The main piece of the legislative agreement designed to put more money into Michigan’s crumbling roads nearly stalled in the Senate Friday morning as Senate Republican leadership scrambled to get 26 votes needed to put a one-penny sales tax proposal on the May ballot.


Nearly 18 hours after legislative leaders and Gov. Rick SNYDER gleefully proclaimed a deal designed to raise $1.2 billion for roads while giving an extra $300 million for schools (if voters approve it), the Senate barely received the 26 votes needed on Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HJR UU.

The problem was roughly half of the Senate Republican caucus thumbed their nose at the agreement, agitated that three of their bills needed to be completely altered to pacify the House Democrats needed to make the deal fly in the lower chamber.

The feeling among some members is the Democrats simply got too much in the negotiations and they refused to sign off on the deal. Sen. Jack BRANDENBURG (R-Harrison Twp.) said between the Democrats getting more for education and $260 million in an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), “It was just too much.”

So Brandenburg was among the members who supported a penny sales increase ballot proposal at one time, but voted no on Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HJR UU.

Even though all 13 bills and both resolutions flew through the House early Friday morning, Senate Republicans needed to get the House to pass a few last-minute bills to get the three votes need to get to 26.

Senate Democrats were willing to provide two-thirds of its 12-member caucus or nine-members, but to get two more votes, it cost some bills.

Sen. Glenn ANDERSON (D-Westland) only pledged his vote after Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0074, his anti-cyberbullying legislation, passed the House. The lower chamber did pass it 65-45, with overwhelming Republican opposition.

Likewise, Sen. Hoon-Yung HOPGOOD (D-Taylor) gave up his vote after the House hastily passed his bill that essentially ends what he called “speculative investments” in a controversial hazardous waste injection well in his district. The House passed that, 70-40 with a majority of Republicans in opposition.

Still, Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HJR UU went up for a vote in the Senate and was one vote short. It was only after Sen. MikeGREEN (R-Mayville) heard his bill banning county concealed weapon licensing boards was passing in the House did he switch his no to a yes.

Several measures, including the registration fee increases and a new education study bill also had trouble in the Senate.

On two occasions, Senate Republicans pulled their names off bills, which had been completely changed to give House Democrats the goodies they wanted to support the one-penny sales tax increase ballot proposal.

The Republicans who voted against Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HJR UU included Sens. Brandenburg, Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton), Dave HILDENBRAND (R-Lowell), Joe HUNE (R-Brighton), Jim MARLEAU (R-Lake Orion), John MOOLENAAR (R-Midland), Phil PAVLOV (R-St. Clair), John PROOS (R-St. Joseph), DaveROBERTSON (R-Grand Blanc), Tory ROCCA (R-Sterling Heights) and Tonya SCHUITMAKER (R-Lawton).

Sen. Coleman YOUNG II (D-Detroit) declined to support the measures, saying he felt like the sales tax was too regressive for his constituents and the restoration of the EITC could have been done another time.

To earn his vote, Young said he wanted a bill requiring Detroit police officers and firefighters to live in the city limits, which wasn’t going to happen.

“I’m like the kid in school trying to talk his D into an A on the last day of school,” he said.

The following is a breakdown of the bills that advanced as part of the package.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4251 allows for a township to require a county road commission to award road projects through competitive bidding. It passed the House, 108-2, with Rep. Ray FRANZ (R-Onekama) and Rep. Rose Mary ROBINSON (D-Detroit) voting no. The Senate passed the measure 38-0.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4539 eliminates the sales tax on gasoline after Oct. 1. It passed the House 88-22 with four Democrats — Reps. Scott DIANDA (R-Calumet), Rep. Paul CLEMENTE (D-Lincoln Park), Robinson and Bill LAVOY (D-Monroe) joining 18 Republicans in voting no. The Senate passed it 23-15 with Sen. Glenn ANDERSON (D-Westland) and Sen. Coleman YOUNG (D-Detroit) joining half the Republican caucus in opposition.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5477 would create the new 14.9 percent wholesale tax on gasoline as opposed to the 19-cent-per-gallon tax used now. The initial rates would be 41.7 cents per gallon for gasoline and 46.4 percent for diesel.

It passed the House, 93-17 with the same four Democrats voting no. It passed the Senate, 23-15 with Young and Anderson voting with 13 Republicans in opposition.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5493 would rope diesel gasoline into the new wholesale rate. It passed 87-23 with a few additional Democrats joining the “no” vote. The Senate passed it 25-13 with Young voting with 12 Republicans.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5167 requires MDOT and local road agencies to bid out any project over $100,000 unless the locals believe they can do the work for less. The bill also requires MDOT, the city of Detroit and the county road commissions in Genesee, Kent, Macomb and Wayne to start a program that ties payment of 20 percent of the agency’s road project to the quality work.

