Charlevoix’s state reps vote to eliminate foreign language req., revise eminent domain, increase tax subsidies for biz offers a look at how your Michigan State legislators are voting on the latest bills. Following are some of the more recent votes by 37th District State Sen. Wayne Schmidt and 105th District State Rep. Triston Cole.


• Senate Bill 242, Transfer state revenue to certain business owners: Passed 32 to 5 in the Senate
To authorize giving up to $250 million of state revenue to certain developers and business owners selected by political appointees on the board of a state Strategic Fund agency. Owners of selected firms would get cash subsidies for up to 10 years equal to half or all of the income tax paid by their employees. The Senate has also passed bills authorizing another $1.8 billion in subsidies for big developers (SB 111 to 115).
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• Senate Bill 94, Accelerate new vehicle trade-in “sales tax on the difference”: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
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.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• Senate Bill 168, Raise tax on auto insurers to pay for state theft authority: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To revise the basis on which auto insurers are assessed (taxed) to support a government auto theft prevention authority, by also applying the assessments to commercial vehicle policies. The expansion could represent a substantial increase. The Senate Fiscal Agency references a 2010 revenue figure of $6.25 million for this entity.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 4213, Require court order to breathalyze minor who says no: Passed 102 to 6 in the House
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.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – N

• House Bill 4070, Revise government eminent domain takings details: Passed 76 to 31 in the House
To require state agencies to pay attorney fees and court costs of private real property owners if a “governmental action” results in a loss of value and the department or agency failed to consult guidelines on government takings promulgated by the Attorney General. Also, to apply these rules on “takings” to all state departments, not just the Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Transportation departments. Current law defines “governmental actions” for which compensation is required as including certain permit or license denials, restrictive conditions on these and more. The state and federal constitutions requires governments to compensate owners when their property is taken.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Y

• House Bill 4317, Allow exception to graduation health education requirement: Passed 61 to 47 in the House
To allow high school students to replace a health education graduation requirement by instead taking a class on the government health and safety regulations on industry and construction, taught by the state agency in charge of enforcing these.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R -Y

• House Bill 4315, Eliminate foreign language from graduation standards: Passed 79 to 29 in the House
To allow a student to get a high school diploma without meeting the current two-credit language requirement by instead taking a computer class or one in “visual or performing arts (with all these in a new category dubbed “21st century skills” by the sponsors of House Bill 4316, which also passed).
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Y
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting