Charlevoix County’s state legislators at work

A look at how Charlevoix County’s state legislators voted on a number of bills including grading schools, legal challenges, taking money from schools to use for roads and environmental cleanup, changes to gambling, and addressing cyber-bullying.

 

• House Bill 5526, Assign letter-grade to each public school: Passed 21 to 17 in the Senate
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 specific metrics the department would determine.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 6553, Let legislature intervene in legal challenges to laws: 26 to 12 in the Senate
To authorize the state House or Senate to intervene in any case in state courts to protect a power or interest of the state or the legislature.
Among other things this would allow the incoming Republican legislature to defend previously passed laws it favors should an incoming Democratic Attorney General, Secretary of State or Governor choose not to defend legal challenges.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 4991, Earmark some school aid fund money to roads and environmental cleanups: Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate
To earmark a portion of state income tax revenue that would otherwise go to the School Aid Fund to road repairs and environmental cleanups.
The bill was passed with the expectation that increased revenue from imposing sales tax on internet purchases will mean no net reduction in future school funding, although the amount of extra money it would get would be reduced.
The bill also revises the tax treatment of compensation received for wrongful imprisonment, so recipients would still be eligible for a housing expenses income tax credit.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 6011, Authorize drivers license “points” for tickets in other states: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
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.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 4926, Permit, regulate and tax internet gambling: Passed 33 to 5 in the Senate
To repeal a state ban on internet gambling.
The bill establishes a comprehensive regulatory and licensure regime that allows the Detroit and Michigan Indian casinos to enter the business.
An 8 percent tax would be levied on the gross internet gambling revenue, and the city of Detroit would be guaranteed a specified minimum amount of the tax revenue.

House Bill 4920 to legalize fantasy sports games was also passed and sent to the Governor.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 5634, Legalize fuzzy dice, darker car window tints: Passed 20 to 18 in the Senate
To reduce restrictions on vehicle side window tinting, and obstruction of driver’s vision (including hanging novelties like fuzzy dice from the rear view mirror).
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• House Bill 5017, Create adult “cyberbullying” crime: Passed 35 to 2 in the Senate
To create a new “cyberbullying” crime, with sanctions ranging from a $500 fine to 10 years in prison if a violation causes a death. “Cyberbully” is defined as using the internet or a telecommunications system to intimidate, frighten, harass or cause emotional distress. Similar laws apply to minors and students but this one would apply to everyone.
37 Sen. Wayne Schmidt
R – Traverse City Y

• Senate Bill 541, Authorize mid-level “dental therapist” practices: Passed 68 to 41 in the House
To establish a new dental therapists licensure category. Practitioners would be under the general supervision of a dentist, and could perform many routine actions (like fillings) that are currently limited to full dentists. This is analogous to nurse practitioners.
105 Rep. Triston Cole
R – Mancelona Y

• Senate Bill 1239, Prescribe rules for early voting and same-day registration: Passed 60 to 48 in the House To prescribe details of rules needed to implement the election-day registration and early voting provisions enacted by voter approval of 2018 Proposal 3. The measure eliminated the requirement to register to vote at least 30 days before an election, and 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.
105 Rep. Triston Cole
R – Mancelona Y

• Senate Bill 1176, Ban mandating donor disclosure by nonprofits: Passed 58 to 51 in the House
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.
105 Rep. Triston Cole
R – Mancelona Y
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Courtesy MichiganVotes.org
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting