Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Smit’s Votes of the Week
RELEASE|March 24, 2023
Contact: Rachelle Smit

Senate Bill 6: Reinstates Michigan’s prevailing wage law that was repealed by a citizen petition in 2018. Prior to its approval, Michigan’s prevailing wage law applied to wages and fringe benefits on all state construction contracts. Those included any project by a state department, public and charter schools, community colleges, and universities financially supported by the state.

Sponsor:  Sen. Klinefelt (D)
Passage:  56-52 with immediate effect

Why I voted NO:  Complying with the prevailing wage system is burdensome and onerous for many contractors as wages vary between jurisdictions and rate schedules do not often line up with non-union contractor job classifications. Not requiring prevailing wage leads to greater competition in the bidding process without sacrificing quality of work or the safety of workers, which is protected by state and federal safety and building code regulations. Outside of minimum wage laws, the free market should exclusively determine wages and labor costs, and units of government should be able to negotiate contract terms to make the best use of taxpayer money.

Senate Bill 34: Repeals Public Act 348 of 2012, which established Michigan as a Right to Work state for private employers.

Sponsor:  Sen. Camilleri (D)
Passage:  56-52 with immediate effect

Why I voted NO:  Forced union membership is bad for individual workers and bad for business. It makes our state less competitive with other states, reduces wages, and drains workers’ take-home pay. This is nothing more than a Democrat pay cut plan.

House Bill 4004: Labor; collective bargaining; requirement for agency fee for nonunion members; allow in-bargaining agreements and as condition of employment in public sector.

Sponsor:  Rep. Weiss (D)
Passage:  56-52

Why I voted NO:  Employees should be free to choose whether to join a labor union or not. It should not be a condition of employment. Some studies show that Right to Work will lower labor costs, add jobs, and provide for increased economic growth. Right to Work laws increase a union’s accountability and responsiveness to its members by requiring it to earn the support of each worker. Workers should be hired and retained based upon their qualifications and performance, not based on their status as union or non-union members.

House Bill 4166: Eliminates the A-F letter grade system for ranking public schools established under PA 601 of 2018.

Sponsor:  Rep. Koleszar (D)
Passage:  63-45

Why I voted NO:  In the 2021-22 school year, 704 schools in Michigan received a ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade in proficiency, a category based on the number of their students who score proficiently on the state math and English/Language Arts assessments. This is crucial information that any parent would want to know when they are researching schools for their child to attend.

House Bill 4288: Removes references to Section 1280c of the Revised School Code from the Public Employee Relations Act of 1947.

Sponsor:  Rep. Koleszar (D)
Passage:  57-51

Why I voted NO: The A-F grading system helps identify underperforming schools. Ending this system without offering a good alternative will not solve the problem or help schools improve. Burying beneficial data in the cumbersome and confusing “parent dashboard” will only make it harder for parents and other community members to find.

House Bill 4199: Allows the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs to extend tuition assistance to National Guard service personnel spouses or dependents.

Sponsor:  Rep. Conlin (D)
Passage:  102-6

Why I voted YES: Education benefits are one of the most sought-after incentives for new recruits, as well as retention for serving members. Given the success of the MINGSTA program, the state should allow benefits to be extended to spouses or dependents of eligible national guard members, thereby expanding the possible recruitment and retention of national guard members.

Senate Bill 2: Would repeal the Michigan Penal Code section that prohibits the sale of contraception or abortion pills.

Sponsor:  Sen. Geiss (D)
Passage:  56-52

Why I voted NO: Opponents of the bill may argue that abortion is immoral and that the laws of this state should strive to protect human life, which this bill fails to do.

House Bill 4167: Creates the Rare Disease Advisory Council (RDAC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The RDAC is to advise DHHS and other departments on research, diagnosis, and treatment efforts related to rare diseases in Michigan.

Sponsor:  Rep. Morgan (D)
Passage:  88-20

Why I voted NO:  This could be another bureaucratic entity created to make recommendations that sit on a shelf without action.

House Bill 4139: Would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to add the new crimes and criminal penalties created in HB 4144.

Sponsor:  Rep. MacDonell (D)
Passage:  61-47

Why I voted NO:  I will always be an advocate for responsible gun ownership. All firearms should be stored safely in a location that’s inaccessible to kids and others who are not authorized to use them. And kids should be taught gun safety from an early age.

Senate Bills 79-80: Would establish criminal penalties for leaving an unsecured firearm within access of a minor child. Would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to add the new crimes and criminal penalties created in SB 79.

Sponsors:  Sens. Bayer (D) & McDonald Rivet (D)
Passage:  61-47

Why I voted NO:  These bills are an unconstitutional restriction of rights guaranteed to all Americans as described in the 2nd Amendment. Furthermore, these bills will make Michigan unattractive for gun manufacturers to come to our state.

Senate Bills 81-82: Amend the General Sales Tax Act and Use Tax Act respectively by exempting “firearm safety devices” from sales and use tax.

Sponsors:  Sens. Irwin (D) & Chang (D)
Passage:  64-44

Why I voted NO:  I don’t support a one-size-fits-all government mandate that dictates how everyone must store their firearms.

House Bill 4140: Amends the General Sales Tax Act and Use Tax Act respectively by exempting “firearm safety devices” from sales and use tax.

Sponsor:  Rep. Whitsett (D)
Passage:  64-44

Why I voted NO: Michigan already has plenty of laws on the books that can be used to punish people who act recklessly with a firearm or endanger their children. These bills do nothing more than micromanage law-abiding citizens who own guns for their personal protection.

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