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2021 Vote Explanations
RELEASE|November 2, 2021
Contact: John Reilly
Roll CallBillDateExp.
1Election of Speaker13-JanI proudly voted yes to elect Jason Wentworth as Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. Speaker Wentworth is an exceptional leader who will do what is right for our State. I look forward to working with him over these next two years. Speaker Wentworth was elected unanimously.
2Speaker Pro-Tempore13-JanI voted yes to elect Representative Hornberger as Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Michigan House of Representatives. It has been a pleasure to serve with Representative Hornberger on the education committee these past 4 years. We have always worked well together and share many common goals. Speaker Pro-Tempore Hornberger was elected unanimously.
3Election of Clerk13-JanI voted yes to elect Gary Randall as the Clerk of the House. Clerk Randall is more than just the clerk. He has been an integral part of the House of Representatives for many years. Clerk Randall is retiring later this year and we will dearly miss his service. Clerk Randall was elected unanimously.
4,5,6,7HB 4019, 4047-40494-FebI voted yes on the House supplemental budget plan for COVID relief. Although I do not support all of the plan, and wish to see changes in the future, the legislature is ready and willing to get to work for the residents of our State. Here is what the plan includes: “Help afflicted job providers and their families •$150 million deposit into the unemployment trust fund ensures benefits for unemployed workers continue and helps offset the cost of fraudulent claims paid due to a lack of oversight from the Whitmer administration. •$55 million to ensure relief for local Michigan job providers currently facing higher unemployment system contribution costs. •$415 million to help restaurants and other small businesses who lost revenue because of the governor’s severe and arbitrary COVID restrictions. •$38.5 million to reimburse fees for liquor licenses and health department inspections as local businesses struggle to reopen. •$22 million to assist job providers facing penalties and interest on 2020 summer or winter property taxes. •$165 million to help families with rent and utility relief. •$510 million for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for families facing hunger. More funding is expected to follow. Get kids back in school •$363 million for districts committing to reopen in-person instruction by Feb. 15. All $1.65 billion in federal Title I funds would be allocated, and $12 million would cover benchmark assessments. The state could not shut down in-person instruction or sports activities, but local districts and local health departments could do so when appropriate based on COVID metrics. •$135 million for a voluntary, in-person summer semester for K-8 to help kids recover from learning loss during the pandemic, plus a credit recovery option for high school students. An additional $15 million helps districts launch before-and-after school programs. •$21 million for teachers and support staff helping students catch up on learning over the summer. •$5.8 million to help families participating in summer school offset transportation, tutoring and other costs. Fix the governor’s broken vaccine rollout •$22 million quarterly for closer monitoring and accountability in the governor’s troubled distribution plan. The state could not impose vaccination mandates. •$144 million for virus testing would be allocated quarterly, to improve oversight and efficiency. Total Cost: About $3.5 billion in federal and state funding” The plan passed 59-50, 60-49, 57-51, & 56-52.
8SB 3011-FebI voted yes on SB 30, which renames a portion of I-94 as the Firefighter Coleman A. Tate Memorial Highway. Firefighter Tate died in the line of duty during a fire in 1981. His son, Joe Tate, is a current colleague in the House of Representative. The bill passed unanimously.
9,10,11HB 4018, 4020, 402118-FebI voted yes on House Bill’s 4018, 4020, and 4021. The bills are vehicle bills which can be used to craft future omnibus supplementals. The bills passed unanimously.
12HB 412623-FebI voted yes on HB 4126, which is a technical fix to the pheasant stamp program. The legislation would align the fees retained by authorized retailers with already established hunting and fishing licenses. The bill passed unanimously.
13HJR A24-FebI voted yes on HJR A, which amends the State Constitution to require a two-thirds vote for passage of a bill during lame duck. HJR A puts a stop to last-minute, late night partisan deal making after an election. Ethics reform is a top priority for this Legislature, and that’s why we are making it one of the first issue we address. The joint resolution passed 102-7.
14HB 401524-FebI voted no on HB 4015, which would require third-party websites to disclose that they are not a state agency. The legislation comes from a place of concern and care, but there is not much of a problem to solve. The legislation is based off a constituent who used a third-party website to renew their license, and therefore, paid unnecessary fees. However, any google search for state business, specifically for license renewal, will feature top links to the SOS affiliated website. It is very difficult to find a non-SOS site that directly allows you to renew your license. Many websites simply provide a link or information to the SOS page. Furthermore, state websites have a .gov address as opposed to .com address. Lastly, I did find one site that allowed for state transactions to take place and it already had numerous disclaimers that it was not an official state site. The bill passed 102-7.
15HB 424725-FebI voted yes on HB 4247, which modifies tuition assistance benefits for certain survivors of Michigan police and fire fighters killed in the line of duty. The Police Officer’s and Fire Fighter’s Survivor Tuition Act (STG) uses a formula for any tuition awards. This bill removes many arbitrary guidelines to ensure the process is simpler. The bill passed unanimously.
16, 17HB 4043-40442-MarI voted yes on HB 4043 & 4044, which requires state operated registries of psych beds, crisis beds, and substance disorder beds, to report data to the Michigan Crisis and Access Line. This package will increase transparency between state programs, and make coordinating access for those who need beds more efficient. The bills passed 109-1 & 108-2.
18HB 40672-MarI voted no on HB 4067, which expands the list of advance trainings a dentist can receive in order to qualify for a “health profession specialty field license.” In conversations with local professionals it appears that many specialties are already permitted under state law, and if anything, I always have concerns over barriers to entry. The bill passed 108-2.
19-21HB 4047-40493-MarI voted yes on the House Concurrence to the supplemental budget recently passed by the Senate. The supplemental budget includes dollars for vaccine distribution, afflicted businesses, and schools, among other categories. The total package spend is $4.25 billion. All $1.49 billion in federal title I dollars would be appropriated, however, $840 billion of the total is tie-barred to HB 4049. HB 4049 prohibits DHHS from closing schools or sports activities, instead local health departments may issue emergency orders if certain metrics are met within a 14-day period: the number of cases is above 55/1,000,000, the percentage of positive tests is above 10%, each health facility in the area maintains a surge capacity below 20% in admissions or transfers, COVID hospitalizations have increased by 25% or more, and each facility in the area does not have a minimum 14 day supply of PPE. Furthermore, HB 4047 includes an additional $347.3 million tie-barred to SB 1, which requires legislative approval of any extension of emergency orders issued by the director of DHHS. Here are other details of the plan, though not in full: •$150 million deposit into the unemployment trust fund ensures benefits for unemployed workers continue and helps offset the cost of fraudulent claims paid due to a lack of oversight from the Whitmer administration. •$55 million to ensure relief for local Michigan job providers currently facing higher unemployment system contribution costs. •$90.2 million with language that prohibits any state-imposed mandates for individuals to receive the vaccine. Language is included that requires the department to report on how they will distribute vaccines to local health department and enrolled providers, provide transparency for the development and testing of the vaccines •$415 million to help restaurants and other small businesses who lost revenue because of the governor’s severe and arbitrary COVID restrictions. •$38.5 million to reimburse fees for liquor licenses and health department inspections as local businesses struggle to reopen. •$22 million to assist job providers facing penalties and interest on 2020 summer or winter property taxes. •$165 million to help families with rent and utility relief. •$510 million for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for families facing hunger.  •$135 million for a voluntary, in-person summer semester for K-8 to help kids recover from learning loss during the pandemic, plus a credit recovery option for high school students. An additional $15 million helps districts launch before-and-after school programs. •$21 million for teachers and support staff helping students catch up on learning over the summer. •$5.8 million to help families participating in summer school offset transportation, tutoring and other costs. •$22 million quarterly for closer monitoring and accountability in the governor’s troubled distribution plan. The state could not impose vaccination mandates. •$144 million for virus testing would be allocated quarterly, to improve oversight and efficiency. •$10 million is set aside to provide parents with $50 for enrolling their student in a summer program and up to $200 for transportation, tutoring, or other costs. Further, an additional $10 million is appropriated to a grant program for districts to compete for an additional $100 per pupil to implement innovative summer semester programs for K-8 students or credit recovery programs for 9-12 graders. There is also an additional $20 million for student mental health needs. •There is an additional $136 million in School Aid Fund that would be added to ensure that each district would receive the equivalent of $450/pupil and is tied to schools offering 20 hours a week in-person instruction by March 22. I do not support every part of this supplemental budget, but our plan is a balanced and commonsense approach between the wants and desires of the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch. The bills passed 85-25, 77-33, & 60-50.
22HB 42603-MarI voted yes on HB 4260, a school aid supplemental vehicle bill for fiscal year ’21. The bill passed unanimously.
23HB 40613-MarI voted yes on HB 4061, which restricts the use of the public alert system. The public alert system will no longer be allowed to be used to announce a new law or executive order, but instead will be used to include threats that are unforeseen and will likely lead to immediate or nearly immediate loss of life or property such as a natural disaster, train derailment, etc. Overusing the state’s emergency alert system is a serious mistake. It will diminish the overall effectiveness of the system. The bill passed 63-47.
24, 25HB 4224, 42253-MarI voted no on HB 4224 & 4225, which exempts the purchase of PPE equipment and cleaning supplies from sales and use tax for business activities. I do not believe in picking winners and losers through sales and use tax exemptions for specific products or businesses. These types of bills erode current tax revenues and inhibit growth in future revenues. The bills passed 104-6. 
26HB 41279-MarI voted yes on HB 4127, which creates a procedure to remove people from the Qualified Voter File (QVF) who have a placeholder date of birth. There are currently 230 people according to an Auditor General audit who are in the Qualified Voter File with an age of over 122 years old. This does not mean these residents are that age, but are rather a result of antiquated voter files being transferred to the QVF. The legislation would require the SOS to send a prepaid postage and preaddressed note as required by federal law to the 230 voters so that they can verify their date of birth. If the voter does not return the card or participate in any voter activity prior to the first business day after the second November general election from receipt of their notice, their registration will be cancelled. If a voter returns the notice, but their signature does not match the QVF, then the voter will be notified by their clerk and their registration record will be challenged until the discrepancy is remedied. The bill passed 61-48.
27HB 41289-MarI voted yes on HB 4128, which provides a procedure to remove people from the qualified voter file (qvf) if they have not voted in the last 20 years. The legislation would require the SOS to send the same notice as found in HB 4127, with the same requirements that their signature must match the QVF. The bill passed 66-43.
28HB 41299-MarI voted yes on HB 4129, which requires the SOS to post names of local clerks on their department website who have not completed required continuing education courses. A recent audit of the Bureau of Elections showed 21% of jurisdictions in Michigan were without fully accredited elections officials, and the legislature must ensure these officials are held accountable. The bill passed 87-22.
29HB 41309-MarI voted yes on HB 4130, which changes the due date of lobby reports from January 31st and August 31st to February 28th and September 30th. Currently, campaign finance and lobby reports have the same due date, therefore the Bureau of Elections cannot meet the statutory deadlines to properly review the reports. The bill passed unanimously.
30HB 41319-MarI voted yes on HB 4131, which grants the Bureau of Elections 30 days to review campaign finance reports instead of 4 days. 79% of campaign statements were not reviewed within 4 days but took on average 33 days. This bill will reflect current practice. The bill passed 108-1.
31HB 41349-MarI voted yes on HB 4134, which increases the allowable precinct size from 2,999 voters to 4,000 voters. Moreover, the bill requires city and township clerks to maintain a permanent absentee voter application list. This legislation will save municipalities dollars, poll workers, supplies, and materials. The bill passed 79-30.
32HB 41359-MarI voted yes on HB 4135, which requires voting jurisdictions with more than one precinct to utilize an absentee voter (av) counting board to count all absentee voter ballots. Last year’s election brought into question whether ballots can be counted in a timely manner. Currently, stacks of AV ballots are inserted into voting machines during lulls in the polling place. While this is an accepted practice, it gives off a wrong appearance. The legislature should continue to support legislation which promotes trust in our elections process. This bill would help to limit that practice. The bill passed 104-5.
33SB 19-MarI voted yes on SB 1, which requires the legislature to approve an extension of emergency orders issued by DHHS. DHHS orders would be valid for 28 days, after which they would be subject to legislative scrutiny. The legislature is a co-equal branch of government, and current law provides too much authority to one department under the executive branch. It is the duty and role of the legislature to represent the residents of Michigan, not one unelected department head. The bill passed 59-50.
34-37HB 4047, HB 4048 veto override9-MarI voted yes to override the Governor’s line item vetoes on House Bill 4047 & House Bill 4048. Remember, HB 4047 passed by a margin of 85-29. Furthermore, HB 4048 passed by a margin of 77-30. 73 yes votes are the required number of votes to override a veto. The Governor line item vetoed a $150 million deposit into the UIA Trust Fund, and even worse, $450 million to afflicted businesses. The $150 million covers the state’s share of payouts of fraudulent claims due to errors within the Unemployment Insurance Agency. The UIA Trust Fund is funded by businesses who pay into the funds, therefore, it is likely they will have to pay more in taxes. The bill even allowed for federal funds to replace state funds by May 1st. The veto override failed 64-45. (Original vote was 85-29 in support just six days ago). Moreover, the Governor line item vetoed $426 million to support afflicted businesses that lost revenue from closure in compliance with orders from DHHS and the Governor’s office. The $426 million could be used for property taxes, liquor licenses, or other fees. The state closed these businesses; thus, it is the responsibility of the state to assist these businesses and workers. Instead, the funds were vetoed, and the override failed by a margin of 66-43. (Original vote was 85-29). Neither of these line item supplementals were tie-barred to other bills or dealt with shifting power from the executive to the legislature or from DHHS to local health departments. I also voted yes to override the Governor’s line item vetoes on HB 4048. This included $21 million to support summer school efforts to make up for loss of learning time, among other legislative items. The veto overrides failed 64-45 & 65-44. (Original bill passed 77-30 – six days ago). Both of these bills passed on March 3rd with a greater than two-thirds majority (the threshold to override a veto). Nonetheless, all four of the veto overrides did not pass during yesterday’s session.
38, 39HB 4219, HB 422010-MarI voted yes on HB 4219 & 4220, the OWI expungement package. The legislation allows the court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense, which is currently ineligible for expungement. The expungement is not eligible for automatic expungement but petition only. People who made mistakes are to be given a chance to clean up their public record. For many, this is a life-changer. We are correcting an injustice. The bills passed 93-17.
40HB 405310-MarI voted yes on HB 4053, to rename a portion of M-120 as the “Deputy Ernest W. Heikkila Memorial Highway.” Deputy Heikkila was killed in the line of duty when his cruiser was struck by another car. The bill passed 109-1.
41, 42, 43SB 29, 11410-MarI voted yes on SB 114 & SB 29, which formally restores the line items which were vetoed by the Governor. The bills passed 60-50 & 66-44.
44, 45HB 4308, 430910-MarI voted no on HB 4308 & 4309, which eliminates the sunset for .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). I do not believe we should permanently set in statute the .08 limit. Some studies believe the limit is too low, while others believe it is too high. Regardless, eliminating the sunset would make future efforts to reform the BAC limit more difficult. Furthermore, the limit of .08 is adopted by all fifty states to simply comply with the federal government to maintain highway funding. The bills passed 105-5.
46HB 404011-MarI voted no on HB 4040, which excludes apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs as proprietary schools in order to obtain state and federal funds. I do not believe these programs should be excluded but should still follow the same requirements as proprietary schools. The bill passed 107-3.
47HB 412216-MarI voted yes on HB 4122, which would reform the county veteran service grants. The bill would make technical changes to the program to ensure equitable distribution of dollars if the full $50,000 per county is unavailable for distribution. The bill passed 108-1.
48, 49SB 29, 11417-MarI voted yes to concur in Senate changes on SB 114 and SB 2, supplementals for school aid and economic relief. The Senate added in book-closing transfers for fiscal year 20 that were not able to be accomplished last year, such as transferring $100,000 in available general funds from the Standards and Training/Justice Training Grants line item to the Public Safety Officers Benefit Program line item. The bills passed 60-49 & 64-45.
50, 51HB 4171, HB 417217-MarI voted no on HB 4171 and 4172, which expands the eligibility for the first responder presumed coverage fund. This legislation will open the fund to more claims, and hence, will increase costs. It is possible that the expansion in eligibility will raise costs beyond what the fund can absorb. I also believe we should have more discussion on presumption of causes. Studies show that firefighters are at a tremendous risk of cancer as opposed to the average American, however, there are instances where cancers developed by firefighters may not have been the result of their job. The bills passed 106-3.
52HB 421017-MarI voted no on HB 4210, which exempts certain broadband equipment from property taxes. A broadband company must resolve a lack of broadband service, reach certain upload and download speeds, among other things. Nevertheless, I have consistently opposed targeted tax breaks to specific industries or companies.  I do not believe it is the role of government to pick winners and losers through our tax code; our tax system is already incredibly complex, and specific exemptions only make the system more confusing. Furthermore, targeted exemptions mostly harm local governments. The bill passed 59-50.
53SB 18617-MarI voted yes on SB 186, which places Michigan’s industrial hemp program into compliance with finalized USDA rules. The legislature voted yes last term to correspond our hemp program to interim USDA rules, but now there was a need to update various parts of our state operated program. Many of the changes are highly technical, such as changing the registration and license cycle to February 1st through January 31st from the current December 1st through November 1st cycle. The bill passed 108-1.
54HB 446917-MarI voted yes on HB 4469, which included the most recent list of approved projects supported by the revenues of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The revenues in the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund are derived from the development of state owned-mineral resources. This is a yearly bill as required by Michigan’s Constitution. For anyone interested, Section 35 of Article IX discusses the MNRTF. Moreover, this years MNRTF included dollars to go toward the Lost Lake Nature Park expansion. The bill passed 104-5.
55HB 411518-MarI voted yes on HB 4115, which allows local units of governments to extend the allowable hours for selling alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. I still disagree with the license fee included in the bill (my reasoning for voting no last term), but there has been unprecedented hardships endured by local businesses over the last year. The legislature needs to do all we can to assist struggling businesses, and even if one disagrees with the allowable hours in the bill, it will still be up to determination of local governments. The bill passed 61-47.
56SB 10018-MarI voted yes on SB 100, which adds “foster care” as a defined term in the section of the Child Caring Institutions Act. This bill is very technical, but the reasoning for this addition of language is to comply with changes made to the Family First Prevention Services as part of the 2018 federal budget act. Moreover, the simple change ensures that children who need to be placed in residential facilities are still able to do so without risking losing federal funds. The bill passed unanimously.
57-66HB 4383-439218-MarI voted yes on House Bills 4383-4392, which subjects the legislature and governor to FOIA. The Center for Public Integrity ranks Michigan 50th in the nation for transparency. These bills will make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan. All bills passed unanimously.
67HB 405024-MarI voted no on HB 4050, which will allow the DNR to exempt certain specific location of game species from any FOIA request. I am weary of voting yes on any FOIA exemptions when it has been a goal of the legislature to do the exact opposite. Not to mention that the current practice of FOIA for game species is very rare. The bill passed 91-16.
68HB 412324-MarI voted no on HB 4123, which would allow for municipalities to finance any wastewater and drinking water projects utilizing energy performance contracting under the state’s revolving loan fund. Although the fund has been fiscally secure, I am concerned about any increases in eligibility to the fund and any potential and unforeseen costs. Furthermore, to qualify, the projects must meet the definitions already defined in Michigan’s performance contracting statutes. Therefore, I am concerned about some areas being able to meet the definitions easier than others, and thus, creating a winner and loser system among municipalities. The bill 104-3.
69HB 436324-MarI voted yes on HB 4363, which extends the time from 180 days to 210 days for the DNR to approve or deny an application for a proposed sale of surplus land. This will give the public more time to weigh in on any proposals. The bill passed 105-3.
70HB 434824-MarI voted no on HB 4348, which requires pharmacy benefit managers to have a Michigan license. The bill will also require PBM’s to provide the Legislature with annual reports, create uniformity in pharmacy reimbursements, among other details. The bill passed 97-10.
71HB 435024-MarI voted no on HB 4350, which only allows for rebates to be applied if the rebate is not for a drug with a lower-cost generic equivalent. The motive behind the bill is to try and prevent pharmacy benefit managers from steering consumers to certain drugs, but I believe this will be unnecessary with the bills yet to be voted on (coming soon) which will deal with gag clauses and ensuring that consumers can be directed by pharmacists to more cost-effective medicine. The bill passed 101-6.
72HB 435324-MarI voted no on HB 4353, which allows for copay coupons to go toward the consumers’ out-of-pocket maximum. These coupons are a problem and actually are barred by Medicare, Medicaid, and VA, because they serve as an economic inducement. This will likely raise insurance costs. The bill passed 98-9.
73HB 434624-MarI voted no on HB 4346, which limits the monthly price cap on prescription insulin to $50 for each 30-day supply. The bill is well intentioned but a mandate on the health insurers will not get to the root of the problem. There are 3 manufacturers who control the majority of the insulin market with no robust generic market, which has kept prices high. This may place a $50 cap on what your insurance company can charge, but the manufacturer drug prices will likely increase. Therefore, your health insurance company will raise their costs and find other ways to make up for any financial losses. Furthermore, patients enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, ERISA, or the uninsured, will not see any assistance from the legislation. The bill passed 91-16.
74HB 435624-MarI voted yes on HB 4356, which allows consumers to use an online or mobile platform to renew their contact prescriptions if their prescription hasn’t changed in the past five years. The bill passed 56-51.
75, 76HB 4351, 435224-MarI voted yes on HB 4351 & 4352, which Prohibits an insurer from requiring a patient to pay a higher co-pay than the cost of the dispensed medication and bans pharmacy benefit managers from prohibiting a pharmacy from disclosing the current price of a medication. The bills passed 106-1.
77HB 434524-MarI voted yes on HB 4345, which requires insurers to count out-of-network prescriptions toward any out-of-pocket maximum if the cost of the drug is less than the average cost of an in-network pharmacy drug. This bill should drive costs down and will allow for cheaper drugs to be more easily purchased by families. The bill passed 100-7.
78HB 435524-MarI voted yes on HB 4355, which allows out-of-state providers to provide telehealth services in Michigan. The bill passed 56-51.
79HB 435724-MarI voted no on HB 4357, which prohibits drug manufacturers from giving gifts to prescribers worth more than $63. Part of the high cost of health care are consumers being prescribed drugs partly based on the relationship between prescriber and manufacturer. Nevertheless, this is an attempt to legislate morality. An immoral manufacturer and prescriber will still find a way around the bill and I have doubts this will actually help to lower the cost of healthcare, and if anything, this is the government mandating the terms of a relationship between two industries. The bill passed 102-5.
80HB 435424-MarI voted no on HB 4354, which would cap the coinsurance or copay for oral chemo at $150 per 30-day supply. This was a difficult bill as I have heard from residents on many sides of the issue. My no vote is very similar to my no vote on HB 4346. This legislation would not impact patients with ERISA, Medicare, Medicaid, and the uninsured. Moreover, it does not address the underlying issue of the high prices charged by pharmaceutical companies. This is another instance where your insurer will simply make up the cost in another way, likely by raising costs. The bill passed 91-15.
81HB 435924-MarI voted yes on HB 4359, which expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) to improve access to safe anesthesia services in Michigan. HB 4359 allows CRNAs to practice in any of the following settings: A hospital inpatient or outpatient facility; A freestanding surgical center; An office of a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; and any other office or facility in which diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are provided to a patient. The bill passed 82-25.
82HB 434724-MarI voted no on HB 4347, which requires manufacturers to submit information to the Department of Insurance when they increase the wholesale acquisition cost of prescription drugs by more than 15% in a given year. I have concerns over the State of Michigan instituting stricter rules than the federal government, furthermore, this may lead to state bureaucrats deciding on what drug costs are acceptable and which ones aren’t. The bill passed 100-7.
83HB 435824-MarI voted no on HB 4358, which prohibits an insurer from removing a prescription drug within a plan year. This will place limitations on formulary changes which would restrict a health plan’s ability to manage them in a cost-effective and consumer-focused way. The bill passed 99-8.
84HB 434924-MarI voted yes on HB 4349, which requires hospitals to post a copy of their charge descriptions online. The bill passed 104-3.
85HB 401424-MarI voted no on HB 4014, which requires speed limits to be rounded to the nearest multiple of five miles an hour that is within five miles an hour of the 85th percentile speed. In most cases, the result of these changes will be minimal but may lead to lower or higher speeds in some areas than are expected by drivers. The bill passed 94-13.
86, 87HB 4211/421224-MarI voted no on HB 4211 & 4212, which would increase the penalties for forcefully disarming a law enforcement officer. Anyone looking to forcefully take an officer’s weapon is not going to be discouraged when confronted with a 20 year prison sentence instead of a 10 year prison sentence. I do not believe this bill will serve as a deterrent. The bills passed 100-7.
88HB 442924-MarI voted yes on HB 4429, which designates a portion of highways US-2 and US-41 in Delta County as “Darryl M. Rantanen Memorial Highway.” Trooper Rantanen was killed in the line of duty while pursuing a stolen vehicle. The bill passed 106-1.
89SB 4625-MarI voted no on SB 46, the Senate companion bill of HB 4210, which exempts certain broadband equipment from property taxes. A broadband company must resolve a lack of broadband service, reach certain upload and download speeds, among other things. Nevertheless, I have consistently opposed targeted tax breaks to specific industries or companies. I do not believe it is the role of government to pick winners and losers through our tax code; our tax system is already incredibly complex, and specific exemptions only make the system more confusing. Furthermore, targeted exemptions mostly harm local governments. The bill passed 57-49.
90HB 402625-MarI voted yes on HB 4026, which creates an option to purchase a two-year recreational passport for individuals who obtain a two-year vehicle registration (HB 4117). The bill passed unanimously.
91HB 411725-MarI voted yes on HB 4117, which creates an option for a two-year vehicle registration. The bill passed unanimously.
92-94HB 4243-424525-MarI voted yes on HB 4243-4245, which amends penalties and sentencing guidelines for the manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance. Current law includes fentanyl sentencing guidelines being grouped with other schedule 1 or 2 controlled substances. This package maintains strict guidelines for manufacturing, delivering, or possessing fentanyl or other derivatives, but lessens the guidelines regarding others. An example is the manufacturing of 50 grams or more, but less than 450 grams, of any mixture containing a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance. The current penalty is a felony punishable by not more than 20 years, and under this package the penalty would be reduced to not more than 10 years (unless the controlled substance is fentanyl or any derivative). This package has a lot of details, but in short, will start to reform our outdated drug sentencing laws. The bills passed 103-3, 102-4, & 104-2.
95HB 403525-MarI voted yes on HB 4035, which requires the DNR to pay their share of lake level assessments on state-owned lands when invoiced without requiring local governments to file a lawsuit for reimbursement. The bill passed unanimously.
96HB 402225-MarI voted yes on HB 4022, which requires DTMB to list state employee’s salary information to their website. The information will include position title, classified or non-classified civil service distinction, salary, and benefits information. The bill passed 79-27.
97, 98HB 4376, 437725-MarI voted yes on HB 4376 and 4377, which waives licensing fees for veterans and military service members and their dependents who hold an out-of-state license. I believe this is a great first step to waiving out-of-state licensing fees for non-military members. The bills passed unanimously.
99-101HB 4568, 4569, 4571 13-AprI voted yes on HB 4568, 4569, & 4571. The package extends the income tax filing date to May 17th, as well as extending the corporate income tax filing to June 1st. Moreover, it extends the income tax filing for city income taxes to May 17th or June 1st (dependent upon circumstances). The bills passed 108-1 (HB 4568), and unanimously.
102, 103HB 4055, 405614-AprI voted yes on HB 4055 & 4056, which extends the eligibility for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and Michigan Tuition Grant Program. These programs were disrupted due to COVID, and it is necessary for students who had school disrupted through no fault of their own to have continued access to these important funds. The bills passed 107-3.
104HB 402914-AprI voted yes on HB 4029, which allows for stun guns to be available for sale and possession for anyone 18 years of age or older. The bill passed 78-32. 
105-108HB 4282-428514-AprI voted no on House Bill’s 4282-4285, which makes the filing fee for numerous offices (legislature, county commissioners, township officers, etc.) nonrefundable and requires the fund to go toward voting equipment. Running for office is an enormous commitment of time and money, and we should not be placing more roadblocks in front of people who feel called to serve their local communities. The bills passed 90-20.
109HB 434314-AprI voted no on HB 4343, which would require school officials to count an excused absence in an instance where a student is absent to play “taps” at a military honors funeral. It is not the role of the legislature to mandate to schools how they are to handle excused v unexcused absence. This is something that should be handled on the local level. The bill passed 105-5.
110-112HB 4149, 4151-415215-AprI voted yes on HB 4149, 4151, and 4152, which reclassifies certain misdemeanors as civil infractions. HB 4149 deals with failing to attach a name and address to a fishing tip-up and fishing with more than the authorized number of fishing lines. HB 4151 and HB 4152 are regarding various hunting infractions such as violations related to supplemental feeding of deer, and failing to exhibit a fur harvester’s license. The bills passed unanimously.
113HR 6020-AprI voted yes on HR 60, to grant the Oversight Committee the power to subpoena documents related to employee separations and severance agreements entered into by the executive branch of government. The resolution passed 59-50.
114HB 427220-AprI voted yes on HB 4272, which allows for fuel containers that are made in Michigan, and remain in Michigan, to not be entered into interstate commerce. The bill will allow for fuel cans to be manufactured which are distinct to Michigan and stamped with the words “Made in Michigan.” The current fuel cans were meant to limit emissions and be environmentally friendly, yet the opposite has taken place. These fuel cans have resulted in more difficulty and spills, which is simply leading consumers to modify the design on their own. The bill passed 75-34.
115HB 418420-AprI voted yes on HB 4184, which expands the authority of district court magistrates to hear matters related to medical and recreational marijuana. District court magistrates cannot preside over criminal issues, but only civil law concerns. This bill will ensure that these matters are heard and solved in a timely manner. The bill passed 107-2.
116-119HB 4201-420420-AprI voted no on HB 4201-4204, which creates penalties (civil infraction with a $500 fine) for entering a school bus without authorization or impeding or obstructing a school bus. There are already crimes in place to handle these problems. If someone enters a bus to commit a crime that is unthinkable such as assault or kidnapping, there are already penalties for assault or kidnapping. Allegedly, there have been issues with a parent attempting to take their children from the school bus over custody disagreements. Nonetheless, breaking custody agreements as agreed upon by a court will result in criminal penalties. I have concerns this package will only criminalize well intentioned parents who need to get their kid off the bus for whatever reason it may be. Moreover, the package allows a school to use a stop-arm camera system on their school bus but requires for the photographic and video recordings to be given to police if requested as evidence. If the videos or photos are needed, they can be obtained by a warrant. The package passed 100-9, 102-7, 100-9, & 102-7.
120-123HB 4263-426620-AprI voted yes on HB 4263-4266, which amends the public school employees retirement act, the state employees’ retirement act, the judges retirement act, and the state police retirement act, to set the assumed rate of return (anywhere from 6.8% for pensions and 6.95% for OPEB, to 6.25% for pensions and 7% for OPEB, dependent upon the retirement act), to require the use of updated morality assumptions, and to utilize layered amortization. This package will help to continue our efforts in ensuring that unfunded and underfunded liabilities do not accumulate in our state retirement systems. The bills passed unanimously, unanimously, 69-39, & unanimously.
124HB 401921-AprI voted yes on HB 4019, which authorizes $110,000 in private, donated funds to be received by the National Guard to be distributed as a one-time grant for those who were deployed to the U.S. Capitol. This is a result of efforts undertaken to support the troops after reports of raw meat and metal being served to Guard members . The bill passed unanimously.
125HB 414221-AprI voted yes on HB 4142, which reclassifies the following misdemeanors as civil infractions: failure to exhibit or display a snowmobile registration; lost, mutilated, or illegible snowmobile registration/number/decal; and operating a snowmobile on a highway right-of-way. The bill passed unanimously.
126HB 414121-AprI voted yes on HB 4141, which reclassifies penalties for moped registration fee violations as civil infractions. The bill passed unanimously.
127HB 414321-AprI voted yes on HB 4143, which reclassifies the following misdemeanors as civil infractions: failure to properly register or operating an unregistered vehicle; temporary registration plate violations; failure to transfer title; and failure to obtain a Michigan plate. The bill passed 107-1.
128HB 415021-AprI voted yes on HB 4150, which reclassifies penalties related to farm related vehicles that violate registration requirements as civil infractions. The bill passed unanimously.
129HB 4289, 429022-AprI voted no on HB 4289 and HB 4290, which would create the Michigan first-time home buyer savings program. I voted no on very similar legislation in 2017, which was vetoed by than Governor Snyder. His veto letter summarizes my no vote explanation, “The bills (SB 511 and 512 of 2017) are contrary to the goal of a simple, fair, and efficient tax code with limited deductions or credits. While promoting home ownership is a laudable objective, I do not generally support using the tax code to incentivize taxpayer behavior because it favors some taxpayers over others, and does not provide transparency of government expenditures.” The bills passed 89-15 & 86-18.
130-138HB 4454-446122-AprI voted no on HB 4454-4461, which is a complete revamp of our solid waste and recycling laws. These bills contain tons of new language, which will increase regulations on trash haulers, landfills, and even home composting. I am concerned these bills may result in independent trash haulers being put out of business by favoring the “big” companies. Increased regulation can be more easily absorbed by corporations and companies which have the necessary resources at their disposal. Some of these new regulations include increases of the application fees for a type II and type III landfill operating license, as well as requiring counties to meet new recycling standards of a 30% residential recycling rate by 2029. The argument isn’t over recycling, but rather how a mandate will be implemented. One such way may be to force independent haulers to collect recycling, which could drive them out of business. These companies do not currently collect recycling because it is not cost efficient. As always, government mandates will drive up costs on businesses which will be passed along to the consumer. This inherently hurts lower income households and families. The package passed 86-13, 87-17, 86-18, 88-16, 83-21, 87-17, 82-19, & 78-26.
139SB 4627-AprI voted no on concurring in the senate substitute to SB 46, which provides for broadband property tax exemptions. The substitute raised the speed levels for equipment to qualify for the tax break. My reason for my initial no vote on this bill, as well as its companion House bill, was not because of the speed requirements in the bill but rather due to tax issues surrounding fairness. The bill passed 58-51.
140HB 406727-AprI voted no on HB 4067, which was returned from the Senate with changes. The Senate made minor changes, including an enacting date. Here is my original no vote explanation, “I voted no on HB 4067, which expands the list of advance trainings a dentist can receive in order to qualify for a “health profession specialty field license.” In conversations with local professionals it appears that many specialties are already permitted under state law, and if anything, I always have concerns over barriers to entry. The bill passed 108-2.”. The bill again passed 108-2.
141HB 438227-AprI voted no on HB 4382, which limits the sale of smoke alarms to those that use non removable batteries that last for at least 10 years (or permits the smoke alarms to be sold if they use another power source utilizing a new technology). A smoke alarm that doesn’t meet these requirements can only be sold if the alarm is also connected to a central monitor system and through ancillary components. This is a mandate placed on retailers and manufacturers, and it is not the role of the government to determine the type of smoke alarm you place in your house. The bill passed 89-20.
142HB 405227-AprI voted yes on HB 4052, which provides that Michigan will observe daylight saving time year-round, contingent on changes in federal law, and other neighboring states making the change to daylight saving hours. Not allowing states to observe DST year-round is an antiquated practice. Moreover, studies show that there are health problems and learning problems in the days following a time change. The bill passed 87-22.
143, 146HB 4443-444427-AprI voted yes on HB 4443 & 4444, which adjusts the formula for the distribution of unclaimed bottle deposit revenue and creates a half of a cent per container tax credit for distributors. Distributors are required to issue and refund the 10 cent deposit to the retailer. Furthermore, they pick up returned beverage containers from retailers. This package is a common sense solution to changes to recycling and bottle deposit that we have witnessed as a result of COVID and its effect on businesses.
144HB 420027-AprI voted yes on HB 4200, which requires the Board of State Canvassers to make an official declaration regarding the number of signatures on an initiative petition no later than 100 days before the election at which the proposal is to be submitted. There is no reason for petition signatures to take hundreds of days to review, and it can often lead to political games being played. The bill passed 60-49.
145HB 449127-AprI voted yes on HB 4491, which allows for county clerks to access the qualified voter file (QVF) to remove deceased people from the voter rolls. The current practice to removing deceased people from the voter rolls is restricted to city and township clerks and the Secretary of State. The bill passed unanimously.
147HB 449227-AprI voted yes on HB 4492, which allows for some privately owned buildings to be used as polling places. The building cannot be owned by a person that is a sponsor of a political or independent committee. It is currently becoming more difficult for clerks to secure polling locations in schools and churches, and this is a bill that should help to alleviate the problem. The bill passed 106-3.
148-151HB 4530-453327-AprI voted no on HB 4530-4533, which moves the August primary election to June and eliminates the May election. This limits the amount of time for new candidates to run for office, and grants them less time to meet their communities. Nonetheless, I would have supported this package if it was implemented with a progressive change. I did like portions of the package. However, one may argue we could slowly move the election back on a gradual scale, instead of all at once. I am concerned a switch from August to May will lead to a less prepared populace and lower turnout. The bills passed 63-46, 67-42, 65-44, & 65-44.
152HB 425727-AprI voted yes on HB 4257, which require that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the governor be filed and made publicly available with the Office of the Great Seal. An example includes the 2016 MOU between Governor Snyder and the Premier of Ontario. The bill passed 59-50. Nearly the same bill was introduced in 2018 (SB 822), which was then vetoed by Governor Snyder. The legislation has nothing to do with the current administration, but instead is an effort at increasing transparency.
153HB 444827-AprI voted yes on HB 4448, which would prevent an executive order that is issued under the Emergency Management Act from delaying a response to a FOIA request. There are concerns that emergency EO’s and other rule makings, would be used as a reason to avoid FOIA requests and other inquiries by the public. The bill passed 98-11.
154HB 416428-AprI voted yes on HB 4164, which allows for attorneys to access court documents online free of charge. It also requires courts to accept documents through email if they already so by fax. This is a common sense measure to modernize our court system. The bill passed 61-49.
155SB 1628-AprI voted yes on SB 16, which specifies that a transfer of ownership to another person is not a change in ownership if it is under common control (e.g. property owner transfers property to an LLC that they own). The bill passed 101-9.
156SB 1728-AprI voted yes on SB 17, which allows for a public servant to serve as an emergency medical personnel, firefighter, public safety officer, or other additional services, in a city, village, township, or county, with 40,000 residents. (Current law is 25,000). This will allow for more communities to address potential staffing shortages. The bill passed 61-49.
157, 158, 159HB 4118, 411928-AprI voted yes on HB 4118 & 4119, which requires a corrections agency to maintain a record regarding the reasoning and circumstances for a corrections officer’s separation of service from the agency. This bill will help to ensure that Michigan has the best officers and that bad behavior isn’t hidden by an officer’s resignation. It also promotes and facilitates sharing of employment records between law enforcement agencies and corrections agencies. The bills passed 108-2 & unanimously.
160SB 11829-AprI voted yes on SB 118, which reduces the penalty placed on school districts for employing individuals who ae not certified or credentialed to 50% of the amount paid to the individual. The current penalty structure is excessive, especially considering difficulties schools have faced as a result of COVID-19. School districts have found themselves in tough spots to fill open positions. This bill will grant districts necessary leniency. The bill passed unanimously.
161HB 413829-AprI voted yes on HB 4138, which will reduce the misdemeanor penalty for improper attachment of a snowmobile registration, number, and/or decal, to a civil infraction. The bill passed unanimously.
162HB 408929-AprI voted no on HB 4089, which would classify etizolam as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and essentially ban the drug in Michigan. Etizolam is not scheduled at the federal level and can be used by people to help treat anxiety disorders and in some cases insomnia. Etizolam is prescribed in Japan, India, and Italy. Nonetheless, because of potential misuses of the drug, there have been other states which have banned its use. I do not believe we should make that decision yet in Michigan. The bill passed 75-34.
163HB 43254-MayI voted yes on HB 4325, which requires local area agencies on aging to conduct criminal background checks on volunteers, employees, and independent service providers. This bill is the result of the Aging and Adult Services Performance Audit as conducted by the Auditor General. The audit found that the AASA needs to improve its policies for sub-agencies and subcontractors. The bill passed 109-1.
164HB 45914-MayI voted yes on HB 4591, which would prohibit non-disclosure agreements for all public employees and place limits on severance pay. Public employees include , but are not limited to, civil service officers, the executive branch, and the legislative branch. The bill passed unanimously.
165HB 40645-MayI voted yes on HB 4064, which creates the Office of the State Employees Ombudsman. The ombudsman will be able to properly hear concerns of state employees as well as potentially investigate any wrongdoing. The bill passed 87-21.
166, 167HB 4540, 45415-MayI voted yes on HB 4540, which establishes transit officers as law enforcement officers, granted they receive the same training and licensure requirements. The bill passed 107-1. I voted no on HB 4541, which deals with regulations regarding streetcars (primarily the Q-Line). The bill includes good things, but it also includes worrisome provisions. This includes a civil infraction for anyone over the age of two who is eating or drinking on a streetcar or within a station, as well as a civil infraction for someone listening to music on a streetcar without headphones. I believe these penalties are too stiff, nor should these policies be set by the state, but rather by local governments and/or operators of the streetcar. I believe it is proper to rather ask someone to put in headphones, instead of handing out a civil infraction. The bill passed 93-15.
168HB 44975-MayI voted yes on HB 4497, which requires MDHHS to notify the public and local health department of an aerial spraying at least three business days before the spraying is scheduled. It also requires the DHHS to share the approximate date and time, and the procedure to opt-out if one is available. I support strengthening the opt-out provision of the bill, but this is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 82-26.
169HB 44455-MayI voted yes on HB 4445, which reduces from seven to two, the number of events a motorsports event facility must have to obtain a liquor license. Our liquor license laws are incredibly complex, and I support any legislation to make the process simpler. The bill passed unanimously.
