I'm Just a Bill

A sampling of proposed new state laws, as described on MichiganVotes.org

(Impose restrictions on citizen's initiative signature gathering)
Introduced by state Sen. Mark Jansen, R – Grand Rapids

Requires circulators of petitions placing Constitutional amendments, initiated laws, or referendums on the ballot, to live in the jurisdiction where the signatures are collected. In other words, a person would be prohibited from gathering signatures outside the community in which he or she resides. The bill would also require the secretary of state to certify and distribute a proposed constitutional amendment initiative or other special question at least 60 days, rather than 49 days, before an election.

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(Increase "historic" building regulation penalties)
Introduced by state Rep. Robert Jones, D – Kalamazoo

Would increase the penalties for violating the law that prohibits owners of buildings deemed to be "historic" from undertaking exterior renovations on their property without permission from a local authority. The bill increases civil fines for unauthorized work from $5,000 to $50,000, and for unauthorized demolition to $150,000. It also increases criminal penalties, and revises a number of other provisions to generally increase enforcement of these restrictions on property owners.

(Place "Brass Roots" plaque on Capitol grounds)
Introduced by state Rep. Tim Moore, R – Farwell

Would require a plaque honoring the Second Amendment's recognition of the right of individuals to keep and bear arms to be placed on the Capitol grounds, except that no tax dollars would be allowed for the purpose. This plaque was created by the "Brass Roots" organization, reportedly by melting down brass cartridge cases donated by citizens who gathered at the Capitol in 1994 to protest federal and state infringements on the rights recognized by the Second Amendment.

(Require state to pay for Detroit school elections)
Introduced by state Rep. LaMar Lemmons Jr. D – Detroit

Would require state taxpayers to pay the cost of Detroit school elections.

(Impose new regulations on maple syrup producers)
Introduced by state Rep. Howard Walker, R – Traverse City

Would impose on maple syrup producers the same (extensive) regulatory regime that applies to "food processing plants" that process, manufacture, package, label and store food products.

(Create "statewide recycling coordinator" office)
Introduced by state Sen. Patricia Birkholz, R – Saugatuck Township

Would create a "statewide recycling coordinator" office. The coordinator office would be required to gather information about recycling processes, markets, and rates; review local recycling programs; conduct and submit a study of the capacity, feasibility and ability of the state to sustain markets for products containing recycled content; and submit to the Legislature recommendations for improving and expanding recycling in the state.

(Mandate that skiers and snowboarders wear helmets)
Introduced by state Rep. Bob Constan, D – Dearborn Heights

Would mandate that downhill skiers and snowboarders must wear a helmet while on the slopes, subject to a $100 fine.

(Establish new ethanol, alternative fuel subsidies)
Introduced by state Rep. Fred Miller, D – Mt. Clemens

Would authorize a specialty license plate recognizing alternative fuels, and give the net revenue generated from sale of the plates to the subsidy and promotion program proposed by House Bill 5750.

To comment on these bills, please see www.mackinac.org/9795.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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