Bottle deposits would expand to water, juice containers under bill introduced in Legislature

LANSING, MICH. - Michigan's 42-year-old bottle deposit law could get an update under a bill introduced last week that would add water and juice bottles and cans to the list of containers subject to a 10-cent deposit.

"We need to increase our recycling rate in the state of Michigan. We're falling behind," said state Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, the sponsor of the bill. "If we're capturing more bottles,we're keeping more things out of of our landfills and more trash off the road. And recycling saves energy."

Since the bill was passed in 1976, Michiganders have paid the 10- cent deposit on bottles and cans for carbonated beverages, including beer, wine, wine coolers, soda pop, canned cocktails and mineral water, and about 97% of those containers have been returned for the dime refund.

The difference between the amount paid in deposits and the amount returned is captured by the state and 75% goes to a state environmental cleanup fund while 25% is returned to the retailers who sell the products.

The bill, which excludes milk products from the deposit, came in the same week that Gov. Rick Snyder announced plans to try and boost recycling efforts in the state, including providing recycling bins in all state facilities, expanding educational efforts to encourage recycling and reforming the state's solid-waste laws to slow the development of landfills in the state.

The proposal does not include a change in Michigan's bottle deposit law.

"The governor said he wants to do more recycling and we want this to be something that he can lift up," Hoadley said. "We know the bottle law works."

Other bills introduced last week in the Legislature:

HB 5454: Extend principle property tax residence to owners who are temporarily absent while rebulding a demolished or destroyed home. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 5455: Allow for a property tax exemption for spouses of veterans. Sponsor: Rep. Lana Theis, R-White River Township.

HB 5456: Enact the asbestos bankruptcy trust claims transparency act. Sponsor: Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell.

HB 5457-5458: Designate the last Saturday in September as Public Lands Day and allow for free entry into state parks on that day. Sponsor: Rep. Tom Cochran, D-Mason.

HB 5459: Establish limits on the allocations paid out to crime victims from the statewide trauma system fund. Sponsor: Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights.

HB 5460-5461: Require drug overdose training for medical first responders and law enforcement officers. Sponsors: Reps. Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, Patrick Green, D-Warren.

HB 5462: Eliminate the statute of limitations on criminal sexual conduct cases. Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Hertel, D-St. Clair Shores.

HB 5463-5464: Prohibit and penalize the sale of nitrous oxide to individuals under the age of 18. Sponsor: Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, Joseph Bellino, R-Monroe.

HB 5465-5484: A package of bills that is designed to prepare, attract and retain teachers in Michigan’s public schools by creating incentives and scholarships for students to enter the teaching profession; provide student loan forgiveness, bonuses and mentoring for new teachers and stipends for students who do their student teaching at disadvantaged schools; set teacher/student ratios at one teacher for every 20 students. Sponsors: Reps. Darin Camilleri, D-Brownstown Township; Donna Lasinski, D-Ann Arbor, Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, William Sowerby, D-Clinton Township, Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, D-Detroit, Tenisha Yancey, D-Harper Woods, Patrick Green, D-Warren, Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, Frank Liberati, D-Allen Park, Cara Clemente, D-Lincoln Park, Vanessa Guerra, D-Bridgeport, David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids, Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, Kristy Pagan, D-Canton, Jim Ellison, D-Royal Oak, Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, Tim Sneller, D-Burton, Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn,  Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint.

HB 5485: Require landlords to provide access to recycling services to renters. Sponsor: Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn.

HB 5486: Expand beverage containers subject to bottle deposits to include all nonalcoholic carbonated or uncarbonated beverages except for soy, rice or dairy-derived products. Sponsor: Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo.

HB 5487: Create a universal Medicaid credentialing process. Sponsor: Rep. Ed Canfield, R-Sebawaing.

HB 5488: Require public universities and community colleges to report legal expenses to the Legislature. Sponsor: Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake.

