Senate Bill 410: Authorize new Detroit River bridge, failed in the Senate Economic Development Committee, 2-3. To authorize a controversial Detroit River bridge (the “New International Trade Crossing,” aka the “Detroit River International Crossing”). According to news reports, Republicans voting no objected to details of Democratic senators’ demand for a bundle of patronage-like “community benefits” the proposed bridge authority would have to deliver to nearby residents, businesses and community organizations. Further attempts are likely to advance this project favored by Gov. Rick Snyder.
In favor: Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell).
Against: Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), Mike Kowall (R-White Lake Township), Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek).
Not voting: Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit), Virgil Smith (D-Detroit).
Senate Bill 269: Raise small claims court cap to $8,000, passed 31-7 in the Senate. To increase the maximum amount that may be recovered in small claims court from $3,000 to $8,000.
Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive: Y
House Bill 5014: Authorize extra spending, passed 103-5 in the House. To authorize spending $320.4 million for two items. The first is $119 million that is nearly all federal money for incentive payments to health care providers to adopt state-approved electronic health care record systems. The second appropriates the money from a new 1-percent health insurance claims tax designed to “game” the federal Medicaid system to get higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare system.
Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville: Y
Rep. Amanda Price, R-Holland: Y
House Bill 4293: Repeal fireworks ban, passed 98-10 in the House. To establish a comprehensive regulatory regime for allowing the sale of currently-illegal “consumer fireworks” — including firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc. (but not M-80s, cherry bombs, etc.). The bill proposes a $1,000 permit fee for sellers, $600 for temporary location “tent” sellers, and a mandate that sellers carry a $10 million insurance policy. It would impose a 6-percent tax (fireworks safety fee) in addition to the usual 6-percent sales tax. Local governments could prohibit using fireworks, but could not ban sales.
Rep. David Agema: Y
Rep. Amanda Price: Y
Source: MichiganVotes.org, a free and nonpartisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise and plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate.