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Gov. Snyder Signs Bills Strengthening Animal Cruelty Laws

The bills allow law enforcement agencies to seize property suspected in animal cruelty crimes.

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to increase penalties for people associated with animal fighting and animal cruelty crimes.

“This legislation provides law enforcement the tools they need to put a stop to animal fighting,” Snyder said.

Senate Bill 356, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, allows for the seizure of homes and automobiles in cases involving animal fighting where the property either directly or materially contributed to the crime.

S.B. 358, sponsored by state Sen. Steve Bieda, adds animal fighting, shooting and baiting to the list of racketeering crimes. The bill makes it punishable by law to conspire with, aid or intimidate anyone to commit an animal fighting crime for financial gain.

House Bill 5789, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, gives law enforcement the ability to shut down any venue found to be associated with animal fighting. The bill also allows for the removal and sale of any personal property found within the premises.

The bills now are Public Acts 350-352 of 2012.

The governor also signed six other bills.

  • H.B. 5284, sponsored by state Rep. John Walsh, expands the prohibition on using a computer to commit certain crimes to include cell phones and other hand-held devices with Internet access. This updates the law to meet evolving technology. The bill now is P.A. 353.
  • S.B.s 402 and 403, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, provide legal immunity for physicians to report to the Secretary of State patients with physical or mental disabilities that make driving unsafe to either themselves or the public. The bills now are P.A.s 354 and 355.
  • S.B. 1001, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, allows employers to charge employees a fee to withhold child support from their wages. For electronic withholding, this fee cannot exceed $1 per paycheck or $2 per month. For other means of withholding, the fee cannot exceed $2 per paycheck or $4 per month. The bill now is P.A. 357.
  • S.B. 1108, sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher, develops an organization of major banks in Michigan to help small businesses get a loan. Many businesses hoping to expand or restructure have been denied because of recent, more stringent federal regulations and the public-private partnership with some of the state’s largest banks provides a risk pool. The bill now is P.A. 358.

Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.

Editor's note: This press release was submitted by Gov. Rick Snyder's Office.

John Locke December 14, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I'm glad he feels compassionate about animal cruelty. It's a shame the same compassion has not prevailed with respect to residential tax payers, children, and working people. But, he has shown great compassion for the many business lobbyist in Lansing,
Marilyn Wilkie December 15, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Good for him. This is one of the most disgusting things anyone can engage in. As for Mr. Locke's comments...reality is hard to face isn't it? I suppose he would rather continue down the road to ruin that Granholm was on.
Love All December 16, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Let us all know how you feel about your local taxes and fees going UP to cover the previous amounts the schools received from the taxes on businesses. Then again, when the schools and local governments are forced to cut back services as a result of this extreme legislation, you can always "blame the Unions" for your problems. Forcing higher taxes and fees upon the local citizens to give tax breaks to businesses has not been proven a success anywhere. No evidence of "job creation" that the radical right chant at every opportunity. Also, I'd like to know why folks like yourself allowed the police and fire unions to remain "off-limits" while you were so thrilled to see the rights of other union workers trampled upon with glee. Could it be that you were afraid of the reaction when the police and fire don't feel like protecting YOU when you didn't feel like protecting them?? Hypocrisy abounds with the radical right wingers in Michigan.

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