The Michigan Association of Timbermen
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Posted on 11.22.2017 Under Legislative, Recent Post

Judy Augenstein, Legislative Consultant

The House Judiciary Committee will hold at least one hearing on Senate legislation allowing those with concealed pistol licenses with additional training to carry in gun-free zones, including schools and houses of religious worship.  The bills would require eight additional hours of training for those wishing to obtain an enhanced concealed pistol license to carry in areas now considered gun free zones.  Governor Rick Snyder vetoed similar legislation in the past and said his position has not changed.   House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jim Runestad, R-white Lake is planning to set the bills for debate during the winter legislation session.

When the Legislature returns to session next Tuesday the Senate Natural Resources committee will debate SB 652, 653 and 654, the bills establish a special review committee for environmental rules, creates an appeal panel and creates an environmental science advisory board.  I intend to monitor the committee debate.

While the Legislature has been in recess the Capitol renovation continues and on schedule with the first phase of a multi-million dollar renovation project on the Capitol grounds.  More than half of the wellbores for a geothermal field on the site have been drilled.  The geothermal wells are a part of an overall $70 million, 2.5-year project to upgrade the Capitol’s aging and near-failing mechanical and electrical systems.  Fire suppression, heating and cooling and plumbing systems are among those being replaced.  The south, west and north sides of the Capitol grounds look like a war zone…just saying…

Democratic Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette took the oath of office last Thursday after the board of Canvassers certified her victory in the 109th House district to replace deceased Rep. John Kivela.   Tenisha Yancey, D-Detroit won a special election in the 1st House district and was sworn in last Friday.  Rep. Yancey and Rep. Cambensy bring the House Democratic caucus back to 47 members.

Last week and this week I held lunch meetings with key legislative staff to thank them for working on our forestry issues.  Next week I will continue to work on HB 4644, legislation to create a multiple use permit for truckers, I plan to work with Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba to create a funding stream for local county agencies as an incentive to work with loggers, I will attend the Senate Natural Resources Committee and I will attend the fundraiser event for Rep. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, member the House Natural Resources Committee..

Have a great Thanksgiving and weekend and I look forward to updating you on the ‘legislative happenings” impacting forestry next week.

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