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Mich. mulls ‘watered-down’ scrap bill

Jan 02, 2014 | 01:03 PM | Daniel Fitzgerald

Tags  Michigan legislation, scrap metal, metals theft, Rashida Tlaib, Rick Snyder, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — A "watered-down" version of a scrap metal bill is being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives, but one of the legislation’s sponsors is hopeful of restoring a three-day waiting period provision before the bill is approved.

H.B.4593 originally included a three-day waiting period for payment when sellers offer such items as copper, air-conditioning components and catalytic converters (, Oct. 2).

However, that section of the bill was stripped out by the state Senate in exchange for a provision requiring the scrap metals industry to develop a database in consultation with the Michigan State Police, Rep. Rashida H. Tlaib told AMM. "It passed the House floor with overwhelming support. ... My hope is that we restore the sections that passed in the House version since it was what was agreed upon with the industry."

The bill has been returned to the House for approval. If the House votes down the amended bill, it will go to a conference committee for resolution, she said.

The three-day waiting period was "the section we fought very hard for," Tlaib said in an e-mail to colleagues. "This (provision) instantly reduces attraction to the crime by giving prosecutors a written record, check, electronic fund transfer, or money order of the transaction that can be traced back to the thief, and gives police three days to catch the criminal at his or her own address or when they return to the scrapyard to pick up their payment. I strongly believe that the scrap industry removed more tools for our local law enforcement with these changes, especially with the removal of the broad tag-and-hold and three-day delay."

Tlaib noted that legislators had already made concessions to the scrap industry by removing from the original bill a broader seven-day tag-and-hold provision, as well as terms in the civil liability section that would have allowed residents and business owners to bring an action against a scrap dealer for damages.

Meanwhile, H.B.4595, which establishes tougher penalties for those found guilty of scrap metal theft, has been signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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