LANSING (AP) A bill that would require background checks on flight school students is among a package of anti-terrorism bills introduced yesterday by legislative leaders.
The package of 34 bills, introduced on the three-month anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is intended to improve public safety. The bills give law enforcement agencies new tools to investigate threats and strengthen the state”s response to emergencies.
The bills were developed by House Speaker Rick Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Dan DeGrow, both Republicans, and House Minority Leader Kwame Kilpatrick and Senate Minority Leader John Cherry, who are Democrats.
“This is a commonsense approach that protects the public without threatening civil liberties,” Johnson, of LeRoy, said in a written statement.
The package”s main bill would define a terrorist act as a violent felony that threatens, intimidates or coerces people or attempts to affect the conduct of government.
Assets used to commit a terrorist act could be frozen under another bill in the package. Other measures in the legislation would:
n Require those convicted of a terrorism-related offense to reimburse municipalities for emergency response costs.
n Require that applicants for drivers licenses and personal identification cards be U.S. citizens or legal aliens.
n Set penalties for using the Internet with the intent of committing a terrorist act. A person convicted of such an offense could face up 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
n Require Michigan flight school operators to conduct background checks on potential students.