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"

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 1197: Authorize Straits of Mackinac pipeline and utility tunnel
Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate on December 11, 2018
To create a new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority governed by a three member board appointed by the governor with the duty of entering into agreements to build, maintain, operate and eventually decommission a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which among other things would contain a controversial oil and gas pipeline. This has been signed into law, and Gov. Rick Snyder is now finalizing a deal that with Enbridge, the current oil pipeline owner, which will pay for all the above.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 5955: Preempt local government occupational licensure mandates
Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate on December 13, 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, except that "grandfathering" would not apply to any new state licensure mandates that are imposed going forward.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1262: Expand scope of marijuana business background checks
Passed 30 to 7 in the Senate on December 13, 2018
To expand the definition of “applicant” for a marijuana license to include a company's managerial employees and officers, partners and stockholders who own at least 10 percent, and for a sole proprietor, his or her spouse. Applicants are subject to an extensive background check process. Also, to increase the penalties for a non-licensee selling marijuana while claiming to have a state license to 93 days in jail and a fine between $10,000 and $25,000, and felony penalties for subsequent violations.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5749: Prescribe rule for truck "platoons" on highways
Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate on December 11, 2018
To exempt truck “platoon” operations from a traffic law requirement that trucks leave sufficient space between themselves and other trucks for other vehicles to pass. Platoon is defined as vehicles "traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds." Under current law truck drivers must leave “sufficient space between the vehicle and another truck so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy the space without danger.”
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted No'
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Senate Bill 1258: Make state park vehicle tax surcharge the default
Passed 28 to 9 in the Senate on December 13, 2018
To require a person to "opt out" of paying the optional state park "passport" surcharge that is attached to annual vehicle registration (license plate) renewals, meaning the default would be "opt in" and a person who doesn’t want to pay must actively choose not to. Under current law “opt out” is the default, and a person has to affirm they want to pay the extra. See also House Bill 6125, which would require having paid the fee to park at trailhead or forest campgrounds; under current law this applies only to state parks.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 1195: Impose tax, expand regulation of radioactives in hazardous waste landfills
Passed 91 to 18 in the House on December 12, 2018
To establish a $5 per ton state fee on depositing “technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials” (called “tenorms") in a Michigan landfill. Senate Bill 1196 establishes restrictions and extensive regulations on such deposits.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 5526: Assign letter-grade to each public school
Passed 56 to 53 in the House on December 13, 2018
To require the Department of Education to develop a system that assigns each public school building a series of letter grades between A and F based on different academic measures, including success and growth rates on the state’s math and reading tests, as indicated by metrics the department would determine.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 6595: Revise ballot measure petitioning rules
Passed 60 to 49 in the House on December 12, 2018
To impose additional rules and restrictions on petition gathering for constitutional amendments, initiatives, and referendums. Not more than 10 percent of signatures could come from one of Michigan’s current 14 congressional districts; petitions would have to have a brief summary of the proposal; paid petition gatherers would have to sign an affidavit that indicates they are not volunteers; and petitions on which the circulator provided his or her wrong address would be invalidated; and more.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted No'
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House Bill 5707: Make teacher rating criteria less empirical
Passed 104 to 5 in the House on December 13, 2018
To reduce to 25 percent a requirement that 40 percent of a teacher’s year-end effectiveness evaluation be based on actual student progress as measured by test results.
Rep. Sarah Anthony (D) 'Voted Yes'
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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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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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