Weekly state legislature wrap up
Each week, The Michigan Daily will be publishing a wrap-up of the most important bills proposed in Michigan Legislature over the past seven days:
HB 5321: State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, introduced legislation which would prohibit the sterilization of deer as a method of population control. Cole told the Detroit Free Press he believes hunting is a more humane approach to the issue, as the tranquilization process causes stress for the animal.
“I was a hunting guide, so I strongly support the use of sportsmen for this activity. They pay to help manage wildlife species and that’s the direction that I want to continue to see the (Department of Natural Resources) use,” Cole said. “It’s the most cost-effective and efficient way to manage wildlife species, particularly in urban environments.”
In Ann Arbor, the deer cull has been a controversial issue since first approved in August 2015. City Council recently unveiled the city's 2018 plan which increases the number of targeted deer from 100 to 250.
Lorraine Shapiro, president of the Ann Arbor Non-Lethal Deer Management told The Daily in July that she believes sterilization is a more humane approach to population control.
“I feel it is inhumane to kill animals who are completely innocent,” Shapiro said. “They’re being punished for living, basically. This past winter, we were able to have the city agree to a plan where they would do culling and deer sterilization.”
Municipal Retirement: State Reps. James Lower, R-Cedar Lake, and Tom Albert, R-Lowell, are working with the governor's office to create legislation which would change municipal retirement.
The new plan would address pension and healthcare liabilities. The Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force reported that up to $7.46 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $10.13 billion in unfunded healthcare liabilities exist in local governmental budgets.
House Republican spokesman Gideon D'Assandro told MLive the plan has been under development for some time but is finally nearly finished.
“They've all been talking about a consensus plan for months and this is the time when they're starting to get close to an agreement,” D'Assandro said.
Last December, a push for similar legislation was made but faced strong opposition from various municipal workers such as firefighters and police. Following protests, Gov. Rick Snyder formed the task force in order to gather further information on the issue.