MichiganVotes.org is a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy to provide concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. This report was released Friday, Dec. 3.

House Bill 5132: Prohibit higher-education requirements for specified police

To prohibit municipal police departments from establishing education requirements of more than a high school equivalency GED certificate for a prospective officer who is a military veteran, firefighter, EMT or current police employee with certain training.

Passed 95 to 4 in the House

Rep. Bob Bezotte (R-Dist. 47)  YES

Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Dist. 51)  YES

House Bill 5190: Revise “financial literacy” in state high school graduation requirements

To revise state high school graduation standards that require 2.0 credits in a language other than English by reducing this to 1.5 credits, and adding a .5 credit “financial literacy” requirement. The Michigan Department of Education would be required to develop “content expectations” for the personal finance course. This would also consolidate similar provisions already in this law.

Passed 57 to 43 in the House

Rep. Bob Bezotte (R-Dist. 47)  YES

Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Dist. 51)  YES

Senate Bill 728: Extend Open Meetings requirements to “independent citizens redistricting commission”

To extend an Open Meetings Act requirement that public bodies hold their meetings in public to the “independent citizens redistricting commission” authorized by a 2018 ballot initiative. The bill was introduced after this controversial commission met behind closed doors to discuss secret legal memos related to its potential violations of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Passed 34 to 0 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

Senate Bill 656: Authorize “robo-bartenders”

To authorize the use of “robo-bartender” alcoholic dispensing machines that are located at a customer’s table or booth in restaurants, and in certain hotel rooms, if the machine does not dispense more than 96 ounces of beer, wine, or mixed spirit drink in a single order, or does not dispense spirituous liquor “straight,” with the customer still required to order the beer, wine, or mixed drinks from a human staff member, and subject to requirements that a staff member monitors the service.

Passed 35 to 1 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

Senate Bill 633: Permit another government authority to hold virtual meetings indefinitely

To permit government agencies authorized by a 1978 “energy employment” law created to provide or subsidize municipal power plants and related projects and dubbed “joint agencies,” to hold “virtual” board meetings electronically on a permanent basis, not just during epidemics. This is one of at least 10 bills proposed this year to grant this privilege to certain government authorities, some obscure and some that are not.

Passed 31 to 6 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) NO

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) NO

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

House Bill 4521: Permit HIV-positive organ donors for HIV-positive organ recipients

To revise a prohibition against organ donations by a HIV virus carrier, allowing this if the recipient is also a carrier.

Passed 34 to 0 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

House Bill 4257: Revise state “memorandum of understanding” procedures

To establish that if the governor signs a memorandum of understanding with another party — defined as an informal agreement that does not impose contractual duties or obligations on this state — when that governor has left office its terms only apply until they are rejected by a subsequent governor. The bill would also require that these agreements be signed by the governor and filed in the state office of the great seal.

Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) NO

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

Senate Bill 99: Expand “promise zone” tax increment financing authority spending

To add paying for on-campus room and board to the benefits a local government “promise zone” tax increment financing authority (TIFA) may provide to students eligible for its scholarships. These entities were authorized in 2008 to “capture” a portion of any increases in the state portion of school property tax revenue in the area, and use the money to partially subsidize college tuition for local students.

Passed 32 to 2 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) NO

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) NO

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

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