What follows are short descriptions of several bills that have been brought up for a vote in the Legislature. The roll call votes for each bill can be found below. For an opportunity to comment on these bills, please see www.mackinac.org/9955.

 

HOUSE BILL 4173Annie Oakley
To name a road after Annie Oakley
Introduced by state Rep. Marie Donigan, D-Royal Oak

The analysis done by the House Fiscal Agency reports that the bill would "amend the Michigan Memorial Highway Act to designate those portions of Highway US-127 in Lenawee and Gratiot counties as the 'Annie Oakley Memorial Trail.'"

On June 27, 2008, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives on a vote of 99-8.

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HOUSE BILL 4599
To name a road after a term-limited legislator
Introduced by state Rep. John Proos, R-St. Joseph

The Michigan House Fiscal agency staff reports that this bill would "amend the Michigan Memorial Highway Act to designate a portion of Highway M-63 in Berrien County the 'Harry Gast Parkway.'"

Gast is a former member of the Michigan Legislature. Contrary to the implication of the name "Memorial Highway Act," Gast is still alive as of this writing. However, term limits forced him to retire from the Michigan Senate after 2002.

On June 27, 2008, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives on a vote of 100-7.

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HOUSE BILL 4534Motorcyclist
Establish "Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day"
Introduced by state Rep. Richard LeBlanc, D-Westland

The analysis of the bill prepared by the House Fiscal Agency staff finds that if enacted into law it "would designate the third Wednesday of each July as Ride your Motorcycle to Work Day."

On June 24, 2008, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives on a vote of 87-20.

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SENATE RESOLUTION 25
Official children's book for the state
Introduced by state Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City

This resolution commemorates "Hidden Michigan" as the official state children's book. On May 15, 2007, the resolution was approved in the Michigan Senate on a vote of 27-11.

During this legislative session, bills have been introduced to establish the blueberry as the official state fruit (House Bill 5622); establish "Bo Schembechler Day" (House Bill 5563); establish "Children's Day" (Senate Bill 879); declare apple cider as the official state beverage (House Bill 4704); and designate the peeper as the official state amphibian (House Bill 4703.)

According to Michiganvotes.org, past legislatures "have proposed designating the marbled salamander as the official state amphibian and the monarch butterfly as the official state insect. Michigan does have an official state reptile, which is the painted turtle."

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HOUSE BILL 6130Hand grenade lighter
To ban certain "novelty lighters"
Introduced by state Rep. Jeff Mayes, D-Bay City

The bill would allow a fine of $500 to be imposed on retailers who sell novelty cigarette lighters. According to one of two memos prepared by the House Fiscal Agency for use by legislators as they deliberated this bill, a "novelty lighter" is defined as one that is "designed to appear to be a toy, features a flashing light, or makes musical sounds."

On Sept. 18, 2008, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives on a vote of 88-19.

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As cash-strapped government looks to cigarettes for tax revenue, the public responds by more illegally transporting smokes across state borders. Smugglers and thieves target stores and businesses and the benefits to state coiffures and public health are questionable.

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