Friday, May 13, 2005


Debut Post - MI Legislative Digest

Hello all, call me Flounder. I'm a resident of Dearborn, MI and a life-long affirmed democratic party member. I'm joining the blogroll for MI-Politics here as a volunteer. I've been interested lately in getting involved a bit more in the political scene. One of the major things I can't find is a watch and discussion for the business that is tunneling though the state legislature.

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)

SB 0438
Appropriations bill to shift $81,000,000.oo from one fund to another in the state budget.

HB 4405
Removes penalties from the legal code for selling pharmaceuticals by mail.

HB 4242
Simplifies adoption process to allow for incompatibilities between Michigan and foreign countries on birth certificates and other paperwork

HB 4703

(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!

SB 131

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!

HB 4773

WHAT? Read the text contained 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!

HB 4770
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 this bill is toothless unless the officer has engaged in some illegal activity in the process of harassing someone?

HB 4745
Allows for ethical/moral objection to providing health care services

HB 4746
Allows for ethical/moral objection to providing health care services

HB 4747
Tax exemption for indigent senior citizens

HB 4748
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.

HB 4749
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.

HB 4750
Again very similar to 4748

HB 4751
amendments to "social welfare act" including certain types of medical procedures and treatments

HB 4753
New law against "window peeping" involving tresspassing and calling for specific penalty limits for first time and repeat offenders

HB 4755
This establishes standards for Schoolboard elections in small townships and villages.

HB 4757
Elections; candidates; tax compliance statement certifying that any delinquent taxes owed by an elected candidate have been paid;

HB 4758
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.

HB 4759
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.

HB 4760
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)

HB 4767
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!

SB 0484

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"

SB 0488

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

This is a sweet post. I'll be looking foreward to see which of these bills make it through. I doubt many of the well intentioned ones will, but that's alright. Watching how these bills evolve will be pleasure enough.'s amazing how much you can learn about the functioning and laws of your state when you look through all the proposals to CHANGE laws that the reps and sens put in!
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