HB 5489: Require public bodies to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests in the same way the request was sent. So if the request was sent by electronic mail, the public body must respond by e-mail. Sponsor: Rep. Steven Johnson, R-Wayland Township.

HB 5490: Require the state to distribute transportation funds to townships. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond.

HB 5491: Create a young adult commission in the Legislature. Sponsor: Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy.

HB 5492-5493: Create a state office of government accountability for public employees and officers. Sponsors: Reps. Phil Phelps, D-Flushing, Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint.

HB 5494-5495 and 5498: Prohibit the use of a drone if it interferes with the operations of a key facility and define the criminal use of a drone as an extension of the person operating the machine. Sponsor: Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, Roger Hauck, R-Mt. Pleasant, James Lower, R-Cedar Lake.

HB 5496-5497: Establish duties of the Michigan aeronautics commission to include the use of drones. Sponsor: Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte.

HB 5499: Provide for the reinstatement of a law enforcement officer’s license if the police chief certifies that the individual is required to complete field and in-service training. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 5500 and 5502: Establish an advisory committee to increase awareness of benefits for veterans. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 5501: Waive application or licensing fee for liquor license issued to a veterans’ organization. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 5503: Provide for a veteran status designation on drivers’ licenses. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 5504: Eliminate the requirement of an audible signal when being overtaken and passed by another vehicle on the right. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park.

HB 5505-5506: Modify the licensing of an adult foster care facility. Sponsor: Rep. Frank Liberati, D-Allen Park, Daire Rendon, R-Lake City.

HB 5507: Set the deadline to file for a recount of an election race to eight days after the final certification of the election results. Sponsor: Rep. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor.

HB 5508-5509: Authorize the merger or conversion of a summer resort and park association into nonprofit corporations. Sponsor: Rep. Larry Inman, R-Traverse City.

HB 5510: Eliminate the helmet requirement for off-road vehicles that are going to or from agricultural work. Sponsor: Brett Roberts, R-Charlotte.

HB 5511: Require the state Treasury Department to notify the Legislature of its interpretations of tax law. Sponsor: Rep. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville.

HB 5512: Repeal the ban on carrying a concealed knife. Sponsor: Rep. Steven Johnson, R-Wayland Township.

HB 5513-5514: Eliminate the ban on selling, manufacturing or possessing of brass knuckles, blackjacks and clubs. Sponsor: Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sturgis, Steven Johnson, R-Wayland Township.

Senate bills

SB 788-789: Create the position of ombudsman for public employees and expand whistleblower protection to employees who are reporting misconduct to the ombudsman. Sponsors: Sens. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, Joe Hune, R-Gregory.

SB 790: Require utilities to disclose annual water rates and provide statistics on shut offs of services. Sponsor: Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland.

SB 791-792: Establish graduated penalties for common law violations. Sponsors: Sens. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, Jim Ananich, D-Flint.

SB 793-794: Revise the definitions of violations of the safe drinking water act. Sponsors: Sens. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

SB 795: Modify how retirement benefits are computed based on public school employees’ professional services leave or released time. Sponsor: Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy.

SB 796: Prohibit public employer contracts that pay union officials for time conducting union business. Sponsor: Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy.

SB 797-798: Create a safe families program, which allows a parent or guardian to delegate temporary care of a minor child. Sponsors: Sens. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford.

SB 799: Modify revenue-estimating conference estimates to include certain prisoner information. Sponsor: Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph.

SB 800: Remove references to sections in the human services act that are being repealed. Sponsor: Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford.

SB 801: Include the anti-depressant tianeptine sodium as a schedule 2 drug that can be sold with a prescription. Sponsor: Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

SB 802: Provide for prescriptions for opioid (pain relief) and benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety) to be electronically transmitted to pharmacies beginning on Jan. 1, 2020. Sponsor: Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida.

SB 803-804: Allow alcohol sales in state-owned buildings. Sponsor: Sen. David Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.

For more information or to track the bills, go to www.legislature.mi.gov

Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, kgray99@freepress.com or on Twitter @michpoligal.

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