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Snyder signs bills giving some military veterans free entry to state parks

Governor also signs 10 other bills

June 28, 2013

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder today signed a pair of bills that offer free state park entry to military veterans who are eligible for 100 percent disability, to veterans who were prisoners of war, and those who have received the Medal of Honor.

House Bills 4297 and 4439, sponsored by state Rep. Frank Foster, waive the annual $11 state park Recreation Passport fee for vehicle license plates issued to those military veterans.

“Thousands of Michigan’s military veterans have sacrificed greatly for our way of life, and offering eligible veterans free entry to our state parks is a small gesture of our gratitude for their service,” Snyder said.

The Michigan Secretary of State indicated that, as of November 2012, there were about 8,070 specialty license plates eligible for the free recreation passport endorsement. There have been 7,642 disabled veteran plates issued, 426 former POW plates, and two specialty Medal of Honor license plates issued in Michigan.

HBs 4297 and 4439 are now Public Acts 81 and 82 of 2013.

The governor also signed 10 other bills:

HB 4080, also sponsored by Foster, conveys a portion of land in Kinross owned by the state Department of Corrections to Chippewa County or another local government for public use. It also authorizes the sale of Camp Manistique, located in Schoolcraft County, at fair market value. It is PA 83.

HB 4307, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Lyons, eliminates the requirement for a special election when a vacancy occurs in the office of county commissioner during an odd-numbered year. It is now PA 84.

HB 4540, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Stamas, amends the Plant Rehabilitation and Industrial Development Act to require the State Tax Commission to issue exemption certificates that had received local approval on Feb. 21 and July 23, 2012, for applications that were not made complete until the following calendar year. It is now PA 85.

HB 4663, sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Daley, institutes a mediation process to solve groundwater disputes between large-well agricultural entities and small-well owners. It also increases the funding authorization for the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Farmland and Open Space Preservation program. It is now PA 86.

SB 264, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, allows dredging materials that are not contaminated with toxic substances to be disposed of in open lakes under certain conditions, and places certain conditions on dredging permits. It is now PA 87.

HB 4082, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Lori, creates the Michigan Alzheimer's Association Fund in order to collect the revenue from an income tax checkoff. Revenues collected will go to the Michigan Alzheimer's Association. It is now PA 88.

HB 4084, sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Farrington, creates the ALS of Michigan Fund within the state Treasury Department, to collect donations from a tax refund checkoff to support research and clinics that care for Michiganians who have ALS. It is now PA 89.

The companion, SB 150, sponsored by state Sen. John Pappageorge, creates a checkoff box on income tax forms allowing Michigan taxpayers to donate a portion of their tax return to the ALS of Michigan Fund and for the Michigan Alzheimer's Association Fund. It is now PA 90.

SBs 341 and 342, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, create the Michigan Amber Alert Fund within the Department of State Police, and provide an income tax form checkoff so people can donate to the fund. Revenue from the checkoffs will provide funds for the Michigan Amber Alert Plan. The bills are PAs 91 and 92, respectively.

The governor vetoed HB 4085 because it replicated the portions of SB 150 that establish funds for donating income tax returns for Alzheimer’s and ALS research.

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