Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting
House Bill 5699, Cut state income tax: Passed 31 to 7 in the Senate
To move forward to Oct. 1 2013 an income tax cut from 4.35 percent to 4.25 percent that under current law will happen on Jan, 1, 2013.
House Bill 5700, Increase personal income tax exemption: Passed 32 to 6 in the Senate
To increase the personal income tax exemption from $3,700 to $3,950 on Oct. 1, 2012, and increase it to $4,000 on Jan. 1, 2014.
House Bill 5246, Expand corporate research subsidies: Passed 28 to 8 in the Senate
To authorize two additional “certified technology parks” ("smart zones"), in which revenues "captured" from other local governments using “tax increment financing” schemes are used to pay the debt service on money borrowed by a government authority to benefit particular "large corporate research" operations.
House Bill 5541, Borrow and spend more for university projects: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate
To authorize $613 million in new government spending and debt for 18 state university construction projects.
House Bill 5717, Authorize fruit grower crop loss loans: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize $15 million in state-subsidized low-interest loans for fruit growers and producers who suffered crop damage due to an extended March warm spell followed by a hard freeze.
House Bill 5660, Exempt frozen "drinks in pouch" from bottle deposit mandate: Passed 98 to 11 in the House
To exclude frozen "drink a pouch" containers (such as a popular "Margarita in a pouch" beverage) from the state’s 10-cent bottle deposit mandate.
Senate Bill 1052, Repeal state “beach grooming” regulations and restrictions: Passed 82 to 28 in the House
To essentially repeal state regulations mandating a permit for "beach grooming." The restrictions were passed in 2003 during a period of low Great Lakes water levels, when many lakefront property owners and resorts were unable to access or use beaches because of excessive weed growth.
House Bill 5225, Repeal pistol purchase permit mandate: Passed 74 to 36 in the House
To repeal the law that prohibits purchasing a pistol unless a person gets a "purchase permit" from local police. The bill would also require police departments to destroy the records they have accumulated under this law.
Senate Bill 248, Limit state government land ownership: Passed 58 to 52 in the House
To cap the amount of state-owned Department of Natural Resources land at 4,650,000 acres, with some exceptions, and 3,910,000 acres north of a line between Mason and Arenac counties. Also, to require the DNR to post on its website how much land it owns and to develop a strategic plan to guide the acquisition and disposition of state lands.
Senate Bill 803, Require voters to affirm citizenship: Passed 67 to 43 in the House
To require voters to affirm that they are a U.S. citizen when voting or applying for an absentee ballot.
Senate Bill 754, Regulate “third-party voter registration organizations”: Passed 66 to 43 in the House
To require “third-party voter registration organizations” to register with the state, turn in late registrations within 48 hours, provide their “voter registration agents” with state approved instruction in proper procedures, and require their agents to sign a statement affirming receipt of this instruction. This measure was introduced in response to widespread reports of alleged vote fraud committed by the ACORN organization's voter registration arm. The bill would also require a person to show a photo identification when registering in person to vote.
House Bill 5711, Impose more abortion regulations: Passed 70 to 39 in the House
To require an abortion provider to ask a woman seeking an abortion if her husband, relatives, employer, the father or putative father, his parents or any other individual in a position of authority has threatened, intimidated, or coerced her into seeking an abortion, and require the Department of Community Health to produce information, screening tools, and protocols for this. Also, to impose more rigorous state “freestanding surgical outpatient facility” regulations on clinics that perform at least six abortions per month. Finally, the bill would establish that the remains of an aborted fetus are subject to the same laws that apply to the disposition of dead bodies of humans who have been born.
Senate Bill 316, Require kindergartners be 5 on Sept. 1: Passed 66 to 44 in the House
To require children to be age 5 by Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten, rather than by Dec. 1 under current law. This earlier age cut-off would be phased in one month at a time over three years, starting in 2013. A child who would have been eligible under the current requirements could still attend if the parents "opt in" by notifying the school by June 1. The phase-in and "opt-in" was negotiated because school districts get money from the state for each kindergartner, whose numbers would be reduced during the transition period.
House Bill 5729, Cut state income tax rate: Passed 97 to 13 in the House
To gradually cut the state individual income tax rate until it reaches 3.9 percent on Jan. 1, 2018.
Senate Bill 1040, Revise school employee retirement system: Passed 57 to 47 in the House
To no longer provide post-retirement health benefits to new school employees, and instead give them a 401(k) contribution equal to 2 percent of their salary. Also, current retirees who are under age 65 on Jan. 1, 2013 would have to contribute 20 percent to the cost of these health benefits, up from 10 percent now. The bill would also authorize “prefunding” these retiree health benefits (which are optional and not an enforceable obligation on the state); the annual amount is not specified but is probably $100-$200 million. In addition, current school employees would have to contribute more toward their pensions, or else receive benefits calculated under a less generous formula. The House did not adopt a Senate-passed provision to “close” the school pension system to new hires and instead give them a 401(k) account (as has been done for new state employees hired since 1997).
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.