Welcome to my Legislative Update! As we enter the summer months and numerous road construction projects are taking place across our state, please take the time to slow down and proceed through construction zones in a safe manner. It will keep you and road workers safe.
I also wanted to remind everyone that this weekend, June 10-11 is Free Fishing Weekend and Free ORV Weekend. These are both great opportunities to get outside and enjoy some Pure Michigan fun.
Other updates you will find in this edition of my newsletter are:
- June Coffee Hours
- Protecting Children
- Establishing Police Body Camera Guidelines
- House Votes to Protect Electronic Property Rights
- Reducing Red Tape
- Protecting Small Business from Burdensome Regulations
- Fighting Opioid Abuse
June Coffee Hours
Beginning this month Rep. Griffin will host coffee hours on the fourth Monday of the month. Hopefully the additional times and locations will allow even more of you to come and speak with her in person.
Fourth Monday of the Month
Greg’s Paw Paw Blend
804 S. Kalamazoo St, Paw Paw, MI 49079
561 Huron St., South Haven, MI 49090
Decatur Village Hall
114 N Phelps St, Decatur, MI 49045
Cooper Township Hall
1590 West D Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A bipartisan legislation package to criminalize female genital mutilation was introduced in the House. The legislation follows a February incident where a couple performed the procedure on two young girls who were transported from Minnesota to southeast Michigan. The procedure involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, often performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 14 to ensure their virginity until marriage. The package increases penalties for those who perform and transport children for the purpose of performing the procedure, requires training for law enforcement officers, and extends the statute of limitations for victims to sue for damages past age 18. The bill package has been reported from the House Law and Justice Committee and will next be considered by the full House.
Establishing Police Body Camera Guidelines
Law enforcement agencies would have clear guidelines for recordings made by police body cameras under legislation approved by the House in May. The bill establishes rules for retaining and releasing footage recorded on body cameras. Body cameras assist law enforcement officers in their daily operations, while increasing the public’s trust in officers and serving as a deterrent for violence against an officer. These guidelines give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to implement effective body-worn camera programs, while also ensuring that the people of Michigan can have confidence in those programs. The bill would protect personal privacy rights by exempting any recordings made where someone should have a reasonable expectation of privacy from public disclosure. The bill moves to the Senate for its consideration.
House Votes to Protect Electronic Property Rights
Rep. Griffin joined a unanimous House of Representatives last week in supporting House Joint Resolution C, which proposes an amendment to the Michigan Constitution. This amendment would explicitly include electronic data or communications as areas protected from warrantless search and seizure. If HJR C also passes the State Senate with two-thirds support, it would go before the voters for approval on the November 2018 ballot.
Reducing Red Tape
The House Communications and Technology Committee approved legislation introduced by Rep. Griffin to end a permitting requirement for business monitoring systems that are less than 50 volts.
House Bill 4655 prohibits an ordinance from requiring a permit for electrical work associated with business monitoring systems that are less than 50 volts as long as a registered system provider or licensed security alarm system contractor performs the work. These reforms would reduce regulation and government red tape that burdens businesses who want to keep their communities safer. This offers a common sense approach for business owners.
Video surveillance systems have become extremely popular with business owners. Through Project Green Light, in partnership with the Detroit Police Department, incidents of violent crime have been reduced by 50 percent since Jan. 1, 2016 among eight businesses that installed and monitored high-definition security cameras. HB 4655 now moves to the House floor for consideration.
Protecting Small Business from Burdensome Regulations
House Bill 4205, recently approved by the House, prevents unelected Lansing bureaucrats from burdening our small businesses with regulations that are stricter than federal standards. Government needs to get out of the way of job providers and let them do what they do best, create jobs and invest in our communities. Unelected state regulators should not be in the business of adopting regulations stricter than federal standards. Such regulations disproportionally affect small business and hurt growth. Outside of emergencies, only elected officials that the people can hold accountable should make these regulatory decisions.
Fighting Opioid Abuse
Opioid and prescription drug abuse is a serious problem that affects communities across Michigan. In March, Rep. Griffin joined a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators to introduce wide-ranging legislation designed to help address this problem. These measures include better reporting and regulation of controlled substance prescriptions, creating prescribing limits for opioids, ensuring full use of the Michigan Automated Prescription System, and better education for Michigan students. HBs 4406 and 4407, introduced by Rep. Griffin, require the state’s Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to provide recommendations for educating students about these dangers and would include this information in the state’s health education model program. It is important that we share with students, both at home and in an educational setting, the dangers of opioid abuse and addiction. These bills were voted out of the House Committee on Health Policy on May 24th with unanimous support and now move to the House floor.
You can also get updates from Rep. Griffin’s Facebook page, which you can find at www.facebook.com/RepBethGriffin
*The Michigan House of Representatives is responsible only for content submitted with House resources and in accordance with the law and House policy. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
Monthly Coffee Hours
Fourth Monday of the Month
Greg’s Paw Paw Blend in Paw Paw from 8:00am – 9:00am
Café Julia in South Haven from 10:00am – 11:00am
Village Hall in Decatur from 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Township Hall in Cooper Township from 3:00pm 4:00pm
Michigan Legislature: www.legislature.mi.gov
Michigan House of Representatives: www.house.mi.gov
Michigan Senate: www.senate.mi.gov
Van Buren County: www.vbco.org
Kalamazoo County: www.kalcounty.com