The House and Senate are in the midst of a summer break, so rather than votes this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.
Senate Bill 391: Allow electronic "proof of insurance"
Introduced by Sen. Michael Green (R), to allow “proof of insurance” documents motorists are required to have when driving under the state’s no-fault insurance law to be an electronic communication from the insurance company. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 395: Create more exceptions to government/school insurance cost cap
Introduced by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R), to exclude various insurance costs from the cap imposed by a 2011 law on the cost of government and school employee health insurance fringe benefits. According to the Senate Fiscal Agency this would increase state costs at least $19.4 million. The bill is cosponsored by Republicans Mark Jansen and Mike Nofs. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 397 and House Bill 4783: Expand another corporate/developer subsidy regime
Introduced by Sen. Thomas Casperson (R) and Rep. Ed McBroom (R), respectively, to authorize creation of a sixth “Next Michigan Development Corporation,” which is a government agency that gives tax breaks and subsidies to particular corporations or developers selected by political appointees on the entity's board, for projects meeting extremely broad "multi-modal commerce" criteria (basically, any form of goods-related commerce). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 399: Impose chemical products regulatory regime
Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to require the Department of Community Health and the Department of Environmental Quality to identify and post on a website a list of potentially dangerous or harmful chemicals that may be found in household products or dust, including substances whose presence in children’s products would trigger the regulatory regime proposed by Senate Bill 400. The bill would authorize hiring an additional 1.5 “full time equivalent” government employees to do the work. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 408: Give college loan grants to employed bachelor degree holders
Introduced by Sen. Glenn Anderson (D), to give college bachelor degree recipients who live and are employed in Michigan an income tax credit of up to half the amount they owe each year on student loans, capped at an amount equal to 20 percent of the annual tuition of a four-year state university. The bill would authorize the same credit to an employer who picks up the cost of an employee’s loan payments. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 420: Allow different drivers license and voter registration addresses
Introduced by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), to allow a person to have a different address on their drivers license or state I.D. than the one at which they are registered to vote. Numerous versions of this bill have been introduced since a 1999 law established the current requirement to use the same address, which is said to mostly affect college students. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
2013 Senate Bill 430: Authorize “arms-related” corporate tax breaks
Introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R), to authorize granting the extensive tax breaks and exemptions of a “renaissance zone” to up to five corporations engaged in “arms-related” manufacturing and that are selected by the political appointees on the board of the Michigan “Strategic Fund” agency. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4561: Mandate employers give EITC info to employees
Introduced by Rep. Tom Cochran (D), to require employers to annually provide each employee with information regarding the state and federal earned income tax credit (a form of “negative state income tax” for low income workers), including general eligibility requirements and instructions for claiming the credit. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4566: Increase EITC
Introduced by Rep. Scott Dianda (D), to increase the state earned income tax credit from an amount equal to 6 percent of the federal EITC, to 11 percent. This is a “refundable” credit for low income workers (meaning that a check is sent to the taxpayer for the balance of the credit exceeding taxes owed). The bill is cosponsored by most of the House Democratic caucus. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4576 and Senate Bill 324: Impose licensure on federal health care law “navigators”
Introduced by Rep. Hugh Crawford (R) and Sen. Jim Marleau, respectively, to impose licensure and regulation on the “navigators” authorized by the federal health care law (called “Obamacare” by most people), who are intended to assist persons applying for government-subsidized health insurance benefits through the agency styled as the “exchange,” and who would have access to extensive personal information about individuals. The bill authorizes license fees, background checks, testing and training requirements, and more. Both bills have been reported out of committee and are now pending before the full House and Senate.
House Bill 4619: Authorize drivers license for “dream act” eligible aliens
Introduced by Rep. Sam Singh (D), to authorize giving a drivers license to an illegal alien who has "deferred status," which means the individual entered the country as a child and has been granted a deferral from prosecution by an Obama administration executive order styled after a proposed federal "dream act" law. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4623: Repeal criminal penalties for marijuana possession
Introduced by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D), to repeal criminal sanctions on possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, and instead authorize a civil penalty of $25, and $50 to $100 for subsequent violations. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
(Editor's note: This report has been edited to reflect the correct sponsor of Senate Bill 397, which is now listed above.)
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