Regulation and Subsidies

Commentary & Community

Michigan Senate Bill 245

 

Check out this key bill voted on by elected officials in Michigan, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 245, Repeal Switchblade Ban: Passed 106 to 1 in the state House on June 20th, 2017

 

To repeal the state law against owning, selling or possessing a switchblade knife, “the blade or blades of which can be opened by the flick of a button.” Reportedly the ban is outdated and unevenly enforced.

 

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Florida House Bill 141

 

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House Bill 141, Expand the number of bottles craft distilleries can sell: Passed 114 to 2 in the state House on April 26, 2017 and passed 37 to 0 in the state Senate May 5, 2017

 

To allow craft distilleries to sell six individual containers of each product to customers per year from their gift shop. Currently, craft distilleries can sell two individual containers of each product per customer.

 

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Virginia Senate Bill 1470

 

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Senate Bill 1470, Reinstate coal production subsidy: Passed 25 to 15 in the state Senate on February 3, 2017 and 68 to 29 in the state House on February 15, 2017*

 

To reinstate a tax credit program for coal production and employment, with a limit of $7.3 million a year. The program would last until 2022.

 

*Note: the governor vetoed this bill and the state Senate failed 20 to 20 to override on April 5, 2017

 

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Tennessee Senate Bill 849

 

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Senate Bill 849, Legalize animal massage therapy: Passed 28 to 0 in the state Senate on April 19, 2017 and 90 to 0 in the state House April 24, 2017

 

To clarify that it is not illegal for someone other than a veterinarian to offer massage therapy for animals.

 

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North Carolina Senate Bill 24

 

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Senate Bill 24, Legalize restaurant use of outdoor grills: Passed 47 to 0 in the state Senate on April 5, 2017 and 113 to 0 in the state House on May 11, 2017

 

To establish criteria by which restaurants and other food establishments may use outdoor grills to prepare food for customers. Current law prohibits the practice.

 

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Pennsylvania House Bill 1071

 

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House Bill 1071, Ban bag taxes: Passed 102 to 87 in the state House on April 25, 2017 and 28 to 21 in the state Senate on June 14, 2017

 

To prohibit local governments from imposing a tax, surcharge, or ban on plastic bags.

 

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Off to the Races with Your Tax Dollars

 

Would you pay to see dogs race?

 

If you’re a West Virginian, whether you watch it or not, you’re paying for it. The state gives $14 million in subsidies to the dog racing industry. Legislators passed a bill that would have ended this subsidy, as well as eliminated the mandate that two of the state’s casinos offer dog racing. The governor vetoed this bill, saying, “Eliminating support for the greyhounds is a job killer and I can’t sign it.”

 

West Virginia is not the only state that subsidizes the racing industry. States from New York to Ohio to Maryland provide subsidies to horse racing. These subsidies take different forms, but clearly many legislators think that it is important to give some form of government support to racing.

 

These horse racing subsidies also exist in Pennsylvania. Like West Virginia, there has been an effort this year to end state support for the industry. Some legislators are trying to kill the subsidy fund as part of a plan to deal with a budget deficit.

 

Also this year, a Louisiana legislator withdrew his bill that would have redirected horse racing subsidies to educational scholarships.

 

Supporters of subsidies say that they are necessary to help an industry that is struggling but still contributes to the state. Opponents say that these subsidies are little more than corporate welfare that is prolonging the life of an increasingly unpopular sport.

 

What do you think about subsidizing horse and dog racing? Are these subsidies a good use of tax dollars? Or should they be ended?

 

Florida House Bill 327

 

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House Bill 327, Mandate household movers disclose sexual offenses: Passed 119 to 0 in the state House on May 3, 2017 and 36 to 0 in the state Senate on May 2, 107

 

To require that household movers inform a customer if an employee with access to their property has been convicted of a sexual offense. A mover who knowingly fails to disclose this information will receive a minimum $10,000 fine.

 

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West Virginia Senate Bill 233

 

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Senate Bill 233, Allow electronic surveillance in child care centers: Passed 32 to 0 in the state Senate on February 17, 2017

 

To exclude from protection under the state wiretapping and electronic surveillance act any oral communications uttered in a child care center so long as there are written notices posted informing persons that their communications are subject to being intercepted.

 

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Pennsylvania House Bill 271

 

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House Bill 271, Allow Internet gambling: Passed 38 to 12 in the state Senate on May 24, 2017

 

To allow slot machine licensees to offer interactive gambling online and to allow gambling parlors that offer these games be placed at Pennsylvania airports. The bill also allows the state lottery to offer interactive games online and legalizes online fantasy sports games.

 

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New Hampshire Senate Bill 247

 

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Senate Bill 247, Modify lead poisoning laws and fund remediation of lead in homes: Passed 233 to 108 in the state House on May 4, 2017

 

To make various changes to the laws requiring assessment and testing in order to provide for earlier detection in children and to spend $3,000,000 over two years through a state lead remediation fund.

 

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Virginia Assembly Bill 2168

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Assembly Bill 2168, Establish government entity to promote tourist trains: passed 33 to 7 in the state Senate on February 17, 2017

 

To establish the Virginia Coal Train Heritage Authority as a 25-member board to cooperate with private entities, local governments, and other states in developing a tourist train.

 

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Florida House Bill 1233

 

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House Bill 1233, Amend cottage food requirements: Passed 115 to 0 in the state House on April 5, 2017 and 37 to 0 in the state Senate on April 27, 2017

 

To increase the maximum annual gross sales limit of cottage foods from $15,000 to $50,000, and also let cottage food operations sell over the internet if the foods are delivered in person. Currently, cottage foods may not be sold or offered on the internet. Cottage foods are food products sold by people who produce “non-potentially hazardous” foods at their own residence such as breads, honey, cakes, and popcorn.  A cottage food operation is not required to conform to state food and building permitting requirements.

 

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Nevada Senate Bill 45: Remove requirement for state inspection of public university buildings

 

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Senate Bill 45, Remove requirement for state inspection of public university buildings: Passed 21 to 0 in the state Senate on February 22, 2017

 

To eliminate the requirement that the State Public Works Division periodically inspect all buildings at the State universities. All buildings and physical plant facilities owned by any part of the Nevada System of Higher Education would be exempt from the requirement of periodic state inspections.

 

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Iowa House Bill 134: To prohibit local governments from limiting the number of unrelated people who can share rental housing

 

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House Bill 134, To prohibit local governments from limiting the number of unrelated people who can share rental housing: Passed 43 to 6 in the state Senate on April 11, 2017

 

To prohibit local governments from regulating or banning rental housing based on whether the renters in a unit are related to each other.

 

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West Virginia House Bill 2303: Increase littering fines

 

 

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West Virginia House Bill 2303, Increase littering fines: Passed 95 to 3 in the state House on February 20, 2017

 

To increase the fines and community service hours for littering.

 

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Wisconsin Senate Bill 15: Require legislation for expensive regulations

 

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Senate Bill 15, Require legislation for expensive regulations: Passed 19 to 14 in the state Senate on May 2, 2017

 

To mandate that any regulations that impose a cost of $10 million or more over a two-year period can only be implemented upon passage of legislation. The bill also requires more oversight from legislators during the writing of new regulations.

 

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Missouri Senate Bill 329: Update warranty repair mandates for car dealerships

 

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Senate Bill 329, Update warranty repair mandates for car dealerships: Passed 31 to 0 in the state Senate on March 16, 2017

 

To revise a law that prohibits consumers from having warranty repairs done at the shop of their choice and only permits franchise dealers to do that work. This bill would remove confusion about how the law applies to engine manufacturers.

 

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Arizona House Bill 2022: Legalize rat-shot and snake-shot ammunition

 

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House Bill 2022, Legalize rat-shot and snake-shot ammunition: Passed 35 to 25 in the state House on February 1, 2017

 

To permit the use of rat-shot or snake-shot ammunition within a municipality by exempting it from laws against discharge of firearms.

 

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U.S. Regulatory Reform Tracker

 

Learn more about the Congressional Review Act, then check out these key regulatory reform bills considered by Congress, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

U.S. Joint Resolution 43, Overturn rule prohibiting states from defunding Planned Parenthood: Passed 230 to 188 in the U.S. House on February 16, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation that prohibits states from denying federal funding to family planning organizations for reasons unrelated to the quality of care they offer. This rule was aimed at stopping states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 69, Overturn Alaska wildlife control rule: Passed 225 to 193 in the U.S. House on February 16, 2017 and 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on March 21, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration rule that would restrict the practice of killing predators such as wolves and bears in national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

 

U.S. House Bill 1009, Reform the regulatory process: Passed 241 to 184 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2017

 

To place in statute a requirement that a bureau called the Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) must review proposed regulations that impose an annual cost on the economy of at least $100 million. Agencies must have considered alternatives, looked at costs, minimized the potential cost on society, and more. Agencies that have not done so must change their regulations to comply with OIRA's suggestions.The bill would expand OIRA's scope to independent agencies, such as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

 

U.S. House Join Resolution 83, Overturn workplace injury reporting rule: Passed 231 to 191 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2107 and 50 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 22, 2017

 

To overturn an Obama administration regulation that required businesses to record injuries and illnesses in the workplace and retain those records for five years.

 

U.S. House Bill 998, Create regulatory review commission: Passed 240 to 185 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2017

 

To establish a commission that would review federal rules that should be repealed to lower the cost of regulation. The commission will prioritize examining rules that are older than 15 years and that impose a high cost or paperwork burden. Congress could repeal a rule recommended by the commission with a joint resolution. Agencies issuing new rules would be mandated to offset that new rule by eliminating a rule recommended by the commission.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 42, Overturn rule restricting unemployment drug testing: Passed 236 to 189 in the U.S. House on February 15, 2017 and 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 14, 2017

 

To overturn a Department of Labor regulation that allowed states to drug test applicants for unemployment benefits only if the applicants were suited for jobs that required drug testing. In effect, the rule being overturned would not allow states to use widespread drug testing for unemployment benefits.

 

U.S. Joint Resolution 40, Overturn ban gun possession for some Social Security recipients: Passed 235 to 180 in the U.S. House on February 2, 2017 and 57 to 40 in the U.S. Senate on February 15, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration rule that would prohibit Social Security Income and Disability recipients who are determined to have certain mental disorders from possessing a firearm. Under this rule, anyone in this category who possessed a firearm would be committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 36, Overturn methane flaring rule: Passed 221 to 191 in the U.S. House  on February 3, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation that would require energy companies to reduce the release of methane when producing natural gas on federal and tribal lands. The rule would also impose royalty payments on some methane that has been released. This rule would supersede state regulations governing methane releases.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 44, Overturn BLM rule reducing local government role in resource management: Passed 234 to 186 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017 and 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 7, 2017

 

To overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s “resource management” rule that would reduce the role of local governments in developing BLM plans and give greater weight to input from the public in the preliminary planning process. 

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 57, Overturn federal failing school mandate: Passed 234 to 190 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017.

 

To overturn a Department of Education regulation directing states to identify failing schools using plans to measure the performance of groups of students according to federal standards.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 58, Overturn teacher preparation regulation: Passed 240 to 181 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017 and 59 to 40 in the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2017

 

To overturn a Department of Education regulation mandating that states report on the quality of teacher preparation programs, with the possibility of funds being removed from states that do not meet federal standards.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution on 41, Overturn additional disclosure mandates on natural resource companies: Passed 235 to 187 in the U.S. House on February 1, 2017 and 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on February 3, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration’s rule that resource extraction companies (such as mining, energy, or timber companies) must disclose any payments, such as fees, made to foreign governments.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 37, Overturn mandatory reporting rule for labor issues: Passed 236 to 187 in the U.S. House on February 2, 2017 and 49 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration’s regulations that any company bidding on a federal contract over $500,000 must disclose any violations of labor law or alleged violations of labor law from the past three years.

 

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 38, Overturn coal mining stream rule: Passed 228 to 194 in the U.S. House on February 1, 2017 and 54 to 45 in the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation mandating complex new rules on how coal companies dispose of mining waste near waterways. The rule also mandated that companies must extensively survey ecosystems prior to mining and then fully restore those ecosystems once mining is complete.

 

U.S. House Bill 78, Modify financial regulation procedure: Passed 243 to 184 in the U.S. House on January 12, 2017

 

To require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) determine the nature and source of a problem before it issues a regulation; issue a regulation only if the benefits justify its cost; assess alternatives to a regulation; and only promulgate regulations that are understandable. The bill also requires that the SEC review old regulations to determine if they are still needed or are too burdensome, and assess the economic impact and effectiveness of large regulations it proposes.

 

U.S. House Bill 35, Reshape federal regulation process: Passed 238 to 183 in the U.S. House on January 11, 2017

 

To alter how federal agencies issue regulations. This bill would require that agencies consider the cost of proposed regulations and issue less costly rules if possible, give judges wider leeway to strike down regulations, and prevent regulations costing a billion dollars or more from going into effect until any court challenges against them have been settled. The bill would also require that regulators consider new rules’ impact on small business, publish transparency reports, and write 100-word regulatory summaries in plain English.

 

U.S. House Bill 26, Mandate congressional approval of major regulations: Passed 237 to 187 in the U.S. House on January 5, 2017

 

To require that Congress must approve “major” regulations before they go into effect. The bill defines these regulations as costing the economy $100 million annually, imposing a major cost increase on consumers, or significantly affecting U.S. economic productivity or competition.

 

U.S. House Bill 21, Allow review of last-minute regulations: Passed 238 to 184 in the U.S. House on January 4, 2017

 

To empower Congress to disapprove whole batches of new regulations imposed during the last days of a president’s term by agencies with a single roll call vote. Under current law, congress has the authority to invalidate "last minute rules" promulgated by an outgoing administration, but doing so requires them to be disapproved one at a time. This legislation would allow disapproval of all regulations submitted during the last 60 days of the congressional session that occurs during the final year of a president’s term.

 

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