I voted NO on HB 4127 & 4128 which would prohibit an individual from carrying a firearm at a polling location, early voting place, clerks’ office, or drop box. Voters should not have to choose between their right to vote and their Second Amendment rights. It is already illegal to intimidate an election worker, brandish a weapon at a polling place, or threaten a voter. This would penalize people for simply carrying a weapon near an absentee drop box location.
The plan passed along party lines
I voted NO on HBs 5207-5215 which would legalize surrogacy contracts in Michigan. The practice of surrogacy can promote exploitation of women, especially if they come from a disadvantaged background. Other countries have seen this happen, as women have been offered large sums of money and were pressured into becoming surrogates against their will. Many other western countries do not allow this type of legislation, due to unintended consequences. It would also open the door for selective abortions, where a surrogate mother could be forced to terminate the pregnancy if an unborn child was deemed to have any birth abnormalities. Women who enter into these contracts forfeit their rights to make any decisions regarding the pregnancy and are entirely at the mercy of their contractor.
The plan passed along party lines
I voted NO on SBs 613-616 which creates public financial disclosure requirements for legislators. Last year Michigan voters passed Proposal 1 which required lawmakers, as well as the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general to file annual public disclosure reports after 2023. Unfortunately, this package of bills was rushed at the last minute and barely met the minimum standards that voters wanted. House Republicans offered several amendments which would have increased the honesty and integrity of lawmakers; however, they were defeated by the democrat majority. Unfortunately, what ended up being passed by the House fell short of the ethical standard that the public deserves to know.
SB 613 passed 59-49
SB 614 passed 61-47
SB 615 passed 61-47
SB 616 passed 62-46
I voted YES on HB 4676 which would make sure that children placed in the foster care system receive a quality education. While current law requires that children placed in the foster care system receive an education, it does not require that the education they receive be accredited, therefore some children may not be receiving the classes or subjects they need for graduation. These bills would make sure that children in foster care are ready for graduation. It also would require that children be enrolled in school within 5 days of their placement unless there are extenuating circumstances.
HB 4676 passed 104-3
I voted YES on HB 5148 & 5149 which would allow those who were adopted between 1945 & 1980 to be able to access their original birth records without the permission of their birth parents or having to go through court. Under current law, it is very difficult for an individual who was adopted during this time period to be able to access their original birth records without having consent from their birth parents or going through court.
HB 5148-5149 passed 99-8
State Rep. Ken Borton, R-Gaylord, was happy to present this flag and letter to Commissioner Marc Milburn of Roscommon County for presentation to Paull Fry who has served his country honorably in the US Navy and for his many years of service to generations of young people during his time as an educator. ###
“If we transition the passport program from opt-in to opt-out we are effectively creating a tax on people who don’t pay attention. We shouldn’t be forcing people to pay for a park pass they don’t even know they’re receiving and may never use. The governor is trying to bankroll her liberal agenda on the backs of working-class folks who won’t see the hit coming.”
“A bipartisan package to keep our kids safe seems like the perfect thing for the House to work on while we’re split 54-54,” Borton said. “We need to refocus our attention away from inconsequential bills with limited impact and get back to the issues people care most about – that can start with securing school safety resources for kids back home.”
“Sometimes in this job I really have to remind myself that it’s impossible to help people who don’t want to help themselves. Democrats have zero interest in helping themselves, or the people of Michigan right now. All they have to do is walk across the aisle and negotiate if they’re truly interested in putting people first and making things better. But instead, they’re still grasping to the convoluted idea that they have complete control.”