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Michigan Votes

• Jul 8, 2019 at 7:00 AM

The Michigan Legislature is on break through July, with no votes until at least August. Rather than votes, this report contains some interesting or noteworthy recent bill introductions. All bills were referred to a committee.

Senate Bill 319: Make more expensive rental property eligible for developer tax breaks. Introduced by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D), to increase the cap on the cash value of residential rental property eligible for property tax breaks under a “neighborhood enterprise zone” subsidy program for developers. The cap would rise from $80,000 per unit in cash value to $120,000 per unit, and rise with inflation going forward.

Senate Bill 326: Require “disparate impact” study for new industrial facilities. Introduced by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D), to require applicants for an air pollution discharge permit in a ZIP code with 35 or more active permits to perform a “disparate impact” study that incorporates the cumulative effect of all the permit holders in the area, and require a public hearing before a new permit is issued.

Senate Bill 327: Require fetal heartbeat test before abortion. Introduced by Sen. Lana Theis (R), to prohibit performing an abortion without first determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat except in an emergency, and giving the woman an opportunity to hear or see evidence in it. Several identical or very-similar bills have also been introduced.

Senate Bill 328 and House Bill 4629: Create government “commission on pay equity.” Introduced by Sen. Betty Jean Alexander and Rep. Leslie Love (D), respectively, to establish a government “commission on pay equity” to “develop definitions, models and guidelines for employers and employees on pay equity.” Senate Bill 320 would prohibit employing a person for a wage or salary that is less than someone else doing a different but “comparable” job “using the criteria of job-related education, training, experience and market conditions. The commission would include the directors of the Department of Civil Rights and the MEDC, and representatives from the Michigan Women's Commission, the National Organization of Women, and the Michigan Women's Studies Association, the AFL-CIO, the UAW, the Farm Bureau, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Association.

House Bill 4589: Declare wild turkey the official state game bird. Introduced by Rep. Gary Howell (R), to establish that henceforth the wild turkey (meleagris gallopavo) and no other turkey or bird shall be the state’s official game bird. This is also the official game bird of Alabama, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

House Bill 4592: Authorize appointing “interest of the animal” counsel in animal welfare cases. Introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D), to authorize courts in an animal cruelty or animal welfare case to appoint a pro bono lawyer or law student as an advocate to represent the interests of the animal or the interests of justice.

House Bill 4596: Authorize “community cat” programs. Introduced by Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D), to authorize individuals or organizations including animal shelters to create a "community cat" program, under which “a community cat is humanely trapped, sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped and returned to the location where it was found,” with the apparent goal of creating "community cat colonies" in which community cats and cats that are owned by individuals congregate together.

Source: MichiganVotes.org

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