Cheyna Roth

Pet store bills head to governor’s desk

Dec 14, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Pet stores in Michigan could be in the dog house with animal welfare groups, if governor Rick Snyder signs two bills that are headed for his desk.

Only breeders and pet stores considered qualified by the state could sell animals.

Deborah Schutt is with the Michigan Pet Alliance. She says the problem is that some large-scale breeders that the state would consider qualified, are what animal welfare advocates call puppy mills. She says the bills would allow these pet stores to continue operating even if local governments didn’t want them.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A controversial plan to build a tunnel that houses a crude oil and natural gas liquids pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac is one step closer to reality. 

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Wednesday.

It creates a tunnel oversight commission and lets Snyder’s tunnel plan move forward.

Environmental groups oppose the move. They say running oil in a pipeline under the Straits is too risky for the Great Lakes.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Women seeking abortion medication would have to see a doctor in person if Governor Rick Snyder signs a bill almost on his desk.

Legislation that would permanently prevent the use of telemedicine –things like video conferencing – to obtain abortion medication passed the state House early Thursday morning. It’s just a procedural vote away from Snyder’s desk.

Supporters say the abortion medication can be dangerous and women should have a doctor present and readily available if they take it.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan could start grading its schools with an A-through-F letter grade.

The State House passed a bill early Thursday morning. It would have a five-member, temporary panel to evaluate if the A-through-F system is working. But the Michigan Department of Education would create the system and assign grades.

The bill narrowly passed.

Democratic Representative Kristy Pagan opposed the bill. She says changing how the state evaluates its students happens too often and doesn’t help.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican lawmakers in Lansing are quickly trying to increase regulations on the signature gathering process for ballot initiatives. 

After a morning committee hearing, the state House passed the bill Wednesday night. It now goes on to the state Senate.

A controversial part of the bill would require that no more than 15 percent of petition signatures come from a single Congressional district.

Representative Jim Lower is a bill sponsor. The Cedar Lake Republican says this is about making sure people from across the state have input. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A bill that passed in the state House Tuesday would make it a crime to operate a medical marijuana facility without a license. 

Another portion of the bill would allow people with less than a 5-percent ownership in a medical marijuana business to skip a background check.

Opponents say this could open the door to “shady characters.”

Republican Representative Klint Kesto is a bill sponsor.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder says he has no intention of interrupting the lame duck session. 

Protestors have been gathering in the state Capitol over the last few weeks. They’re frustrated with various bills that would do things like take away power from the Secretary of State and shape ballot initiatives that passed in November.

Some have called on Snyder to denounce the bills. He says that’s not how he governs, but…

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s Secretary of State could soon lose a major oversight role.

A bill to give the oversight of campaign finance matters to a commission passed out of the state House Thursday.

Democrats cried foul at the move. They say it’s an attempt to take power away from an incoming Democrat. Jocelyn Benson won the office of Secretary of State during the November midterm.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich says, “Pretty dramatic language but I think it’s true. It’s the equivalent of a legislative coup of the will of the voters.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in Lansing are moving forward on efforts to shape a ballot initiative that passed during the midterm elections. 

Proposal 3 made numerous changes to Michigan’s election laws – changes supporters say will make voting easier and more accessible.

But lawmakers say there were holes in the proposal and details that need to be ironed out so the proposal can be implemented.

Republican Senator Mike Kowall is a bill sponsor.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Lawmakers in Lansing want to make public employee unions vote on their bargaining representatives every two years. 

A bill that would require it to start in 2022 passed a Senate committee Wednesday. It’s a move that union groups say would cause “chaos.”

Stephanie Glidden is with the Michigan AFL-CIO.