Tuesday, June 27
I voted YES on HB 4437 (Rep. Witwer), an omnibus vehicle bill for FY 23-24 that would be used for the general government sections of the state budget. EXPLANATION: This is only a procedural vote and is not an endorsement of the bill. The actual budget vote occurred on Wednesday; that explanation is below.
I voted NO on HBs 4352-4353 (Reps. Shannon and MacDonell) which would update the vehicle code, allowing any road agency to designate and enforce HOV lanes and give MDOT the authority to restrict trunkline lanes to HOV’s or other classes of vehicles. EXPLANATION: These are public roads bought and paid for by the taxpayers. We should not limit who can and cannot drive on a public road.
BOTH PASSED: 56-52
I voted NO on SB 59 (Sen. Cherry) which would alter the definition of “peace officer” within the Mental Health Code to include any officer that is licensed by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). EXPLANATION: Insinuating that conservation and DNR officers are similar to peace officers is ridiculous and may lead to more excessive and unnecessary penalties.
I voted NO on HBs 4520-4521 (Reps. Mueller and Breen) which would increase the fine that can be imposed by a sentencing court when a person is convicted of assault and battery and the victim is a health professional or medical volunteer, and would increase the fine that can be imposed by a sentencing court when a person is convicted of felonious assault and the victim is a health professional or medical volunteer. EXPLANATION: Assault is already a crime; this is just adding further unneeded penalties.
HB 4520 PASSED: 97-11; HB 4521 PASSED: 99-9
I voted NO on SB 247 (Sen. McCann) which would amend the Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 to allow for public university governing boards to apply for liquor licenses to sell alcohol at college athletic events. EXPLANATION: It’s wrong to give public universities the ability to take business away from the privately owned bars in the surrounding area.
I voted YES on HB 4082 (Rep. Witwer) which would designate a portion of I-96 in Ionia County as the “Barry Lyn Hause Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: This highway naming allows us to express our gratitude and appreciation for Barry Lyn Hause for his service to our residents and state.
I voted YES on 4602 (Rep. Wilson) which would designate a portion of Interstate-94 in Washtenaw County as the “Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: This highway naming allows us to express our gratitude and appreciation for all those who served in the Vietnam War from Washtenaw County.
I voted NO on SBs 302-303 (Sens. Camilleri and McDonald Rivet) which would revise, update, and expand the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act with new requirements and new eligible projects. EXPLANATION: Government should not be in the business of financing building improvements; private lenders should take on that risk.
BOTH PASSED: 56-52
I voted NO SB 52 (Sen. Cherry) which would reduce the misdemeanor infraction for failure to comply with a Natural Resources Commission Wildlife Conservation Order to a civil infraction for the new order mandating the reporting of harvested deer information and retention of a harvest confirmation number. EXPLANATION: This shouldn’t be a crime to begin with and passing legislation agreeing with the DNR to penalize failure to comply with this regulation makes it more likely to be enforced.
I voted NO on SB 219 (Sen. Santana) which would amend the Public Health Code to allow pharmacists to order and administer immunizing agents and qualified laboratory tests without the supervision of a physician. EXPLANATION: Allowing this to be governed under federal law would simply return us to the status quo should the declaration expire.
I voted NO on SBs 339, 367, 370, 371 and 373 (Sens. Moss, Chang, Santana, and McMorrow) which would implement the Prop 2 Election Reforms. EXPLANATION: Prop 2 weakens our election security, and these bills further expand the erosion of our elections.
ALL PASSED: 56-52
I voted NO on HBs 4644-4645 (Reps. Hope and Haadsma) which would create a new Uniform Power of Attorney Act, NREPA to reference the Uniform Powers of Attorney Act, and revise Public Health Code to reference the Uniform Powers of Attorney Act. EXPLANATION: EPIC already allows for powers of attorney in Michigan, and no changes in the law are necessary.
ALL PASSED: 104-4
I voted NO on HBs 4362-4363 (Reps. Brabec and Neeley) which would amend the Income Tax Act by creating space on the state income tax form to participate in the anatomical gift donor registry and the Public Health Code by adding the registration to participate in the anatomical gift donor registry on the income tax form to the list of ways to donate an organ. EXPLANATION: This creates additional work and costs to the Department of Treasury and Secretary of State. The money used for department administrative costs could be used to promote the organ donor registry programs that already exist.
HB 4362 PASSED: 103-5; HB 4363 PASSED: 104-4
I voted NO on HB 4495 (Rep. Snyder) which would remove many of the current provisions required of DHHS to seek waivers for cost sharing by beneficiaries enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan and eliminate the trigger that would cease the program if costs to the state become more than the savings. EXPLANATION: Removing cost-sharing language could lead to implementation of policies that require little regarding beneficiaries having any financial skin in the game.
