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Criminal Justice & Legal System

March has been a busy month in Lansing


It's been a busy month in Lansing.

Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau reporter Kathy Gray has compiled a list of the bills and resolutions introduced so far in March.

“There were 113 bills introduced, and if history repeats itself, about 40 of those will become law,” Gray said. “And, you know, there’s some pretty controversial bills that have been introduced and some pretty mundane ones too."

Take House Bill 4279, for example.

“That is an anti-abortion bill,” Gray said. “It basically affords all the rights that are given to human beings to fetuses at the moment of conception. And so this could work to ban virtually all abortions. It could also work to criminalize abortions. And several states have tried to pass these types of bills and they’ve usually been shut down in the federal court system.”

A similar bill is House Bill 4309.

“This bill would allow medical personnel and hospitals to refuse service that they find objectionable based on religious objections,” Gray said.

She said this bill was introduced last year in the Senate, though it never reached the full Senate. As this legislation is “a bit more conservative than the last one,” Gray foresees it achieving at least a hearing in the House.

“Certain facilities can already refuse to provide birth control services, things like that – some of the religious hospitals – but this could make this reach even further,” Gray said.

Then, there's the controversial May ballot question that would raise money for fixing roads. Now, three House members – Reps. Cindy Gamrat, Todd Courser and Gary Glenn – are resurrecting parts of a plan that didn't get through the legislature last year.

“It would re-direct a sales tax that is now charged on gasoline, which now goes to schools and local governments and things like that,” Gray said. “It would re-direct that money towards roads. Problem with that is then you’ve got to try to fill the gap that schools and local governments are going to experience if that money isn’t available for them.”

To hear the rest of Gray’s list, listen above.