Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation expanding protections for victims of human trafficking

LANSING, Mich. — Victims of human trafficking who were forced to commit crimes can now have their criminal records dismissed under legislation signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“As a state, we need to do everything we can to assist victims of human trafficking,” Snyder said. “This bill helps victims have greater opportunities to rebuild their lives as they continue their journey toward healing and recovery.”

House Bill 4219, sponsored by state Rep. Bronna Kahle, amends the Michigan Penal Code by removing the restriction that an individual is eligible for deferral or dismissal of criminal charges only if there were no prior convictions. It is now Public Act 34 of 2017.

Snyder also signed seven additional bills:

House Bill 4167, sponsored by state Rep. Ben Frederick, amends the Vehicle Code to permit a truck-trailer combination towing agriculture drainage tubing to expand the allowable length of tubing from 59 to 75 feet. It is now Public Act 35 of 2017.

House Bill 4288, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, provides a technical update to the Uniform Interstate Child Support Act. The bill changes the wording in the act from “any” to “all” in the provision regarding when Michigan can exercise jurisdiction in intergovernmental child support cases. It is now Public Act 36 of 2017.

Senate Bill 46, sponsored by state Sen. Dale Zorn, allows for the mounting of emergency lights to areas other than the roof portion of the authorized emergency vehicle. This bill would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to remove the requirement of flashing, rotating, or oscillating lights to be permanently or temporarily mounted on the roof section of emergency vehicles. It is now Public Act 37 of 2017.

Senate Bill 102, sponsored by state Sen. Wayne Schmidt, establishes the “Michigan Community Foundation Act” and consolidates into one statute the authority and process for a municipality, school or library to receive, sell or transfer certain gifts and property to a community foundation. It is now Public Act 38 of 2017.

Senate Bill 118, sponsored by state Sen. Goeff Hansen, amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to allow the Department of Natural Resources to become a “rail-trail” sponsor and expand liability coverage to individuals conducting work on DNR trails and other lands. This act boosts the progress of Michigan’s trail systems while also preserving the integrity of the interstate commerce rails, should it become necessary to reactivate the railroad. It is now Public Act 39 of 2017.

Senate Bill 129, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to discern small native copper mines from large-scale mines. The bill provides oversight of small native copper mines and establishes a regulatory structure that is protective of the environment and public health and safety. It is now Public Act 40 of 2017.

Senate Bill 202, sponsored by state Sen. Jack Brandenburg, clarifies that free social media internet games will not be considered gambling so long as the reward offered by the games is either extended play or additional credits used to allow extended play. It is now Public Act 41 of 2017.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit