Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law that allows people to donate more money to Michigan political candidates. The limits haven't changed in decades. Donors now will be able to give as much as $6,800 to a candidate running for statewide office, $2,000 for a state Senate candidate and $1,000 to a Michigan House candidate. The caps will increase over time with inflation. Democrats opposed the bill, saying few people have been giving the maximum to political candidates. Party Chairman Lon Johnson said Friday that Snyder and other Republicans are rewarding the wealthy. But supporters say the cost of running for office has gone up and raising the limits will help all parties. The law also will require more disclosure about who's paying for certain ads and automated phone calls.
Snyder also signed laws that would:
Make it a crime to attach high-tech "skimmer" devices to ATMs to record information off debit cards. The gadgets record information off ATM cards and capture PIN numbers used to make transactions. Snyder says "skimming" from ATMs is a growing problem. Target solicitation of people involved in vehicle crashes and extending a program that lets repeat drunken drivers get a restricted driver's license by installing a breath alcohol ignition device on their car. Access to accident reports is prohibited for 30 days if lawyers or others want to offer injured victims their services. Prohibit law enforcement officials from helping federal authorities indefinitely detain American citizens without charges. Establish the Michigan Capitol as a state historic site and creating a commission to ensure the building is maintained. The governor said Thursday that the laws give the 135-year-old building the protection it deserves. It's one of fewer than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks. Lawmakers, however, have not yet designated an ongoing funding source for Capitol maintenance projects. Let customers bring their own bottles of wine to restaurants with a liquor license.
Designate a regional economic development district in the Upper Peninsula. Create a fund to sell the public on the benefits of hunting. The fund will receive about $1.6 million a year from an already approved $1 surcharge on new base hunting and fishing licenses.