Local legislators voting update - May 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

  • May 5, House Bill 4077, passed House 60-43
    Carra voted in favor of the legislation, which would prohibit state regulators from requiring unattended self-service gas stations to install measures to prevent public access, including locked dispensers, security fencing or other means. This bill would also add requirements for these stations, including requiring daily inspections by an owner or operator, emergency shut-off switches, surveillance cameras, fire extinguishers and more. The bill is currently in the Senate Energy and Technology Committee as of May 10.
  • May 10, Senate Bill 995, passed House 97-7
    Carra voted in favor of the legislation, which would prohibit local governments from filing lawsuits related to claims defined in a legal settlement against certain drug producers called the "Janssen settlement" and one called the "National Prescription Opiate Litigation". The bill was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on May 19.
  • May 10, Senate Bill 993, passed House 95-9
    Carra voted against the legislation, which would create a segregated state account (“fund”) to hold money extracted from pharmaceutical companies in government lawsuits related to their sales of opioid pain killers, and spend the money collected in a manner consistent with the “judgment, settlement, or compromise of claims” in lawsuits against prescription drug makers. The bill was signed by Whitmer on May 19.
  • May 19, House Bill 4568, passed House 69-34
    Carra voted for the legislation, which would revise the state income tax law to authorize a $500 per household "inflation relief payment" plus an extra $100 per dependent, which would be given to households that filed a state income tax return for 2021. This House-passed bill is part of a larger Republican income tax cut proposal represented by the "S-1" version of this same bill passed by the state Senate on the same day, which the House is expected to approve with some amendments.
  • May 25, House Bill 5890, passed House 96-11
    Carra voted against the legislation, which would revise many details of a law that authorizes giving state grants, loans and subsidies to certain communities to pay for wastewater treatment facility infrastructure projects. The bill is currently in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee as of May 26.

State Sen. Kim LaSata

  • May 4, Senate Bill 884, passed Senate 22-12
    LaSata voted in favor of the legislation, which would prohibit the use in Michigan of electronic voting systems produced or provided by an entity that is listed as a national security risk to United States on the Federal Communications Commission website. The bill is currently in the House Elections and Ethics Committee as of May 5.
  • May 4, Senate Bill 627, passed Senate 34-0
    LaSata voted in favor of the legislation, which would create a five-member Michigan-Indiana state line commission comprised of a licensed surveyor each from Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale counties, to oversee a survey and remonumentation of the Michigan-Indiana state line. This would be paid from an existing state account for the purpose that collects fees on recording deeds. The bill was signed by Whitmer on May 19.
  • May 18, House Bill 4631, passed Senate 24-13
    LaSata voted against the legislation, which would create an exception to a 2019 law that prohibited government “civil asset forfeitures,” which are takings of property that may be associated with a suspected drug-related crime, unless the individual is actually convicted or accepts a plea bargain. That only applies to police seizures of property worth $50,000 or more, and the bill would lower this to $20,000 for property seized by public airport authority police.
  • May 26, House Bill 5190, passed Senate 35-2
    LaSata voted for the legislation, 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.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton

  • May 11, H.R. 2499, passed House 288-131
    Upton voted in favor of the legislation, dubbed the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022, which would make it easier for federally employed firefighters who contract certain illnesses to qualify for federal workers' compensation.
  • May 16, H.R. 5658, passed House 313-105
    Upton voted against the legislation, dubbed the DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Cyber Space Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report on its roles and responsibilities, as well as those of its components, for responding to cyber incidents.
  • May 18, H.R. 7790 and H.R. 7791, passed House 231-192 (7790) and 414-9 (7791)
    Upton voted for both pieces of legislation. H.R. 7790, dubbed the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, would provide $28 million in emergency supplemental appropriations to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States, while H.R. 7791, dubbed the Access To Baby Formula Act, would direct the USDA to require each infant formula cost containment contract to include remedies in the event of an infant formula recall, including how an infant formula manufacturer would protect against disruption to WIC participants in the state.

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