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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of June 8, 2017

By Judy Augenstein

Legislation designed to prevent the further introduction of chronic wasting disease in deer into the state will now bear the name of former Rep. John Kivela.  The Senate passed HB 4424 on a unanimous vote after adopting an amendment by Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba adding Mr. Kivela's name to the title of the bill.  The legislation would prohibit bringing whole deer, elk or moose harvested in other states as well as any brain or spinal tissues of those animals, the primary sources of the prions that cause the disease.  The bill would allow importing meat, hides, antlers and finished taxidermy.   The bill is expected to be concurred in by the House and sent to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature.  Rep. Kivela is still sorely missed by his Lansing colleagues, friends, his district and his family.  R.I.P. Rep. John Kivela.

This week HB 4644 received a hearing by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chaired by Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, sponsor the bill which was requested by GLTPA and supported by MAT. The bill allows for a multiple use permit for truckers tailored after Wisconsin law.  Henry Schienebeck, Executive Director GLTPA and Jessie Augustyn did an awesome job assisting Rep. Cole with outlining the bill and explaining the positive experience Wisconsin has had with their law.  Wood haulers Mike Sturgill, MAT, Mike Elenz, MAT explained their current situation with navigating the multiple permits they are required to carry in their trucks for equipment they haul.  Dave TerBeek, AIS and Jim Carey, Carey Logging outlined the maize they follow to keep up with the various permits to keep their trucks on track. 

I will be working with staff to Rep. Cole on an issue the County Road Association has with HB 4644.  I met with Ed Nyola, CRA following the hearing and it appears we can work out the small "kink" CRA has with the bill.  In a perfect world, the bill will complete House action by the end of June. I have kept Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba in the "loop" on the issue and he stands ready to address the bill when it reaches the Senate Transportation Committee for debate.  It is my plan to work towards final passage of the bill by fall of this year.

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