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My Legislators' Key Votes

How my representative and senator voted on important or interesting measures
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Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734. senchertel@senate.michigan.gov
Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, District 68. 517-373-0826. AndySchor@house.mi.gov
 

House Bill 6064: Authorize new corporate subsidy program
Passed 81 to 25 in the House on October 4, 2018
To authorize a new program to give up to $50 million in state taxpayer subsidies to some private business owners through a device the bill would create called a “rural development fund.”


House Bill 4224: Repeal ticket scalping ban
Passed 71 to 36 in the House on October 3, 2018
To repeal a state law that bans ticket “scalping” at sports and entertainment events, but also authorizes jail time for interfering with an internet-based ticket distribution system used by an event's promoter.


House Bill 4351: Exempt private aircraft owners from sales tax on parts on September 26, 2018
To exempt owners of private general aviation aircraft from having to pay sales tax on parts. Fiscal agency projections indicate this and a related use tax exemption will save aircraft owners $4 million annually, and reduce state revenue by the same amount.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5902: Allow cross-subsidization of utility rates for Dow solar-cell maker
Passed 35 to 1 in the Senate on September 26, 2018
To allow the indefinite continuation of special discounted electricity rates granted by Consumers Energy to the Hemlock Semiconductor subsidiary of Dow Corning, which under a 2010 law was exempted from a ban on cross-subsidization between residential and commercial/industrial customers.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 704: Protect tourism marketing bureau tax from lawsuit
Passed 27 to 9 in the Senate on September 26, 2018
To amend and potentially expand a law that authorizes private convention and tourism bureaus in various regions to impose a room tax on local hotel and motel owners to pay for the bureaus' marketing programs. The bill was introduced after the progress of a Mackinac Center Legal Foundation lawsuit appeared to place the authority of these private bureaus to impose the fees in legal jeopardy.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 6011: Enroll state in multistate driver license compact
Passed 105 to 2 in the House on September 26, 2018
To enroll Michigan in a national driver license compact that shares traffic violation records with other states. Under the compact, a traffic violation in another state would generate "points" on a Michigan driver's license, and vice versa.


Senate Bill 477: Mandate 10 mph speed reduction when passing emergency vehicles
Passed 107 to 0 in the House on September 26, 2018
To require drivers to slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit when passing police or emergency vehicles on the side of the road, and also require this when passing roadside tow trucks, garbage trucks, maintenance and utility vehicles that have amber lights flashing. Violations would be a civil offense subject to a $400 fine. The bill does not define which posted limit on freeways would apply (the one for cars, for trucks, for work-zones, etc.).


House Bill 4557: Authorize prison for bringing 26 or more cases of beer or wine into state
Passed 99 to 8 in the House on May 25, 2017 on May 25, 2017
The House vote on the bill described above.
Rep. Andy Schor (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 163: Authorize “Choose Life” license plate
Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate on April 27, 2017 on April 27, 2017
To require the Secretary of State to develop a “Choose Life” license plate, with the profits from its sale spent on "life-affirming programs and projects." This bill was vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Legislative Initiative Petition 3: Mandate employers provide paid leave
Passed 24 to 13 in the Senate on September 5, 2018
To mandate that all employers in the state (except federal agencies) grant employees one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of 40 hours annually for small businesses, and 72 hours annually for larger employers. The leave could be used for individual or family medical issues, domestic violence issues, school meetings and more. Employers would be required to keep relevant records for five years, and under procedures specified in the measure, a violation claim by an employee could potentially subject an employer to a legal presumption of having broken the law.
Note: The measure was placed before the legislature by an initiated law petition drive, which requires it either be passed legislatively or placed on the ballot. If placed on the ballot and approved, any future amendments would require a ¾ supermajority vote in the House and Senate. But if enacted by the legislature, it can be amended later with a simple majority vote. Negotiations are underway over amending the measure after the November, 2018 election so as to require employers to provide paid leave but with less burdensome record keeping and legal liability provisions.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Legislative Initiative Petition 3: Mandate employers provide paid leave
Passed 78 to 28 in the House on September 5, 2018
The House vote on the measure described above.