Wednesday, June 28
I voted NO on HBs 4619-4623 (Reps. Rogers, Edwards, Fitzgerald, Miller and Koleszar) which would codify into Michigan law several pieces of the Affordable Care Act as well as specific provisions that were impacted by the Briarwood Management Inc. v Becerra case currently pending in the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. EXPLANATION: Ensuring the Affordable Care Act remains in Michigan if it is found to be federally unconstitutional is a mistake.
HB 4619 PASSED: 67-41, HB 4620 PASSED: 84-24, HB 4621 PASSED: 74-34, HB 4622 PASSED: 64-44, HB 4623 PASSED: 59-49
I voted NO on SBs 209, 212, 213, and 216 (Sens. Anthony, Klinefelt, Bayer and Geiss) which would declare marriages under the age of 18 void; change the distribution of estate assets to married children; removes marriage from the statute regarding emancipation of minors and prevents parents from authorizing a marriage if the child is under the age of 18. EXPLANATION: If the age of consent in Michigan is 16, allowing individuals of this age to engage in sex, get an abortion or mutilate their bodies without parental knowledge, then it seems more than reasonable that they also should be allowed to get married.
ALL PASSED: 103-5
I voted NO on HB 4706 (Rep. MacDonell) which would amend the Michigan Public Services Act to define electric vehicle charging stations/services and clarify that retail providers of electric vehicle charging stations may resell energy but are not considered a utility under Michigan law. EXPLANATION: Current incentives are geared toward partnerships with utility companies, and electric vehicles are being imposed on society with corporate handouts to companies with ties to China.
I voted NO on SB 14 (Sen. McCann) which would repeal provisions added by Public Act 602 of 2018 which prohibit a state agency from adopting rules more stringent than the applicable federal standard with certain exemptions. EXPLANATION: There are enough rules and regulations in our state, less is needed not more.
I voted NO on HB 4573 (Rep. Glanville) which would extend the sunset on the New Jobs Training Program and modify wage requirements for jobs in the program by adding data from the United for ALICE Wage Tool to the considerations. EXPLANATION: Aligning with ALICE to further expand government involvement in the private sector is a step in the wrong direction.
I voted NO on HB 4752 (Rep. Koleszar) which would allow retired school employees to return to work without forfeiting retirement benefits. EXPLANATION: These teachers retired for a reason. If they wanted to keep working, they had the opportunity to do that. “Double dipping” with salary on top of retirement benefits should not be allowed.
I voted NO on HB 4437 (Rep. Witwer), an omnibus vehicle bill for FY 23-34 that would be used for the general government sections of the state budget. EXPLANATION: This legislation is a massive waste of your hard-earned money that is awarded to special interest groups, electric vehicle companies, and various Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs. Additionally, it is racist given that certain grant money is only available to some people based on skin color. Finally, it includes millions to implement a capitol weapons ban among many other bad parts of this budget.
I voted NO on SB 173 (Sen. Camilleri), the final school aid appropriation for FY 23-24. EXPLANATION: Government run schools keep receiving more funding but are consistently delivering worse educational results for our students. They operate more as indoctrination camps instead of educational facilities and are failing our kids.
I voted NO on SB 377 (Sen. McBroom) which would modify the code of criminal procedure to add a Michigan Sentencing Commission. EXPLANATION: This just adds another bureaucratic layer to our justice system that inflates our bureaucracy.
I voted NO on HB 4696 (Rep. Tsernoglou) which would provide penalties for the crimes created in HB 4695. EXPLANATION: Allowing for nine days of early voting will compromise the security of our elections. It is supposed to be election day, not election week, month, or season.
I voted NO on HB 4820 (Rep. Skaggs) which would allow the inclusion of personnel decisions for teachers in collective bargaining agreements. EXPLANATION: Allowing teachers to bargain for placements can result in less effective teachers, which runs counter to the entire point of education.
I voted YES on SB 56 (Sen. Chang) which would repeal the criminal misdemeanor offense for unmarried cohabitation. EXPLANATION: This is an outdated law. Despite disagreements many have with the lifestyle, what is done by consenting adults in the privacy of their home is their business.
I voted YES on SB 141 (Sen. McMorrow) which would amend the Liquor Control Code by removing the sunset on the law that allows on-premises licensees to sell to-go alcoholic beverages. EXPLANATION: By allowing cocktails to go, bars will have more opportunities to do business.
“Elected officials have a duty to be as open and transparent as possible,” said Carra, R-Three Rivers. “Lawmakers should never trade their silence for information about corruption that benefits the politically connected in their communities. Our job is to represent all the voices of our districts.”