Sen. Brandenburg supports aircraft safety bills
Earlier this year, a Michigan State Police (MSP) helicopter and three airliners were hit by lasers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The incidents are not without precedent as the FAA has reported more than 250 laser-related events in Michigan between 2010 and 2014.
This activity has the potential for tragedy as lasers can temporarily blind a pilot, endangering both pilot and passengers. I recently supported legislation making pointing a laser or similar device at an airplane pilot or train engineer a five-year, $10,000 felony.
While this serious issue is a federal crime, a state law on point would allow for greater enforcement and increased safety. The legislation has received wide support from law enforcement organizations across the state.
Senate approves legislation on specialty license plates
Many Michigan motorists purchase fundraising license plates to support their favorite organization or a worthy cause. A recent law caps the number of plates available at any one time to 20, excluding Michigan university plates. Currently there are 14 specialty plates.
I recently backed legislation to add other options.
- Senate Bill 163 would require the secretary of state to develop and issue a “Choose Life” license plate. Revenue from sales of the plate would be provided to nonprofit organizations that promote alternatives to abortion, life-affirming services and media campaigns to promote adoption and suicide prevention. The “Choose Life” plate has raised more than $21 million nationwide for the cause of life in states where the plate is available.
- Senate Bill 178 would authorize the secretary of state to design and issue a license plate recognizing four professional Michigan sports teams — the Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers — and the Michigan International Speedway. Funds from sales of the plates would be distributed to the organizations’ foundations or official charities that have been established to help strengthen the community, encourage leadership and athleticism among young people and promote health.
As with all specialty plates, the initial purchase requires a $25 donation and $10 service fee in addition to the regular cost of the license plate. Renewals require a $10 donation in addition to the standard cost.
Hunters: Apply for elk and bear licenses
The 2017 bear and elk hunting application period is open through June 1. A total of 200 elk and 7,140 bear licenses will be available for the 2017 hunting seasons.
Hunters can apply online at www.mdnr-elicense.com, at any authorized license agent or at a DNR Customer Service Center. See the 2017 Elk Digest and the 2017 Black Bear Digest for more details about the application processes. Find the publications at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests.