LANSING, Mich. (AP) — With hours left in his governorship, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is expected to take action on more measures passed during the Legislature’s lame-duck session.
So far, Synder has signed more than 100 bills and vetoed four that were approved after the November election.
A roundup of key legislation:
- SCHOOL SAFETY: Snyder signed laws to create a state Office of School Safety and require that schools develop emergency operations plans and conduct safety assessments with local law enforcement. School districts and charter schools will have to consult with police before building a new school or doing a major renovation. The bills were developed in the wake of mass shootings in Florida and Texas.
- DRONES: Snyder signed laws to generally prohibit state agencies from using drones to surveil facilities that are subject to licensing or other government requirements. Exceptions include if the owners give express consent, if the departments have valid search warrants, if the state suspects there may be an imminent threat or the agencies are inspecting transportation infrastructure. Law enforcement investigations also are exempt. Snyder also signed laws making it a felony to operate drones in a way that interferes with key facilities such as refineries, power plants and cell towers.
- ANIMAL CRUELTY: Snyder signed a law toughening prison sentences for “aggravated” animal cruelty offenses and making breeders and pet shops subject to criminal penalties.
- OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING: Snyder signed laws to require the state licensing department to, upon request, tell people in advance if past criminal convictions disqualify them from being licensed to do work in the trades or other occupations. The move is designed to save would-be applicants from paying for education or training only to be denied a license down the line.
- VETOES: Snyder vetoed bills that would have created a state income tax deduction for first-time homebuyers, given the legislative auditor general unrestricted access to confidential information in other branches of state government and delayed implementation of roomier enclosures for egg-laying hens.
- DEER STERILIZATION: Snyder signed a law to prohibit the state from issuing a permit to sterilize deer or other game animals until April 2022. An ongoing research program in Ann Arbor will continue. The Natural Resources Commission can issue more kill tags in urban areas with high concentrations of deer, and municipalities can shorten the 150-yard rule for shooting deer.
- YOUTH HUNTING: Snyder signed a law to let 10-, 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds hunt deer, bear or elk on public lands — not just private property — as long as they are accompanied by a parent or other authorized adult.
- TASTING ROOMS: Snyder signed laws to let brewer and microbrewers establish on-site tasting rooms where guests can sample their beer. The rooms currently are only allowed for wineries and distilleries.
- NASSAR BILLS: Snyder signed laws inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, easing the prosecution of alleged abusers, stiffening child pornography penalties and letting more people speak at sentencings under certain circumstances.
- AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES: Snyder signed a law to exempt truck “platoon” operations from a requirement to leave sufficient space so other vehicles can pass.
- MINIMUM WAGE: Snyder signed a law to slow down a boost in Michigan’s $9.25 an hour minimum wage, so it will gradually rise to $12.05 by 2030 instead of $12 by 2022 as required by a proposed ballot initiative that GOP lawmakers pre-emptively adopted in September to make it easier to amend after the election. The new law reverses a provision that would have brought a lower wage for tipped employees in line with the wage for other workers. It also repeals a provision — in a 2014 law — that ties future increases to inflation.
- PAID SICK LEAVE: Snyder also signed a law to scale back a separate proposed ballot initiative to require paid sick leave for workers, after Republicans legislators passed it under the same adopt-and-amend strategy. The new law exempts employers with fewer than 50 employees from having to provide earned sick days, a change that is estimated to leave up to 1 million employees without the benefit. It also limits the amount of annual mandatory leave at larger employers to 40 hours, instead of 72 hours as proposed by the initiative.
- OIL PIPELINE: Snyder signed a law establishing a panel to oversee construction of an oil pipeline tunnel in the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. Opponents insisted the battle is not over and could widen from the state Capitol to the courts. Line 5 has carried crude oil and natural gas liquids used in propane 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) from Superior, Wisconsin, through northern Michigan to the Canadian city of Sarnia, Ontario, since 1953. Snyder and Enbridge Inc. agreed to replace the twin-pipe segment with a new pipe housed in a tunnel drilled through bedrock beneath the Straits of Mackinac.
- WIRLESS TECHNOLOGY: Snyder signed laws to ease the wireless industry’s shift to next-generation technology with statewide regulations for the installation of a dense network of fifth-generation, or 5G, “small cells” on telephone poles, traffic signals and other infrastructure.
- ONLINE REGISTRATION: Snyder signed laws to establish online voter registration.
- MOVE OVER LAW: Snyder signed a law to require drives to slow by 10 mph below the posted speed limit when passing an emergency, maintenance or utility vehicle that is on the side of the road.
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