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Campaign for Liberty Presents: Michigan Legislative Report Cards, 2011-2012 Highlights: *Ousted Republican National Committeewoman scored

lower than any other House Republican, while incoming National Committeeman scored the highest * Five House Democrats receive zero; one House Republican receives just 9% * Reps. Dave Agema, Tom McMillin tie for 1st place--only members to receive "A" grade * All 38 members of Michigan Senate receive "F"s, just 11 of 110 representatives do better Gov. Snyder receives an "F" with a 27% score * Senate Majority Leader, House Speaker both receives low "F"s--27% and 36% respectively * All members docked for alarming, unanimous vote to cede important power to bureaucrats *Governor Snyder receives an "F" Michigan Campaign for Liberty is proud to release our report cards for the 20112012 legislature. Advocates for limited government, free markets, personal responsibility, and other conservative values are often pushed toward supporting one particular party over another, but as these survey results show, one party is, as a body, hardly better than the other. And it will take the continued pressure from grassroots organizers in Michigan-and around the country--before politicians of either party come around to embracing the message of limited government. The Criteria For this report, Michigan Campaign for Liberty chose issues where the votes cast were not strictly over partisan lines. We did not wish to give legislators credit for "easy" votes or for following the leadership. But while we did look for votes where there was some variance within each political party, these votes were by no means "difficult." Five of the votes were nothing more than hand-outs to particular companies and industries--literally, confiscated tax dollars given over to small groups. The other votes (all described below) were similar elementary, un-complicated
Ousted Republican National Committeewoman Holly Hughes scored just 18%. Five House Democrats scored higher.

questions of free markets, fiscal restraint, and individual rights. Five votes concerned special interest hand-outs. One vote concerned a new tax on one type of agribusiness. One vote concerned a limit on government spending, two votes concerned labor issues, and two votes concerned personal freedoms, for a total of 11 votes, each equally weighted. Any "not voting" or "present" vote was counted with the majority, since the effect was the same. We assigned letter grades using the typical grade-school system: 90%-100% was an A, 80%-89% was a B, 70%-79% was a C, 60-69% was a D, 59% or less was an F. To critics who might complain that our selection of issues was biased toward negative results, that the test was "hard," we offer the standard schoolteacher's response: Representatives Agema and McMillan had no trouble earning their "A" grades, so neither should anyone else. The Votes (Both chambers) SB144: Futurist cash hand-outs. This bill authorized 21st Century Jobs Fund business subsidies in the form of cash grants and loans for certain information technology and agricultural processing firmsselected by state economic development bureaucrats. Obviously, the correct vote for this hand-out to the bureaucrats' buddies was NO. However, this vote was unanimous in the Senate, and only 5 (of 110!) House members voted correctly. This taxpayer theft was signed into Reps. Agema and McMillin were the only law by Governor Snyder on April 26, 2011quite two "A" grades, voting correctly all but early in the term, and before the newly elected once. Agema recently became Republican Republicans realized they had constituents that National Committeeman. actually cared about limiting government. Thus, this vote was a great litmus test for sorting the serious conservatives from the herd. (Both chambers) SB567: Bureaucrats' buddies hand-outs. Another corporate subsidy program, this program authorizes political appointees to award cash subsidies of up to $10 million to companies of their choosing. $100 million was appropriated to the program in 2011, but it may increase in the future. Since tax dollars are taken without the individuals' consent, and via this bill given to individuals selected by un-elected officials, the effect of this bill is, plainly, robbery. This robbery was supported by every senator except one (Meekhof), only 11 House members voted against it, and it was signed by Governor Snyder on December 13, 2011.

Senator Arlan Meekhof was the only senator to vote correctly on SB567, but still only scored 36%.

(Both chambers) SB569: Filmmaker hand-outs. Yet another corporate subsidy program, this one introduced by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville. As the Mackinac Center explains: "[this bill revises the state film subsidy program,] converting it into a straightforward subsidy program rather than an indirect one, with awards of up to 30 percent of the expenses a film producer incurs in Michigan. Reportedly the bills sponsor wants to increase the subsidies from $25 million already appropriated in 2012 to $100 million annually. " [emphasis added] This bill was signed by Gov. Snyder on December 21, 2011. (Both chambers) SB855: One huge hand-out. This bill, unbelievably, literally gives 50 million tax dollars to a company called "Townsend Ventures" which says it wants to use the closed Ford plant in Wixom to make some kind of automative systems related to electric car batteries. The Mackinac Center notes: "This would be the second time the legislature has authorized a large cash subsidy for an outfit wanting to use this closed plant; the first deal fell through." That deal was passed by the 2009 legislature and signed by Gov. Granholm--and still it failed. Note that Michigan has only about 10 million residents, so figure $5 stolen from your pocket for each person in your household. It was signed by Gov. Snyder on December 21, 2011 Are you outraged yet? Read on... (Both chambers) SB888: ObamaCare for farmers. The language of the bill's introduction, written by Rep. Michael Green (R!) is revealing: "An act to provide insurance to farm produce producers against losses from the failure of grain dealers; to establish a farm produce insurance authority; to prescribe the powers and duties of the authority and its board; to establish a farm produce insurance fund; toprovide for assessments on certain producers of farm products; to impose a fee for regulation of grain dealers and enforcement activities; to prescribe certain Rep. Steven Lindberg, one of five Democrats earning powers and duties of certain state agencies and officers; to "perfect" F score of 0%. authorize the promulgation of rules; and to repeal acts and parts of acts." To tax and regulate grain dealers with a government insurance scheme. How absolutely awful it must feel to be a "grain dealer" and hear that news. Anyway, the bill passed 24-14 and 71-35, and Gov. Snyder signed it into law on May 30, 2012. (Both chambers) HB4160: Tourism industry hand-outs. Or perhaps it could be called "advertising industry hand-outs," since it committed an additional $10 million toward "Pure Michigan" advertisements. It raises the question: why

