Michigan Votes: how Rep Triston Cole and Sen. Wayne Schmidt voted recently

• Senate Bill 710, Bailout Detroit schools, let mayor’s commission stop new charters: Passed 21 to 16 in the Senate – To end the state’s emergency management of the insolvent Detroit school district, and give an elected school board control of the district’s schools, including the academically-failed ones currently under a form of state receivership. The bill would give a new “education commission” appointed by the Detroit mayor the authority to block new charter schools from opening in the city, among other powers. See House Bill 5296 below.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City N

• House Bill 5296, Make “down payment” on Detroit school bailout: Passed 29 to 7 in the Senate – To appropriate $48.7 million to keep the insolvent Detroit school district afloat until the end of the current school year. This is essentially a “down-payment” on a larger bailout package whose details have yet to find a consensus, which is expected to include $515 million in debt forgiveness and another $202 million for “transition costs” 37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 4822, Ban “social promotions” for third graders who can’t read: Passed 31 to 6 in the Senate – To prohibit “social promotions” of third graders who have not reached minimum reading benchmarks, subject to many conditions and exceptions, and with requirements that additional “intervention” programs be created (including summer school) and individual tutoring provided before a student is actually held back. This would not take effect until the 2019-2020 school year. 37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 4895, Revise gas station liquor license provision: Passed 28 to 8 in the Senate – To allow the owner of a retail store that has a liquor license and also has a separate gas station (as do many “big box” stores) to sell beer and wine under the same license at the gas station. The bill would limit this to retailers who maintain $250,000 worth of inventory, which is opposed by smaller retailers and supported by large ones and by the state-authorized beer and wine wholesaler cartel. 37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City N

• House Bill 4813, Revise electrician licensure mandate detail: Passed 22 to 15 in the Senate – To revise details of a law that requires a person to accumulate 8,000 hours as an apprentice before he or she can get a state license to independently earn a living as an electrician. The bill would change a current restriction that limits a licensed electrician to having just one apprentice, by increasing this to three apprentices. 37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• Senate Bill 476, Cap cigar tax: Passed 90 to 18 in the House – To repeal the Oct. 1, 2016 sunset on a law that caps the tobacco tax imposed on cigars at 50 cents per cigar. In other words, if the bill becomes law the 50 cent cap would remain in effect for another five years. 105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• House Bill 5247, Permit green flashing lights on snow plow trucks: Passed 97 to 10 in the House – To allow snow plow trucks to use flashing green lights, in addition to the current yellow lights prescribed by law. Having two colors, and the green color itself, is said to make the trucks easier to notice in snowstorms. 105 Tep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• Senate Bill 490, Revise library and video rental confidentiality: Passed 59 to 49 in the House – To revise a law that restricts disclosing information about videos, books or recordings borrowed or rented by an individual without notifying the individual. The bill would reduce the level of specific disclosures required, and delete a provision allowing damages of up to $5,000, instead limiting awards to any actual damages.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• Senate Bill 352, Authorize “designated caregivers” for hospital patients: Passed 70 to 38 in the House – To require hospitals to give a patient the opportunity to designate a friend or family member as the individual’s “designated caregiver.” Hospitals would have to notify this person when the patient is transferred or released, consult with them about the discharge plan, instruct them about the patient’s needs after discharge, etc.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• House Bill 5407, Ban expelled legislator from running in special election: Passed 72 to 36 in the House – To prohibit a legislator who has been expelled or resigned from the House or Senate from running in a special election to fill the vacated seat. Some opponents thought applying this to expelled legislators might frustrate the will of the voters not satisfied that the expulsion was warranted. 105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• House Bill 4787, Authorize enhanced penalties for abortion coercion: Passed 65 to 43 in the House – To authorize enhanced penalties for threatening or committing a “stalking” or assaultive crime with the intent to coerce a pregnant female to have an abortion, or taking other coercive actions with that goal. The bill authorizes additional fines of $5,000 to $10,000 on top of penalties imposed for the underlying crimes.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• House Bill 4629, Repeal “bond” requirement to contest civil asset forfeiture: Passed 100 to 7 in the House – To repeal a requirement that a person whose property has been seized by police and is subject to “civil forfeiture” must provide a cash bond in order to contest the taking, and if the challenge is unsuccessful, must pay all the expenses of the proceedings. Under civil forfeiture laws, police can seize and keep any property that may be associated with a crime and keep the property (or the proceeds from its sale) even if the owner is never convicted or even charged with a crime.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

Courtesy MichiganVotes.org
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting