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

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SENATE BILL 215
Expand duties and rename state government Commission on Spanish-Speaking Affairs
Introduced by state Sen. Valde Garcia, R-Howell

The bill proposes to change the name of the state government Commission on Spanish-Speaking Affairs to the "Hispanic/Latino Commission," and require this commission to "coordinate a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration," a Cinco de Mayo celebration, and a Cesar Chavez day celebration in addition to its current duties. These include securing "appropriate recognition of Spanish-speaking accomplishments," advising the governor and legislature on the "coordination of state programs serving Spanish-speaking people" and on "the nature, magnitude, and priorities of the problems of Spanish-speaking people," etc.

SENATE BILL 357
Regulate flag pole construction
Introduced by state Sen. Gilda Jacobs, D-Huntington Woods

The bill proposes to extend state regulations on public playground equipment to include flagpoles, and require public flagpoles to be made of aluminum or a material that is considered by the industry to be high strength and lightweight material. The bill is introduced following the recent death of a child when a flag pole fell on her in a wind storm.

HOUSE BILL 4260
Spend $300,000 to open government "trade office" in Arabia
Introduced by state Rep. George Cushingberry, D-Detroit

The bill proposes to authorize spending $300,000 to open a Michigan "African and Mideast Trade Office" in Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.

HOUSE BILL 4802 Increase dog licensing & regulation penalties
Introduced by state Rep. Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake

The bill proposes to increase the penalties for the state "dog law" that mandates licensing for dogs and imposes other dog regulations. Under the bill violations would be a misdemeanor subject to up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. The bill would also increase the penalty for false claims under the law that authorizes reimbursement for livestock killed by a dog.

SENATE BILL 85 Ban certain "novelty lighters"
Introduced by state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing

The bill proposes to give the state fire marshal the authority and discretion to ban particular "novelty lighters," that have "the appearance of a toy, collectible, or other object not generally used as an ignition device."

SENATE BILL 375
Authorize remonumentation of Michigan-Indiana state line
Introduced by state Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks

The bill proposes to appropriate up to $500,000 to pay for the remonumentation of the Michigan-Indiana state line proposed by Senate Bill 374.

SENATE BILL 470
Mandate beer keg buyer's tags
Introduced by state Sen. Alan Sanborn, R-Richmond

The bill proposes to require retailers to attach an identification tag signed by the buyer to kegs of beer when they are sold, and not return the keg deposit unless the tag is still on the keg, subject to a $250 fine for failing to do either. A non-retailer possessing a keg without the tag would be subject to a $500 fine and 93 days in jail.

SENATE BILL 315
Encourage certain school labor union lessons
Introduced by state Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing

The bill proposes to encourage public middle and high schools to focus the content of any instruction about U.S. labor history on the establishment of the AFL, CIO, UAW and others; the 1936 "Flint Sitdown Strike"; Walter Reuther; the (presumably negative) effects of NAFTA; and more.

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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