How did your Michigan legislators vote recently?

 

How your Michigan legislators 37th District Sen. Wayne Schmidt and 105th District Rep. Triston Cole voted on dozens of bills in recent weeks.

Senate Bill 481, Authorize school recreation millages: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate
To revise a law that allows several local governments to create a “recreational authority” with the power to impose a 1 mill property tax, by allowing school districts to create such an authority. The tax can be used for swimming pools, recreation centers, public auditoriums, public conference centers, and parks, upon the approval of voters. This law does not prohibit the recreational facilities from being located at a school, but it does require them to be open to the public.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 508, Criminalize posting revealing images on internet: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To make it a crime to post on the internet any sexually explicit picture, photograph or video of a person without his or her consent and with the intent to threaten, coerce or intimidate, if the material was obtained under circumstances that which a reasonable person would know were meant to remain private, subject to some specific exceptions.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 638, Revise campaign finance law: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate
To establish a new type of campaign finance committee called an “independent expenditure committee,” and more clearly define “independent expenditures” and the rules that prohibit committees like these from coordinating with a candidate (which wouldn’t be independent). These committees could contribute to ballot initiatives but not to candidates; contributions would not be subject to limits and could come from corporations and unions.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 187, Accommodate and regulate the “millionaire party” business: Passed 34 to 4 in the Senate
To revise the law governing charitable “millionaire party” gambling events that include casino games, to accommodate charities contracting-out operation of these gambling events to services that operate them for multiple charities at a single location, one event after another. The bill would establish a licensing regime covering both the charities and the companies that provide the service, which would recognize a system that that evolved in which a person can gamble on casino-like games at a single location, with the proceeds going to different charities at different times.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 151, Repeal deadline on prisoner DNA evidence appeals: Passed 106 to 0 in the House
To repeal a Jan. 1, 2016 deadline for a prisoner to appeal his or her conviction on the basis evidence generated by new DNA testing technology.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 4686, Revise city sidewalk liability: Passed 55 to 51 in the House
To establish that a municipality being sued for an injury related to a sidewalk “discontinuity” may use any common law defense available to regular people, not just that the condition was “open and obvious.” Current law limits local government defenses in these suits.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 4990, Expand local government “energy efficiency” financing schemes: Passed 102 to 4 in the House
To expand the things cities can spend money on under a scheme that lets them contract with vendors for energy efficiency projects and pay for them with money the projects are supposed to save (or from regular tax revenue if savings don’t appear). The bill would allow locals to spend on information technology and utility projects they assert are related to the energy saving scheme, and would also expand the types of deals they can make with vendors to include “lease-purchase” agreements described in the bill.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

Senate Bill 552, Increase groundwater discharge permit fees: Passed 59 to 47 in the House
To increase groundwater discharge permit fees, and revise some details of this regulatory regime on enterprises that discharge wastewater onto the ground or into groundwater. The bill would authorize a different fee category for car washes, laundromats, seasonal RV parks and camps, and certain other small commercial facilities.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 4724, Allow no-reason absentee voting: Passed 59 to 46 in the House
To eliminate the requirement that a person give a specific reason for requesting an absentee ballot, and require an individual who applies in person for an absentee ballot to show a picture ID.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

Senate Bill 13, Eliminate straight ticket ballot option: Passed 54 to 51 in the House
To eliminate the straight party ticket option from election ballots. The bill also contains a modest appropriation that exempts it from the possibility of opponents petitioning for a referendum on whether it should go into law if enacted.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

Senate Bill 618, Exempt “internet data center” companies from personal property tax: Passed 21 to 15 in the Senate
To exempt the owners of internet data center companies from having to pay “personal property taxes” levied on business tools and equipment for the next 15 years. The bill originally applied only to the developers of proposed data center in the vacant “Pyramid” building near Grand Rapids, but was expanded to all companies in this particular business.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 616, Exempt “internet data center” companies from most sales tax: Passed 21 to 15 in the Senate
To exempt from sales tax the purchases of most business equipment made by internet data centers. The bill originally applied only to the developers of proposed data center in the vacant “Pyramid” building near Grand Rapids, but was expanded to all companies in this particular business. For the next 15 years these firms would only have to pay 2 percent sales tax on most equipment and construction materials, rather than the full 6 percent paid by others.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 556, Extend “commercial rehab” tax breaks for developers: Passed 87 to 19 in the House
To extend for another five years a “commercial rehabilitation act” that authorizes property tax breaks for owners of commercial property selected by local government officials. The law was originally created with the developer of a moribund Oakland County mall in mind, and has been used to give these indirect subsidies to other developers as well.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona N

House Bill 4059, Extend sunset on school retiree pension “double dipping”: Passed 35 to 0 in the Senate
To extend until 2018 the sunset on a law that allows a “retired” teacher to work in schools with shortages in certain subjects and collect pension checks alongside his or her current pay.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

House Bill 4747, Exempt governments from adverse possession: Passed 90 to 14 in the House
To exempt local governments from adverse possession actions. Adverse possession is the doctrine that allows a person who is in open possession of property for a certain period of time to claim title to it.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona N

House Bill 4095, Authorize $51 million for college & university building projects: Passed 103 to 1 in the House
To authorize $51.3 million in new government spending for several state college and university construction projects. The bill would cause the state to increase its own debt burden by $33.1 million.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 4598, Impose licensure on midwives
To impose a state licensure mandate on midwives, including regulations and a $200 annual license fee.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

Senate Bill 280, Ban schools and governments paying union officials to do union work: Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate
To prohibit the state and local governments, including public schools, from carrying union officials on their payroll for doing union work, on either a full time or part time basis. Under these so-called “release time” arrangements many public school districts pay a local union official a teacher’s salary to do union work on school time. All Democrats and six Republicans voted “no.”
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 279, Ban public school/union pension spiking scheme: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
To prohibit public school districts from adopting arrangements in which a school employee goes to work full time for a teachers union but remains a school employee for purposes of collecting a government pension. Recent news reports have exposed how the recent presidents of the state’s largest teachers union were paid by the union but remained school employees “on leave” for many years, thereby “spiking” their government pension payouts to six-figure amounts.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 492, “Push back” against Obama NLRB franchise unionization rule: Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate
To establish that the owner of a local business franchise is the sole employer of its employees, rather than being a “joint employer” alongside the franchisor, with some specified exceptions. The bill was introduced after President Obama’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board ruled that all franchise employees are actually employed by the franchiser for purposes of union organizing. This would mean that employees at local stores franchised by a national chain (like McDonalds) could be unionized on a nationwide basis.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 13, Eliminate straight ticket ballot option: Passed 23 to 13 in the Senate
To eliminate the straight party ticket option from election ballots.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 552, Increase groundwater discharge permit fees: Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate
To increase groundwater discharge permit fees, and revise some details of this regulatory regime on enterprises that discharge wastewater onto the ground or into groundwater. The bill would authorize a different fee category for car washes, laundromats, seasonal RV parks and camps, and certain other small commercial facilities.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

House Bill 4159, Exempt retired corrections officials from concealed pistol law’s “gun free zone”: Passed 28 to 8 in the Senate
To repeal a prohibition on active and retired local and state corrections officers who have concealed pistol licenses from the “gun free zone” provision of the concealed pistol permit law. Along with Senate Bill 516 (see below) this would allow these individuals to carry a concealed pistol in a school, bar, stadium, etc.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 516, Exempt retired corrections officials from concealed pistol law’s “gun free zone”: Passed 83 to 23 in the House
To repeal a prohibition on active and retired local and state corrections officers who have concealed pistol licenses from the “gun free zone” provision of the concealed pistol permit law. Along with House Bill 4159 (see above) this would allow these individuals to carry a concealed pistol in a school, bar, stadium, etc.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 5023, Establish more “dark sky preserves”: Passed 88 to 18 in the House
To designate the Rockport State Recreation Area, Negwegon State Park, and Thompson’s Harbor State Park as “dark sky preserves,” which means state authorities must restrict outdoor lighting to only that needed for safety, security, or reasonable use and enjoyment.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona N

House Bill 4854, Waive motorcycle license test if safety course completed: Passed 101 to 5 in the House
To waive the requirement that an applicant for a driver’s license motorcycle “endorsement” must take a written knowledge test, road sign test, and driving skills test, if the person has successfully passed a motorcycle safety course approved by the state.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 4738, Increase gas and diesel tax: Passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To increase the state gasoline tax from 19 cents per gallon to 26.3 cents starting in 2017, and after that index the amount to inflation. Also, to increase the state diesel tax from 15 cents to that same 26.3 cents per gallon level, plus inflationary increases.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

House Bill 4736, Increase vehicle registration tax: Passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To increase the annual vehicle registration (license plate) tax by 20 percent. Also, to impose a surtax on electric and alternative fuel vehicles that use the roads but don’t pay gas tax.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

House Bill 4370, Earmark some income tax to roads; increase home property tax credit: Passed 28 to 10 in the Senate
To earmark $600 million in state income tax revenue to road repairs starting in 2020, and smaller amounts starting in 2018. Also, to expand a “homestead property tax credit” that homeowners and renters can claim on their state income tax, by raising property value and household income caps that limit eligibility, and index these dollar amounts to inflation.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 414, Authorize potential future income tax reduction: Passed 28 to 10 in the Senate
To potentially roll back future income tax rates if the amount deposited into the state “general fund” in a given year grows more than 1.425 times faster than inflation – but not until 2023. Note that the legislature ultimately controls these deposits, so any future income tax rate reductions would essentially be at the discretion of each legislature, as under current law.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

Senate Bill 571, Repeal annual union PAC contribution “re-up” requirement: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To repeal a requirement that union members or employees of a corporation who wish to have contributions to a union or corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) automatically deducted from their paycheck must affirmatively give consent on an annual basis by means of signing a permission form. The bill would repeal the annual “re-up” requirement.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

Senate Bill 510, Restrict commercial use of student data: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To prohibit a website, online service or app designed for K–12 school purposes to sell, share or use for targeted advertising any information in a student’s educational record, including details that would allow contact, discipline records, test results, special education data, juvenile dependency records, grades, evaluations, criminal records, medical records, health records, social security number, biometric information, disabilities, socioeconomic information, food purchases, political affiliations, religious information, text messages, documents, student identifiers, search activity, photos, voice recordings, or geolocation information.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

House Bill 4390, Allow financial literacy as high school economics credit: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To allow a financial literacy or “personal economics” course to be substituted for the one-half credit economics course required under state high school graduation standards.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

House Bill 4736, Increase vehicle registration tax: Passed 54 to 53 in the House
To concur with the Senate-passed version of this bill, which increases the annual vehicle registration (license plate) tax by 20 percent per vehicle, and imposes a surtax on electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

House Bill 4738, Increase gas and diesel tax: Passed 55 to 52 in the House
To concur with the Senate-passed version of this bill, which increases the current 19 cent per gallon state gasoline tax and 15 cent diesel tax to 26.3 cents per gallon starting in 2017.
Note: The House previously approved a $200 million fuel tax hike and a $400 million vehicle registration tax hike. The Senate “flipped” those numbers, a change the House accepted with these concurrence votes. These votes also send the final road-funding package to the Governor, who has indicated he will sign the bills.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

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 http://www.MichiganVotes.org.

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

 

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