Bills to Watch: Nov.1


Funding for Soo Locks improvements

This bill increases funding for the Soo Locks by $5 million in each of the next two fiscal years to serve as the state’s share of a federal lock-improvement project. President Donald Trump included more than $75 million in funding for the Soo Locks in his 2020 fiscal-year budget request to Congress. These bills are moving through the Senate and Assembly simultaneously, with both bills in the respective committees on state and federal relations.  


Beekeeping tax exemption

This bill creates a sales and use tax exemption for the sales of equipment used in beekeeping that is engaged in as a hobby rather than as a business. Current law allows for this exemption only if a person has a beekeeping business. The Senate version of the bill is in the Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions; the Assembly version is in the Committee on Ways and Means.


Creating a Pollinator Task Force

This bill creates a task force on native pollinator health to study other states’ successful public-education and outreach programs regarding pollinator health, evaluate the effectiveness of pesticide applicator licensing, investigate other states’ methods for gathering data on populations of bees and other pollinating insects, and more. The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.