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Montmorency County Tribune
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April 3, 2013     Montmorency County Tribune
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April 3, 2013
 

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20 Wednesday, April 3, 2013 The Montmorency County Tribune 41b The Department of Natural Resources today reminded anglers that a new fishing license season began Monday, April 1. All 2012 fishing licenses expired on March 31, 2013. Anglers have a choice of a variety of licenses and prices are unchanged from 2012. Fishing license options in- clude: 24-hour license (good for all species) 72-hour license (good for all species) Restricted license (good for the entire season for all species except trout, salmon, lake sturgeon, lake herring, amphibians, reptiles or crustaceans) All-species license (good for the entire season for all species) Visit the online version of the 2013 Fishing Guide for license fee details. Fishing license fees fund a variety of activities, includ- ing fish management work on Michigan's waters, habi- tat rehabilitation and protection, fish stocking, informa- tion distribution, education and outreach efforts to an- glers and the public, and much more. Fisheries Division does not receive any general funds and depends on angler fees, through license sales and federal excise tax dollars for fishing tackle, to manage Michigan's fisher- ies. The purchase of a fishing license, even for someone who does not plan to fish, can make a big difference to the future health of Michigan's prized waters and fisher- ies. There are three simple ways to purchase a fishing li- cense in Michigan: 1. Visit a local license retailer or DNR Operations Ser- vice Center and make a purchase in person. 2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit www.mdnr- elicense.com to get started. 3. Visit the Mobile Fish website on your smartphone at www.mi.gov/fish to buy a 24-hour all-species fishing license. All that's needed is the purchaser's driver's li- cense number and a credit or debit card. For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing. I\ 6 The House and Senate are on a two-week spring break, so rather than votes this report instead contains several recently introduced bills of interest. Senate Bill 210: Increase charity sales tax exemption Introduced by Sen. Michael Green (R), to exempt from sales tax up to $25,000 in annual retail sales made by a nonprofit organization for fundraising purposes, rather than $5,000 under current law. At least 10 similar bills raising the $5,000 cap have been introduced since 2002. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 217: Require legislative votes on "Michi- gan Strategic Fund" spending Introduced by Sen. Bert Johnson (D), to require that all money spent by the "Michigan Strategic Fund" must be actually appropriated by the Legislature. This agency oversees both government job training programs and the state "economic development" apparatus that deliv- ers selective corporate tax breaks and subsidies to par- ticular firms. Under current law, state revenue from Indian casino agreements goes directly to this agency with no legislative vote or approval required. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 221: Increase sex offender registry fees Introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R), to require individu- als on the public sex offender registry to payS50 each year, rather than just a one-time $50 fee. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 247: Authorize some 4 a.m. liquor licenses Introduced by Sen. Virgil Smith, Jr. (D), to allow bars and restaurants in a"central business district" of a city to stay open until 4:00 a.m. if they pay a $I0,000 annual fee and have extra bouncers and security cameras. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 203: Prohibit employment for less than mandated minimum wage Introduced by Sen. Bert Johnson (D), to make it unlaw- ful to employ a worker for less than $7.90 an hour begin- ning in 2014, increasing in steps to $10 an hour in 2016, notwithstanding any voluntary agreement between the employer and employee. The current state minimum wage level mandated for hourly employees not covered by a federal wage mandate is $7.40 an hour. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4386: Prohibit employment for less than mandated minimum wage Introduced by Rep. Jon Switalski (D), the same bill as the previous, except the mandated minimums would be $8.20 an hour beginning July 1, 2013, and $9.00 an hour in 2014. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4240: Ban unemployment benefits ff job appficant refuses drug test Introduced by Rep. Ken Goike (R), to prohibit unem- ployment benefits for a person who refuses to take a drug test required as part of a particular job application. Re- ferred to committee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4236: Restrict privatization of state services Introduced by Rep. Jim Townsend (D), to prohibit the privatization of government services unless the savings to the state would be at least 10 percent of the cost of the same service being performed by government workers. The bill would also require any state department or agency seeking to privatize any state services to conduct a pre-privatization cost-benefit analysis, and also to im- pose extensive disclosure and auditing mandates on any contractor who receives such a contract." Referred to committee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4312: Authorize enhanced penalties for drive-by shooting Introduced by Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes (D), to authorize up to life in prison for intentionally discharging a firearm from a vehicle when this causes death (as in a "drive-by" shooting), and 15 to 20 years if someone is injured. These penalties would be on top of any imposed for assault, attempted murder, etc. Referred to committee, no fur- ther action at this time. House Bill 4314: Create open records compliance commission Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to create a state commission comprised of lawmakers and media repre- sentatives to investigate complaints about the state and local governments' compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, including fees charged and exemp- tions or exclusions claimed. The commission couid refer complaints to the state Attorney General and would have the duty of recommending changes based on informa- tion it gathers. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4328: Next year's state budget (non-educa- tion) Introduced by Rep. Joseph Haveman (R), Gov. Rick Snyder's executive budget recommendation for the fis- calyear that begins on Oct. 1, 2013. This would authorize $36.605 billion in non-education state spending in the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2013, compared to $34:355 billion enacted the previous year. (These are "gross" spending amounts, not adjusted to reflect inter- department transfers.) Some $18.955 billion of this will come from federal government. The total executive bud- get recommendation including education is $51.607 bil- lion. House and Senate appropriations subcommittees use this as the basis to craft actual department budgets, and began advancing these last week. Senate Bill 222: Next year's state budget (education) Introduced by Sen. Roger Kahn (R), Gov. Rick Snyder's public school, community college and university budget recommendation for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2013. This would appropriate $13.23 billion for K-12 public schools, compared to $12.81 billion authorized in the previous year's budget. The bill also appropriates $1.43 billion for state universities, compared to $1.39 billion enacted for this year. Community colleges would get $335 million vs. $294 million enacted for this year. House and Senate appropriations subcommittees use this as the basis to craft the actual budgets, and began advancing these last week.