Votes on Medicaid and state budget
House Bill 4714, Accept federal health care law Medicaid expansion: Passed 76 to 31 in the House
To expand Medicaid eligibility to families and childless adults up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which implements a key component of the federal health care law (aka “Obamacare”). Under that law, the feds are supposed to pay 100 percent of the expansion’s cost during the first three years, with the state responsible for not more than 10 percent of the costs starting in 2020. The House-passed version of the bill does not contain a provision in the original requiring the federal government to approve certain cost-saving state Medicaid reforms before the expansion may proceed. All but one Democrat voted "yes," and a majority of Republicans (30 out of 59) in the Republican-controlled House voted "no."
House Bill 4813, Create process for dissolving fiscally-failed school districts: Passed 58 to 49 in the House
To establish criteria and procedures for dissolving a school district that has become so financially unviable that it can no longer educate students, and for attaching the failed district’s territory to one or more nearby school districts. The bill was introduced after the Buena Vista and Inkster school districts reached this state shortly before the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
Senate Bill 284, Authorize electric bill surcharge for low income heating subsidies: Passed 86 to 21 in the House
To authorize imposing a $1 per month surcharge on customer electric utility bills, and use the money to provide up to $50 million annually in low income home heating subsidies.
Senate Bill 163, Revise wetland use permit details: Passed 66 to 42 in the House
To expand certain exemptions to a state wetland permit mandate, increase some wetland permit fees and reduce others, require permit denials to document their rationale and authority, authorize grants to local governments to create “wetland mitigation banks,” slightly reduce wetland regulatory burdens imposed on county drain commission projects, slightly increase the state's burden to justify restrictions on an owner's use of his or her property, prohibit the Department of Environmental Quality from imposing regulations that are beyond the scope of those required by federal law, and make other changes to these land use restrictions.
House Bill 4743, Allow local holiday fireworks regulations: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate
To allow local governments to ban the use of "consumer fireworks" between midnight and 8:00 a.m. on the day before, day of, and day after a national holiday (in larger communities the allowable deadline would be 1:00 a.m. on New Years). The 2012 law legalizing these fireworks (which include firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, Roman candles, etc.) essentially preempted local bans on their use at all hours during these holiday periods.
House Bill 4328, Final 2013-14 state budget: Passed 63 to 46 in the House
The final House-Senate compromise version of the non-education portion of the state government budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2013. This would appropriate $34.392 billion, compared to $34.355 billion the previous year. (When interdepartmental transfers are deducted the amounts are slightly lower.)
When amounts appropriated for education are added (see House Bill 4228), the state budget for the next fiscal year will be $49.520 billion, of which $19.331 billion is federal money. Total state spending from state taxes, fees, fines, etc. will be $30.189 billion, a 4.0 percent increase over the previous year.
House Bill 4328, Final 2013-2014 state budget: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate
The final House-Senate compromise version of the non-education portion of the state government budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2013. See description above.
House Bill 4459, Prohibit TIFA “capture” of Detroit Zoo or Arts tax money: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate
To prohibit the “capture” by a local Tax Increment Finance Authority (such as a Downtown Development Authority) of regional property taxes imposed to subsidize the Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Institute for the Arts.
Senate Bill 300, Establish and impose minimum indigent defense standards: Passed 32 to 6 in the Senate
To establish statewide standards and accountability measures for court-appointed attorneys who represent indigent criminal defendants, and establish a process by which all counties in the state would be required to conform with the standards. If a local government failed to adopt them, a state commission could take over its indigent defense administration, and impose a gradually increasing portion of the state’s costs for this, up to 40 percent. Locals would be responsible for maintaining funding at current levels, and all this would be subject to a detailed appeals process. The bill authorizes but does not fund state grants to cover increased costs.
Senate Bill 271, Revise corporate and developer subsidy regime: Passed 36 to 2 in the Senate
To increase the maximum amount of state “community revitalization” subsidies that can be awarded to a particular developer, corporation or other special interest, from $1 million to $2.5 million. The bill would also eliminate various statutory prescriptions and restrictions on how the political appointees on the Michigan Strategic Fund board may spend state revenues allocated to this subsidy program, and delete certain disclosure and reporting requirements.
Senate Bill 272, Authorize corporate and developer “port facility” subsidies: Passed 37 to 1 in the Senate
To expand the mission of the "Michigan Strategic Fund" agency to include providing undefined subsidies for corporations, developers and other entities involved in port facilities.
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.