Wrapping Up Lame Duck

After a very active lame duck session that saw the passage of over 280 bills, the Michigan legislature has adjourned and will not return until the next session begins in January 2013.

The most high profile sportsman’s bill during lame duck was the wolf bill. As MUCC has chronicled, this bill was passed by both the House and Senate and is on its way to the Governor Snyder’s desk. While there is no indication the Governor will not sign the wolf bill, nothing is guaranteed.

Contacts to the Governor’s office can and should be made by clicking on this link.

Other bills of note to the conservation community included:

HB 5225 – a bill that made changes to Michigan’s “permit to purchase” for handguns was passed and signed into law by Governor Snyder. Handgun purchases will still require the Federal Criminal Instant Background Check for purchases at any FFL.

SBs 1261-1265 – This package of bills revamps the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps and brings it into line with Michigan budget realities. The bill, among other things, charges the DNR with finding partners in the private or university sector that can fund and administer the program into the future. A healthy CCC program can provide fertile training ground for the Michigan’s future natural resource stewards. The package is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

SB 1238 – This bill provides a two term limit for the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board, and requires certain requirements be met when considering new Trust Fund projects. The bill also provides for more reporting of current on-going projects. The bill passed both Houses and is currently on the Governor’s desk.

Private Forestland Package – A large package of Senate and House bills that would have provided more incentives for private forestland owners to actively manage their forest was not brought up for a final vote as the House of Representatives ran out of time. This package will need to be reintroduced next session.

SB 59 – This bill would have removed local gun boards and put the authority of issuing CPL permits with the local county sheriff. The bill would have also allowed certain CPL holders who participated in rigorous training the opportunity to carry concealed in “Gun Free Zones.” Currently, only open carry is allowed in these zones. The bill passed both House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Snyder.

SB 1340 – Would have provided for a formula for the restitution payment for poaching trophy bucks based on the Boone & Crockett scoring system. The bill passed the Senate in November, but was not voted on in the House. The bill will be brought up again next session.

SB 1212 – This bill would have weakened Michigan’s ballast water standard by only requiring a ballast water exchange maneuver in order for large oceangoing ships to dump ballast in Michigan waters. Currently, all other Great Lakes states, plus the EPA, US Coast Guard, and Canada have gone to regulations that require treatment technology to be installed on board ships before dumping ballast in the Great Lakes. The bill never made it up for a vote in its Senate Committee, and was not brought up in lame duck.

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