doesn't the legislature buy advertising for every industry with our tax dollars? This bill was one of the Republican legislature's first, signed into law by Gov. Snyder way back on March 10, 2011. Only 13 House members and one senator opposed it. (Both chambers) SB1018: End the seizure of "union dues" from private contracters paid with government subsidies. Finally, something the government did right. This was the outcome of a media and legal controversy when a forcedunionization scheme was exposed; the Mackinac Center was at the center of this controversy. What was happening? Labor unions claimed that private, independent contractors paid with government subsidies--notably, home day care providers and health care workers--were somehow "union" members, and this gave unions the "right" to deduct "dues" right out of their paychecks. Governor Snyder signed SB1018 into law on April 9, 2012, but the controversy is ongoing, as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is continuing to skim dues and suing for its "right" to do so. (Both chambers) HB4929: No public resources devoted to collecting union dues. This bill prohibits school districts from using taxpayer resources (meaning, their payroll processing systems) from deducting union dues, thus requiring public-sector unions to extort the money from the employees directly. The effect and intent undoubtedly is to raise public employees' awareness of the forced-unionism conditions in which they work. This bill passed both houses in mostly partisan votes, but by razor-thin margins due to some Republican defections. Governor Snyder signed it into law on March 15, 2012, and labor unions are refusing to cooperate and challenging the law in court. (Both chambers) SB291: Allow helmetless motorcycle operation. Affirming the individual's right to take risks and make safety decisions that affect only themselves--this no-brainer personal freedom issue was split within both parties. The correct answer on this vote was YES, and for once freedom prevailed. The governor signed this bill into law on April 12, 2012. (Both chambers) HB5338: Bureaucrats can ban anything. One of the most important bills considered in this survey, and with the most depressing results, this monstrosity was passed unanimously in both chambers and uneventfully signed by Governor Snyder on June 19, 2012. For years the Michigan legislature has regularly banned drugs it knows nothing about--in flagrant violation not only of the basic right of citizens to make their own decisions regarding their health, but without even bothering to determine to what extent these new drugs are actually dangerous to the "public health." At any rate, banning new drugs had been non-events in Lansing for years, but this new law, spearheaded by Rep. Ed McBroom, takes disregard for freedom and the state Constitution to new lows: it awards an unelected bureaucrat unilateral authority to ban any substance, at any time, for any reason. So on top of every argument against the prohibition of drugs themselves, this law also represents the disgraceful hand-over of legislative power from the legislature over to bureaucrats. It also boggles the mind to think of how many innocent people might be jailed or otherwise tormented by the state for doing what they had no way of knowing was a crime--since nobody can be expected to keep up with what the "Board of Pharmacy" might declare illegal

today. Ultimately, this bill and its unanimous passage is a crucial reminder that no matter how legislators may vote on one issue or another, in their hearts they all view their constituents as subjects, worthy of being locked away in cages if they dare question the supreme authority of the state. (House only) HB4572: Cap government employee health care costs. This bill prohibits state and local governments (including school systems) from providing employee health insurance benefits whose premiums cost more than a given amount, indexed to the consumer price index. The idea is that government employees shouldn't have better health coverage than the taxpayers who pay for it, and imposes a modest restraint on a major aspect of state and local budgets. It passed the House in June 2011 along mostly partisan lines (with some interesting exceptions) and has seen no action in the Senate. (Senate only) SB693: Create ObamaCare Exchanges. This bill is, in essence, the implementation of ObamaCare in Michigan. It passed the Senate, 25-12, in an interesting vote in which a slim majority of Republicans sided with the Democrats, but was held up in the House. As of this writing (June 29, 2012), Gov. Snyder has stated that now that the Supreme Court has paved the way, he is ready to ram through an Obamacare Exchange bill. It might be this particular version, or something similar. We hold this promise against Governor Snyder in our score. Click here to watch a video produced by the Cato Institute, "States Should Flatly Reject ObamaCare Exchanges." Governor Snyder's Score Of the twelve bills above, ten were signed by Governor Snyder. Of those, seven were attacks on freedom and prosperity; three were positive outcomes. HB4572 never reached his desk, and thus he cannot be graded for it, but Gov. Snyder's public commitment to implement ObamaCare exchanges brings his score to 3 out of 11, or 27%, earning a grade of "F." Senate Scorecards Here is the complete data, scores, and grades for the Michigan Senate, 20112012:

Here is the data for the House: