MUCC Thursday Legislative Round-Up

The legislature will not be in session between March 30th and April 16th for spring break. While some will take vacations, most legislators will maintain office hours and in-district meetings during this time. Keep a lookout in the paper and on your legislator’s website for dates and times of their upcoming events and take advantage of them to talk about conservation issues important to you!
After a busy week at the Capitol in Lansing, here’s a list of the bills were keeping an eye on:
SB 59 (Sen. Mike Green) – a bill that would repeal local gun boards and shift responsibilities of issuing CPLs to county sheriffs, along with making a number of other changes to CPL regulations, passed out of the Senate Natural Resources committee last week. Bill is currently on the Senate floor. The bill passed with only one dissenting vote and was fully supported by 2nd amendment groups including NRA, Michigan Gun Owners, and Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.
SB 984 (Sen. Tom Casperson) – a bill that repeals an antiquated Michigan law allowing for the purchase of shotguns or rifles only from states that connect to Michigan. The bill would allow for Michigan residents to purchase a long-gun from any state in the nation, as long as that state follows federal firearms laws. SB 984 should be coming up soon in the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
HB 5292 (Rep. Holly Hughes) – passed the House Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation this past week. Would allow free hunting and fishing licenses to veterans who are designated 100% disabled or rated as individually unemployable.
SB 996 (Sen. Tom Casperson) – bill would require the DNR to refund 100% the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for indemnification payments for livestock, domestic animals, and pets killed or wounded by wolves, coyotes, and cougars.  The DNR has averaged roughly $36,000 over the past three years in indemnification payments to MDARD. In a neighboring state, the addition of pets has added an additional $400,000 in payments. Where that money has and will come from in the future is also an issue MUCC has its eye on.
SB 412 (Sen. Darwin Booher) – bill would modify requirements for the expenditure of turkey funds. Has passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

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