How they voted

Senate Bill 768, Senate version of Higher Education budget: Passed 23 to 15 in the Senate

The Senate version of the higher education budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2014. This would appropriate $1.527 billion in gross spending, compared to $1.430 billion the previous year.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 768, Let state universities provide “unmarried partner” benefits: Failed 12 to 26 in the Senate

To adopt an amendment offered by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer that would remove a prohibition on universities providing health insurance or other fringe benefits for “unmarried partners” of employees.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, No

Senate Bill 762, Senate version of Community College budget: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate

The Senate version of the community colleges budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2014. This would appropriate $371.5 million in gross spending, compared to $335.9 million the previous year. The Senate did not adopt a 3.2 percent cap on tuition increases recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder. Note: An amount equivalent to around 25 percent of community college payroll expense (or more) goes to cover employee retirement benefit costs.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 763, Senate version of Community Health budget (with Medicaid expansion): Passed 32 to 5 in the Senate

The Senate version of the Department of Community Health budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2014. This would appropriate $17.492 billion in gross spending, compared to $15.385 billion originally authorized for the previous year (before that amount was increased by the legislature’s adoption of the federal health care law Medicaid expansion). Of this, $12.023 billion is federal money. Most of this budget consists of Medicaid health care subsidies.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

House Bill 5313, “First cut” at 2015 state budget: Passed 92 to 17 in the House

The House version of the non-education portion of the state government budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2014. This would appropriate $36.514 billion, compared to $34.390 billion originally authorized the previous year (prior to the legislature adopting the federal health care law’s Medicaid expansion). $19.162 billion of this budget is federal money, compared to $17.469 billion the previous year. There are several more steps before the budget is finalized and these numbers will probably change.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 5400, Reduce certain low-hazard waste restrictions: Passed 68 to 42 in the House

To reduce restrictions on using certain low-hazard industrial byproducts that potentially have a beneficial use, including as fertilizer, road construction material, construction fill. etc. The bill would also expand the definition of “inert material” in the state environmental protection law to include specified materials that would not be subject to restrictions depending on how they are used.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 5401, Revise certain low-hazard waste restrictions: Passed 66 to 44 in the House

To exempt a person who follows specified rules for storing industrial byproducts defined as “inert materials” and “beneficial use by-products” by House Bill 5400 from liability under state the environmental protection law.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 5477, Replace per-gallon gas tax with 6 percent wholesale tax

To replace the current 19-cent per gallon gas tax and 15-cent diesel tax with a 6 percent wholesale fuel tax. The tax could only rise by 5 percent per year even if the price of fuel rose faster, but if the price of fuel fell the rate could be increased to prevent any reduction in tax revenue compared to the 2014 level.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

House Bill 5459, Allocate sales tax on fuel to road projects: Passed 91 to 18 in the House

To earmark two-thirds of the sales tax collected on gasoline and diesel fuel sales to road projects. The bill would increase the amount available for road spending by around $130 million annually.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

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Source: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate.