STATE NEWS IN BRIEF

County buying gun range at site of former Michigan prison

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A county in Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula is buying the gun range at a former prison so sheriff’s deputies have a place to practice shooting.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports Grand Traverse County commissioners this week approved buying the range at the former Pugsley Correctional Facility for $1 from the Michigan Land Bank Authority. The county says it’s already been using the gun range to train deputies.

Under plans for the gun range, it will remain only for use by law enforcement. Deputies are required to shoot to maintain their certification as officers.

The prison closed in 2016 as part of cost-cutting by the Michigan Department of Corrections. Plans call for redeveloping other parts of the Fife Lake Township site for industrial use.

Michigan Legislature tries to bar tougher regulations

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s past veto, the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature is again advancing a bill that would prohibit the state from adopting regulations than are more stringent than federal rules — except in certain situations.

The Senate is expected to take a final vote on the GOP-backed legislation Thursday.

The bill would let an agency director only pursue regulations that are more stringent than federal rules if he or she determines there is a clear and convincing need to do so or state law authorizes it.

In 2011, the Republican governor vetoed similar legislation, saying it would hamper the state’s ability to protect the environment.

Michigan lawmakers vote to delay cage-free ban for hens

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are moving to delay a requirement that farm animals confined in small spaces be given more room.

The Legislature sent Gov. Rick Snyder legislation Thursday that would push back standards scheduled to take effect for egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs in October 2019. Farmers wouldn’t have to comply until April 2020 for hens and October 2025 for pigs under the bill.

Animal advocates consider close confinement inhumane. The law bans commonly used cages and stalls.

The legislation would, starting in October 2025, also ban the sale of shelled eggs within Michigan from hens not given enough room to move, including if the eggs were produced outside Michigan. Supporters say that provision would significantly boost the number of farms in compliance.

— From the Associated Press

 

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