170HB 47285-MayI voted yes on HB 4728, which prevents state or local emergency orders from prohibiting or limiting graduation ceremonies at schools for the graduating class of 2021. The current DHHS orders are a one size fits all approach, and assumes that schools cannot safely figure out how to hold a ceremony. Thank you to the Walled Lake students and superintendent who testified in support of the bill, and to Oakland Schools for their card of support. The bill passed 60-48.
171-174SB 141-1446-MayI voted yes on SB 141-144, which is a package of bills which allows for greater flexibility of small winemakers and similar out of state companies to self-distribute their products. Small distillers should have the same ability to self-distribute their products like beer, wine, and cider manufacturers. Our plan would expand the variety of alcoholic beverages a consumer would be eligible to purchase at retails stores. The result? More access for consumers to their favorite products and more job creation across our state. Moreover, SB 144 is of high importance to our community. The bill will allow businesses who currently hold a Class C pilot program license to simultaneously hold an SDM license. My office was contacted over this very issue, and I am pleased to see this legislation pass. The bills passed unanimously.
175HB 40016-MayI voted yes on HB 4001, which prohibits legislators from voting on bills when a conflict of interest exists. There are already conflict of interest provisions in our Constitution, and in House rules, but HB 4001 strengthens the policies. The bill ensures conflict of interest policies also include if the potential legislation benefits an immediate family member of the legislator (spouse, dependent child). The bill passed 105-3.
176HB 40316-MayI voted yes on HB 4031, which amends MIOSHA reporting requirements. Current law states that family farm owners must report to MIOSHA a death or serious injury within 8 hours of the accident. This bill would change the reporting requirement to seven days and reduce the penalty for failing to report on time from $7000 to a $500 civil fine. There were constituents within Rep. Kahle’s district (the bill sponsor) who forgot to report to MIOSHA after a family member fell through the roof of a farm, and was killed, while making emergency repairs ahead of an impending storm. As you can imagine, the family was in shock and grief, and the last thing on their minds was speaking with MIOSHA. Consequently, the family was fined $5000. This is another example of a government agency having too much power and being out of touch with the residents of our state. It isn’t difficult to show compassion, but apparently in this case the government agency decided it was in its best interest to inflict more pain. The bill passed 83-25.
177HB 423711-MayI voted yes on HB 4237, to repeal the Michigan estate tax. The state no longer collects the estate tax, and we should not keep outdated laws on the books. The bill passed 58-49.
178, 179HB 4599, 456011-MayI voted yes on HB 4599 and HB 4560, which modifies the distribution of funds under the horse racing laws. There is now more money coming into the Agriculture & Equine Industry Development Fund due to sports betting and online gaming, which will allow for an increase in horse racing revenue. It is the intent of the legislature that the increase in horse racing revenue, and its distribution, will help increase racing opportunities and county fairgrounds and provide a reason to breed and race horses in Michigan. The bills passed 106-1.
180, 181HB 4421, HB 441911-MayI voted no on HB 4421 & 4419, a supplemental school aid and general fund appropriation bill. It is time for the state to say no more to federal dollars. Billions of dollars have been flowing into the states from the federal government. This is creating a cycle of dependency and I am concerned with the long term effects this will have on our state; Whether it be inflation, debt, or the persistent need to rely on the federal government to solve any problems. The bills passed 96-11 and 60-47.
182HB 439711-MayI voted no on HB 4397, the subcommittee appropriation bill for DEGLE. The bill contains many good things including boilerplate language for emergency dam repairs ($15 million). Nonetheless, there are other boilerplates I disagree with such as money to re-establish brownfield grants. The bill passed 56-51.
183HB 439411-MayI voted yes on HB 4394, the subcommittee appropriation budget for Agriculture and Rural Development. The budget either kept current spending or reduced the amount. Moreover, it contained important boilerplate language such as limiting severance agreements within the department (MDARD). The bill passed 57-50.
184HB 439511-MayI voted yes on HB 4395, which is the subcommittee appropriation for the Department of Natural Resources. The budget supports programs for wildlife and fisheries management, parks and rec areas, forest management, and so forth. HB 4395 contains important boilerplates such as ORV trail improvement and maintenance. Overall, the budget is not increasing in spending. The bill passed 58-49.
185HB 440111-MayI voted yes on HB 4401, the subcommittee appropriations for community colleges. I am pleased that the budget includes boilerplate language which would implement reporting requirements for free and open speech policies on campus. The bill passed 85-22.
186HB 440711-MayI voted no on HB 4407, the subcommittee appropriations for school aid. I am pleased with the amounts included for special education, and the pork spending not included. Nonetheless, the budget added language that creates new programs that should not be dictated from the state level, such as, a teacher network which allows for educators to share best practices ($5.5 million). The bill passed 89-18.
187HB 440811-MayI voted yes on HB 4408, the subcommittee appropriation for the department of education. There are no proposed fee increases, and the House did not include unnecessary recommendations such as $100,000 for a state poet laureate. The bill passed 57-50.
188HB 440311-MayI voted yes on HB 4403, the subcommittee budget for Judiciary. The budget stayed relatively the same from the previous years. the amount spent increased but only because it included a transfer of the Michigan Indigent Commission from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to the judicial branch. The bill passed 59-48.
189HB 440412-MayI voted yes on HB 4404, the budget for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This years budget includes no fee increases, and includes a new boilerplate section that the department shall submit reports containing feedback from Bureau of Community and Health Systems inspections. The bill passed 56-51.
190HB 440512-MayI voted yes on HB 4405, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services budget. There are no fee increases, the funding is on a quarterly basis, and includes boilerplates to increase transparency within the department. The bill passed 58-49.
191HB 439912-MayI voted no on HB 4399, the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services. The DHHS budget includes a lot of new boilerplates, including $1.6 million for a nurse practitioner advanced mental health provider four year pilot project through Wayne State University. I am concerned there are parts of this subcommittee budget that should be placed in other areas (such as higher ed). The bill passed 59-48.
192HB 439612-MayI voted yes on HB 4396, the Department of Corrections budget. The budget includes boilerplates which are important such as $250,000 for Goodwill Flip the script and $850,000 for the EXIT Program. Both programs exist to help provide employment and job training for ex-offenders in an effort to reduce recidivism rates. The bill passed 65-42.
193HB 446612-MayI voted yes on HB 4466, the budget for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The budget includes funding to ensure the Chesterfield Township Home for Veterans remains fully functional, as well as no new fee increases. The bill passed 66-41.
194HB 440912-MayI voted yes on HB 4409, the Transportation budget. The budget includes an additional $600 million in funding to support roads and bridges, and creates a new one-time funding line for rail freight/economic development. The bill passed 63-44.
195HB 440012-MayI voted yes on HB 4400, the Higher Education budget. Oakland University has consistently been toward the lower end of higher ed. appropriations. HB 4400 will increase their base appropriation from $53,147,400 to $58,829,500. The 10.1% percent change is the highest among public universities. A vibrant and growing OU will attract new students to our area of the state, and will hopefully lead to them obtaining jobs and buying/renting in Oakland County. The bill passed 57-50.
196HB 440612-MayI voted yes on HB 4406, the budget for the Michigan State Police. The budget does not change too much from the previous year, but does include $6 million to implement recommendations from the Michigan Join Task Force on Jail and Pre-Trail Incarceration. The bill passed 67-40.
197HB 439812-MayI voted yes on HB 4398, which is the General Government Budget. This includes the AG’s office, Department of Civil Rights, Executive Office, Legislature, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Department of State, Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, and Department of Treasury. The budget includes baseline spending consistent with the current fiscal year. The bill passed 57-50.
198-204HB 4298-430412-MayI voted no on HB 4298-4304 a package of bills to amend the Mobile Home Commission Act. Among other things, the package mandates that mobile home park owners must offer at least a one-year lease, as well as language which increases the size of LARA by requiring them to hire new full time inspectors and one full-time auditor. The bills passed 90-17, 94-13, 89-18, 91-16, 91-16, 90-17, 97-10.
205HB 428813-MayI voted yes on HB 4288, which allows flow-through entities the opportunity to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level. This is a highly technical bill, but its necessary as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law a few years ago. The bill passed 88-18.
206HB 408213-MayI voted yes on HB 4082, which prohibits the State Administrative Board from making an inter-departmental transfer if doing so will result in an increase or decrease to an appropriation item by more than 3% of $125,000. The legislature controls the spending for the budget and the state board should not have this power out of their jurisdiction. The bill passed 58-49.
207HB 466913-MayI voted yes on HB 4669, which creates a transportation bond repayment sinking fund for the repayment of road bonds. Although the bill is technical, this will provide more oversight on our bond usage as it can often lead to out of control spending. The bill passed 58-49.
209HB 432618-MayI voted yes on HB 4326, which allows for coding to be considered a foreign language for the purpose of fulfilling high school graduation requirements. The bill passed 59-49.
210HB 448518-MayI voted yes on HB 4485, which eliminates the sunset of a max $.50 tax on cigars. If the $.50 tax expires then the new cigar tax will go up to 32% of the wholesale price. The bill passed 83-25.
211SB 4918-MayI voted yes on SB 49, which allows for locations to hold both an simultaneous on premise and off premise tasting room license. This bill passed last term, but unfortunately did not make it through the legislative process. The bill passed unanimously.
212HB 407419-MayI voted yes on HB 4074, which encourages schools to implement a program of instruction in free enterprise and entrepreneurship. I opposed this legislation in the past because it was a mandate on schools to implement this program. I am pleased to see the compromise in this year’s legislation to ensure it is optional for schools. The bill passed 95-13.
213HB 421819-MayI voted yes on HB 4218, which will allow for the winner of multistate lottery games to remain anonymous. Eleven states already allow for winners to remain anonymous, and people have a right to privacy. The bill passed 107-1.
214HB 443119-MayI voted yes on HB 4431, which would allow for charitable organizations to host charitable gaming events that go beyond midnight without paying an additional license fee for the whole day. This will provide necessary flexibility for charitable organizations when conducting their events. The bill passed 107-1.
215HB 406320-MayI voted yes on HB 4063, my legislation to allow a parent or legal guardian of a minor being educated at home to issue a work permit for the minor. Present law states that a homeschooler shall be issued a work permit by the issuing officer of the school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or nonpublic school in which the minor’s residence or prospective employer is located. When seeking a permit, the homeschooler must present a statement with how many hours per week the student is being homeschooled. This is for both the CA-6 work permits for minors under 16, and CA-7 work permits for minors 16 and 17 years of age. This is simply a formality and places the school in an awkward position as they do not know the student, nor does the student or the student’s family know the school. The bill passed by an overwhelming and bipartisan margin of 98-10.
216HB 408820-MayI voted yes on HB 4088, which allows for the feeding of wildlife and birds if: no more than two gallons of bait be available at one time, and the feed is not more than 300 feet from a residence. Feeding and baiting bans have caused severe stress on communities that rely on hunting as part of their local economies. This bill is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 61-47.
217HB 460320-MayI voted no on HB 4603, which allows for agriculture commodity commissions, councils, and boards the permanent option of holding meetings remotely. I am concerned of the precedent set, and have opposed similar bills in the past year. The bill passed 103-5.
218-234SB 77, 79, 80-9420-MayI voted yes on SB 77, 79, & 80-94. These are the Senate budget bills which are unanimously approved by the House to ensure that the House and Senate can now go to our budget reconciliation conference. As noted, the bills passed unanimously.
235HB 429525-MayI voted yes on HB 4295, which allows state employees and their spouses to own medical marijuana facilities. The employees or their spouses cannot work or represent the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The bill passed 97-11.
236HB 469825-MayI voted yes on HB 4698, which makes it a misdemeanor crime if one knowingly raises a false active shooter alarm. The misdemeanor would be a 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine of $1000. The bill passed 104-4.
237HB 450125-MayI voted yes on HB 4501, which prohibits MiOSHA from assessing penalties for violating emergency rules on a first offense if an employer takes corrective actions to address the violation. Moreover, the bill requires MiOSHA to reimburse any fines if the fines were issued under executive orders which were ruled as unconstitutional. These fines are often massive and crippling for businesses. Recently, the Governor apologized for violating her department’s own restaurant COVID order. Neither her, her friends, or the restaurant will be facing penalties. We need to show the same amount of grace to all other businesses and citizens throughout the State: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2021/05/23/whitmer-apologizes-after-photo-shows-her-bar-violating-own-order/5234477001/. The bill passed 74-34.
238SB 40026-MayI voted yes on SB 400, part of the OWI expungement package. SB 400 would extend the time for filing an expungement application from three years to five years. The bill passed 91-18.
239, 240HB 4132, 413326-MayI voted yes on HB 4132 & HB 4133, which creates a felony for knowingly providing false info on an absentee ballot application. The same legislation passed the House last year by a vote of 74-29. The bills passed 66-43 & 65-44.
241HB 464126-MayI voted no on HB 4641, which allows for the extension of filing deadlines for Neighborhood Enterprise Zones affected by COVID-19 policies. I am not in support of NEZ areas, and other projects, which results in winners and losers for who has to pay property taxes. The bill passed 101-8.
242HB 424226-MayI voted yes on HB 4242, which is a re introduction of HB 5552 of last term. The bill removes the prohibition on the exporting of minnows, wigglers, and crayfish. The bill passed 66-43.
243, 244HB 4030, 449826-MayI voted yes on HB 4030 & 4498, which reduces various CPL and related fees. The bills caps the maximum fees for fingerprints to $60, and reduces CPL renewal fees from $115 to $45. The bills passed 66-43 & 67-42.
245HB 420726-MayI voted yes on HB 4207, which creates a barber apprenticeship program. Currently, a barber needs to complete 1800 hours of a barber college to be licensed. This bill will create an approved apprenticeship program for anyone who is not going down the collegiate path. The bill passed 106-3.
246-261HB 4394-4409, HB 446626-MayI voted no on HB 4394-4409, and 4466, which are procedural budget votes to proceed to our budget conference committee. All bills failed. 
262, 263HB 4293, HB 429427-MayI voted yes on HB 4293 & HB 4294, which prohibits decisions about employment as a substitute teacher as a subject of collective bargaining and allows districts to hire substitute teachers who they deem to be the best fit for the position without a permit. The decision would be solely left up to the district. The bills passed 56-52.
