Thursday, June 30th
I voted NO on HB 5291 (Rep. O’Malley) would create a Maritime and Post Facility Assistance Grant Program for the expansion and creation of public and private ports within the state and creates the Maritime and Port Facility Assistance Office within the Michigan Department of Transportation. EXPLANATION: This bill will create more grants that will allow the government to pick winners and losers.
I voted YES on HB 5695 (Rep. Wendzel) would amend the liquor control code by allowing wholesaler employees that are 16 and older to perform limited functions that are currently prohibited. EXPLANATION: Lowering the age will make it easier for licensees to fill vacant positions by expanding the pool of eligible employees.
I voted YES on HB 5117 (Rep. Wakeman) would close a loophole in current law to help ensure the final disposition of a body of a decedent. EXPLANATION: Current law does not provide for the situation when a person with the highest priority exercises their right to make decisions regarding the decedent’s funeral, but fails to authorize final disposition of the body in a timely manner. This bill closes that loophole.
I voted YES on HB 4375 (Rep. Johnson) would amend the Public School Employees Retirement Act to eliminate the requirement that a reporting unit pay 100% of the contribution rates for the unfunded accrued actuarial liability (UAAL) for retiree healthcare and pension benefits for retirees returning to work as substitute teachers and extends the sunset that allows retirees to return to work under certain circumstances. EXPLANATION: School districts are facing a shortage of qualified substitute teachers and retirees could help fill some of these positions and retired teachers have years of experience that can be utilized in schools.
I voted YES on HB 5609 (Rep. Kahle) would modify the requirements for certifications, surveys, and evaluations of nursing homes and for reporting incidents occurring within nursing homes. EXPLANATION: The plan helps Michigan providers to be evaluated in a fair, accurate, and timely manner. Additionally, language has been added that will make any large abortion providers come in accordance with the recent Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
I voted YES on HB 5335 (Rep. Damoose) would put in place increased challenger requirements. EXPLANATION: Making sure election workers record poll challenge information in the poll book would further enhance the official record of an incident in a precinct or absent voter counting board.
I voted YES on SB 624 (Sen. Theis) would amend the Insurance Code by reducing the mandatory rate of return that a nonforfeiture annuity must provide from 1% to .15%. EXPLANATION: Setting a lower minimum gives annuity providers greater flexibility to react to market conditions when offering these insurance policies.
I voted NO on SB 706 (Sen. Horn) would allow MDOT to designate lanes as autonomous vehicles lanes and allows the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification to enter a contract for a study of the operation of autonomous vehicle lanes in the state. EXPLANATION: Providing the department and council with this authority could be overly broad and lead to user fees and other penalties that the legislature may not approve of.
I voted YES on HB 5938 (Rep. Berman) would repeal an unnecessary portion of Michigan Campaign Finance law. EXPLANATION: The Legislature is committed to ensuring that Michigan’s laws are clear and easy to read. Removing outdated and antiquated laws helps accomplish that goal.
I voted NO on HB 6105, 6106 and 6107 (Rep. Hauck, Rep. Steenland and Rep. Hoitenga) would amend the Liquor Control Code by regulating nonalcoholic products sold by an alcohol wholesaler, allowing for the use of electronic coupons, and ensuring that suppliers make a reasonable effort to ensure fair distribution of their products. EXPLANATION: A nonalcoholic wholesaler shouldn’t be regulated by the liquor control code.
HB 6105 PASSED: 100-5; HB 6106 PASSED: 98-7; HB 6107 PASSED: 100-5
I voted YES on HB 6144 (Rep. S. Johnson) would amend the gift limit for life insurance producers from 5 dollars to 50 dollars. EXPLANATION: The five-dollar gift limit for insurance producers is outdated, and when adjusted for inflation, 50 dollars makes more sense.
I voted YES on SB 101 (Sen. McBroom) would amend the Mental Health Code to allow county boards to contract with private security companies to transport individuals for involuntary hospitalization or screening and create the Mental Health Transportation Fund. EXPLANATION: Local County boards should be given the choice to hire private security contractors, instead of being mandated to use only peace officers.
I voted NO on SB 562 (Sen. Victory) would amend the Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act by expanding the definition of eligible activities by including the definition of a qualified facility. EXPLANATION: This is another example of government providing benefits to certain entities at the expense of others.
I voted YES on HBs 5713-5717 (Rep. Whitsett, Rep. Kahle, Rep. Breen, and Rep. Roth) would set time limits for an indictment of the felony crime of third-degree sexual conduct. HB 5714 would create civil liability for false representation in assisted reproduction. HB 5715 would allow the Department of LARA to investigate and place limits on the license of health professionals found guilty of assisted reproduction fraud. HB 5716 would add and defines two crimes associated with assisted reproduction fraud. HB 5717 would update sentencing guidelines to reflect the new criminal penalties associated with assisted reproduction fraud. EXPLANATION: This legislation makes much-needed updates to Michigan statute to allow for adequate recourse when an individual finds out they are a victim of assisted reproduction fraud.
HBs 5713-5715 PASSED: 106-0; HB 5716 PASSED: 67-39; HB 5717 PASSED: 73-33
I voted NO on SB 134 (Sen. VanderWall) would amend the Michigan Penal Code to prohibit a person from distributing, delivering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute, deliver, or sell a drug masking product, and makes it a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, or a fine up to $1,000, or both. EXPANTION: We should not make such harsh penalties for a small crime.
