Gov. Snyder was joined by [L to R]: Staff member Craig Brunet, Rep. Kivela's wife, Sandy, his children, Shelby and Andrew, DNR Director Keith Creagh and staff member Nick Palmer. Photo credit: Gov. Snyder's Office

LANSING — Governor Rick Snyder was joined by late state Representative John Kivela’s family for a special bill signing ceremony to honor the final bill sponsored by Kivela, who died earlier this year.

House Bill 4424, now Public Act 124, provides specific penalties are now in place for illegally importing deer, elk and moose carcasses to Michigan from another state or province. The penalties include up to 90 days in prison or fines ranging from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $2,000, or both.

According to the press release, Snyder said “John Kivela was a great friend and tremendous partner in our work to reinvent Michigan, and it’s an honor to be joined today by his family to sign his final bill into law. This legislation is symbolic of John’s memory and legacy of service to the Upper Peninsula and our entire state.”

“Protecting Michigan’s communities, natural resources and wildlife is critically important, and this bill heightens penalties for importing animal carcasses from other states to help prevent harmful diseases from infecting Michigan’s deer, elk and moose populations,” he added.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit