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Industry News, Meetings & Events

Michigan Legislative Update

Week of September 16, 2016

By Judy Augenstein

On Monday of this week our friend Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle was killed in a motorcycle accident in Montmorency County as he was traveling to Lansing for House session.  The crash involved another car driven by a 59 yer old woman as her car turned left into Rep. Pettalia, he died instantly.  The Senate was not in session this week.  The House canceled fundraisers, committee meetings and its normal session for Tuesday.  A memorial service was held today, Friday, Sept. 16, at the Presque Isle Lighthouse from noon to 5:00 PM.  Shuttle buses ushered mourners to and from their cars to and from the site.  Donations can be made to the "Lighthouse Restoration Fund", 12653 E. Grand Lake Rd., Presque Isle, MI. 49777. 

Rep. Pettalia served as the chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.  Today, VC Rep. Ben Glardon, R-Owosso was named chair of the committee.  A dark cloud has hung over Lansing all week.  Rep. Pettalia was one of the most liked and respected legislators always with a smile on his face and a kind word for all.  The House will attempt to get back to normal activities next week.  Out of respect for Rep. Pettalia, his House floor desk/chair will be draped in black for many days to come.

Moving on.......Donald Trump visited a water treatment plant and a church in Flint this week.  Trump's best line of the day was "It used to be that cars were made in Flint and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico.  Now the cars are made in Mexico and you can't drink the water in Flint.  That's not good."  As of today, Michigan is in play for the GOP presidential candidate and gaining daily national momentum.

The House sent a marijuana regulation package to Governor Snyder for his signature this week. The bills create a structure for selling medical marijuana after the House signed off on several Senate changes to the bills.  Not much legislative work was accomplished this week in Lansing.  Next week the House and Senate will both be in session and attempt to move forward with their fall legislative agenda.

New legislation impacting forestry:

HB 5882, sponsor, Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Allegan (replaced Rep. Cindy Gamrat).
The bill requires notification of a prescribed burn to the township supervisor and the 9 -1-1 service and has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

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