Legislative Initiative Petition 4: Increase statewide minimum wage mandate
Passed 24 to 13 in the Senate on September 5, 2018
To make it unlawful to pay a worker less than $12.00 per hour by 2022, by gradually increasing the current $9.25 per hour wage mandate. Also, to eliminate a lower minimum wage for tipped workers by 2024. (Under current law, while the mandated minimum is lower for tipped workers, if tips come up short then employers must still pay the difference between it and the regular minimum wage.) A lower minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-olds would also go up.
Note: The measure was placed before the legislature by an initiated law petition drive, so the same procedural issues described above are in play. In this case, negotiations are underway over amending the measure after the election by removing its elimination of a separate minimum wage for tipped workers.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Legislative Initiative Petition 4: Increase statewide minimum wage mandate
Passed 78 to 28 in the House on September 5, 2018
The House vote on the measure described above.


House Bill 5377: Ban using subjective considerations in parole decisions: on September 5, 2018
To require that any parole board departure from state parole guidelines be for substantial and compelling reasons that are "objective" and stated in writing. The bill prescribes a list of circumstances that would constitute substantial and compelling objective reasons for departing for the guidelines when considering a particular case and prisoner.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 343: Give students government predictions related to careers
Passed 96 to 13 in the House on June 12, 2018
To require school districts to give students a regional “career outlook” forecast document created by a government Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. This would be part of a process that seventh-graders must undergo of creating an educational development plan with school officials.


Senate Bill 302: Revise state land ownership limits
Passed 66 to 43 in the House on June 12, 2018
To eliminate a cap on the amount of acres the state can own in the northern part of the state, but require additional procedures for new land acquisitions. Acquisitions would not be allowed if the state fails to make full “payments in lieu of property taxes” (PILT) on state land to local governments. Other changes generally facilitate making acquisitions that increase access to state land for recreation and resource use, and revise other state land management details.


House Bill 5579: Appropriations, “Omnibus” education budget
Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate on June 12, 2018
The state education budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct 1, 2018. This appropriates $16.843 billion, including $1.843 billion of federal money. Of this, $14.765 billion goes to K-12 public schools, up from $14.580 billion this year. Another $1.669 billion is for state universities, compared to $1.629 billion this year. Community colleges get $408 million, up from $399 million. The bill increases the basic state "foundation allowance" grants to public schools by $120 per pupil for higher-spending districts, and $240 per pupil for districts that get less funding.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 683: Impose full licensure on acupuncturists
Passed 33 to 3 in the Senate on June 12, 2018
To convert a registration mandate now imposed on acupuncturists into a more comprehensive licensure regime, including training and apprenticeship requirements, license fees, regulations specified in the bill and additional ones that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs would be authorized to impose, and more.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 331: Impose licensure on genetic counselors
Passed 33 to 3 in the Senate on June 12, 2018
To impose licensure, fees, certification through a nationally recognized agency, and more on “genetic counselors” as they are defined in the bill.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 916: Impose licensure mandate on “automatic recycling kiosks”
Passed 98 to 11 in the House on June 12, 2018
To require second-hand goods and junk dealers that use an “automatic recycling kiosk” to obtain a license from the local government in each jurisdiction where one is located. “Automatic recycling kiosk” is defined as one that verifies identity by “remote examination of a seller's government-issued identification card by a live representative during all hours of operation,” and that captures and stores images of the seller and goods.


House Bill 5955: Preempt local government occupational licensure mandates
Passed 58 to 50 in the House on June 12, 2018
To prohibit local governments from imposing new licensure mandates on individuals seeking to earn a living in a particular occupation if the state already imposes its own licensure mandate on that occupation. Locals could keep their current licensure mandates but not impose any new ones.


