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Michigan scrap bill voting is pushed off until autumn

Keywords: Tags  Eileen Kowall, Phil Cavanagh, Michigan legislation, scrap law, scrapyard, scrap, metals theft, recycling Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Michigan will have to wait a little while longer to find out the outcome of a set of proposed bills aimed at curbing metals theft.

Voting was slated for June 18, but the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Commission ended its final scheduled meeting before summer with no vote. Voting has now been delayed until fall.

The proposed measures—introduced by Rep. Eileen Kowall (R., District 44) and Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D., District 17)—have bipartisan support and are widely supported by law enforcement agencies, although they have faced heavy opposition from the recycling industry (, June 17).

"The problem is that these bills will not cure thieving. ... The legislators have no idea or respect for the scrap industry. They are treating us like a pawn shop—you don’t need a pawn shop, but you need scrapyards. The easiest thing to do is to pass a bill for sellers to have a scrap license. That way, everyone would always be on record," one recycler said.

"We actually had licenses as part of the bill when it was introduced three years ago, but (the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries) didn’t like the idea. ... We are, however, still trying to target the individuals so they are not invisible. We have seen far too many arrests that don’t lead to convictions," state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Detroit), a co-sponsor of the bill said.

"If these bills get passed, it will be drudgery for the scrap industry in Michigan. ... I am glad that they have been delayed. Hopefully, it will allow more time for lawmakers to consider the issue more thoughtfully," a second recycler said.

"The police want us to be the police," a third recycler said. "It’s insane."

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