After almost a year of waiting and a few delays, communities grappling with scrap metal theft have a solution out of Lansing.
HB 4593, introduced by State Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) in April 2013, passed the House and Senate in late March. The bill was presented to Governor Snyder yesterday, April 2 and he is expected to sign it into law soon.
Michigan ranks 10th in the nation in scrap metal theft, according to the Michigan State Police, while Ohio is No. 1. The Detroit-Warren-Livonia region is 8th highest in terms of scrap metal theft. The number of incidents of illegal scrapping increased from 527 in 2011 to 1,402 in 2012, according to the state police.
The two sides reached a compromise on the issue by requiring that payment for any items worth more than $25 be mailed to the person selling the materials at an established address, not just a post office box. The legislation also calls for the creation of a database of all people selling materials to scrap yards, but it’s not certain yet who would pay for it or maintain it.
The current law calls for mailing payments for anything worth more than $50. Some supporters of the legislation, despite casting yes votes, expressed concern on the $25 threshold.
However, in a political climate often marked by divisive rhetoric, it’s encouraging to see a bipartisan effort toward solving a problem that affects both individual and community safety.
Check out Winchester Consulting Group’s past blog coverage of the scrap metal theft issue: http://winchesterconsultinggroup.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/communities-grappling-with-scrap-metal-theft-in-need-of-solutions/