Charlevoix County legislators vote on switchblades, school funding, breathalyzers for minors

A look at how Charlevoix County’s Michigan legislators, 37th District Sen. Wayne Schmidt and 105th District Rep. Triston Cole, voted on bills in recent weeks.


• House Bill 4323, State budget for fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 2017: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate
The non-education portion of the state government budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2017.
This would appropriate $39.9 billion, compared to $38.7 billion authorized the year before. Of this, $21.2 billion is federal money. When combined with the education budget (next bill), the state will spend $56.5 billion next year, vs. $54.9 billion last year, or a 2.9 percent increase.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 4323, State budget for fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 2017: Passed 64 to 43 in the House
The House vote on the budget bill described above. 105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y

• House Bill 4313, State education budget for 2017-18: Passed 23 to 14 in the Senate – The final K-12 school aid, community college and university budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct 1, 2017.
This bill appropriates $16.608 billion, of which $1.838 billion is federal money.
Of this total, $14.580 billion would go to K-12 public education, compared to $14.161 billion approved last year. Another $1.629 billion is for state universities, compared to $1.582 billion the prior year. Community colleges would get $399 million, up from $395 million last year.
Schmidt – Y

• House Bill 4313, State education budget for 2017-18: Passed 72 to 35 in the House – The House vote on the education budget bill described above. Cole – Y

• House Bill 4427, Regulate access to police body camera images: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate – To establish that police body camera recordings taken in a private place are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Individuals whose image is captured, owners of property seized or damaged in a crime and some others could still request a copy of the recordings subject to privacy exemptions.
Police body camera recordings would have to be kept for at least 30 days, or longer if there is an related investigation.
Schmidt – Y

• House Bill 4557, Authorize prison for bringing 26 cases of beer or wine into state: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate
To authorize up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine for bringing more than around 26 cases of wine or beer into the state without all the required licenses mandated by the state. Smaller quantities would be subject to 93 days in jail. Schmidt – Y

• House Bill 4213, Require court order to breathalyze minor who says no: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To establish that a police officer must get a court order to get a breath test for alcohol from a minor who objects. This is not related to drunk driving or vehicles, but to enforcement of a state law that bans minors from being in possession of alcohol. Recent court cases have suggested that doing this without a court order is unconstitutional. Schmidt – Y

• Senate Bill 245, Repeal switchblade ban: Passed 106 to 1 in the House
To repeal the state law against owning, selling or possessing a switchblade knife, “the blade or blades of which can be opened by the flick of a button.” Reportedly the ban is outdated and unevenly enforced.
Cole – Y

• Senate Bill 94, Accelerate vehicle trade-in “sales tax on the difference”: Passed 88 to 19 in the House
To accelerate the 24-year phase-in of a 2013 law that exempted from sales tax the value of a trade-in when buying a new vehicle.
This would save buyers $28.7 million in 2021, which would gradually increase through 2028. Cole – Y

• House Bill 4608, Exempt residential painters and decorators from licensure mandate: Passed 62 to 45 in the House –
To exempt painters and decorators from the licensure mandate imposed residential maintenance and alteration contractors.
Cole Y

• Senate Bill 249, Ban government discrimination against charter schools in property sales: Passed 60 to 47 in the House – To prohibit a school district or local government from refusing to sell property to a charter or private school, or taking other actions designed to keep these potential conventional public school competitors from using property for a lawful educational purpose.
Prohibited actions could also include imposing deed or zoning restrictions.
A number of local governments and conventional school districts have adopted such restrictions in the past
Cole – Y