Sen. Brandenburg: August ushers in new state laws
Several important new laws passed earlier in the year take effect in August:
- Public Acts 24 and 25 of 2017 allow parents and guardians to voluntarily have photographs and fingerprints of their special needs child or adult entered into a statewide system to aid in identifying them and contacting their families more quickly should these vulnerable individuals go missing.
- Public Acts 29 and 30 of 2017 prohibit and provide tough penalties for pointing a laser or similar device at an airplane pilot or train engineer. While this issue is a federal crime, the new state law allows for more consistent prosecution and increased safety.
- Public Act 34 of 2017 expands protections for victims of human trafficking so all victims, including those with prior prostitution-related convictions, are eligible for the discharge and dismissal program if all conditions of probation are met.
Jobless rate drops again
Michigan’s unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent in June, the lowest rate since August 2000!
Statewide unemployment was once again below the national average and a full percentage point below Michigan’s June 2016 rate. Job gains were posted in the professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and financial sectors.
Unemployment insurance employer seminars
Michigan employers can learn more about the state’s unemployment insurance system at free seminars in August and September.
The programs offer three one-hour sessions with a 30 minute period for individual questions after each presentation. Each session features general information, including how to navigate the Michigan Web Account Manager system, along with a brief overview of services available to employers to assist in meeting labor force needs. Find more information, dates and locations at www.michigan.gov/uia.
Effort to bring back the Arctic Grayling
The Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative aims to establish self-sustaining populations of Arctic Grayling throughout its historical range in Michigan. The initiative recently released its official action plan in its efforts to reintroduce the fish.
Large populations of the slate-blue fish with the distinctive dorsal fin were once found in many cold water streams throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and in one Upper Peninsula stream. In fact, the historic species was native only to Michigan and Montana in the lower 48 states according to the DNR. The Grayling was valued as both a commercial food fish and a sought-after game fish. However, a variety of factors led to the extirpation of this rare native fish from Michigan by 1936.
To view the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative Action Plan, visit www.migrayling.org.