A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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SENATE BILL 775
Impose carbon dioxide sequestration fees and provide liability waivers
Introduced by state Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland

The bill would establish regulations and impose fees of $1 per ton on operators of underground carbon dioxide sequestration facilities, and provide immunity from civil or criminal prosecution after 10 years if the operator has followed all the rules and the facility maintains its integrity. Ownership of the underground reservoir (and subsequent liability) would then transfer to the state. The bill would also empower local governments to use eminent domain to take privately owned land to create such a facility. Sequestration is the injection of CO2 into wells deep in the ground, and is a technique being investigated to use mainly in conjunction with coal-burning power plants to mitigate the possibility of global warming caused by the release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

SENATE BILL 776
Use juror compensation fund money for other state spending
Introduced by state Sen. Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt

The bill proposes to use $2.5 million in certain court and other fees supposedly dedicated to a state "juror compensation reimbursement fund," and which have accumulated in that fund, to pay for other state spending in fiscal year 2009-2010, so as to avoid budget cuts.

HOUSE BILL 4182
Transfer "21st Century Jobs Fund" money to general fund

Introduced by state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., D-Detroit

The bill proposes to transfer $20 million from the "21st Century Jobs Fund" to the state general fund in fiscal year 2009.

SENATE BILL 620
Earmark certain sales tax revenue to tourism industry promotion

Introduced by state Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City

The bill proposes to earmark a portion of the state-use tax collected from the sale of tourism-related goods and services to promotional subsidies for the tourism industry.

HOUSE BILL 5266
Mandate number and standard of toilets on construction projects

Introduced by state Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing

The bill proposes to require the general contractor on any construction (or improvement) project in the state of any size to ensure that there is no less than one "toilet facility" meeting certain standards specified in the bill for every 10 employees, and to prohibit a building permit from being issued unless evidence is produced that this requirement has been or will be met. Road builders would be exempt. 

SENATE BILL 552
Increase pensions for Adrian Training School employees

Introduced by state Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Fawn River Twp.

The bill proposes to give senior employees at the Adrian Training School juvenile justice facility an enhanced pension benefit. The facility is to be closed under a December 2008 executive order budget cut. Under the bill, rather than getting laid off, employees whose age and years of employment equals 70 (such as a 50 year old with just 20 years on the job) could begin receiving a full pension immediately, and those whose age and years on the job equals 75 would get a 16.7 percent increase in the cash portion of their post-retirement benefits.

HOUSE BILL 4853
Increase wage sex discrimination penalty

Introduced by state Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores

The bill proposes to authorize penalties of between $5,000 and $25,000 depending on the number of employees for an employer who pays different wages to men and women who are "similarly employed." The bill also removes from the law a provision stating that, "No female shall be assigned any task disproportionate to her strength, nor shall she be employed in any place detrimental to her morals, her health or her potential capacity for motherhood." 

In this premiere episode of EconPop, Andrew discusses the economics of Academy Award winner Dallas Buyers Club. Subjects include public health and safety regulations, crony capitalism and the role of regulatory capture, the emergence of black and grey markets, and commercial exchange as a means for increased social tolerance.

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