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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. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. sarahanthony@house.mi.gov
Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, District 68. 517-373-0826. AndySchor@house.mi.gov
 

Senate Bill 1250: Create non-partisan “Fair Political Practices Commission” to oversee election law
Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate on December 6, 2018
To create an independent, bipartisan commission within the Secretary of State department that would prescribe rules and definitions related to many campaign finance and election law provisions, including the political redistricting process created by voter passage of 2018 Proposal 2. The commission would consist of three Republicans and three Democrats named by their state parties, in a manner similar to the Federal Election Commission. This and Senate Bill 1254 are reportedly intended to prevent a future Secretary of State from potentially making partisan choices in the many areas of these laws where important details are left to the discretion of state officials.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1238: Prescribe rules for early voting, same-day registration, more
Passed 26 to 10 in the Senate on December 6, 2018
To prescribe details of rules needed to implement the election-day registration and early voting provisions enacted by voter approval of 2018 Proposal 3. That measure eliminated the requirement to register to vote at least 30 days before an election; authorized “no reason” absentee ballot voting for all voters; mail-in voter registration; automatic registration with drivers license or state ID interactions; and a straight-ticket voting option. Senate Bill 1254 would similarly prescribe rules for the political redistricting process required by voter approval of 2018 Proposal 2.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1197: Authorize Straits of Mackinac pipeline and utility tunnel
Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate on December 5, 2018
To create a new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority with the duty of overseeing the construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning of a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which among other things would contain a controversial oil pipeline.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1211: Revise restrictions on owners of property deemed “wetland”
Passed 23 to 14 in the Senate on December 4, 2018
To revise many rule and process details related to enforcement of restrictions imposed on owners of property deemed to be a wetland. The bill is said to give state officials less discretion in interpreting regulations in a way that restricts use or subjects landowners to sanctions. Among other things it would authorize damage awards to property owners harmed by such actions unless the state demonstrated that its position was "substantially justifiable."
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 6269: Take over federal coal ash permit program
Passed 103 to 3 in the House on December 4, 2018
To provide for assumption by the state of a federal permit program for coal ash disposal and landfills. The bill proposes many revisions to a comprehensive state environmental regulatory regime to accommodate this proposal. This would align state law and regulations with provisions of a 2015 federal law, and largely resolves an ongoing controversy on addressing this issue.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5939: Repeal preemption of some local fireworks restrictions
Passed 92 to 17 in the House on December 6, 2018
To revise a 2012 law that restricted the authority of local governments to regulate fireworks use. Under the bill a local government could not restrict fireworks use on New Years Eve and from midnight to 1 am on New Years Day; until 11:30 pm on the Saturday before Memorial Day and on weekend before the Fourth of July; and on the Saturday before Labor Day until 11:30 pm. Also, to add new requirements and restrictions on seasonal licensed fireworks retail operations, and require them to have signs that explain time and place restrictions on fireworks use. A related bill would regulate "sky lanterns" as consumer fireworks.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 6465: Adopt Coast Guard ballast water discharge permit standards
Passed 80 to 28 in the House on December 4, 2018
To adopt the U.S. Coast Guard standards for ballast water discharges from oceangoing vessels. Michigan adopted its own permit requirement and standards in 2006, which was before the Coast Guard finalized theirs in 2012, and the bill would make compliance with the federal rules sufficient to get the state permit, which would still be required.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 6553: Empower legislature to intervene in legal challenges to state laws
Passed 58 to 50 in the House on December 4, 2018
To authorize the state legislature, including either the House or Senate on their own, to intervene in any court of this state to protect a right or interest of this state, or of that body. The bill is reportedly intended to allow a future legislature to pursue the legal defense of previously passed laws it favors should future Attorney General, Secretary of State or Governor choose not to defend them in court.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1171: Initiated minimum wage law 're-do'
Passed 60 to 48 in the House on December 4, 2018
To revise the initiated law enacted in Sept. 2018 that increased the state minimum wage mandate. The original version of this law was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and would have increased the current $9.25 minimum to $12 in 2022, and eliminated a separate lower minimum wage that applies to tipped workers. This bill extends the phase-in of the $12.05 minimum to 2030, keeps a separate and lower minimum wage for tipped workers (employers must still pay the difference if tips come up short of making the regular minimum wage), and eliminates indexing the minimum wage to inflation. The Senate has concurred with these changes and sent the bill to the Governor for approval.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1175: Initiated paid leave law 're-do'
Passed 60 to 48 in the Hous on December 4, 2018
To revise the initiated law enacted in Sept. 2018, which imposed an employee paid leave mandate on employers. The original version of this law was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and would have granted workers one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 72 hours a year. The revised version mandates one hour of leave for every 35 hours worked, with an annual paid leave cap of 40 hours. Firms with 50 or less workers would be exempt. The revised version also removes provisions that would impose extensive record keeping requirements on employers, with a potential legal presumption that incomplete records means an employer has violated the law. The Senate has concurred with these changes and sent the bill to the Governor for approval.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1171: Initiated minimum wage law 're-do'
Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate on November 28, 2018
To revise an initiated law enacted in September that increased the state minimum wage. The measure was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and originally would have increased the current $9.25 minimum to $12 in 2022, and eliminated a separate lower minimum wage for tipped workers. This bill extends the phase-in of the $12 minimum to 2030, keeps a separate and lower minimum for tipped workers (employers must pay the difference if tips come up short of the regular minimum wage), and eliminates indexing the minimum wage to inflation.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1175: Initiated paid leave law 're-do'
Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate on November 28, 2018
To revise an initiated law enacted in September imposing a paid leave mandate on employers. The law was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and originally would have granted workers one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 72 hours a year. The revised version mandates one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked, with an annual paid leave cap of 36 hours. Firms with 50 or less workers would be exempt. The revised version also removes provisions that would impose extensive record keeping requirements on employers, with a potential legal presumption that incomplete records means an employer has violated the law.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 796: Ban schools and local governments paying union officials to do union work
Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate on November 27, 2018
To prohibit the state and local governments including public schools paying employees who are also union officials for doing union work on school or government time. Under these so-called “release time” arrangements many public school districts pay a local union official a full time teacher's salary and benefits even though the individual does not teach or perform any other educational functions.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1176: Ban mandating donor disclosure by nonprofits
Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate on November 29, 2018
To prohibit government agencies from imposing a donor disclosure mandate on nonprofit organizations, which would require them to turn over the names and personal information of contributors for posting on government databases. Agencies and their staff would also be prohibited from disclosing such information if they already possess or acquire it, with violators subject to misdemeanor penalties and civil fines.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1188: Restrict local restrictions on property owner tree removal
Passed 23 to 15 in the Senate on November 29, 2018
To preempt local governments from restricting residents in trimming or cutting down trees that are located on private property with an agricultural, business, commercial, or industrial zoning classification, except for “heritage trees” as defined in the bill. Also banned would be "mitigation” mandates that require property owners to plant other trees or pay a fee.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 747: Increase National Guard director and assistant pensions
Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on November 27, 2018
To grant state pensions equal to 45 percent of their final base pay for state military affairs directors and assistant directors (called Adjutant Generals). Fiscal agency projections indicate the bill will add $2.5 million in liabilities to this severely underfunded state military pension system.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 6420: Permit and regulate fantasy sports games
Passed 85 to 24 in the House on November 29, 2018
To establish a permissive licensure and regulatory regime on fantasy sports games and contests that offer money prizes, with games subject to specified restrictions and requirements, and an initial license fee of up to $50,000 for would-be vendors. Game outcomes would have to be the result of player skill and knowledge and not just chance, with prize amounts specified in advance. Individuals who run small scale fantasy sport games from their home would be exempt from licensure. A related bill to legalize sports betting appears to be dead for this year.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 637: Cap allowable fees for 5G 'small cell wireless' networks
Passed 74 to 35 in the House on November 28, 2018
To establish a regulatory framework for installing small cell wireless phone and internet systems in public right of ways. These systems use small wireless internet transmitters on power line poles and other existing infrastructure to provide expanded cell phone and internet access without needing expensive towers. The bill would cap the amount the state and local governments could charge for zoning, permits and other fees imposed on these "5G" networks.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 477: Mandate 10 mph speed reduction when passing emergency vehicles
Passed 34 to 0 in the Senate on November 8, 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.).
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 242: Authorize giving $200 million to certain business owners
Passed 71 to 35 in the House on July 12, 2017 on July 12, 2017
The House vote on the bill described above.
Rep. Andy Schor (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Legislative Initiative Petition 2: Repeal prevailing wage law
Passed 56 to 53 in the House on June 6, 2018 on June 6, 2018
The House vote on the bill described above.


Senate Bill 335: Revise campaign finance law to reflect Citizens United
Passed 23 to 12 in the Senate on September 14, 2017 on September 14, 2017
To revise Michigan campaign finance laws that violate the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case, which limited the power of congress and state legislatures to restrict election-related political speech by corporations, including non-profit groups motivated by ideological or political concerns.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 5013: Reform no-fault auto insurance: Failed 45 to 63 in the House on November 2, 2017 on November 2, 2017
To allow auto insurance companies to offer policies with less-than unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) coverage; prohibit hospitals and other providers from charging full "chargemaster" rates in these auto insurance cases; add restrictions on pursuing crash-related lawsuits in court (which the no-fault system was intended to minimize), and adopt other reforms likely to lower insurance rates.
Rep. Andy Schor (D) 'Voted No'
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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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Contact my lawmakers
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, District 23. 517-373-1734. senchertel@senate.michigan.gov
Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, District 68. (517) 373-0826. sarahanthony@house.mi.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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