Wednesday, November 8, 2023
I voted NO on SB 273 (Sen. Singh) Would amend the Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction act to increase the financial incentives for electric providers that exceed the annual waste reduction standards. EXPLANATION: These mandates will lead to significant rate increases, as utilities will pass higher rates to the customer. Handouts to unions through requiring prevailing wages and project labor agreements is likely to make the costs and rates go even higher. We’re transitioning our electrical grid to work on the backs of unreliable energy generation sources. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine – California and Texas have already seen blackouts and grid failures due to overreliance on these technologies. Nuclear energy is clean and reliable – even defined as such in this legislation – yet, due to the mandate structure, can only make up less than half of a utility’s portfolio. We should not be taking clean, efficient, reliable sources of generation off the table. This package also expands the regulatory authority of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) with few statutory guidelines or legislative oversight.
I voted NO on HBs 5120-5121 (Rep Aiyash & Puri) Would allow the Michigan Public Service Commission to issue certificates for construction of wind or solar energy facilities with 100 MW of generation capacity; would specify that zoning ordinances are subject to the parts of the Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act added in HB 5120 and 5122. EXPLANATION: These bills remove local resident approval for massive projects that would be located in their communities. Removing this local decision-making is a bad decision. Requiring project labor agreements and prevailing wages drives up the cost of these projects and does nothing to further the stated goal of more renewable energy generation. Requiring certificate applicants to partner with or contribute to community organizations such as environmental groups or labor unions is a blatant handout to Democrat cronies.
BOTH PASSED: 56-53
I voted NO on HBs 4605-4606 (Rep Shannon & Farhat) Would create the Public Safety and Violence Prevention Fund within the Department of Treasury and earmarks a portion of the State Sales tax to the fund. EXPLANATION: Communities that are short on resources and have a low crime rate won’t receive similar support from this fund. This is an expansion of spending that disproportionality sends funds to communities with higher crime rates.
BOTH PASSED: 88-21
I voted NO on SB 103-105 (Sen. Cherry, Daley, and McCann) Would establish a licensure requirement in order to be a sport fishing guide in Michigan; establish a licensure requirement in order to be a hunting guide in Michigan; gives the Natural Resources Commission exclusive authority to regulate sport fishing and the use of commercial hunting guides and sport fishing guides, in addition to its current function regulating the taking of game. EXPLANATION: Increasing statutory regulation and oversight is a step in the wrong direction. These requirements are an undue burden for our sportsmen.
SB 103 PASSED: 61-48; SB 104 PASSED: 61-48; SB 105 PASSED: 62-47
I voted NO on SB 293 (McDonald Rivet) Would expand eligibility for MSHDA’s Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund (HCDF) to middle-income households (up to 120% AMI) and provide state/regional housing authorities greater flexibility to address “missing middle” housing needs. EXPLANATION: By reducing the overall “pot of money” that is available for housing assistance by allowing more people to qualify, low-income housing will see a reduction in money available. Expanding housing assistance to middle-income households fuels inflation and drives up the cost of homes.
I voted NO on HBs 4905-4906 (Rep. Farhat and Rep. Andrews) Would amend the Use Tax Act and Sales Tax Act, respectively, by creating sales and use tax exemptions for enterprise data center equipment. EXPLANATION: Giving a special tax exemption for enterprise data center equipment unfairly picks winners and losers in the marketplace. Taxes should be lowered across the board for everyone.
I voted NO on HB 4273 (Rep. O’Neal) Would amend the Housing Law of Michigan by requiring enforcing agencies to notify tenants of any violations of the act. EXPLANATION: A voluntary association and certification process that a free market would provide if the government got out of the way would be more effective in ensuring safe and quality living conditions for tenants.
I voted NO on HB 4569 (Rep. Coffia) Would allow individuals between the ages of 16 – 17 ½ to preregister to vote. EXPLANATION: Too many people are already in the qualified voter file who are not qualified to vote. These bills remove common-sense provisions that were put into place to protect our process’s integrity without preventing people from voting.
I voted NO on HB 4983 (Rep. Tsernoglou) Would expand the automatic voter registration process to require certain state departments to work with the Secretary of State’s Office to register new voters or update current voter information. EXPLANATION: It should not take multiple departments of the state government to register an individual to vote.
I voted NO on HB 4861 (Rep. Snyder) Would allow Muskegon County to sell a plot of land that is currently restricted for public use. EXPLANATION: They should make the plot of land available for the general public to purchase, instead of handing it over to an organization receiving taxpayer funding.
