The House and Senate held sessions but no votes this week. This report describes some recently introduced bills of general interest that have nothing to do with epidemics.
Senate Bill 454: Impose state license mandate on gun purchasesIntroduced by Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D), to impose a state license mandate on all firearms purchases including long guns. The bill appears to authorize an exception for long guns purchased from a federal firearms licensee subject to a federal instant background check.
Senate Bills 3, 24 and 467; House Bills 4002, 4490 and 4886 : Exempt certain pension income from state income taxIntroduced by various legislators from both parties, to repeal the age-based limitations and restrictions on income tax deductions for retirement and pension benefits that were enacted as part of a 2011 tax reform and business tax cut. Under current law, taxpayers born before 1946 get these exemptions, those born before 1952 get a partial exemption, and those born later get no exemption. Versions of this bill have been introduced some 50 times since 2011, but never receive a vote because proponents have been unable or unwilling to persuade a majority to either cut spending or increase another tax to compensate for the foregone revenue. In 2011 that revenue was estimated to be around $340 million, and the amount is substantially higher now.
Senate Bill 510: Establish new “dangerous dog” definition and requirementsIntroduced by Sen. Sean McCann (D), to require a court that receives a sworn complaint that a dog is dangerous as defined by the bill to issue a summons ordering the owner to appear to show cause why the dog should not be declared a dangerous dog. If the dog poses an immediate threat to public safety, the court would have to order it impounded at the owners expense until a hearing and decision is made. If the court agrees the dog is dangerous, the owner would have get it spayed or neutered, obtain a special permit, notify the Post Office and utilities, disclose it to veterinarians and other animal service providers that deal with the dog, post signs, get insurance, keep the dog in a securely fenced yard from which it can’t escape and children can’t get in, and more. When off the property, the dog must be under the control of a responsible adult on a leash not longer than six feet. Violations would be a crime subject to four years in prison, and if the dog still attacks a person or animal it would have to euthanized. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 524: Join proposed multi-state anti-corporate welfare compactIntroduced by Sen. Jim Ananich (D), Sen. Tom Barrett (R) and others, to authorize joining this state to a proposed Midwest state “company-specific subsidy interstate compact” whose member states would agree to no longer give tax breaks or subsidies to a specific company that aren’t available to other similarly-situated companies. The bill asserts that, “State governments are caught in a race to the bottom offering ever-larger…incentives or grants in an attempt to lure large companies to stay or relocate in their state despite overwhelming evidence that subsidies are neither an efficient use of public dollars nor a determining factor in a company's eventual decision where to locate.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Bill 556: Create northern Michigan tourism commission and subsidiesIntroduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R) to create a segregated state account called the “northern Michigan tourism and sports fund,” and a commission to spend money appropriated by the legislature to develop or improve facilities for large events, promote sports-related tourism and recreation in northern Michigan, and more. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4803: Authorize public electric car charging stations at rest stopsIntroduced by Rep. Joseph Bellino, Jr. (R), to authorize Department of Transportation to install or permit for another party to install and operate high-capacity electric car charging stations in all state highway rest areas. Other bills in this package would authorize a new licensure mandate and impose fees on paid electric vehicle charging services. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4833: Replace property tax on rental company heavy equipment with a new rental taxIntroduced by Rep. Jim Ellison (D), to replace the property tax levied on heavy equipment owned by an equipment rental company with a 2% tax on heavy equipment rentals, to be distributed mostly to local governments. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Bill 4919: Repeal a limit on administrative agency rulemaking powersIntroduced by Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D), to repeal the provisions of a 2018 law that prohibits a state department from promulgating rules more stringent than required by federal standards unless specifically required by a state statute, or if a department director determines there is a "clear and convincing" need to do so. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.