Local legislators voting update - June 2022

Here is how some of St. Joseph County’s state and national representatives voted on selected legislation in the month of May. State Rep. Steve Carra and State Sen. Kim LaSata’s voting records and details of the legislation are courtesy of MichiganVotes.org. United States Rep. Fred Upton’s voting record is courtesy of his U.S. House website. Details of U.S. House bills are courtesy of the Congressional Research Service.

State Rep. Steve Carra

  • June 7, House Bill 5190, passed House 94-13
    Carra voted against the bill, which would revise state high school graduation requirements by adding a new one, that schools offer and students take a one-semester “personal finance” course, which would also substitute for a portion of the math credits that are currently required. The Michigan Department of Education would be required to develop the personal finance course. The bill was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on June 16.
  • June 7, House Bill 6042, passed House 107-0
    Carra voted in favor of the bill, which would revise reporting requirements under a statewide school safety information policy to include “critical incident mapping data” provided by school board to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. The bill is currently in the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee as of June 8.
  • June 14, House Bill 4885, passed House 60-44
    Carra voted in favor of the bill, which would revise provisions of the state election law that prescribe a process for a governor exercising the authority granted by the state constitution to remove a local public official from office, which is authorized for neglect, corruption or malfeasance House. Bill 4884 would amend the process for removing local school board members. The bill is currently in the Senate Elections Committee as of June 23.
  • June 15, House Bill 6108, passed House 79-26
    Carra voted against the bill, which would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco in Michigan from 18 years of age to 21 years of age. The bill passed the Senate 29-9 on June 23 and is awaiting a signature by Whitmer.
  • June 21, House Bill 6124, passed House 101-3
    Carra voted against the bill, which would require the Secretary of State to establish a training curriculum for the election “challengers” that a political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may appoint to observe precinct voting processes. The bill is currently in the Senate as of June 23.

State Sen. Kim LaSata

  • June 15, Senate Bill 714, passed Senate 36-1
    LaSata voted in favor of the bill, which would appropriate $562.9 million federal COVID relief dollars for a variety of programs, and $25 million state dollars for a jail mental health pilot program. Some of the federal money would replace state dollars in existing spending authorizations, but much or most of them would go to the new layer of social welfare spending proposed by Senate Bills 597 and 598, intended to “integrate the administration of physical health care services and behavioral health specialty services and supports for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries". The bill is in the House Appropriations Committee as of June 16.
  • June 15, House Bill 4996, passed Senate 23-14
    LaSata voted in favor of the bill, which would require the governor to announce election dates to fill a vacancy in the legislature within 30 days of the vacancy.
  • June 16, House Bill 5726, passed Senate 34-1
    LaSata voted in favor of the bill, which would amend a Youth Employment Standards Act so as to allow a work permit to be issued for a minor age 16 or 17 to work for an alcoholic beverage “distributor”. The bill was signed by Whitmer on June 29.
  • June 23, House Bill 6108, passed Senate 29-9
    LaSata voted against the bill, which would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco in Michigan from 18 years of age to 21 years of age. The bill passed the Senate 29-9 on June 23 and is awaiting a signature by Whitmer.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton

  • June 8, H.R. 7910, passed House 223-204
    Upton voted in favor of the bill, dubbed the Protecting Our Kids Act, one of five Republicans in the House to do so. The bill would make various changes to federal firearms laws, including to establish new criminal offenses and to expand the types of weapons and devices that are subject to regulation. Specifically, it would prohibit the sale or transfer of certain semiautomatic firearms to individuals who are under 21 years of age, establish a federal statutory framework to regulate ghost guns (i.e., guns without serial numbers); establish a framework to regulate the storage of firearms on residential premises at the federal, state, and tribal levels; and more.
  • June 16, H.R. 7606, passed House 221-204
    Upton voted against the bill, dubbed the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022. The bill addresses provisions related to agriculture, food, and fuel, including providing funds for nutrient management, precision agriculture, and biofuel infrastructure. Specifically, the bill provides funding for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to (1) assist agricultural producers with the costs of crop nutrient use or adopting precision agriculture practices, and (2) provide grants to eligible entities (e.g., fueling and distribution facilities) for biofuel infrastructure.
  • June 23, H.R. 4176, passed House 220-201
    Upton voted against the bill, dubbed the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act. The bill would address federal data collection of voluntary, self-disclosed information on sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics. Specifically, the bill requires federal agencies that collect information through a survey for statistical purposes that includes demographic data (where subjects self-report information or a proxy provides information about the subject or responds for all persons in a household) to review existing data sets to determine which data sets do not include information about sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics.

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