July 3, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

See who voted for bills on drug testing welfare applicants, vehicle trade-in tax, killing unlicensed dogs, among other issues

While the Legislature is adjourned for a primary election campaign break, the Roll Call Report is reviewing key votes of the 2013-2014 session.

House Bill 4369, Codify "education achievement authority" for failed schools: Passed 57 to 53 in the House on March 21, 2013

To codify in statute the powers and structure of a state "education achievement authority" (already created by means of an administrative "interlocal agreement"), which is an office in the Department of Education tasked with managing, overseeing or contracting out the operations of public schools deemed to have failed academically. Since this vote the measure has bounced between the House and Senate twice with many amendments adopted but no final agreement.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4378, Repeal interior designer registration: Passed 110 to 0 in the House on March 21, 2013

To repeal a law that establishes a government interior designer registry and makes it available to state or local government agencies. To be included on the registry a designer must have passed a test created by a national organization of incumbent interior designers. This organization has sought repeatedly in this state to impose a full licensure and regulatory regime on interior designers, with several bills introduced in previous legislatures.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4026, Require posting of agency agreements with feds, other states: Passed 109 to 0 in the House on April 10, 2013

To require that before a state agency or a local government enters a cross-border memorandum of understanding, agreement, compact, or similar binding agreement with the federal government or another state, it must do a review to determine it does not exceed its authority or violate the state constitution. New and existing agreements would be posted on this state website. In 2012, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a nearly identical bill that passed the legislature with no opposition. The measure has not been taken up by the Senate.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4139, Eliminate “peace bonds”: Passed 88 to 22 in the House on April 11, 2013

To repeal a section of criminal law that authorizes a judge to order a "peace bond" from an individual who has threatened to commit an offense against the person or property of another. This is not the same as the much more common "personal protection orders" used in domestic violence, stalking and similar cases, and there are concerns that peace bonds have been used to abridge individuals' free speech rights. The Senate has not taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4118, Require drug testing of welfare applicants: Passed 77 to 33 in the House on May 1, 2013

To require drug testing of state welfare benefit recipients or applicants if an "empirical screening tool" indicates a reasonable suspicion, and prohibit benefits for six months if a person tests positive a second time (or refuses "treatment" the first time). If the recipient has children, an appropriate "protective payee" would be designated to receive welfare benefits on their behalf. This would begin as a one-year pilot program in three counties.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4363, Ban local governmental body "phone-in" voting: Passed 92 to 14 in the House on May 16, 2013

To establish that if a member of a public body is allowed to cast a vote on a decision by the body without being physically present, it is a violation of the state Open Meetings Act. The Senate has not taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4168, Repeal mandate for sheriffs to kill unlicensed dogs: Passed 106 to 0 in the House on May 16, 2013

To repeal a 1919 law that requires county sheriffs to locate and kill all unlicensed dogs, and which defines failure to do so as nonfeasance in office.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4234, Vehicle trade-in "sales tax on the difference": Passed 100 to 7 in the House on June 6, 2013

To exempt from sales tax the value of a trade-in on the purchase of a new vehicle, recreational vehicle or titled watercraft. The buyer would only pay sales tax on the difference between the value of the trade-in and the purchase price of the new item. This would eventually save new car buyers (and/or dealers) some $220 million annually when fully phased-in after six years.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4369, Codify "education achievement authority" for failed schools

The Senate vote on the "education achievement authority" bill described above. The House subsequently made additional changes (including adding a cap on the number of academically failed schools the authority can take over) and the measure is still pending.

House Bill 4378, Repeal interior designer registration: Passed 27 to 10 in the Senate on June 2, 2014

The Senate vote on the bill described above. Gov. Rick Snyder signed this into law on June 21.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4118, Require drug testing of welfare applicants: Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate on March 20, 2014

The Senate vote on the bill described above. The Senate changed some details, and concurrence is still pending in the House.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4168, Repeal mandate for sheriffs to kill unlicensed dogs: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on February 27, 2014

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law on March 11.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4234, Vehicle trade-in "sales tax on the difference": Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on October 22, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. The Senate version did not extend this tax break to boat buyers. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Nov. 5, 2013.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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.