The House made some changes that push back some of the implementation dates. It passed the House, 107-3 with Reps. Ray FRANZ (R-Onekama), Tom MCMILLIN (R-Rochester) and Robinson voting no. It passed the Senate 38-0.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4630 freezes the depreciation schedule on vehicle registration fees for $45 million and Increases fees on heavier trucks from between $150 to $1,000 to collect another $50 million. A new $75 fee is created for electric cars and a $200 fee for larger electric vehicles. It passed the House 67-43. The Senate watched it move 23-15 with Anderson and Sen. Steve BIEDA (D-Warren) voting with half the Republican caucus in opposition.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5460 requires MDOT, county road commissions and city road departments to have warranties for all pavement and reconstruction projects. County and local road departments must pass along heir warranty programs to MDOT for approval.

The bill was changed to allow “small businesses” and “disadvantaged business enterprise” to better compete on projects. Original language that emphasized “minority” businesses was struck for “small.”

The House passed it 99-11 with Reps. Jon BUMSTEAD, Franz, Bob GENETSKI (R-Saugatuck), MartinHOWRYLAK (R-Troy), Tim KELLY (R-Saginaw), Greg MACMASTER (R-Kewadin), McMillin, PetePETTALIA (R-Presque Isle), Phil POTVIN (R-Cadillac), Robinson and Pat SOMERVILLE (R-New Boston) voting no.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0080 set aside the new $40 million for “at-risk schools.” It passed 102-8 with Franz, Genetski, Howrylak, Rep. Joel JOHNSON (R-Clare), Kelly, McMillin, Dave PAGEL (Berrien Springs) and Robinson voting no. In the Senate, the bill passed 26-11 with all the no votes coming from Republicans.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0847 increases the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to 20 percent of the federal level. The credit was reduced from 20 to 6 percent in 2011 as part of the budget balancing deal.

The original bill adjusted the homestead exemption credit. With the new change, Sen. DaveHILDENBRAND (R-Lowell) removed his name as the sponsor. The new sponsor is Senate Minority Leader Gretchen WHITMER (D-East Lansing).

It passed the House 78-32 with all 32 no votes coming from the Republican caucus, meaning a majority in the House GOP caucus did not support the measure.

The Senate passed it 23-15 with 15 members of the 26-member Republican caucus opposing the measure.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0423 creates the study on how much it takes to properly educate a student to the point where he or she should be able to show successful completion of the Michigan Merit Standard. The one-year study must also show whether public money is distributed in a way where all children have an equal opportunity to succeed in school.

Eight of the original 12 sponsors to the bill, which started off as legislation from Sen. Patrick COLBECK(R-Livonia) to encourage schools to teacher the U.S. Constitution, state Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, asked their names be dropped as co-sponsors. Ultimately, Sen. JohnPAPPAGEORGE (R-Troy) ended up being the sponsor.

It passed the House 72-38 with 35 Republicans — a majority of the caucus — and three Dems — Reps. Paul CLEMENTE (D-Lincoln Park), LaVoy and Harvey SANTANA(D-Detroit) voting no. It barely passed the Senate, 20-18, with only eight Republicans siding with the Democrats in support.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0658 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0659 and the “Main Street Fairness” bills, which require retailers with a “nexus” in Michigan to collect from their customers Michigan’s sales tax. Both passed 83-27 with 20 Republicans voting no along with Reps. Theresa ABED (D-Grand Ledge), Winnie BRINKS(D-Grand Rapids), Charles BRUNNER (D-Bay City), Dianda, Tim GREIMEL(D-Auburn Hills), Rep. Henry YANEZ(D-Sterling Heights) and Robinson.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0658 passed the Senate 25-13, with half of the 26-member Republican caucus voting in opposition. Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0659 passed, 24-14. All 14 were Democrats.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HJR UU puts the 1-cent sales tax increase on the ballot and then directs where the money goes. It passed 94-16 with Dianda and Robinson joining 14 Republicans in voting no.

– HCR 39, which offers to the Board of State Canvassers suggested ballot language, passed the House on a voice vote.

– Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5492, exempts gasoline from the use tax and earmarks 12.3 percent of 4 percent of the sales tax (as opposed to 2 percent from Proposal A) for the School Aid Fun. The Senate passed the bill 24-14 with Young joining half the Republican caucus in opposition.