Passing Bicycles, Peppier Pepper Spray, High School Internship Credit, More

March 23, 2018 MichiganVotes weekly roll call report

House Bill 5220, Increase allowable pepper spray concentration: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate

To revise a prohibition on the use of pepper spray with more than a 10 percent oleoresin capsicum concentration in the reasonable defense of one's person or property. The bill would increase the maximum concentration to 18 percent, and allow the formulas to contain an ultraviolet dye. Reportedly, 45 other states allow 18 percent pepper spray concentrations.

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House Bill 5097, Cap fees on internet service right of way projects: Passed 29 to 5 in the Senate

To cap at $300 the fee a county road commission can charge an internet or a cable TV provider for a permit to do work in a right of way, or a total of $1,000 for all permits per project. These amounts would be doubled in large counties (more than 250,000 residents). The bill would also limit the bonding requirements that can be imposed on ISP or cable company right of way projects.

House Bill 5257, Make possession of ransomware a felony: Passed 34 to 0 in the Senate

To make it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to possess ransomware software with malicious intent. The bill defines ransomware as “a computer or data contaminant, encryption, or lock” that can be placed or introduced without authorization into a computer or network, and that restricts access in a manner that enables the perpetrator “to demand payment of money or other consideration” to remove it.

Senate Bill 839, Revise mining permit amendment process: Passed 23 to 11 in the Senate

To establish streamlined procedures for a mining company getting certain restrictions in its state operating permit revised, subject to many exceptions. This would specifically apply to the process for determining that a permit amendment does not “result in environmental impacts that are materially increased or different” from those specified in the original permit. Among other things this refers to allowing a permittee “to relocate, reconfigure, or modify surface or underground facilities, buildings, or equipment, other than a tailings basin or a stockpile.”

House Bill 5017, Create adult “cyberbullying” crime: Passed 91 to 17 in the House

To create a crime of “cyberbullying” another person, with sanctions ranging from 93 days in jail for a first offense to 10 years if the action causes an individual’s death. The bill defines “cyberbully" as intentionally using an electronic network to intimidate, frighten, harass or cause emotional distress. Similar bills and laws apply to minors and students but this one applies to everyone.

House Bill 5494, Clarify operator liability for drone crimes: 108 to 1 in the House

To define unmanned aerial drones as “an extension of the person” for purposes of assigning responsibility for criminal misuse. Bills have been introduced to essentially add "also illegal if done with a drone" provisions to various criminal offenses, and this bill would make that presumption automatic.

House Bill 4265, Mandate three-foot clearance when passing bicycle: Passed 98 to 10 in the House

To require drivers passing a bicyclist going the same direction to stay at least three feet to the left if practicable. The bill would facilitate this by also letting drivers cross the centerline in a no-passing zone while passing, if it is safe to do so. The same three-foot margin would apply to passing a bicycle on the left where this is not prohibited under current traffic laws.

House Bill 4106, Give high school graduation credits for internship or work: Passed 104 to 4 in the House

To require school districts to give 9th through 12th grade students credit toward state graduation requirements for spending at least four hours per week getting work experience or in an internship. The credit would equal that granted for taking one traditional course. Students would be excused from one class period of instructional time for each day they work or intern. This would not apply to students who are struggling in school as defined in the bill, and would be subject to various specified conditions.

SOURCE:, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit

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