunted. Heartwell’s nomination is opposed by the National Rifle Association because of his role as a “state membership coordinator of antigun groups" organized by former New York City mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 5117: Facilitate wrongful imprisonment compensation
Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on February 11, 2020
To exempt from state Court of Claims procedural restrictions and deadlines the claims that are made by former prisoners under a 2016 law that authorizes state payments to a person wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he or she did not commit. Reportedly these obstacles have prevented a number of former prisoners from getting the compensation the law entitles them to receive.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Showing 40 Results        Show Entire Session

Contact my lawmakers
Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. sarahanthony@house.mi.gov
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734 . senchertel@senate.michigan.gov


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 www.MichiganVotes.org.

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