Wednesday, May 25, 2005
An interesting profile of Livingston County at polstate.
Another good article at polstate about redistricting.
This senate bill slipped through before the legislative updated began, it's pretty sick in my opinion considering that you get stuck on the sex offender list for public urination.
Jerry Zandstra throws in his hat. Here's the ap story. Looks like the minister vote will be split.
Monday, May 23, 2005
MI Legislative Digest: 5/17 - 5/19
Are all still in committee
Notable New Introduced Bills from 5/17-5/19:
New law creating "Health Savings Accounts" allowance.
Provides for deducting money contributed to HSA's from stste income tax
Removes right for preliminary examination by magistrate for certain types of offenses
Makes any person requesting a recount of one or more precints responsible for paying 100% of the estimated cost of the recount.
Requires school year to start after labor day
Fast food tax applied ONLY to restaraunts in cities over 750000 population. Money collected to be kept ONLY for appropriation to that city.
Random steroid testing for High School athletes
Requires owners/operators of child care facilities to meet the same "background checks" as their employees
Allows cities of over 750,000 residents to raise income taxes on NON-residents to a level that matches the rate on residents and corporations
Allows for capital gains to be deducted from income on State Income Taxes if reinvested within 1 year
Notable Engrossed Bills from 5/17-5/19:
A Gov't "beet barrel" (pork?) loan forgiveness bill. Will allow state treasurer to loan $5,000,000 at a time to sugar beet co-ops and allow for forgiving the loan.
New law requiring fitness centers/clubs to have emergency services available, including automated external defibrilators.
Establishes allowance for reciprocal "discount tuition rates" between Michigan and other states.
Allows schools to count ROTC classes as "instructional time/credit" in grades 7-12
Monday, May 16, 2005
Legislative Hot List
HR 4752 "Terri's Law"
This particular bill allows for an informal request to be granted by the court to block the "power of attorney" for the ending of life support (or a feeding tube) if the "guardian" is the 'spouse' and is either: A) Engaged in divorce proceedings or B) Engaged in a publicly acknowledged adulterous relationship...
032 Acciavatti Daniel R 517-373-8931 email@example.com
041 Gosselin Robert R 517-373-1783 firstname.lastname@example.org
100 Hansen Goeff R 517-373-7317 email@example.com
093 Hummel Scott R 517-373-1778 firstname.lastname@example.org
056 Kehrl Herb D 517-373-2617 email@example.com
075 Kooiman Jerry R 517-373-2668 firstname.lastname@example.org
002 Lemmons Jr. LaMar D 517-373-0106 email@example.com
003 Lemmons III LaMar D 517-373-1776 firstname.lastname@example.org
098 Moolenaar John R 517-373-1791 email@example.com
078 Nitz Neal R 517-373-1796 firstname.lastname@example.org
103 Sheltrown Joel D 517-373-3817 email@example.com
040 Taub Shelley R 517-373-8670 firstname.lastname@example.org
089 Vander Veen Barb R 517-373-0838 email@example.com
What is this?? Why are the Lemmons' and Sheltrown's and Kehrl's of the legislature supporting this? I say email and call them demanding to know why they've sponsored something to undermine the power of attorney of spouses!
A classic republican 'tort reform' bill. It removes protections for the general public by deleting sections denying companies a "presumption of innocence" because of bribery or unethical activity!
The 'toothless wonder' that makes racial profiling for traffic stops illegal..well, sort of..but only if the officer breaks some other law in the process of racially profiling the person in question...aaahhhh, ok. Even better...the reps who raised it are ALL DEMOCRATS:
006 Cheeks Marsha D 517-373-0844 firstname.lastname@example.org
034 Clack Brenda D 517-373-8808 email@example.com
106 Gillard Matthew D 517-373-0833 firstname.lastname@example.org
009 Hunter Tupac D 517-373-1705 email@example.com
060 Lipsey Alexander D 517-373-1785 firstname.lastname@example.org
005 McConico Bill D 517-373-0144 email@example.com
068 Murphy Michael D 517-373-0826 firstname.lastname@example.org
054 Smith Alma D 517-373-1771 email@example.com
007 Smith Virgil D 517-373-0589 firstname.lastname@example.org
004 Waters Mary D 517-373-1008 email@example.com
Saturday, May 14, 2005
MiDems chairman Brewer will be making a big pitch to move up Michigan's primary during DNC meeting in chi-town this weekend. [Update] Here is his testimony.
In the Lansing mayors race, Bernero issues a challenge, 4 primary debates and 4 general election debates. Benavides hasn't accepted the challenge, and probably won't. He's old, senile and probably couldn't stand on his feet that long. This means Benavides will probably not make it through the primary setting up a race between Bernero and Martinez. Bernero's mistake here was having so many debates. I don't think he comes off as well as he thinks...
Friday, May 13, 2005
Debut Post - MI Legislative Digest
I won't make any promises about being able to track all the bills as they are introduced and move through committee, but I'll try to keep a lock on major items (mainly ones that involve the gov't sticking its fingers into our business and budgetary ones).
Here's what I've got from the last couple of days:
Enrolled Items (Items finalized in committee and approved by both houses):
None of note, this week
Engrossed Items (Items passed by one house of legislature)
Appropriations bill to shift $81,000,000.oo from one fund to another in the state budget.
Removes penalties from the legal code for selling pharmaceuticals by mail.
Simplifies adoption process to allow for incompatibilities between Michigan and foreign countries on birth certificates and other paperwork
(1) A video game retailer shall post a sign in a prominent area within the video game retailer's retail establishment that provides information about a rating system or notifies consumers that a rating system is available to aid in the selection of a game and shall make information that explains the video game rating system available to consumers on request.
(2) A video game retailer that violates this section is responsible for a state civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.00.
Hmm, I'm not certain I can go with this. This is requiring a merchant to display a ratings system that is developed and certified by a private entity. This would have a hard time passing a judicial challenge!
This new act would make it a penalty for persons to have a visual or aural projection of sexually explicit material in such a way that it would be viewable by the general public. This seems to purposefully focus on displays emanating from vehicles.
Newly Introduced Bills and Resolutions:
HR 4752 !!!! A "Terri's Law" type bill!
The verbiage already in state law allows for a "friend" to send an informal letter to a judge or magistrate to request that the legal "guardian" be forcibly resigned by the court and a successor guardian named. This particular bill also allows for such an informal request to be granted by the court to block the "power of attorney" for the ending of life support (or a feeding tube) if the "guardian" is the 'spouse' and is either: A) Engaged in divorce proceedings or B) Engaged in a publicly acknowledged adulterous relationship...
This last part is particularly egregious, IMNSHO. Please go review the bill and contact your representatives!
WHAT? Read the text contained herein..it removes the loss of liability punishment that the original law provided for cases of graft or unethical behavior! "Tort reform" my big white hairy butt!
Makes racial profiling illegal as a basis for investigative stops by police...good thing, right? Um...then what does THIS provision do, guys?
"(3) This section applies only if the peace officer violates another penal law of this state in conjunction with the violation of this section."
That's REEEAAAALLLL convenient...so this bill is toothless unless the officer has engaged in some illegal activity in the process of harassing someone?
Allows for ethical/moral objection to providing health care services
Allows for ethical/moral objection to providing health care services
Tax exemption for indigent senior citizens
This is a campaign finance bill that requires PACs that have raised, expended, or expect to raise/expend over $20,000.00 to file documentation with SOS and requires SOS to have a computer and assistant at EVERY SOS office to assist in said filings.
Very similar to 4748, but for a change in emphasis in action item (6) to provide an exception from reporting a candidate's loaning money to their campaign.
Again very similar to 4748
amendments to "social welfare act" including certain types of medical procedures and treatments
New law against "window peeping" involving tresspassing and calling for specific penalty limits for first time and repeat offenders
This establishes standards for Schoolboard elections in small townships and villages.
Elections; candidates; tax compliance statement certifying that any delinquent taxes owed by an elected candidate have been paid;
Levies a surcharge of $7.50 per ton on waste processed by landfills or incinerators. To be collected by the operator of said landfills and incinerators and passed on to State of Michigan and deposited into a fund managed by the State Treasurer.
Provides a spending structure for the money collected under HR 4758. Locks down the money until 2008 (but provides the capability for excess collections to be used in recycling programs) and then provides for the distribution of those monies to county and municipal governments based primarily upon their level of involvement in recycling activities. It goes on to provide an incentive to draw more counties and municipalities into having recycling programs by subsidizing them with the taxes collected by the surcharge on landfilled or incinerated trash....
Hmm, this proposal also requires extensive planning reports and action reports. Personally, I like the spirit, but this just smacks of adding a new layer of gov't bureaucracy.
Places a moratorium on landfill site certification until 2010..allows emergency relief for construction if proof can be shown that capacity of an existing site will be met or exceeded within 3 years (modified down from previous version's 5 years)
Alters the income tax code to effect in a $3,600.00 credit to heads of household for every person in their care (a dependent) who is over 65 or a dependent who suffers from one of a long list of extremely challenging handicaps (full blindness, quadraplegic, etc.). Also effects in a $1,200.00 child credit for all dependents under 19 years of age on the last tax day of the year.
A bill that would accomplish the same thing as House Joint Resolution 1 below...why the heck do they have a separate BILL and AMENDMENT
HR 0074 - Go to this Link (Journal of Day's activities) and search for 'Child'. This is a motion to send a memorandum (they phrase it as "memorialize") to the US Congress to FULLY FUND THE NCLB INITIATIVE. That says it plainly enough for me!
A bill that would allow local legislative authorities to petition the liquor commision against an establishment based on numbers of violent incidents reported both ON the grounds of the establishment and in areas "adjacent" to the establishment.
I don't like that additional exception..making a bar owner or other liquor-selling/serving shop responsible for vaguely defined "violent incidents" occuring in a nebulously defined "adjacent area"
Tied to House Joint Resolution I, regarding "Jobs for Michigan" Bonds and Dispensation
Joint Resolution I - Amendment to State Constitution for "Jobs for Michigan" Bond Authorization and Appropriations
Michigan gets off easy
Navy Reserve Center Marquette
Parisan U.S. Army Reserve Center, Lansing
Selfridge Army Activity
W.K. Kellogg Airport Air Guard Station
Selfridge Air National Gard Base
It's a net gain of 125 jobs. Here's a spreadsheet with the data.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
A better abortion
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Bring on the police state
Lansing Mayoral Race Heats Up
Right now Granholm is touring the state, promoting her tax shift that aids manufacturers and bond initiative. She doesn't realize that nothing short of radical change will make the economy any better. Think doubling the education spending or providing health care for every worker, some kind of plan that would help Michigan stand out. Of course these would never get through the legislature, but at least people would see her as trying to make a difference. Her current plans just kinda suck. The SBT reform is too complicated to score anything, and the bond preposal is just government spending on research, noble, but a drop in the bucket.
I think she assumed that she would have a bit more time before she would have to raise her public profile. She comes across very well, but when it comes time to go to the polls, people will have to decide if this is a governor that can pull the state out of recession. This one hasn't, and if it comes election time (even the primary) and things don't start to pick up (they won't), she's going to lose.
HOWEVER, the republicans in this state are disfunctional, and I wouldn't be surprised if whichever candidate they ran lost more. I could talk for some time about how Granholm has been a big let down for democrats, it will remain to be seen if they will hold back and support her or get some balls and kick her out in the primary.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Also, a bit about my best buddy Gabe Leland
Clarke throws in his hat...
Thursday, May 05, 2005
A quick news wrap
The House eats some candy after they find something that everybody can agree on. I can't imagine how many schools didn't already have this ban.
I like that people in this country can buy guns, but I don't like that they can shoot people. Why does the NRA? Look for this bill popping up in Michigan soon. TIME has a good article about it.
The Free Press ran an interesting story today about cash in politics, it's a good read, you should check it out.
To wrap up the fun, a bit of booze for you all (on Sunday no less), probably would have a better chance of passing if Christmas wasn't involved....