I voted YES on SB 691 (Sen. Runestad) would make a violation of the Organized Retail Crime Act a predicate offense for the crime of racketeering. EXPLANATION: Rioters destroy businesses and burn down cities around the nation and they need to be held accountable for their heinous actions.
I voted YES on HB 5863 and 5864 (Rep. Roth) would amend the Summer Resort and Parks Association Act by allowing summer resort associations to convert to domestic nonprofit corporations and would amend the Nonprofit Corporation Act by adding summer resort associations to the list of corporations listed under the act. EXPLANATION: These bills provide a process for summer resort associations to convert to a nonprofit corporation if the summer resort association wishes.
HB 5863 PASSED: 97-9; HB 5864 PASSED: 95-11
I voted YES on SB 406 (Sen. Barrett) would require that persons convicted of first-degree murder by immediately housed in a department of corrections (MDOC) facility while awaiting sentencing. EXPLANATION: Counties should not bear the cost of housing a prisoner who will end up in an MDOC facility once that prisoner is sentenced.
I voted YES on SB 991 (Sen. Outman) would allow replacement of existing underground storage tanks where a public water well is located within well installation setback limits. EXPLANATION: The replacement of old tanks makes the well site safer as technology and materials have advanced. The current situation gives preference to leaving the old tank in the ground over a modern replacement.
I voted NO on SB 1028 (Sen. Huizenga) would include the most recent list of approved projects provides $45.6 million for 22 land acquisition and 95 recreational development projects supported with revenues from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). The MNRTF Board approved these projects in December 2021. EXPLANATION: The $45.6 million dollars allocated for these acquisitions and development projects is a waste of taxpayer funds, everything could be done via the free market if they are important enough to the public.
I voted NO on SB 576 and SB 577 (Sen. Zorn and Sen. Wojno) would amend the MI Penal Code to reflect the changes in HB 6108 (Brann) that raises the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. SB 577 would amend the Age of Majority Act to reflect the changes in HB 6108 (Brann) that raises the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. EXPLANATION: This is a part of a continued effort by government to slowly take away the individual freedoms of adults who are 18.
I voted NO on SB 1012 (Sen. VanderWall) would require a hospital that treats over 50 patients per year in its emergency department for an opioid-related overdose to implement a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program and requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program to provide support to hospitals for offering a MAT program. EXPLANATION: Mandates are counterproductive, and hospitals need to have autonomy as to the level of care they provide.
I voted NO on SB 744 (Sen. Chang) would create a Maritime and Post Facility Assistance Grant Program for the expansion and creation of public and private ports within the state and creates the Maritime and Port Facility Assistance Office within the Michigan Department of Transportation. EXPLANATION: This is a grant program that is in conjunction with HB 5291, which I voted no on previously.
I voted NO on HB 5783 and SB 845 (Rep. VanWoerkom and Sen. Schmidt) would be general government appropriations and appropriations in the school aid act for Fiscal Year 2023. EXPLANATION: This budget proposal is way too bloated, as is the typical government fashion.
HB 5783 PASSED: 97-9; SB 845 PASSED: 99-7
I voted YES on HB 6184, HB 6185, HB 6189, HB 6193, HB 6194, HB 6202 and HB 6204 (Rep. Alexander, Rep. Allor, Rep. Calley, Rep. Martin, Rep. Fink, and Rep. O’Malley) would address many areas in statute where there are broad grants of executive powers, duplicative or outdated powers, and unnecessary grants of power. EXPLANATION: Throughout the COVID-19 virus our Governor routinely violated the constitutional rights of Michiganders. This bill package will bring the Governor’s powers in line with the powers of the other two branches of government.
ALL PASSED: 56-48
I voted YES on HB 4065 (Rep. Bezotte) would create the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate. EXPLANATION: Veterans of the Vietnam War deserve to have their service recognized by the state through this veteran recognition certificate as other states do.
I voted NO on HB 4075 and HB 4076 (Rep. LaFave) would mandate parking space disability signs after the effective date of this act must fit the below standardized design and would mandate the Department of Civil Rights to require a standardized design based on the new international symbol of access and ensures the Civil Rights Commission and the Department of Civil Rights take the necessary steps to ensure the word “handicapped” is removed from any signs or other means of communication of the state. However, necessary steps cannot include any form of civil or criminal action against a person. EXPLANATION: The traditional international symbol has national and international recognition and understanding. For consistency and universal awareness, the symbol should remain the same.
I voted YES on HB 4195 (Rep. Hornberger) would provide that a divorce complaint filed with a trial court shall not be made available to the public until the defendant has been served with the complaint and the proof of service has been filed with the court. EXPLANATION: This bill protects the privacy of individuals involved in a divorce action during the limited period of time between the filing of the divorce complaint and service of that complaint on the defendant, along with filing of the proof of service with the court.
I voted YES on HB 5558 and HB 5559 (Rep. Albert and Rep. Kahle) would prohibit individuals from knowingly performing research on an organ, tissue, or cell taken from a dead embryo, fetus, or neonate obtained from an abortion and would make it a Class E felony to perform research on a dead embryo, fetus, or neonate obtained from an abortion. EXPLANATION: Abortion is an abhorrent practice that results in the death of babies. Their remains should be considered sacred, just like anyone else who dies. This bill puts a stop to the horrific practice of experimenting with baby parts, in the state of Michigan.
Wednesday, January 11, was the beginning of the 102nd State Legislature for the state of Michigan and was highlighted by a variety of typical political games that have continued to leave the common man in the dust.