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Snyder signs bill to ensure better Internet access in rural areas

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to provide better wireless Internet access in rural areas.

Senate Bill 499, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, will allow easier access for telecommunications companies to install facilities along state-controlled rail-trails - former railway lines converted to walking and bicycling paths. Companies will pay not more than $500 in application fees to the Department of Natural Resources, plus a one-time fee of 5 cents per linear foot used. Revenues will go into the Michigan Trailways Fund or the Natural Resources Trust Fund.

"Keeping costs low will encourage more companies to expand wireless Internet access to Michigan's rural areas, essential to continuing our economic reinvention," Snyder said.

The bill now is Public Act 138 of 2012.

The governor also signed four other bills.

S.B.s 64 and 65, sponsored by state Sens. Rick Jones and Tonya Schuitmaker, protect the safety of housing communities by speeding the process of recovering rental units in cases involving physical violence or threats and those involving illegal use of controlled substances. The bills now are P.A. 139 and 140.

S.B. 92, sponsored by state Sen. Steve Bieda, protects the rights and interests of vulnerable adults and other principals in power of attorney situations. It specifies the duties and responsibilities of those authorized to act in power of attorney situations, ensuring they follow the instructions of principals. The bill now is P.A. 141.

S.B. 269, sponsored by Schuitmaker, incrementally raises the monetary limit for filing in small claims court during the next 12 years from the current $3,000 to $7,000 in 2024. In addition to adjusting for inflation, the legislation aids business owners seeking to collect on small unpaid debts. They will benefit from the speed and efficiency of small claims court in more cases without needing to write off amounts greater than the $3,000 limit. The bill now is P.A. 142.

Visit for more information on the bills.