I voted NO on HB 4885 (Rep. McKinney) Would amend the Public Health Code by creating a medication aide training and permit program. EXPLANATION: Creating another license for administering drugs is duplicative and costly to the individual who is attempting to receive their permit from the department.
I voted NO on HBs 5056 and 5058 (Rep. Miller and Rep. Bierlein) Would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to require the Secretary of State (SOS) to create a Michigan 4-H fundraising plate and establish the Michigan 4-H Foundation Fund within the department of Treasury. EXPLANATION: Feel good legislation that flatters voters, as the government engages in all sorts of corruption, is misleading and a disservice to the general public. Additionally, making a new license plate design costs the Secretary of States resources which burdens the taxpayer.
I voted YES on HB 4857 (Rep. Steckloff) Would prevent a local government from declaring Milkweed as a noxious weed. EXPLANATION: Monarch butterflies are so pretty and such important pollinators in our ecosystem. Pollinators are responsible for ecosystem health, plant reproduction, and the pollination of many of the fruits and vegetables humans eat. JUST KIDDING If a farmer doesn’t want milkweed on their land, they can remove it themselves. However, local municipalities currently have the authority to enter and alter private property, possibly harming their crops as they eradicate noxious weeds, then billing that farmer for doing so. This is a violation of private property rights and this bill helps to protect farmers from this situation.
I voted NO on SB 337 (Sen. Polehanki) Would amend Public Act 132 of 1970, which provides for the filing of land surveys in the office of the register of deeds EXPLANATION: Currently surveyors are responsible for filing land surveys. This bill shifts the responsibility onto the property owner and is an improper burden on them.
I voted NO on SB 529 (Sen. Moss) Would amend Michigan Election Law to ensure Michigan complies with the federal Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA) and Presidential Transition Improvement Act passed in December 2022 and codifies provisions added to the Michigan Constitution by Proposal 2 of 2022. EXPLANATION: The United States Constitution gives the states’ the power to choose the electors through a process they designate. This bill is an affront on the vision our founders had for our nation and has hijacked Michigan’s ability to preserve the will of the people.
I voted NO on SB 227 (Sen. Lauwers) Would require that emergency safety intervention through physical management in child caring institutions comply with standards under the Mental Health Code and any associated administrative rules. EXPLANATION: Requiring child caring institutions to comply with the mental health code and any associated administrative rules is government overreach.
I voted YES on HB 5103 (Rep. McKinney) Would eliminate certain moving violations currently preventing an individual from receiving a driver’s license. EXPLANATION: This will allow more people to restore or obtain a driver’s license. A few moving violations should not be a barrier for obtaining a driver’s license, especially if they are minor offenses.
I voted NO on SB 464 (Sen. McMorrow) Would amend the vehicle code to require the Secretary of State to offer three legacy license plates for an additional fee. EXPLANATION: Would increase costs for the SOS to administer the program.
I voted NO on HB 4917 & 4918 (Rep. Steckloff) Would create a new crime for assault of certain vehicle operators and employees. Would carve out a new class of victims for special treatment. Would amend the criminal sentencing guidelines to account for the new crime created in the companion bill. EXPLANATION: Victims of assault should be treated the same; establishing a class of victims with special protections is not productive. The proposed penalty in this bill is out of line with the penalties that currently exist.
HB 4917 PASSED: 68-41; HB 4918 PASSED: 70-39
I voted NO on SB 533 (Sen. Geiss) Would allow the Secretary of State to set up an electronic title system for the private sale of vehicles. EXPLANATION: The current system is working and new electronic systems might interfere with existing entrepreneur’s business models.
I voted NO on SB 22 (Sen. Damoose) Would update reference and language within the definition of “sterile area” in the Michigan Aeronautics Code to align with federal law. EXPLANATION: Individuals who accidentally bring a gun into a sterile area should not face such harsh penalties.
I voted YES on SB 410 (Sen. Irwin) Would eliminate statutory immunity from products liability lawsuits for drug manufacturers. EXPLANATION: This bill brings us closer to the ideal solutions of voluntary association and free market contracts in medicine.
I voted NO on SB 133 (Sen. McCann) Would create the Overdose Fatality Review Act to allow a county or multiple counties to establish an overdose fatality review team to ease the determination process of overdose deaths. EXPLANATION: This will create more government solutions when this decision could already be made by local communities.
I voted YES on SB 592 (Sen. Bayer) Would expand the opioid settlement laws to include new nationwide settlements involving Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen. EXPLANATION: Michigan should take full advantage of the nationwide opioid settlements and this bill maximizes the settlement proceeds flowing to Michigan.
I voted NO on SB 418, 421, 425, 426, 428, 429, 432, 435, 436 (Sen. Santana, Klinefelt, Schink, Wojno, Chang, Irwin, Victory, Polehanki, Damoose) Would increase the county child-care fund reimbursement rate; require that a risk and needs assessment be completed before a juvenile court may order the disposition of any juvenile offender; expand the duties of the State Appellate Defender’s Office (SADO) to include juvenile cases; increase juvenile justice residential per diem rates; eliminate the ability of juvenile court judges to assess any fees, costs, or other financial assessments in juvenile prosecutions, except for victim restitution; eliminate the ability of juvenile court judges to assess any fees or costs related to DNA testing in juvenile prosecutions; modify the powers and duties of the Child Advocate; change references in 1973 PA 116 (regarding licensed child-care organizations) from Children’s Ombudsman to Child Advocate; change references in the Child Protection Law from Children’s Ombudsman to Child Advocate. EXPLANATION: This bill package would not solve the current crisis of troubled youth. We need to work on strengthening families to ensure that they don’t get in front of a judge to begin with.
SB 418 PASSED: 90-19; SB 421 PASSED: 60-49; SB 425 PASSED: 60-49; SB 426 PASSED: 56-53; SB 428 PASSED: 56-53; SB 429 PASSED: 56-53;SB 432 PASSED: 100-9; SB 435 PASSED: 98-11; SB 436 PASSED: 99-10
Thursday, November 9th, 2023
I voted NO on HB 5048 (Rep. Fitzgerald) Expands the ability to issue an excise tax for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping services for transient guests to local units of government. EXPLANATION: This tax increase will further drive up costs to stay in a hotel and is an inappropriate way to raise funds for special interest projects in the Grand Rapids area.
I voted NO on HB 4360 (Rep. Brabec) Would amend the Emergency Services to Municipalities Act to allow municipalities to create an authority for emergency services within, but not the entire, territory of the municipalities. EXPLANATION: This opens the door to taxing everyone in a local community for services that are only provided to part of the community.
I voted NO on SB 466 (Sen. McDonald Rivet) Would amend the Public Health Code by allowing a cigar bar the ability to requalify for the smoking ban exemption. EXPLANATION: This is a special carve out for a store that didn’t meet the requirements of the law. State government should not be providing special treatment for a minimum of ten years for one business when others have followed the requirements.
I voted YES on HB 4072 (Rep. Bezotte) Would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code by granting vehicles in a funeral procession the right of way if they have a flag or activate their hazard lights. EXPLANATION: Having this additional option to display a funeral procession is reasonable.
I voted NO on HBs 4131, 4213, and 4579-4580 (Reps. Liberati, Morse, Price and Brabec) Would amend the Insurance Code to say that an insurer cannot require a provider to offer a service through telemedicine unless contractually obligated; expand the requirements for telemedicine services covered by state medical assistance programs and Healthy Michigan; requires that insurers provide the same coverage for telemedicine visits as they do for in-person visits. EXPLANATION: Regulations hinder the free market. If insurers don’t want to cover telemedicine the same as regular services, then they shouldn’t be forced to.
HB 4579 PASSED: 57-50; HB 4580 PASSED: 58-49; HB 4213 PASSED: 75-32; HB 4131 PASSED: 72-35
I voted NO on SB 169 (Sen. Cherry) Would require a public employer to share employment and contact information of employees with a union responsible for collective bargaining for that labor unit. EXPLANATION: This will simply lead to harassment of individuals who may not wish to join a public sector union.
I voted NO on SB 185 (Sen. Irwin) Would add graduate student research assistants to the definition of public employee and remove language that prevented them from being considered public employees, effectively allowing them to unionize. EXPLANATION: These individuals are still students pursuing an advanced degree, this should be their primary focus and not their unionization. Additionally, these currently striking research assistants who in no way should be confused with public employees, should not be rewarded for their disruptive tactics.
I voted NO on SBs 148-149 (Sen. Polehanki and Sen. Hertel) Would require facilities conducting research using dogs or cats to offer those animals for adoption through an animal shelter before euthanizing it. EXPLANATION: The animals subjected to research should be put up for adoption any way possible, not only through animal shelters. Limiting the adoption opportunities will lead to more dying animals.
SB 148 PASSED: 63-43; SB 149 PASSED: 67-39
I voted NO on HBs 4676-4678 (Rep. Young and Rep. Edwards) Would provide educational requirements for children placed in foster care, requiring a report to the legislature and internal department review. EXPLANATION: These bills will force more children in this state to be subjected to the state-mandated curriculums.
ALL PASSED: 104-3
I voted NO on HB 4325 (Rep. Scott) Would make the unlawful dumping of litter a misdemeanor offense and increase fines. EXPLANATION: This proposed penalty increase is too harsh, it would be better if communities enforced the civil fines that already exist.
I voted NO on HBs 5207-5215 (Reps. Steckloff, Morse, Breen, Hoskins, Conlin, Morgan, Tsernoglou, Pohutsky and O’Neal) Would legalize surrogacy contracts in Michigan and would repeal the existing criminal penalties surrounding surrogacy contracts promising compensation and amend a number of different laws regarding parental rights. In essence, the package would make individuals in same-sex relationships equivalent to persons in traditional marriages, with regard to parental rights. EXPLANATION: Among other reasons to oppose these bills, many fertilized eggs end up being lost in the surrogacy process. Although miscarriages sometimes happen in a natural birthing process, the risk of a miscarriage is far less than the rate of lost life from surrogacy.
ALL PASSED: 56-53
I voted NO on SB 505 (Sen. Polehanki) Would update sentencing guidelines to provide a felony for those guilty of the crime created under HB 4129. EXPLANATION: It is already illegal to intimidate or threaten people. What happened in Detroit in 2020 shows us how far the left will go to cover up their tracks, there is no need to give them more cover.
I voted NO on SB 570 (Sen. McMorrow) Would prohibit a county clerk from participating in an election audit if that clerk is a precinct delegate of a political party or an officer or member of a political party’s governing body. EXPLANATION: The Legislature should maintain input on these complicated matters, rather than simply implementing the unconstitutional, egregious and heinous Proposal 2 of 2022
I voted NO on SBs 590-591 (Sen. Cavanagh) Would provide for a process by which an incorrect certification made by the State Board of Canvassers can be remedied by the State Supreme Court; would amend the Revised Judicature Act to clarify the available procedures by which the results of a presidential election or other election for public office can be challenged in court. EXPLANATION: Even if the federal ECRA law doesn’t directly conflict with the US Constitution, it’s the duty of our Attorney General to challenge this in court.
BOTH PASSED: 56-53
I voted NO on SB 594 (Sen. Moss) Would make changes to Michigan Election Law in order to codify the use of the Online Voter Registration Portal. EXPLANATION: This is just another attempt to weaken signature standards that should require actual signatures for a process as important as voting.
I voted NO on HB 4127-4128 (Rep. Tsernoglou and Rep. Young) Would prohibit firearms in or near polling locations, early voting locations, drop boxes, and clerks offices; would prohibit firearms in or near absentee county boards. EXPLANATION: It is already illegal to brandish a weapon or intimidate someone any time; in a house, on a boat, in a car, or on a train…in the dark or in the rain…and yes, in a polling location. Possessing a gun is not a crime. These bills even make it a crime to travel down the road within 100 feet of a drop box during election season!
BOTH PASSED: 56-53
I voted NO on HB 4945 (Rep. O’Neal) Would criminalize the possession of firearms or ammunition by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. This new crime would be a 5-year felony. EXPLANATION: This is another attack on Michiganders’ right to possess and carry a firearm protected under the Second Amendment. Individuals who have a domestic violence conviction that did not include a firearm should not be subjected to such a harsh penalty.
I voted NO on HBs 4824-4826 (Reps. McKinney, Hill, and MacDonnell) Would repeal Public Act 267 of 2018 that created an independent oversight committee for all proposed environmental rules in order to increase stakeholder involvement in the rulemaking process of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (DEGLE); Public Act 268 of 2018 (Booher) that created an appeals board for denied permit applications in DEGLE. The law provides specific direction for the DEGLE director when the appeals board renders a decision, and prevents any conflict of interest in decision making; Public Act 269 of 2018 that re-established the Environmental Science Advisory Board to provide science-based recommendations at the request of the Governor on issues impacting Michigan’s environmental, public health, or natural resources. EXPLANATION: DEGLE has too much authority and allowing them to work closely with chosen stakeholders further expands the harm they can do in our state.
