Snyder’s e-cigarette veto makes new legislation unlikely, senator says

Capital News Service
LANSING — Banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors might make sense to a lot of Michigan residents, but one senator said bringing up new legislation this term could be a waste of time. Sen. Rick Jones, a Grand Ledge Republican, said legislation is at a standstill after Gov. Rick Snyder last month vetoed a bill that would have made e-cigarette sales to minors illegal. Snyder wants e-cigarettes to be regulated and taxed as tobacco products. “The governor will not sign a bill that does not make them into tobacco cigarettes, so they get taxed like regular tobacco cigarettes,” Jones said. “And I don’t believe this legislature will pass that.

Young prostitutes would be seen as victims, not criminals

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan law may soon come closer to mirroring federal law when dealing with minors engaged in prostitution, but not close enough for some anti-human trafficking advocates. A new House bill would presume that any 16- or 17-year-old working in prostitution was “coerced into child sexually abusive activity” and would be offered assistance to avoid prosecution. The proposal comes as part of a broad, 19-bill initiative to combat human trafficking in Michigan. Other bills in the initiative would create counseling services for trafficking victims, allow trafficking victims to sue their captors for civil damages and more. This bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake, says the proposal would help break the cycle of children caught in the sex trade.