How They Voted

While the Legislature is on a summer break the Roll Call Report is reviewing key votes of the 2013-2014 session.

Senate Bill 542, Permit more generous government employee health benefits: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on October 8, 2013.

To increase from $11,000 to $12,250 the “hard cap” on the amount that a local government or school district can spend for an “individual-plus-spouse” employee health care policy under a 2011 law limiting the cost of such benefits.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 272, Authorize corporate and developer “port facility” subsidies: Passed 37 to 1 in the Senate on June 13, 2013

To expand the mission of the Michigan Strategic Fund to include providing undefined subsidies for corporations, developers and other entities involved in port facilities. The House has not taken up the proposal, which was introduced by Sen. Mike Kowall in this and the previous Legislature.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 114, Revise commercial rental assessment occupancy formula: Passed 37 to 1 in the Senate on June 13, 2013.

To eliminate the use of occupancy rates in determining the taxable value of commercial rental property. This essentially reverses a 2002 Supreme Court ruling, that the 1994 Proposal A property tax assessment limitations restricted increases for higher occupancy but not decreases for lower occupancy.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 283, Repeal annual union PAC contribution “re-up” requirement: Passed 36 to 1 in the Senate on May 22, 2013.

To repeal a requirement that union members or employees of a corporation who wish to have contributions to a union or corporate PAC automatically deducted from their paycheck must affirmatively give consent on an annual basis by means of signing a permission form. The bill would repeal the annual “re-up” requirement. The House has not taken up this measure.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba , Yes

Senate Bill 397, Expand a corporate/developer subsidy regime: Passed 33 to 4 in the Senate on September 26, 2013.

To authorize creation of a sixth “Next Michigan Development Corporation,” which is a government agency that gives tax breaks and subsidies to particular corporations or developers selected by political appointees on the entity’s board for projects meeting extremely broad “multi-modal commerce” criteria (basically, any form of goods-related commerce). The new entity would be in the Upper Peninsula.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 307, Let 278 cities impose additional public safety property tax: Passed 37 to 0 in the Senate on October 16, 2013

To allow cities with less than 70,000 residents impose “special assessment” property taxes to pay for police and fire services. These taxes would be imposed over and above regular property taxes, and require voter approval. According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, this could allow 278 cities to impose these additional taxes. The House has not taken up this proposal.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 652, Make state Appeals Court venue for suits against the state: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate on October 30, 2013.

To establish that the venue for all legal claims against state agencies, commissions, boards, etc. (the state “court of claims”), will no longer be the Ingham County circuit court, and instead will be the state Court of Appeals (which consists of 24 judges elected in four regional elections).

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Yes

Senate Bill 636, Facilitate “land line” transition to cell phones: Passed 32 to 3 in the Senate on December 5, 2013

To streamline regulations on “landline” telephone service providers so as to facilitate transitioning customers to a wireless (cell phone or VOIP) system, and allow phone companies to discontinue landline service after 2016. The bill authorizes appeal procedures for individual customers for whom the replacement service does not work well.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba, Not Voting

Senate Bill 509, Authorize new state Senate office building: Passed 22 to 14 in the Senate on December 4, 2013

To authorize the sale of the Farnum Senate office building in Lansing and construction of a new building for Senators’ offices. The House has not taken up this bill, but Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville recently revealed that the Secretary of the Senate has issued a Request for Proposals from developers and contractors.

Sen. Tom Casperson, R – Escanaba , No

Senate Bill 542, Permit more generous government employee health benefits: Passed 108 to 1 in the House on December 11, 2013

The House vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law This was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on December 22, 2013.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes

Senate Bill 114, Revise commercial rental assessment occupancy formula: Passed 98 to 12 in the House on May 27, 2014

The House vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law on June 12, 2014.

Rep. Edward McBroom, R – Vulcan, Yes