VOTES THIS WEEK:
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
I voted YES on HB 4127 (Rep. Hall) Creates a procedure to remove people with unknown dates of birth from the Qualified Voter File (QVF). EXPLANATION: Errors in the QVF need to be rectified. With people listed as over 122 years old on the voters list, updated information is necessary to help ensure deceased people are not voting.
I voted YES on HB 4128 (Rep. Calley) Creates a procedure to remove people from the QVF who have not voted in the last 20 years. EXPLANATION: Maintaining accurate QVF information is critical in operating honest elections. If someone has not voted since the 2000 November general election, there is a good chance they moved, are deceased, or may not even live in the state anymore.
I voted YES on HB 4129 (Rep. Marino) Requires the Secretary of State to post names of local clerks who have not completed required continuing education courses. EXPLANATION: Understanding of laws and processes is critical in administering accurate and efficient elections. Posting the name of anyone who is not caught up on the Secretary of State website will be a deterrence for clerks who may otherwise not be caught up on required election training.
I voted YES on HB 4130 (Rep. Koleszar) Changes the due date of lobby reports from January 31 and August 31 to February 28 and September 30 respectively. EXPLANATION: Changing the dates allows the Bureau of Elections (BOE) more time to properly review lobbying reports. Properly reviewing this information better ensures truthful and honest reporting.
I voted YES on HB 4131 (Rep. Sabo) Modifies the timeline by which the Bureau of Elections (BOE) must review campaign finance reports by changing the 4 days to 30 days. EXPLANATION: BOE reports that it takes, on average, 33 days to review these campaign finance reports. Updating the required time eliminates an unrealistic expectation.
I voted YES on HB 4134 (Rep. Bollin) Increases precinct sizes, allows precinct consolidation in the August primary election, and requires the use of permanent absent voter (AV) application lists. EXPLANATION: Increasing precinct sizes requires fewer election workers and helps reduce the cost of running an election.
I voted NO on HB 4135 (Rep. Bollin) Requires voting jurisdictions with more than one precinct to establish an absent voter (AV) counting board to count AV ballots. There is an exception for jurisdiction with two precincts and less than 6,000 registered voters. EXPLANATION: Clerks already have the option to do this. There is no reason to mandate a one-size fits all process for the state and absentee voter counting boards are costly for smaller communities.
I voted YES on SB 1 (Sen. Theis) Amends the Public Health Code by requiring the Legislature to approve any extension beyond 28 days of emergency orders issued by the director of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). EXPLANATION: Too much authority is currently given to the director of DHHS in making decisions regarding emergency orders. As the Legislature is the voice of the people, having input from the Legislature ensures that the people of Michigan are heard in matters that affect their lives. Allowing unelected bureaucrats to hold unlimited authority without the approval of the Legislature is reprehensible.
On March 3rd, I voted YES on HB 4049 (Rep. Hornberger) Modifies who has the authority to close certain schools to in-person instruction and prohibit certain sporting events in emergency orders issued in response to an epidemic. EXPLANATION: Restricting who has the ability to close schools is important, but stronger restrictions on unelected bureaucrat authority was necessary. SB 1 brought those tougher restrictions. I advocated passionately for a 28 day limit on emergency authority and SB 1 brought this to the conversation, earning my support for HB 4049.
I voted YES to override the governor’s line item vetoes of HB 4047 (Rep. Beson) Gov. Whitmer vetoed funding for the Unemployment Insurance Agency and afflicted business relief. EXPLANATION: Getting money into the hands of businesses forced to be shut down by the governor and her unelected bureaucrats is critical for the economy of our state. How anyone could have originally voted for this legislation to support afflicted businesses and now vote against it is unfathomable and seems like partisan politics.
FAILED 66-43 (two thirds vote required)
I voted YES to override the governor’s line item vetoes of HB 4048 (Rep. Paquette) Gov. Whitmer vetoed funding for summer school reimbursements, non-public school support, and incentives to safely reopen schools. EXPLANATION: All students, no matter where they go to school, should be able to safely return to their classrooms. The governor vetoed this funding, but did not veto public school funding, unfairly picking winners and losers.
FAILED 65-44 (two thirds vote required)
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
I voted YES on HB 4219 & 4220 (Rep. Yancey & Bellino) Allows the court to set aside an operating while intoxicated first-offense, which is currently ineligible for expungement. The bill only applies to petition-based expungement, not automatic expungement. EXPLANATION: Allowing individuals to get certain convictions expunged from their records removes barriers to education and employment.
PASSED 93-17, 93-17
I voted YES on HB 4053 (Rep. VanWoerkom) Designates a portion of highway M-120 in Muskegon County as “Deputy Ernest W. Heikkila Memorial Highway.” EXPLANATION: Deputy Heikkila was responding to an accident when his vehicle was struck by another car and he was killed. Remembering and memorializing him is a just and noble cause.
I voted NO on HB 4308 & 4309 (Rep. Hammoud & Filler) Eliminates the sunset on the 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold for operating while intoxicated (OWI) per se and several related provisions. Currently, the BAC threshold for OWI per se is set to increase to 0.10 on October 1, 2021. EXPLANATION: Some people may be safe to drive at a 0.12 BAC whereas others are not safe at a 0.04 BAC. Other metrics can be used to ensure reckless and unsafe driving does not occur.
PASSED 105-5, 105-5
I voted YES on SB 29 (Sen. Stamas) Provides supplemental school aid appropriations that were previously vetoed by the governor. EXPLANATION: All students, no matter where they go to school, should be able to safely return to their classrooms. The governor vetoed this funding, but did not veto public school funding, unfairly picking winners and losers.
I voted YES on SB 114 (Sen. Stamas) Provides economic relief supplemental appropriations that were previously vetoed by the governor. EXPLANATION: Getting money into the hands of businesses forced to be shut down by the governor and her unelected bureaucrats is critical for the economy of our state. How anyone could have originally voted for this legislation to support afflicted businesses and now vote against it is unfathomable and seems like partisan politics.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
I voted YES on HB 4040 (Rep. Frederick) Amends the Proprietary Schools Act to exclude apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs under the National Apprenticeship Act as proprietary schools in Michigan. EXPLANATION: Cutting regulations and making skilled trades education further accessible gives more students the opportunity to begin these careers. No new state or federal money is allocated from this legislation.