264HB 425627-MayI voted no on HB 4256, which allows for service animals to be trained in public buildings and public accommodations (any place that offers goods and services). Currently, service animals are permitted into these buildings if they are accompanied by their owner but are not permitted if accompanied by their trainer. The issue is that this conflicts with current ADA standards. One of the interest groups in opposition to the bill stated that “Under the ADA, a ‘service-dog-in-training’ is not considered a service dog and can be denied access into places of accommodation. The dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places.” The bill passed 94-14.
265, 266SB 15727-MayI voted yes on SB 157 and SB 312, which provides licensing reciprocity for veterans and military service members and their dependents who hold an out of state license or registration. This is a great first step in licensing reform. The bills passed unanimously.
267-275HB 4516-4517, HB 4740-474627-MayI voted no on HB 4516-4517, and HB 4740-4746, which modifies the definition of industrial hemp and marijuana by removing the requirement that THC comes from Delta-9. This is due to Delta-8 products entering the market; Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid. Now, the definition of marijuana will include products that have a THC concentration of more than .3% or THC in an amount greater than set by the state. I do not believe we should already be updating the legal definitions of hemp and marijuana in Michigan as it has only been 3 years since voters approved Initiated Law 1 of 2018. Moreover, we do not yet have many studies on Delta-8. The package passed by a variety of margins, including 102-6 & 103-5.
276HB 46672-JunI voted yes on HB 4667, which prohibits a governmental entity from producing, issuing, or requiring a COVID-19 passport. The bill passed 62-47.
277HB 44512-JunI voted yes on HB 4451, which allows for the SOS to designate a third party as an eligible examiner to administer the written driving test outside of a branch office. The bill passed 105-4.
278, 279HB 4467, 44682-JunI voted no on HB 4467 & 4468, which creates a corrections officer wellness board within the Michigan Department of Corrections. The MDOC already has a wellness unit, which could be the focus of our efforts. I do not believe another created board will help to lessen the stress of corrections workers. The bills passed 98-11 & 99-10.
280, 281HB 4823, 48242-JunI voted yes on HB 4823 & 4824, which would eliminate the $3 million cap that could be deposited into the Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund (AEIDF) from both the internet gaming tax revenue and sports betting tax revenue. Any current surplus over $3 million is deposited back into either the internet gaming fund or sports gaming fund. It seems to make more sense to keep the dollars in the AEIDF fund itself. The bills passed 88-21 & 87-22.
282HB 41252-JunI voted no on HB 4125, which requires for anyone installing the “electrical components” for a renewable energy source to be a licensed electrician. There is no data which shows the need to have companies hire a licensed electrician to install these units. Not to mention, these units have been safely installed since the technology was established. We have received no reports in Michigan of deaths, or injuries, due to faulty installations. This is an example of guild protection, which will likely result in increased costs for renewable energy. The bill passed 93-16.
283, 284HB 4376, 43773-JunI voted yes on HB 4376 and 4377, which were returned from the Senate with minor changes, including changing the tie bar. The bills provide a waiver of licensing fees for veterans and service members and their dependents who hold an out-of-state license. The bills passed unanimously.
285, 286HB 4631, 46323-JunI voted no on HB 4631 & 4632, which exempts public and regional airport authorities from needing a conviction or plea prior to asset forfeiture in certain cases relating to drug offenses. Current law already provides adequate tools to prevent drug trafficking, but regardless, I have concerns with the Constitutionality of these bills and its potential effect on increasing unnecessary and problematic searches and seizures. The bills passed 77-33 & 80-30.
287HB 40593-JunI voted no on HB 4059, which would no longer require re-evaluations after a child is diagnosed with autism to be eligible for Medicaid behavioral health treatments. I agree with opponents who argue that annual re-evaluations are intended to provide clear feedback to families, and without them, children could be receiving intervention treatments that no longer help the child. Moreover, an annual re-evaluation could result in new recommendations for different ASD services. The bill passed 108-2.
288HB 46373-JunI voted yes on HB 4637, which allows for townships to change their name with elected board approval and a majority vote of township voters. The bill passed 94-16.
289-292HB 4249-42513-JunI voted for House Bills 4249-4251, which would prohibit the use of vitamin E acetate in e-cigarettes and vapor products. While all levels of government have regrettably imposed major bans on e-cigarettes and vaping products that may harm public health by driving people to smoking cigarettes, vitamin E acetate, which is not found in commercial vaping products appears to be the actual culprit behind vaping-related hospitalizations. Figures have shown that of the 867 reported lung injuries from vaping products in 2019, 86% reported using a THC (cannabis) product and 100% of the fluid samples taken contained vitamin E acetate. This is an obvious health problem with no conceivable need: vitamin E acetate is not even an addictive substance or flavor enhancer; it is a thickener. The bills passed 108-2, 107-3, & 108-2.
292HB 48783-JunI voted yes on HB 4878, which adds synthetic nicotine to the list of prohibited nicotine and vapor items that can be sold to minors and updates the age limit to 21 to comply with federal law. Michigan has a no stricter than the feds rule, so if the Feds again lowered the age to 18, then our laws would have to be amended. The bill passed 105-5.
293-296HB 4780-47833-JunI voted no on HB 4780-4783, which requires distributors to charge the 10-cent deposit or face criminal penalties. Currently, distributors are getting around this process if they fill beverages in another state. However, the answer is not to strengthen the law. Michigan’s current bottle deposit laws are in serious need of reform, not greater criminalization. The bills passed 106-4, 104-6, 104-6, & 104-6.
297, 298HB 4224, 42258-JunI voted no on HB 4224 & 4225, which were returned from the Senate. The bills exempt the purchase of PPE equipment and cleaning supplies from sales and use tax for business activities. I do not believe in picking winners and losers through sales and use tax exemptions for specific products or businesses. These types of bills erode current tax revenues and inhibit growth in future revenues. The bills passed 102-7.
299HB 41228-JunI voted yes on HB 4122, which was returned from the Senate. The bill would make technical changes to the county veteran service grant program to ensure equitable distribution of dollars if the full $50,000 per county is unavailable for distribution. The bill passed unanimously.
300SB 108-JunI voted yes on SB 10, which allows for veteran services boards to hold closed sessions when interviewing veterans’ applications for benefits. These hearings often divulge materials and information which would be sensitive to the applicant (health records, familial status, etc). The bill passed unanimously.
301, 302HB 4563, 45648-JunI voted yes on HB 4562 & 4563, which modifies the parole board review process. The bills extend the amount of time a parole board may conduct a subsequent review after denying parole only in certain circumstances. In some cases, it does not make sense to conduct a parole review every year, and it also forces victims to relieve traumatic crimes every year, even if there is no chance of parole. Nonetheless, the bills are specifically tailored to only apply to cases where a prisoner’s history makes it clear that there is a risk of public safety and they cannot be paroled. The bills passed 101-8.
303HB 46048-JunI voted yes on HB 4604, which designates a portion of I-75 in the city of Madison Heights as the “Captain Jeffrey Brozich Memorial Highway.” Captain Brozich was a 20-year veteran of the Madison Heights Fire Department, who passed away due to a medical emergency while on duty. This is the least we can do to express our gratitude and appreciation for his bravery and service. The bill passed unanimously.
304HB 47008-JunI voted yes on HB 4700, designating the bridge on M-13 over the Cheboyganing Creek as the “Sergeant Kristopher J. Gould Memorial Bridge.” Sergeant Gould was killed in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan. Thank you to Representative Beson for introducing this legislation. The bill passed unanimously.
305-311HB 4680-46869-JunI voted yes on HB 4680-4686, which is an ethics reform package. The package does numerous thing including creating a permanent, bipartisan legislative ethics committee, requiring financial disclosure for legislators on a form submitted to the legislative ethics committee, and requiring financial disclosures for state officers in the executive branch to the State Ethics Board. The bills passed by a variety of margins including 64-45 & 68-41.
312, 313HB 4690, 46919-JunI voted yes on HB 4690 & 4691. HB 4690 expands the list of lobbyable officials to include legislative and executive staff. Lobbyists spend time and money on legislative staff that is not currently required to be reported, and we need more transparency in this area. HB 4691 prohibits lobbyists from receiving civil appointments to state boards and commissions. The bills passed 93-16 & 106-3.
314, 315HB 4687, HB 46889-JunI voted yes on HB 4687 & 4688, which prohibits a former member of the Legislature and a former department head of an executive office from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving office. The bills passed 93-16 & 97-12.
316HB 46899-JunI voted yes on HB 4689, which prohibits current members of the legislature from becoming a lobbyist in another state. This very thing happened last term in Michigan –> https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/11/17/state-lawmaker-lobbies-elsewhere-while-serving-michigan/6328574002/?gnt-cfr=1. The bill passed 106-3.
317HB 46929-JunI voted yes on HB 4692, which expands penalties for lobbyist gift violations. Currently, unlawful gifts to officials that are valued less than $3,000 are subject to a fine of $5,000. This bill will increase the fine to $7,500. The bill passed 107-2.
318House Joint Resolution D9-JunI voted yes on House Joint Resolution D, which amends the State Constitution to allow the Legislature to withhold pay from a member who acts unethically or is excessively absent. This would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. The bill passed 81-28.
319, 320HB 4733, 47349-JunI voted yes on HB 4733 & 4734, which allows for an annuity retirement option for public school and state employees. The bills passed 105-4.
321HB 49459-JunI voted yes on HB 4945, which allows for a K-8 school district to authorize a strict discipline academy, as opposed to current law which allows for SDA’s to be authorized by a K-12 district. The bill passed 57-52.
322SB 4379-JunI voted no on SB 437, which as State Representative says, “which allows for one developer to receive a $10 million subsidy from the state. The government shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers.” This one developer has consistently delayed their project, and now needs another extension due to issues stemming from COVID-19. Nonetheless, we should not be giving out subsidies to specific private companies. The bill passed 87-22.
323, 324SB 155, 15610-JunI voted yes on SB 155-156, which allows for pharmacists to fill an emergency supply of insulin for an individual with no remaining authorized refills. Specifically, SB 156, requires an insurer to cover the emergency supply if insulin is already covered under the insured’s policy. The bills passed unanimously & 108-1.
325SB 44010-JunI voted yes on SB 440, which exempts certain Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners from certificate of need regulations. I support repealing our certificate of need regulations in entirety, and believe this is a step in the right direction. The bill passed 82-27.
326HB 465610-JunI voted no on HB 4656, which restores a circuit court judgeship in the 25th circuit court in Marquette County. The legislature in 2012 eliminated one circuit court judgeship due to the Judicial Resources Recommendations. The JRR reasoned there was a “judicial excess” of judges in Marquette County. I do not believe we should already reverse course on the recommendations of the JRR. The bill passed 104-5.
327HB 438015-JunI voted no on HB 4380, which creates the Michigan Military and Veteran Services Support Fund and Governing Board. I do not believe more boards or commissions are the solution to solve many issues facing our veterans. Moreover, there are not enough details to know how the funds will be used or its purpose. The bill passed 97-12.
328, 329, 332HB 4240, 424115-JunI voted yes on HB 4240 & 4241, which revises and clarifies the disposition of forfeiture funds from civil asset forfeitures. This package will ensure these funds are possessed the same way as other revenue which comes into local units of government (primarily through the treasurer). Currently, there is too much opportunity for fraud in the system. The bills passed 106-3 & 108-1.
330HB 469415-JunI voted yes on HB 4694, which updates the financing statement forms that are required to be used by the Secretary of State. This will bring our forms in alignment with the Law Institute and Uniform Law Commission. The bill passed unanimously.
331SB 3715-JunI voted no on SB 37, a budget supplemental for Fiscal Year 21. The budgets includes over $2 billion in federal dollars being spent on numerous line-items. I do not think we need to continue to spend and utilize federal COVID dollars to assist State programs. I have concerns over the long term effects of federal entanglement with state issues. The bills passed 105-4.
333HB 406617-JunI voted yes on HB 4066, which prohibits local governments from taxing or regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, or registration, of knives or knife making components if if it more restrictive than state law. The bill passed 69-41.
334HB 433217-JunI voted yes on HB 4332, which allows for registration stickers on off road vehicles to be placed on the front of the vehicle. The bill passed unanimously.
335HB 452117-JunI voted yes on HB 4521, which allows for an HIV positive individual to be an organ donor when the recipient is also HIV positive. The bill passed unanimously.
336HB 476217-JunI voted no on HB 4762, which prohibits a person performing transplants from refusing to perform based on a physical or mental disability. I agree with the intent behind the bill, however, this practice is already (and rightfully) banned by federal law. Moreover, this may have a long term effect where physicians are forced to take actions which they may disagree with on complex and often not straight forward cases. The bill passed 107-3.
337HB 455717-JunI voted yes on HB 4557, which waives liquor license fees for 2022. This is a step in the right direction to assist struggling businesses who have been put in difficult situations often due to policies set forth by the government. The bill passed 98-10.
338, 339, 340HB 4558-456017-JunI voted yes on HB 4558-4560, which prorates or credits license fees during a state of emergency. Each bill deals with a different section of law: public health code, state license fee act, and the skilled trades act. The bills passed 100-10.
341HB 456117-JunI voted yes on HB 4561, which refunds fees paid by food establishments during 2021. The bill passed 97-10.
342SB 25617-JunI voted yes on SB 256, which is a one time transfer of funds from the comprehensive transportation fund into the transportation administration collection fund. This is part of our upcoming budget negotiations with the Governor. The bill passed 110-0.
343SB 43817-JunI voted yes on SB 438, which clarifies an officer does not have to issue an appearance ticket for DUI’s in lieu of the person being taken into custody. The bill passed 109-1.
344-346HB 4364-6617-JunI voted yes on HB 4364-4366, which allows for audiologists and speech language pathologists to the list of people who may sign the SOS required certificate to indicate a communication impediment designation on a license, state ID, or registration. The package passed unanimously.
