Of course, every now and then I have to report to you about what our lawmakers are doing (and not doing) in Lansing. Since I take trips up there frequently, I am always seeking information.
For example, I was reading up on a bill sponsored by Rep. George Cushingberry from the 8th House District in Detroit.
Now the last time I talked about GC he was promoting raising higher taxes and giving salaries to Detroit School Board members. I exposed that and people took action.
Now I am looking at this bill (HB 4859). This is a bill to allow county jury boards to add income tax payers to jury pools, and require the Department of Treasury to deliver to counties the names and addresses of all taxpayers in the county. Jury boards would be required to order jury pools so that an proportionate number of residents of each community is represented in the pool.
Since then the bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Now, if you are someone who is use to liberal politics then you might want to support such legislation. However, jurors are supposed to be randomly selected, not "picked"; only gross conflicts of interest such as kinfolk are supposed to get weeded out. Juries should be selected from citizens based on their home residence. They should be a simple pool and only challenged for cause, such as a relationship with the plaintiff or defendant.
My concern about this is simple. If you want a jury selection you need to base it on geographical area. Furthermore, the solution would be to hire professional juries, however, lawyers are against it.
Meanwhile, Rep. Andy Meisner (D-Ferndale) has a bill (House Bill 4923) to to distribute food stamps to individuals on a twice-a-month basis, instead of monthly. Note: Some grocery stores have complained of monthly "boom/bust" cycles related to when food stamps are distributed.
This bill has been referred to the House Family and Children's Services Committee. That bill will be voted out of committee before the equal parenting bill.
Rep. Meisner's bill is nuts. Why are we keeping people on the welfare system? We should be encouraging people to work and get off the system. There is nothing cool about having a EBT card that you think is VISA.
Rep. Aldo Vagnoozzi (D-Farmington Hills) has a bill (House Bill 4091) to to require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying; and to require the Department of Education to develop a model policy. The bill also requires schools to train staff in the policy they adopt. The model policy would establish that prohibited harassment, intimidation, or bullying includes a gesture or written, verbal, or physical act that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, height, weight, or socioeconomic status, or by any other distinguishing characteristic .
This bill is geared towards protection rights for homosexuals. Nuff said. This bill has Pride PAC written all over it.
State Rep Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Township) introduced HB 4854. This is a bill that would prohibit the investment of any state funds in any Sudanese business or interest, and require the state treasurer to divest any currently held.
I can agree with my sister on this. With the crisis going on in Darfur we should divest from Sudan.
And what in Jesus name was Rep. Kate Elbi thinking when she wrote this bill (House Bill 4939)? This is a bill that require drivers to place children under age four in child restraint safety seats which are in the rear seat, if a vehicle has a rear seat. The bill also removes from current law a provision that exempts nursing children from being secured in child restraint systems.
This, to me, was wasted legislation. We should common sense and enough concern for the safety and welfare of our children to not drive down the road when our children are not restrained properly. Once again, this is an example of state government over-reach. This is not the role of government.
And this bill passed 104-4 in the House!!!!!
I still see Rep. Morris Hood III is STILL writing resolutions. I HOPE whoever runs in this seat next year (we will be watching this seat carefully) will write credible legislation instead of sitting on their asses arguing with other lawmakers about nothing.
State Representative Lamar Lemmons Jr introduced a bill (House Bill 4935) to require the census figures used to reapportion legislative and congressional districts to be adjusted to add back to a community’s population the number of current prisoners whose pre-incarceration address was in that community.
I am so sorry that Detroit is losing population but THIS is not the way we need to go about raising our population totals. The Census is a count of the CITIZENS not the INMATES of a nation or state. Prisoners are NOT citizens. Their rights as citizens have been stripped away by their incarceration. They are not free, they cannot vote, they cannot attend political debates, etc. Plus, when I see liberals promoting and supporting this type of stuff I am afraid of where this state and country are headed.
And of course how can I not leave out Madame Chair of the Michigan Black Legislative Caucus, Rep. Brenda Clack. Her bill (House Bill 4815) is geared towards a person who is picking up a child at school during the day and is not recognized by school personnel, the person must show picture identification and sign a dated release form.
While that sounds like a good idea actually the policy is already in place (except for the signed release part). Currently, if a child is being picked up early, the adult must come into the office to get them. If they are not known to staff, they have to prove who they are. If they are not on the emergency card on file in the office, they may not get the child.
The solution is rather than adding another mandate and its associated paperwork, how about enforcing current policy at those schools who are not following procedure?
Another bill that Rep. Clack is sponsoring is House Bill 4607. This is a bill that will authorize state grants to community-based programs designed to foster positive parenting skills for parents of children under three years of age; improve parent and child interaction; promote access to “needed community services”; increase local capacity to serve families at risk; improve school readiness; support healthy family environments that discourage alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. The bill does not specify how these ends would be accomplished by the government-funded or government programs that receive the grants.
It's bad enough that she is holding hostage an equal parenting bill in committee and keeping families separate. Now this bill? What is going on?
Rep. Clack needs to rethink this. There are many families out there who are paying most of their household income to dead beat custodial parents while they would love a chance to be a consistent part of their child's life. They have the means of providing for the child (ren) yet the courts are not passing equal parenting laws. The same bill that she is holding hostage.
Children need a BALANCED diet of both a mother and father, not community service programs. Right now Brenda Clack has the power to save the state millions by bringing up and support House Bill 4564 (Michigan's Equal Parenting Bill) so that the community will no longer have to raise children where there are two fit, loving, and caring parents that live within the same school district as their children.
AGAIN, if you go through the city of Flint you will see a high number of broken families. Especially in the BLACK community. To be geographically precise, the NORTH side of Flint where her district is located.
If anything, Clack needs to work for families and more importantly children and instead of passing bills on that COST taxpayers, pass bills that reduce the need for taxpayer expense through government programs.
We will be looking for a more family oriented candidate in Flint next year to take Rep. Clack's seat.
State Representative Paul Condino (District 34-Southfield) has a bill (House Bill 4860) to not reduce pet shop license fees on Sept. 30, 2007. The fees were “temporarily” increased in 2006, and under current law will go back down after that date. The bill would make those increases permanent, and also index them to inflation in the future. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to use these fees to pay for its operations. The bill is one of a large package of bills increasing fees on dozens of regulated business and career activities, including House Bills 4840 to 4849, and 4860 to 4860.
These bills are a cute way of saying we would like to increase your taxes. I like Paul but I am dying to see who jumps in the State Rep races in 2008 in Southfield.
If I can keep track of these bills my question is where is the outrage in our city?