Legislative Initiative Petition 2: Repeal prevailing wage law
Passed 23 to 14 in the Senate on June 6, 2018
To repeal the state prevailing wage law, which prohibits awarding government contracts to contractors who submit the lowest bid unless the contractor pays wages based on union pay scales that local union officials represent as prevalent in a particular area. The voter-initiated legislation was placed before the legislature by petition, and does not require the Governor's approval to become law.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Legislative Initiative Petition 2: Repeal prevailing wage law
Passed 56 to 53 in the House on June 6, 2018
The House vote on the prevailing wage law repeal described above.


Senate Bill 787: Allow lower cost auto insurance option for seniors
Passed 23 to 13 in the Senate on June 7, 2018
To exempt a person age 65 or above from having to buy the unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) coverage mandated by the state’s no fault auto insurance law. Specifically, these individuals could buy either unlimited coverage or a policy that caps medical coverage at $50,000, with injury expenses above that amount covered by the individual's Medicare and related coverage. By the same margin the Senate also passed Senate Bill 1014, which restricts charges for long term attendant care provided by family members to crash victims under the standard unlimited medical benefit coverage.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 897: Impose work requirement on able-bodied Medicaid recipients
Passed 62 to 47 in the House on June 6, 2018
To require state welfare officials to seek federal permission to allow requiring able-bodied individuals enrolled in the Medicaid expansion authorized by the federal health care law to work at least 80 hours a month for at least nine months a year, or be in school, job-training or volunteer work. The bill authorizes exceptions for a parent with children under age six, individuals getting disability benefits or above age 62, a disabled person's caretaker and more.


Senate Bill 897: Impose work requirement on able-bodied Medicaid recipients
Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate on June 7, 2018
The Senate vote to concur with the House-passed version of the bill described above.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 941: Spend $100 million on job training and preparation programs
Passed 30 to 2 in the Senate on May 30, 2018
To spend $100 million on government job and career training programs, scholarships, program grants and more, which would be labeled a “Marshall plan for talent.” Senate Bill 942 would authorize paying for this with money borrowed against revenues from a 1998 state tobacco lawsuit settlement.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 653: Create environmental permit appeal panel
Passed 58 to 50 in the House on May 22, 2018
To create a state environmental permit appeal panel comprised of certain officials and representatives of specified interests including business and environmentalist organizations. A permit applicant aggrieved by permit denial could appeal to the panel, which would have the authority to revise or reject state environmental regulators' decision or conditions of a permit.


House Bill 6043: Require report to state of disclosures on prospective school employees
Passed 88 to 21 in the House on May 24, 2018
To expand a law that requires individuals who apply for a school job to sign a document that authorizes the applicant’s current or former employers to disclose any unprofessional conduct to the school. The bill would require the school to report to the Department of Education any information obtained this way about sex or other crimes involving a minor, or inappropriate conduct involving a minor. This would also apply if a school receives similar information about a current employee. The department would be required to keep these reports for six years.


Senate Bill 872: Extend statute of limitations on criminal sexual conduct suits
Passed 99 to 10 in the House on May 24, 2018
To extend the statute of limitations to 10 years on filing civil lawsuits related to criminal sexual conduct offenses, or if the victim was a minor, until the individual turns 28 years of age. This would be retroactive for cases going back to 1997 that match the profile of offenses committed by convicted MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar, except a victim would have to file a suit within three months of the bill becoming law.


Senate Bill 826: Impose licensure on naturopathic physicians
Passed 24 to 11 in the Senate on May 17, 2018
To impose licensure and regulation on naturopathic physicians, with license fees, education requirements and more. The bill defines naturopathic medicine as “a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals.”
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 839: Revise mining permit amendment process
Passed 63 to 45 in the House on May 15, 2018
To establish streamlined procedures and timetables for a mining company getting revisions to restrictions in its state operating permit, with many exceptions. This would apply to determinations that a permit amendment does not “result in environmental impacts that are materially increased or different” from those specified in the original permit.