ALL PASSED: 56-53
I voted NO on SB 374 (Sen. Moss) Would change the number of active registered electors in a city, ward, township, or village (precinct) from 5,000 to 4,999. EXPLANATION: This bill would result in centralizing elections into fewer hands making our elections more vulnerable.
I voted NO on SBs 613-616 (Sens. Moss, Singh and McBroom) Would create the Public Officers Financial Disclosure Act; create the Candidate for Office Financial Disclosure Act; amend the Michigan Campaign Finance Act by updating the reference to Section 44a created in SB 615. EXPLANATION: This ethics package is likely to be weaponized against Republicans, particularly those who don’t conform to the status quo.
SB 613 PASSED: 59-49; SB 614 PASSED: 61-47; SB 615 PASSED: 61-47; SB 616 PASSED:62-46
I voted NO on HBs 5148-5149 (Rep. Grant and Rep. Outman) Would close the current window (between May 28, 1945, and September 12, 1980) from accessing their original birth records without consent from their birth parents or through the court. EXPLANATION: Parents who choose to have their identifying information withheld should not later have their names disclosed on an unredacted copy of the original birth certificate. If the parents expected anonymity, that should be respected while ensuring the individual can live a life unimpaired by the circumstances of their birth.
BOTH PASSED: 99-8
I voted NO on HBs 4928 and 4930 (Rep. Shannon and Rep. Carter) Would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code by creating the violation and penalties for camerabased violations; amends the Pupil Transportation Act by allowing school districts to enter into agreements for reporting for the civil violation created in HB 4928. EXPLANATION: Society doesn’t need cameras all over the place spying on people.
HB 4928 PASSED: 81-26; HB 4930 PASSED: 80-27
I voted NO on HB 4982 (Rep. Glanville) Would extend the sunset on the Higher Education Authorization and Distance Education Reciprocal Exchange Act from 2023 to 2029. EXPLANATION: Online options are a great development for those interested in this form of higher education, however the furthering of taxpayer funding for this educational decision is not something that should continue.
I voted NO on SB 441 (Sen. Skink) Would provide statutory authority for the implementation of catch activity reports for fishing vessels and fish purchase reports from wholesale fish dealers as provided in the 2023 Great Lakes Fishing Decree which became effective on August 24, 2023. EXPLANATION: Commercial fishermen already have reporting requirements and shouldn’t have more regulations imposed on them.
I voted NO on HB 4476-4477 (Rep. Arbit and Rep. Puri) Would create a new crime for “institutional desecration.” Would amend the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines to reflect the new penalties in HB 4476. EXPLANATION: Vandalism is already a crime and the penalties are excessively harsh for some of the crimes listed in this bill.
BOTH PASSED: 89-18
I voted YES on HB 4387 (Rep. MacDonnell) Would amend the Criminal Sentencing Guidelines, adding new language that creates a felony for a subsequent or multiple offenses of coercing a vulnerable adult into providing sexually explicit visual material as established in HB 4320. HB 4387 only applies to an offender’s second or subsequent offense. EXPLANATION: Sexual predators who commit this crime are preying on vulnerable adults and should be punished accordingly.
I voted NO on HB 4695 (Rep. Tsernoglou) Would make changes to the Early Voting laws that were passed and signed by the Governor earlier this year. EXPLANATION: Early voting laws imposed on our state by the Democrats have created immense hurdles for our elections, were predictable, and are a direct result of their interest in ensuring our elections are even more ripe for fraud.
I voted NO on HBs 5141, 5153-5145 (Reps. Tsernoglou, Puri, Bierlein, Tsernoglou, and Arbit) Would require a disclaimer on political advertisements if they were created in whole or in part by AI; update sentencing guidelines to provide a felony for those guilty of the crime created under HB 5141; define Artificial Intelligence as used in the Michigan Campaign Finance Act; would punish those who distribute materially deceptive media (deep fakes) close to an election with the intent of influencing voters; would update sentencing guidelines to provide a felony for those guilty of the crime created under HB 5144. EXPLANATION: Although using AI to deceive voters about an opponent should be punishable, the disclaimer for simply using AI is unnecessary. Additionally, the penalties for an individual who simply re-shares these should not be felonies prosecutable up to five years in prison.
HB 5141 PASSED: 60-46; HB 5143 PASSED: 61-45; HB 5144 PASSED: 61-45; HB 5145 PASSED: 58-48
“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.”
“I came to Lansing to limit burdensome government requirements,” Carra said. “I can’t stand by idly while health system workers in our community are being pulled away from administering care to fulfill demanding state requirements.”