347HB 481217-JunI voted no on HB 4812, which would remove from the purchase price any downpayment assistance or equity that is gifted to a low-income individual by a nonprofit organization, and would in return result in a lower assessed value for the home and lower property taxes. I have concerns that a) it is not the role of the government to artificially inflate or deflate assessed values of homes, and also b) this may result in problems with local units of government and how to properly generate property tax revenue. The bill passed 103-7.
348HB 482817-JunI voted no on HB 4828, which requires the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to submit a report to the legislature on payday lending institutions. The legislature can already request reports without needing it in statute, and a lot of the information which will be in the report is already readily accessible online. The bill passed 102-7.
349HB 452817-JunI voted no on HB 4528, which requires training for election challengers and increased training for election inspectors. I am not opposed to new training – that is not the reason for my no vote. Rather, I believe the bill results in redundant mandates. The bill would require for a challenger to complete training within 90 days of the election at which they wish to serve. Therefore, you could train 10 days before the August election, but then have to train again in early September before the November election. The bill passed 105-4.
353HB 412322-JunI voted no on HB 4123, which was returned from the Senate. Here is my original no vote explanation, “the bill would allow for municipalities to finance any wastewater and drinking water projects utilizing energy performance contracting under the state’s revolving loan fund. Although the fund has been fiscally secure, I am concerned about any increases in eligibility to the fund and any potential and unforeseen costs. Furthermore, to qualify, the projects must meet the definitions already defined in Michigan’s performance contracting statutes. Therefore, I am concerned about some areas being able to meet the definitions easier than others, and thus, creating a winner and loser system among municipalities. The bill 104-3.” The Senate simply added technical amendments. The bill passed 107-3.
354, 355HB 4540, 454122-JunI voted on HB 4540, and 4541, which were returned from the Senate. Here is my original vote explanation, “I voted yes on HB 4540, which establishes transit officers as law enforcement officers, granted they receive the same training and licensure requirements. The bill passed 107-1. I voted no on HB 4541, which deals with regulations regarding streetcars (primarily the Q-Line). The bill includes good things, but it also includes worrisome provisions. This includes a civil infraction for anyone over the age of two who is eating or drinking on a streetcar or within a station, as well as a civil infraction for someone listening to music on a streetcar without headphones. I believe these penalties are too stiff, nor should these policies be set by the state, but rather by local governments and/or operators of the streetcar. I believe it is proper to rather ask someone to put in headphones, instead of handing out a civil infraction. The bill passed 93-15.” The Senate added language that agencies have to be authorized by the state to appoint the law enforcement officers.
350HB 443417-JunI voted yes on HB 4434, which does two things. First, it requires the UIA to use plain language in all communications, policies, and rules. The second is that it would prohibit the UIA from disbursing the additional $300 federal unemployment assistance supplement (does not include 1099 gig worker payments). Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced all COVID-19 rules would be lifted on June 22nd. This ought to include the extra $300 a week. It is time to get our State back to normal, and to return workers to the workforce. Our businesses are struggling and some are permanently or partially closed because they cannot find workers. The bill passed 60-49.
351HB 473517-JunI voted yes on HB 4735, which designates a portion of US-127 as the “PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway.” PFC Fitch was from St. Johns and served during the Vietnam War in the United States Marine Corps, where he made the ultimate sacrifice. He was only 20 years old at the time of his death. The bill passed unanimously.
352HB 473917-JunI voted yes on HB 4739, which renames a portion of M-49 as the “Marine Sergeant Michael P. Hodshire Memorial Highway.” Sergeant Hodshire passed away in 2005 of wounds sustained from gunfire near Fallujah, Iraq. The bill passed unanimously.
356HB 472422-JunI voted yes on HB 4724, which allows a homeowner to capture evidence of criminal activity using audio and video security equipment. This is already occurring at many houses, but is technically illegal according to state law. Michigan’s eavesdropping statute requires for the consent of the parties involved in the conversation. This bill will clean up the law regarding security monitoring in or at a residence. The bill passed unanimously.
357, 358HB 4462, 465822-JunI voted yes on HB 4462 & 4658, which creates a protest process for an unsuccessful bidder to protest an award decision through Department of Technology Management and Budget. Furthermore, the bills require the department to post on its website the name of the vendor that was awarded the contract, and the amount of the contract. The bills passed unanimously.
359HB 464423-JunI voted yes on HB 4644, which allows for taxpayers to claim an exemption for their unborn child. Prenatal care and other pregnancy related costs are often very expensive for many families, and lowering the costs will lead to better health outcomes for moms and their babies. The bill passed 58-52.
360HB 471823-JunI voted yes on HB 4718, which allows for counties to provide CPL applications and renewal services to out of county individuals. During COVID-19 restrictions, some counties did not provide CPL services while others did. However, you are only able to take advantage of the service if you live in that county. This bill will clarify that residency is not a factor. The bill passed 77-33.
361HB 483923-JunI voted no on HB 4839, which allows for one AV ballot application to be sent out which includes all elections held in a calendar year. This may result in ballots being mailed out to voters who no longer live at that address or even in Michigan. A voter who may request AV ballots in January might not live in Michigan by November. The bill passed 106-4.
362HB 484523-JunI voted no on HB 4845, which requires the SOS to develop and provide training for clerks on signature verification. The rules will be promulgated by the department and the legislature will weigh in on the rules through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Nonetheless, rules are only temporary, and can/will change with every new Secretary of State. I have concerns this may vest too much power in the state department of Michigan. The bill passed 106-3.
363HB 477823-JunI voted yes on HB 4778, which will prohibit state agencies from using messaging apps that allow for deletion of messages to avoid FOIA. The bill passed unanimously.
364HB 483223-JunI voted yes on HB 4832, which designates a portion of M-34 as the “Patrolman Bobby Lynn Williams Memorial.” Patrolman Williams was shot and killed while in the line of duty. The bill passed 109-1.
365HB 452723-JunI voted no on HB 4527, which creates more rigorous safety standards for Carnival and Amusement rides. I do not disagree with the bill in theory, but it places the enforcement burden on LARA. The division of LARA who will inspect and license these rides has just under 10 employees. I do not find it feasible for 10 or so employees to complete the task. The bill passed 84-26.
366HB 494523-JunI voted yes on HB 4945 which was returned from the Senate. The bill allows for a K-8 school district to authorize a strict discipline academy, as opposed to current law which allows for SDA’s to be authorized by a K-12 district. The bill passed 57-53.
367-370SB 303, 304, HB 5007, 505323-JunI voted yes on SB 303, 304, HB 5007, & HB 5053. This bill package requires voters to present identification to vote at the polls. Instead of signing an affidavit, anyone who shows up to vote without an ID will be given a provisional ballot to vote. Any provisional voters would then have to show proof to their local clerk’s office that they were registered to vote. The package also waives the fee and will provide free state personal identification cards to any Michigan resident who does not have the means to afford a state ID. Eighty percent of the public supports requiring identification to vote, according to this month’s Monmouth University poll. In 2018, the Pew Research Center found that 76 percent of Americans favored requiring everyone to show a government issued photo ID to vote, compared to only 23 percent who opposed it. The bills passed 58-52 & 56-54.
371HB 408024-JunI voted for House Bill 4080, which would allow for the use of pneumatic guns for hunting where firearms are allowed. These guns are a based on new technology and are easier to handle and use than firearms. The laws should be updated to allow their usage; hunting rules were not intended to favor combustion over compressed air as a means of propulsion. The bill passed 69-38.
372HB 472524-JunI voted no on HB 4725, which includes county corrections officers among the entities permitted to be subjected to compulsory arbitration. This will result in increased expenditures for counties. Act 312 does not require an arbitration panel to take a local government’s ability to pay into primary consideration in rendering an award. The bill passed 97-10.
373HB 478724-JunI voted yes on HB 4787, which allows for a person with military vehicle experience to receive a waiver for the knowledge test when applying for a Commercial Driver’s License in Michigan. The skills test is already waived for drivers who have at least two years of experience operating heavy military vehicles. The bill passed unanimously.
374SB 45924-JunI voted no on SB 459, which modifies a filing for neighborhood enterprise zone certificates. This is another example of a NEZ development needing more time to complete their project. We shouldn’t be supporting one company through tax handouts, and we shouldn’t certainly be giving them more time. The bill passed 90-17.
375, 376HB 4222, 422324-JunI voted yes on HB 4222 & 4223, which transfers the court of claims from the court of appeals to the 4 circuit courts spread out across the state. The court of appeals is an appellate body and has never been properly equipped to function as a trial court. The bills passed 84-23 & 83-23.
377HB 498024-JunI voted yes on HB 4980, which would allow for organized drag races in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park when authorized by the DNR. You are not allowed to drag race on the highway, and the DNR recently applied similar logic to these sand dunes. This activity has been allowed for decades, and there’s no reason to now reverse course. The bill passed 96-12.
378, 379, 380HB 4037, 4038, 453824-JunI voted yes on HB 4037 (introduced by Rep. Hornberger), HB 4038 (introduced by myself) & HB 4538 (introduced by Rep. Camilleri), to end the mandatory administration of the ACT WorkKeys to all 11th graders. I have consistently fought for this legislation over the past five years, and I am once again proud to help lead the charge on this issue. Thank you to Speaker Pro-Tem Hornberger & Representative Camilleri for their great work and leadership in getting this bill package across the finish line in the House. Representative Hornberger’s bill removes the requirement from the school aid act, my bill removes the requirement from the school code, and Rep. Camilleri’s bill sets up a fund to ensure that any school wishing to still administer the exam (or a similar workplace readiness exam) will have the dollars to do so. The bills passed 72-37, 72-37, & 88-21. Onto the Senate! I am hopeful this term we can get these bills sent to the Governor.
381SB 50124-JunI voted no on SB 501, which reforms our UIA system. One part of the bill reinstitutes the Michigan Works! Work Registration requirements (which I support) but another section of the bill allows for manufacturing employees to be granted a waiver from the work registration requirement for up to 90 days. I do not believe we should be permitting only one area of industry the ability to be granted a waiver. The bill passed 103-6.
382-388HB 4740-474624-JunI voted no on HB 4516, 4517, 4740-4746, which were returned from the Senate with minor changes. The bills modify the definition of industrial hemp and marijuana by removing the requirement that THC comes from Delta-9. This is due to Delta-8 products entering the market; Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid. Now, the definition of marijuana will include products that have a THC concentration of more than .3% or THC in an amount greater than set by the state. I do not believe we should already be updating the legal definitions of hemp and marijuana in Michigan as it has only been 3 years since voters approved Initiated Law 1 of 2018. Moreover, we do not yet have many studies on Delta-8. The package passed by a variety of margins, including 102-6 & 103-5.
389HB 435924-JunI voted yes on HB 4359, which was returned from the Senate. The bill expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) to improve access to safe anesthesia services in Michigan. HB 4359 allows CRNAs to practice in any of the following settings: A hospital inpatient or outpatient facility; A freestanding surgical center; An office of a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; and any other office or facility in which diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are provided to a patient. The bill passed 96-12.
390, 394HB 443424-JunI voted yes on HB 4434, which was returned from the Senate. Here is my original yes vote explanation, “The bill does two things. First, it requires the UIA to use plain language in all communications, policies, and rules. The second is that it would prohibit the UIA from disbursing the additional $300 federal unemployment assistance supplement (does not include 1099 gig worker payments). Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced all COVID-19 rules would be lifted on June 22nd. This ought to include the extra $300 a week. It is time to get our State back to normal, and to return workers to the workforce. Our businesses are struggling and some are permanently or partially closed because they cannot find workers.” However, the Senate was not able to get the votes for immediate effect which means the bill will not go into effect until March of 2022 (if signed) essentially making the bill void. Nonetheless, it is still important to vote on where we stand on the issue. The bill passed 59-49.
391, 392HB 4516-451724-JunI voted no on HB 4516, 4517, 4740-4746, which were returned from the Senate with minor changes. The bills modify the definition of industrial hemp and marijuana by removing the requirement that THC comes from Delta-9. This is due to Delta-8 products entering the market; Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid. Now, the definition of marijuana will include products that have a THC concentration of more than .3% or THC in an amount greater than set by the state. I do not believe we should already be updating the legal definitions of hemp and marijuana in Michigan as it has only been 3 years since voters approved Initiated Law 1 of 2018. Moreover, we do not yet have many studies on Delta-8. The package passed by a variety of margins, including 102-6 & 103-5.
393HB 435924-JunI voted yes on HB 4359, which was returned from the Senate. The bill expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) to improve access to safe anesthesia services in Michigan. HB 4359 allows CRNAs to practice in any of the following settings: A hospital inpatient or outpatient facility; A freestanding surgical center; An office of a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; and any other office or facility in which diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are provided to a patient. The bill passed 95-13.
395HB 441024-JunI voted no on HB 4410, 4411, & 4421, the majority of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. For the most part the Legislature kept spending flatline for departments from last year (and that is a good move). Nonetheless, I felt this year was a year where we could truly attempt to shrink our budget. Residents in the 46th have had to make tough economic decisions in the face of COVID, inflation, and other economic factors, and I desire the same for our state government. The bills passed by a variety of margins, including 104-4.
396HB 441124-JunI voted no on HB 4410, 4411, & 4421, the majority of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. For the most part the Legislature kept spending flatline for departments from last year (and that is a good move). Nonetheless, I felt this year was a year where we could truly attempt to shrink our budget. Residents in the 46th have had to make tough economic decisions in the face of COVID, inflation, and other economic factors, and I desire the same for our state government. The bills passed by a variety of margins, including 104-4.
397HB 442124-Jun I voted no on HB 4410, 4411, & 4421, the majority of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. For the most part the Legislature kept spending flatline for departments from last year (and that is a good move). Nonetheless, I felt this year was a year where we could truly attempt to shrink our budget. Residents in the 46th have had to make tough economic decisions in the face of COVID, inflation, and other economic factors, and I desire the same for our state government. The bills passed by a variety of margins, including 104-4.
