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Michigan Votes

• Apr 8, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The state Legislature is on a two-week spring break. Rather than votes, this report contains some interesting or noteworthy recent bill introductions.

All were referred to a committee, with no further action at this time.

Senate Bill 225: Let Detroit eliminate required city employee insurance copays. Introduced by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D), to let the Detroit City Council exempt the city from a 2011 law that requires municipal employees to contribute at least 20 percent toward the cost of the health insurance benefits, or contribute a specified dollar amount to the cost. This law allowed local governments except for Detroit to avoid complying with a two-thirds vote of their governing body.

Senate Bill 235: Impose 10 percent tax on amusements. Introduced by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D), to impose a 10 percent “amusements tax” on tickets to a for-profit zoo, garden, museum, concert, opera, play, sporting event, amusement park, festival and others. Money would be used to pay police and fire pensions and other post-retirement benefits.

Senate Bill 240: Expand social welfare benefits to paying water bills. Introduced by Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D), to expand means-tested social welfare entitlements to include paying a household’s municipal water service bills.

Senate Bill 249: Decriminalize social betting pools. Introduced by Sen. Jim Ananich (D), to decriminalize “social wagering” in pools of 100 people or less where the relationships between them are social and the bets are $25 or less. This would apply to things like office football or NCAA Tournament betting pools. 

House Bill 4253: Create exception to giving state contracts to lowest bidder. Introduced by Rep. Donna Lasinski (D), to not grant a state contract for goods and services to the lowest bidder if it is not a Michigan-based company, unless the bidding is reopened for 30 days and the losing state-based firms are given a second chance.

House Bill 4264: Earmark air pollution fines to certain grants, enforcement and monitoring. Introduced by Rep. Tyrone Carter (D), to deposit fines related to air emissions permit violations in a separate state account, from which 70 percent would go to local governments for related health assessments, education and training programs, and 30 percent on benefits to “environmental protection communities.”

2019 House Bill 4273: Extend time between driver’s license renewals. Introduced by Rep. Kevin Coleman (D), to extend from four years to eight years the period for which a driver’s license is valid.

House Bills 4298 and 4324, Senate Bill 107: Increase EITC. Introduced by Rep. Angela Witwer (D), Rep. Kristy Pagan (D) and Sen. Jeff Irwin (D), respectively, to increase the state earned income tax credit from an amount equal to 6 percent of the federal EITC to 20 percent (HB 4298), or to 12 percent (HB 4324), or to 30 percent (SB 107). This is a means-tested “refundable” credit (meaning that a check is sent to the taxpayer for the amount that the credit exceeds the amount of income tax owed on wages earned), with the final value determined largely by how many dependents a recipient has. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed increasing the credit from 6 percent to 12 percent, the same level as House Bill 4324.

Source: MichiganVotes.org

Huizenga votes

Here's how U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, voted on congressional legislation last week:

HR 1585 — Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019: N

S.J.Res. 7 — A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States armed forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress: N

HR 829 — To designate the facility of the U.S. Postal Service located at 1450 Montauk Highway in Mastic, New York, as the "Army Specialist Thomas J. Wilwerth Post Office Building": Y

H.Res. 271 — Condemning the Trump administration's legal campaign to take away Americans' health care: N

HR 540 — To designate the facility of the U.S. Postal Service located at 770 Ayrault Road in Fairport, New York, as the "Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office": Y

HR 1590 — Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2019: Y

HR 1593 — C.L.A.S.S. Act of 2019: Y

Source: huizenga.house.gov

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