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, Aug. 30.

Senate Bill 441: Increase state occupational license fees

To increase the license fees on a range of occupations in which licensure mandates are imposed as a condition of earning a living in the trade. Technically, this and a number of related bills repeal the sunsets of previously enacted fee increases that were styled as “temporary.” In this case, the “temporary” higher fees will remain in effect through the 2023 fiscal year.

Passed 38 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 451: Extend electric rate payer surcharges for low income heating subsidies

To extend until 2023 the sunset on a law that authorizes a surcharge of up to $1 per month on residential electric bills, and uses the money collected to give up to $50 million a year to social welfare program beneficiaries to pay their heating bills. The current levy imposed on electric service ratepayers for this is 91 cents per month.

Passed 38 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 4336: Clarify, expand Auditor General powers

To expand the authority of the legislative Auditor General to “access” agency records (not just “examine” them), including electronic data and confidential records, while authorizing criminal sanctions for unauthorized releases of information. The Auditor General is authorized by the constitution and tasked with doing financial audits for all state institutions, departments, agencies and authorities. The House Fiscal Agency reports that more than 100 current laws restrict access to “sensitive” information to specified persons and purposes.

Note: In 2018 then-Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill (House Bill 4259 of 2017) as an “unconstitutional overreach that would blur the separation between the legislative and other branches.”

Passed 103 to 3 in the House

Rep. Hank Vaupel (R-Dist. 47)  YES

Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Dist. 51)  YES

House Resolution 115: Urge indicted Rep. Larry Inman to resign

To urge Republican Rep. Larry Inman of Grand Traverse County to resign from the House. Inman is under federal indictment for allegedly “selling” his vote against labor law changes to union interests in return for campaign contributions. Among other things, the resolution holds that Inman has “drawn ridicule and disgrace to the state and the House of Representatives …”

Passed 98 to 8 in the House

Rep. Hank Vaupel (R-Dist. 47)  YES

Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Dist. 51)  YES

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