398SB 2824-JunI voted no on SB 28, which creates a $10 million appropriation within the created “post-acute injury provider relief fund.” This fund will be available to companies who claim to experience a systemic deficit as a result of required charges under the auto insurance fee schedule. First, the funds will be awarded on a first-in, first-out basis. Therefore, this will not be for all companies. Historically, these funds (paid for with taxpayer dollars) only grow over time to accommodate more organizations. Secondly, the fee schedule has yet to go into effect. Part of the reasons our auto insurance rates are high is because of this very problem that the schedule is attempting to address. Our rates declined by 18% in the first year since our auto insurance reforms based almost solely on projections, and ought to continue to decline. However, I am happy the bill provides quarterly reports to the legislature that will include information on how the fund is being distributed and will make the approval or denial of funds transparent to the public. The bill passed 95-13.
399SB 2724-JunI voted no on SB 27, a $384.7 million supplemental budget bill which will go toward numerous areas including MDE, MSP, Treasury, and others. The reason I voted no was the same reason why I voted no on similar bills last week, that I desire our state government to be leaner in our budgets with residents having to make difficult economic decisions in the light of numerous economic factors. The bill passed 106-3.
400, 401HB 4224, 422530-JunI once again voted no on HB 4224 & HB 4225. The votes this time were to override the Governor’s veto. Here is my original no vote explanation, “I voted no on HB 4224 & 4225, which were returned from the Senate. The bills exempt the purchase of PPE equipment and cleaning supplies from sales and use tax for business activities. I do not believe in picking winners and losers through sales and use tax exemptions for specific products or businesses. These types of bills erode current tax revenues and inhibit growth in future revenues. The bills passed 102-7.” This time the bill passed 62-47 (which means the override failed), as 40 democrats changed their vote to no to stop the veto override. Regardless, I do not support the package.
402SB 6030-JunI voted yes on SB 60, which permits individuals who have worked and been licensed in a similar capacity for three consecutive years to take the mechanical contractors exam. This will allow for individuals with more hands-on hours and experience to grow in their professions. This bill is also a step in the right direction as part of the overall licensure conversation. The bill passed unanimously.
403, 404HB 4378, 437930-JunI voted no on HB 4378 & 4379, which exempts the installation, replacement or repair of a whole home generator from the assessment of true cash value for a home. There is already a long list or projects which are exempted, but I have concerns over whether or not this is the role of state government. The bills passed 107-2.
405HB 408730-JunI voted no on HB 4087, which requires the state emergency management division to stockpile medical supplies and compile a public inventory. The state already maintains an emergency stockpile of medical equipment as through a program with the CDC; if anything we can look at expanding or fixing that program as opposed to creating a new section of law. The bill passed 97-12.
406HB 465930-JunI voted yes on HB 4659, which exempts prescriptions for a dialysis related drug administered at home from electronic prescription requirements. I voted no on the public act last term which mandated electronic prescriptions, and therefore, am pleased to see us making necessary exceptions. The bill passed unanimously.
407HB 482230-JunI voted no on HB 4822, which states that COVID-19 cases will be presumed to have been contracted at work for first responders. An employer can challenge that claim, but as we know, many have contracted COVID-19 and do not know where they became infected. This will lead to increased workers’ compensation costs. Moreover, this is only picking one type of profession, or industry, in creating a presumption. The bill passed 104-5.
408HB 484230-JunI voted no on HB 4842, which reduces the gross profit that the MLCC receives on liquor. I agree with that part of the bill; however, another section creates an MLCC reduction for small distillers that produce spirits with at least 40% Michigan grain. I do not believe it’s the role of the government to try and promote a 40% threshold, not to mention 40% appears to be an arbitrary number. The bill passed 90-17.
409HB 509230-JunI voted yes on HB 5092, which mandates the UIA use plain language in communications and determinations. This is a tremendous piece of legislation, as the UIA is still causing difficulty for many residents. The bill passed unanimously.
410SB 37230-JunI voted yes on SB 372, which eliminates the requirement that telephone companies must print a phone book for customers. The bill passed 81-28.
411-412HB 4205, 420630-JunI voted yes on HB 4205 & 4206, which would establish a free snowmobile weekend each year. This is a step in the right direction and will attract more people to explore snowmobiling. The bills passed 103-6.
413, 414, 415SB 507, SB 508, 50930-JunI voted yes on SB 507-509, which would provide extensions for the renewal of licenses and registrations, and require the SOS to have walk in appointments. The SOS would also be required to waive late fees. The bills passed 94-15 & 93-16.
416SB 55930-JunI voted yes on SB 559, which reduces the number of motorsports events that a facility is required to have each year to obtain a liquor license from seven to two events. The bill passed 107-1.
417HB 441130-JunI voted no on the veto override for line items regarding HB 4411. The veto override failed.
418SB 2830-JunI voted no on SB 28, the appropriations bill for the budget. This did not decrease the growth of government, one of my top priorities. The bill passed 79-30.
419Initiative Petition21-JulI voted yes on the initiative petition to repeal PA 302 of 1945, the Emergency Powers of Governor Act. This public act was ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court. It is right for the legislature to repeal any Michigan statute that is ruled unconstitutional by our state courts. The initiative petition passed 60-48 , and will go into effect as it cannot be vetoed by the Governor.
420HB 4411 Override21-JulI voted no on the veto override for line items regarding HB 4411. The veto override failed.
421HB 473521-JulI voted yes on the senate substitute to HB 4375, to rename a portion of US-127 as the “PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway.” The Senate added language designating part of M-50 to I-69 as the “Ensign Francis Flaherty Memorial Highway.” The bill passed unanimously.
422HB 430521-JulI voted yes on HB 4305, which eliminates a requirement to report the number of people in attendance at a campaign fundraiser. Keeping a count of the number of participants is relatively unimportant, and the Michigan SOS testified in support of the bill. The bill passed 103-5.
423HB 442521-JulI voted yes on HB 4425, which allows a state political party to change their name to an affiliated national political party. This is primarily in response to the U.S. Taxpayers Party in Michigan being named differently than the Constitution Party and expressing a desire to be aligned with the national name. The bill passed unanimously.
424HB 478821-JulI voted no on HB 4788, which would provide a framework for term limits for elected general law village officers. These officers are up for election every two to four years, dependent upon the office. If the public does not support their officer, they can vote them out, hence there is no need for these term limits. The bill passed 59-49.
425SB 40821-JulI voted no on SB 408, which allows an opposing party in a civil action to file an appeal of right to the Court of Appeals if a circuit court order grants relief. I do not necessarily oppose the idea, but the bill was brought out of committee today straight to the floor without a vote of the Judiciary Committee, and I am uncomfortable with how quick the process played out with the bill. The bill passed 93-15.
426, 427HB 4219, HB 422021-JulOn March 10th of this year I voted yes on HBs 4219&20, the OWI expungement package, which allows for a court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense. This type of expungement is currently ineligible under state law. These bills only apply to petition-based expungement, not automatic expungement. These bills were returned from the Senate and I again voted yes on their passing. Both bills passed 92-16.
428, 429HB 4308, 430921-JulAlso on March 10th of this year I voted no on HBs 4308&09, bills to eliminate the sunset for Michigan’s .08 blood alcohol level. As before, I believe passing these bills will make future efforts to reform Michigan’s BAC limit more difficult. Although I again voted no, both bills passed 104-4.
430, 431HB 4838, 483721-JulI voted yes on HBs 4837, 4838 & 4840, a package of bills which intend to reform the Michigan Election Law. 4837 would prohibit third party organizations from having access to the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF), 4838 would prohibit voting machines and electronic poll books from being connected to the internet, and 4840 would standardize the retention period for various election-related materials. The bills passed by a margin of 75-33, 71-31, and 80-28 respectively.
432HB 471921-JulI voted yes on HB 4719, which provides that an individual must be committed to the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections for incarceration in a state correctional facility pending sentencing and immediately following a conviction for first-degree murder. Generally, it does not take a long time for an individual to be sentenced for a low-level conviction. If a defendant is found guilty of a misdemeanor or a plea has been entered, he may be immediately sentenced. However, sentences for felonies are usually determined at a separate sentencing hearing. A pre-sentence report is prepared before sentencing and, sometimes, a busy docket will push back sentencing for a couple of months. An individual convicted of first-degree murder should be immediately committed to the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections pending sentencing. I believe this legislation will save a county resources and free up additional space in local jails. HB 4719 passed 100-8.
433HB 471221-JulI voted no on HB 4712, which amends the Michigan Business Tax Act by allowing a project approved prior to Dec. 31, 2011 to petition the Michigan Strategic Fund Board for five additional years to complete the project in order to qualify for the tax credit. This bill was introduced to assist a specific development project at the former Ford Wixom Assembly Plant which began in 2011. On December 13, 2011, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Board, now the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, approved two brownfield projects located at the former assembly plant site, each worth $10 million in Michigan Business Tax Credits. Since 2011 the site has a history of projects that have been announced but not come to fruition. The current project shouldn’t be extended since it will most likely not be completed either. This site has had almost 10 years to develop and complete a project, yet the job has not been completed. There is no guarantee an additional five years will allow for any further construction on the site. The bill passed 87-21
434, 435HB 4523, 452421-JulI voted no on HBs 4523&24, bills that will create a local rail grade separation grant program within the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Rail Grade Separation Fund within the department of Treasury. While this specialized grant program may help local units of government deal with the costs of grade separation which can be substantial, there is currently no identified funding source for this program. The bills both passed by a margin of 104-4.
436HB 484021-JulI voted yes on HBs 4837, 4838 & 4840, a package of bills which intend to reform the Michigan Election Law. 4837 would prohibit third party organizations from having access to the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF), 4838 would prohibit voting machines and electronic poll books from being connected to the internet, and 4840 would standardize the retention period for various election-related materials. The bills passed by a margin of 75-33, 71-31, and 80-28 respectively.
437SB 4814-SepI voted yes on SB 48, which designates a portion of I-94 as the “Kevin D. White Memorial Highway.” The bill passed 101-3.
438, 439SB 616, 61714-SepI voted no on SB 616 & 617, which eliminates the sunset for .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). I do not believe we should permanently set in statute the .08 limit. Some studies believe the limit is too low, while others believe it is too high. Regardless, eliminating the sunset would make future efforts to reform the BAC limit more difficult. Furthermore, the limit of .08 is adopted by all fifty states to simply comply with the federal government to maintain highway funding. The bills passed 101-3.
440HB 509421-SepI voted no on HB 5094 which extends the sunset to use $3.5 million of the Crime Victim’s Rights Fund to fund the statewide trauma system until September 30, 2022. I believe we can find other ways to fund the system as opposed to taking money away from one fund to give to another. The bill passed 81-23.
441, 442HB 4400, SB 8222-SepI voted no on HB 4400 & SB 82, the omnibus budget and higher education budget. The budgets include language restricting mandates on vaccines and masks, but, I am unconvinced the language will be enforced. Furthermore, HB 4400 is an 8.3% increase in general fund spending. SB 82 includes an increase of 5.6% in total state resources for our universities. I do not support these increases. The bills passed 97-8 & 99-6.
443HB 486129-SepI voted yes on HB 4861, which removes outdated requirements for school bus drivers that are insulin dependent. Insulin dependent individuals used to not be permitted under federal law to be school bus drivers, but this was changed in 2018. This bill simply updates the Michigan law to reflect federal standards. The bill passed unanimously.
444HB 482129-SepI voted no on HB 4821, which requires the Michigan law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument Fund Commission to maintain the Law Enforcement Memorial. Current law requires the commission to be dissolved once the memorial is erected, and for any leftover funds to be used to maintain the monument. I do not yet see the need to mandate the commission to also provide upkeep, as this could be done through other groups or companies. The bill passed 102-2.
445SB 12829-SepI voted yes on SB 128, which amends the hours auto dealers must be open. Current law prescribes that they must be open for 30 hours per week for an entire year. This bill allows for dealers to have an additional four weeks a year without meeting the 30 hour threshold. I support the bill going further but this is a step in the right direction. The bill passed unanimously.
446SB 22730-SepI voted yes on SB 277, which allows for county clerks to access the qualified voter file (QVF) to remove deceased people from the voter rolls. The current practice to removing deceased people from the voter rolls is restricted to city and township clerks and the Secretary of State. The bill passed 80-25.
447HB 483730-SepI voted yes on HB 4837, which I voted yes on HBs 4837& 4838, which reforms the Michigan Election Law. HB 4837 would clarify the Bureau of Elections can access the QVF but prohibit third party organizations from having access to the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF). The bills passed by a margin of 72-33.
448HB 452830-SepI voted no on HB 4528, which was returned from the Senate with changes, here is my original no vote explanation, “I voted no on HB 4528, which requires training for election challengers and increased training for election inspectors. I am not opposed to new training – that is not the reason for my no vote. Rather, I believe the bill results in redundant mandates. The bill would require for a challenger to complete training within 90 days of the election at which they wish to serve. Therefore, you could train 10 days before the August election, but then have to train again in early September before the November election. The bill passed 105-4.” The bill passed 81-24.
449HB 449230-SepI voted yes on HB 4492, which allows some privately owned buildings to be used as polling places, such as golf course banquet centers. The bill passed 84-21.
450HB 466030-SepI voted yes on HB 4660, which allows for funeral processions to have the right away if they have a flag marker or activate their hazard lights. The original law was written in 1949 before the invention of headlights. The bill passed unanimously.
451SJR G6-OctI voted yes on SJR G, a joint resolution to protect state employee communications with members of the legislature. This resolution would have ended up on the ballot if 2/3rds of the chamber supported the resolution. The joint resolution passed by a margin of 65-38 (not enough for a joint resolution). This same joint resolution passed the Senate 35-0, committee unanimously (the representatives who voted yes in committee inexplicably changed their vote to a no), and passed last year as a bill by a margin of 108-0. That’s right… 108-0. Now you might be asking yourself why did the legislation change this term from a bill to a joint resolution? It is because the Governor vetoed the bill, and apparently the veto was enough to be the deciding factor in this term’s vote. Nothing changed in the bills from one year ago other than formatting. SB 686: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/…/pdf/2019-SEBH-0686.pdf SJR G: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/…/pdf/2021-SEJRS-G.pdf
452HR 1756-OctI voted yes on HR 175, to call for the removal of Director Olson from the UIA. Director Olson is no longer the director (as of September 30th), but we felt it appropriate to put representatives on the record as to where they stand with the direction of the agency. The agency has let (and is still letting) thousands of Michiganders down. Our offices daily receive phone calls from residents looking for help with the agency, often in dire circumstances. The resolution passed 57-46.
453, 454HB 4075, 40766-OctI voted no on HB 4075 & 4076, which modifies signage for parking spaces designated for people with disabilities. The new picture now will show a person and wheelchair in a moving and forward position. I do not believe this is of the utmost importance, nor does the current signage indicates a person is not active or on the move. The bills passed 101-2 & 100-3.
455HB 50416-OctI voted yes on HB 5041, which increases the adult-to-child ratio for in-home childcare providers from 1:6 to 1:7. No licensing standards are changed in the bill. The bill passed 99-4.
456HB 50426-OctI voted no on HB 5042, which requires an childcare license applicant to disclose the ownership interest in the child care center, if: the owner is a trust, the applicant must disclose the names and addresses of all the beneficiaries. If the owner is a limited liability company, the applicant must disclose the names of all members and managers. There are 7 “if” statements in the bill, and the remaining 5 are like the ones I just shared. I believe this will create unnecessary barriers to entry in an area which needs desperate attention. Barriers to entry in childcare organizations are not inherently wrong, but I do not believe this bill is the answer.  The bill passed 97-6.
457HB 50436-OctI voted no on HB 5043, which requires the MDE to establish family childcare networks to support home based childcare providers. I believe this can be done through the private sector and through other innovative groups in this sphere. The bill passed 87-16.
458HB 50446-OctI voted no on HB 5044 which requires the MDE to develop a contract model for infant and childcare providers which will be funded within the Federal Care and Development Block Grant. The bill appears to pick winners and losers out of who gets contracts from the state. The bill passed 87-16.
459HB 50456-OctI voted yes on HB 5045, which will require for LARA to make public any special investigations conducted on childcare organizations and if any corrective actions have been taken. The bill passed 99-4.
460HB 50466-OctI voted yes on HB 5046, which creates a 90-day grace period for childcare centers, group childcare homes, and family childcare homes to become compliant with any LARA or MDHHS rules. The bill passed unanimously.
461HB 50476-OctI voted yes on HB 5047, which permits for childcare providers to maintain an online licensing notebook within LARA’s electronic database. The bill passed 102-1.
462HB 50486-OctI voted yes on HB 5048, which outlines requirements for childcare centers in multiple occupancy buildings. This is to ensure these multiple-use settings are held to a standard where children are kept safe. The bill passed unanimously.
463SB 2806-OctI voted yes on SB 280, which requires the Board of State Canvassers to complete the canvass of petitions within 100 days after the petition is filed with the Secretary of State. The bill passed 55-48.
464HB 50036-OctI voted no on HB 5003, which moves the sunset dates for various sections of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to 2025. There is debate over what the fees should be for various parts of the section of law (such as the fee for drinking water and wastewater operator certification). I do not believe we should put off the debate for another four years. The bill passed 89-14.
465HB 443113-OctI voted yes on HB 4431, which was returned from the Senate. The bill would allow for charitable organizations to host charitable gaming events that go beyond midnight without paying an additional license fee for the whole day. This will provide necessary flexibility for charitable organizations when conducting their events. The bill passed 105-1.
466HB 471113-OctI voted yes on HB 4711, which expands liquor licenses to be granted to the baseball stadiums of EMU and OU under certain circumstances. The professional Northwoods league is played at these stadiums, and it would not make sense to restrict the rules on professional games. The bill passed 102-4.
467HB 492113-OctI voted yes on HB 4921, which aligns the reporting date for medical marijuana facilities and adult use marijuana facilities. The bill passed 105-1.
468HB 526013-OctI voted yes on HB 5260, which would update the requirements for who is considered a qualified trade organization (QTO) that is eligible to provide training for used car dealer licensure. Currently, the SOS is not very transparent over why an organization is denied being eligible, and this bill would allow for QTO’s to correct any deficiencies if they are denied by the department. The bill passed 94-12.
469, 470, 471SB 303, 304, HB 500714-OctI voted yes on the concurrent Senate substitutes to SB 303, 304 and HB 5007, which makes various changes to Michigan election law. Changes include, but are not limited to: prohibits the SOS and local clerks from sending out unsolicited AV ballot applications, all provisional ballots will be tabulated by the board of county canvassers, prohibits third party entities from contributing money or gifts to pay for election related activities, and would eliminate the ability to sign an affidavit on election day instead of providing proper identification. HB 5007 allows for residents of Michigan to obtain a State ID for free. Other forms of ID which are acceptable include driver’s license, federal issued photo identification, passports, military ID with photo, student ID, and tribal ID card with photo. The bills passed 56-51.
472SB 2514-OctI voted no on SB 25, which would allow a disabled veteran to deduct income attributable to the cancellation or discharge of student loans. Student loan debt is a massive issue affecting millions of Americans and is caused by of a plethora of reasons. This bill considers the income level of a disabled veteran ($0) but does not consider the income of a potential spouse. Whereas, non-disabled veterans, and other borrowers in general (young American adults, working class families, etc.) may be in a worse financial debt situation, but cannot claim a deduction. I believe we first need to take a holistic approach to this deepening problem. The bill passed 105-2.
473, 474HB 4270, 526714-OctI voted no on HB 4270 & 5267, which exempts the sale of feminine hygiene products from the sales and use tax. I have consistently voted no on bills which create a two-tier system to sales and use tax: products that are subjected to the taxes, and products which are not subjected to the taxes. If we wish to lower the sales and use tax, then we ought to do so across the board. Not to mention taxes will likely be raised somewhere else to make up for the $7 million in loss revenue, as cutting spending to make up for loss revenue is a heavy political lift. The bills passed 94-13.
475HB 525914-OctI voted yes on HB 5259, which creates an additional circuit court judgeship in the 20th circuit in Ottawa County because of recommendations from the State Court Administrative Office. The bill passed 57-40.
476HB 537614-OctI voted yes on HB 5376, which allows flow-through entities the opportunity to claim their state and local deduction at the federal level. This is a highly technical bill, but it’s necessary because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law a few years ago. The bill passed 105-2.
477, 478HB 5404, 540519-OctI voted no on HB 5404 and HB 5405, which creates the student opportunity scholarship act. These bills create a tax credit scholarship program for K-12 students in Michigan by amending the income tax act to create a tax credit for contributions made to any scholarship granting organizations. Individuals and businesses can donate to nonprofit organizations, which will in turn provide private school scholarships. I do not believe we should create a tax credit to incentivize this program. Nor do I believe there is anything to stop private businesses and individuals from creating and donating to scholarship programs under our current tax structure as written. The bills passed 55-48.
479, 480HB 4026, HB 411719-OctI voted yes on HB 4026 & HB 4117, which creates an option to purchase a two-year recreational passport and to purchase a two-year vehicle registration. The bills passed unanimously & 101-2.
481SB 22019-OctI voted yes on SB 220, which allows for the online renewal of farm-related license plates. The bill passed 87-16.
482, 483HB 4535 & 453619-OctI voted yes on HB 4535 & 4536, which prohibits ORV’s on snowmobile trails during winter months. ORV’s on snowmobile trails in winter months have led to safety issues and is a problem for many areas of the state. The bills passed 101-2 & 91-12.
484HB 444919-OctI voted yes on HB 4449, which eliminates the annual filing report for Professional Limited Liability Companies if no information has changed from the previous year, as well as eliminating the annual filing fee and late filing fee for this circumstance. The bill passed 60-43.
485, 486HB 4801, 480219-OctI voted no on HB 4801 & 4802, which creates a registration process within the Michigan Department and Rural Development for electric vehicle charging stations. We already have EV stations around the state, and the market is growing organically. I do not believe we need a new registration process, and instead should rely on existing practices. The bills passed 85-18 & 88-15.
487, 488HB 5080, 508119-OctI voted yes on HB 5080 & 5081, which exempts sales and use tax from delivery and installation. If the bills only involved exemptions for the delivery and installation of “x” products/goods I would have voted no, but the bills keep things fair for all deliveries and installations. The bills passed 69-34.
489HB 529020-OctI voted yes on HB 5290, which requires MDOT and road agencies to post all roads that are not restricted during frost law application. Currently, posting must indicate all seasonal roads that are restricted during frost law application. The bill passed unanimously.
490HB 516320-OctI voted no on HB 5163, which requires a hospital that treats over 50 patients a year in their emergency department for an opioid related overdose to implement a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program. The bill also requires MDHHS to establish a grant program to support the MAT’s. DHHS is already issuing grants for this program and the program is already in place. However, this bill requires hospitals to implement a MAT program (if they meet the over 50 patient’s threshold) even if they have another successful and similar program already in place. The bill passed 96-8.
491HB 516620-OctI voted yes on HB 5166, which allows for community-based organizations and their staff to distribute opioid antagonists, primarily Naloxone. The bill passed 100-4.
492HB 507220-OctI voted yes on HB 5072, which codifies federal law which exempts affiliated hospital pharmacies that are under common control by the same parent health system from having to be licensed as a drug wholesale distributer-broker if they meet certain conditions. This essentially removes the requirement for additional and duplicative paperwork. The bill passed unanimously.
493, 494HB 4364, 436526-OctI voted yes on HB 4364 & 4365, which allows for audiologists and speech language pathologists to the list of people who may sign the SOS required certificate to indicate a communication impediment designation on a license, state ID, or registration. The package passed unanimously.
495HB 429526-OctI voted yes on HB 4295, which allows state employees and their spouses to own medical marijuana facilities. The employees or their spouses cannot work or represent the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The bill passed 97-7.
496HB 406626-OctI voted yes on HB 4066, which prohibits local governments from taxing or regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, storage sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, or registration, of knives or knife making components if if it more restrictive than state law. The bill passed 66-38.
497SB 69626-OctI voted no on SB 696, which extends the sunset date to October 1st, 2025, for public water supply operator training and certification fees. We can operate this program with already existing general fund dollars and not with unnecessary fees. The fees generated $503,900 in 2020-21, which is a blip in our general fund budget. The bill passed 95-9.
498, 499HB 4071, 407226-OctI voted no on HB 4071 & 4072, which is a two part bill package. The first part that I agree with increases the penalty for child abuse if the child is found to be a vulnerable child. This is one of the most grotesque crimes imaginable. Nonetheless, the original bill was replaced with a floor substitute that tailored the definition of “developmental disability.” The bill as introduced defined “developmental disability” (alongside other requirements) as resulting in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas: (i) self-care, (ii) receptive and expressive language, (iii) learning, (iv) mobility, (v) self-direction, (vi) capacity for independent living, (vii) economic self sufficiency. The substitute reduced the categories to (i) self care, (ii) receptive and expressive language, (iii) learning, and (iv) self direction. Therefore, I believe that there will be kids who will fall through the cracks and not be as protected by the law as others. The bills passed 101-3, and 100-4.
500HB 431626-OctI voted yes on HB 4316, which creates a pathway for a certified nurse aide to become a registered medication aide. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide a vital role in the safety of our nursing home residents. They also assist in eliminating the nurse shortage. These qualified professionals could fill a larger role though if they are allowed to administer scheduled drugs under the supervision of licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Allowing CNAs to become medication aides will also provide them with a pathway to grow in their careers in addition to helping address the necessary healthcare workforce issues. The bill passed 56-48.
501HB 508926-OctI voted yes on HB 5089, which allows during the COVID-19 pandemic (as declared by the U.S. DHHS) a professional nurse to provide training to a nurse candidate without a permit. The bill passed 94-10.
502, 503HB 472226-OctI voted no on HB 4722, known as the “Airbnb legislation.” The bill will mainly prevent local units of government from restricting the use of short term rentals (with some exceptions). This is an instance where I believe that local control is the correct answer. Nevertheless, this is an issue where residents need to make their voices heard. The state cannot solve every answer. If displeased, residents throughout the State must make their voices heard with their votes when pressed with issues such as ordinances regarding short term rentals. The bill passed 55-47.
504, 505SB 687, 68826-OctI voted no on SB 687 & 688, which creates the student opportunity scholarship act. These bills create a tax credit scholarship program for K-12 students in Michigan by amending the income tax act to create a tax credit for contributions made to any scholarship granting organizations. Individuals and businesses can donate to nonprofit organizations, which will in turn provide private school scholarships. I do not believe we should create a tax credit to incentivize this program. Nor do I believe there is anything to stop private businesses and individuals from creating and donating to scholarship programs under our current tax structure as written. The bills passed 55-49.
506HB 469327-OctI voted yes on HB 4693, which allows a tenant to receive up to one month of rent credit for referrals (currently restricted to 1/2 month). I do not believe this is a state issue, however, it was put into law by the 1980 legislature. This bill is a step in the right direction. It passed 104-2.
507, 508HB 4997, 499827-OctI voted no on HB 4997 & 4998, which clarifies the left center turn lane can only be used for making a left hand turn and not as a passing lane or merge lane. This is another opportunity for more tickets to be written, as it does not allow for circumstances to determine the intent of the driver. Regardless, these rules are already in the traffic manual. The bills passed 95-11.
509HB 428127-OctI voted no on HB 4281, which is a potential tax carve out for two cities. The bill modifies the population threshold for qualified cities from 15,000 to 15,500 to ensure that the City of Romulus and Harper Woods can levy/continue to levy a special assessment. Nonetheless, special assessments can already be done through townships. The bill passed 95-11.
510-514HB 4766-477128-OctI voted no on House Bills 4766-4771. This bill package does a lot, but the crux of the package is state government mandating to local governments how to handle contracts with questionable asbestos abasement contractors. Local governments can remedy situations with asbestos contractors without state interference. I trust our local officials in the 46th District and Oakland County to know what is best for their communities, rather than a statewide approach. The bills passed 97-8.
515HB 502628-OctI voted no on HB 5026, to amend the State’s 9-1-1 law and to address the shortfall in the 9-1-1 fund. The bill removes the sunset on the Emergency 911 Enabling Act (which I support), provides for an audit on the collection of fees (I support), but raises fees on prepaid phones to ensure Next Generation 911 services. I do not believe the remedy to the shortfall in the 9-1-1 fund is to automatically raise fees, but rather we should pursue an audit first, and then determine to raise fees if it is necessary. The shortfall may be due to other reasons other than an incorrect fee structure. The bill passed 99-6.
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