House Bill 5638: Revise groundwater withdrawal permit regime
Passed 93 to 15 in the House on May 17, 2018
To revise a 2008 law that imposed a comprehensive regulatory regime and restrictions on industrial, commercial and agricultural groundwater uses that might have a negative impact. The bill would allow a more streamlined process for agricultural and other withdrawals that meet certain conditions, and establish deadlines for state officials to process permit requests. It would also repeal a requirement that landowners make public certain agricultural well use information.


House Bill 5325: Let local business subsidy entities tax residences
Passed 76 to 32 in the House on May 16, 2018
To expand the taxing power of local authorities created to deliver direct and indirect subsidies to business property owners in “principal shopping districts” and “business improvement districts,” by letting them impose property taxes styled as “special assessments” on home and residential property owners. Under current law residential property is excluded from the levies these entities are authorized to impose.


House Bill 5902: Allow residential "cross-subsidization" of solar cell maker's lower electric rates
Passed 77 to 31 in the House on May 17, 2018
To allow the indefinite continuation of special discounted electricity rates granted by Consumers Energy to the Hemlock Semiconductor subsidiary of Dow Corning, which under a 2010 law were exempted from a ban on cross-subsidization between residential and commercial/industrial customers (meaning residential customers pay more while Hemlock pays less). The styles the discount as a privilege potentially available to all industrial customers, but details that limit it to just this one company. Note: Hemlock makes photovoltaic solar cells, which were recently granted tariff protection against foreign competition by the Trump administration.


House Bill 4158: Require conviction for property forfeiture to police
Passed 83 to 26 in the House on May 8, 2018
To establish that property seized from a person because it may be associated with a suspected drug crime is not subject to permanent forfeiture (loss of ownership) unless an individual is actually convicted. However, the conviction requirement would only apply to forfeitures of less than $50,000 (meaning police and prosecutors could still take and keep assets worth more than that using a lower burden of proof).


House Bill 5767: Let alcohol producers and wholesalers sponsor beer tents
Passed 105 to 2 in the House on May 3, 2018
To revise the extraordinarily detailed law establishing a comprehensive regulatory regime on the wholesale distribution of beer, wine and liquor, so as to allow manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers to get a special license to hold a beer or wine festival in which they provide the sponsor with beer or wine dispensing or cooling equipment and a brand-logoed tent.


Senate Bill 297: Mandate electrician have proof of licensure while on job
Passed 89 to 20 in the House on May 1, 2018
To mandate that an electrician on a job must show a government official or inspector a photo ID and evidence of licensure status if ordered. Also, to only allow an individual to get a "master electrician" license if an individual has at least 12,000 hours of experience in related work under the supervision of a master electrician, and has held an electrical journeyman's license for at least two years.


House Bill 5234: Authorize probation for medically frail prisoners
Passed 25 to 10 in the Senate on April 26, 2018
To let county sheriffs request and a court grant probation for a prisoner who is physically or mentally incapacitated due to a medical condition that renders the prisoner unable to perform activities of basic daily living, and/or the prisoner requires 24-hour care. Also, to let county sheriffs ask and a court grant a compassionate release if a physician determines the prisoner is not expected to live more than six months.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 897: Require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work
Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate on April 19, 2018
To require state welfare officials to seek permission from federal welfare officials for requiring able-bodied recipients of Medicaid health coverage to work at least 29 hours a week, or be in school, job-training or volunteer work. The bill authorizes exceptions for a parent with children under age six, individuals getting disability benefits, a disabled person's caretaker, and more, including temporary emergencies and "life-changing events." It would also require beneficiaries to verify compliance each month and verify family income changes within 10 days.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Contact my lawmakers
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734. senchertel@senate.michigan.gov
Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, District 68. 517-373-0826. AndySchor@house.mi.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.

Permission to reprint this legislative summary in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that www.MichiganVotes.org is properly cited.


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