Sen. Pavlov and guest honor Michigan’s fallen soldiers

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, welcomed U.S. Army Specialist 4th Class Chuck Zimmer of Port Huron (left) to the Michigan Senate on Thursday.

Zimmer was Pavlov’s guest for the Michigan Senate’s 21st Annual Memorial Day Service. Joining Zimmer at the event were his wife Judy and daughter Amy.

Michigan’s military heroes who defended freedom and sacrificed their lives in the past year were honored during the special ceremony.

Note: For a print-quality version of this and other Pavlov photos, click the image or click Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Senate passes Zorn, Pavlov anti-poaching bills

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate passed measures on Wednesday to increase restitution and toughen penalties for individuals convicted of the illegal killing, possessing, purchasing or selling of certain animals in Michigan.

Sen. Dale Zorn is the sponsor of two of the bills in the package, Senate Bills 245 and 246.

“With the Senate passage of this legislation, we are sending a strong message that Michigan will not tolerate poaching,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Michigan residents are committed to protecting our natural resources, which includes our diverse types of wild game. The illegal taking of game is not a harmless crime. It’s a threat to animal populations, our ecosystem and our economy.”

Under SBs 245 and 246, an individual convicted of illegally killing, possessing, purchasing or selling moose or elk would lose their license for 15 calendar years for a first offense and for lifetime for a second offense. If the animal were a bear or antlered white-tailed deer, the individual would lose their license for five calendar years for a first offense and for ten years for a second offense.

Senate Bill 244, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, would increase existing fines for these crimes. The new fines would be as follows:
•    Elk: $5,000 per animal (with additional fines for antlered elk);
•    Moose: $5,000 per animal  (with additional fines for antlered moose);
•    Bear: $3,500 per animal;
•    Eagle: $1,500 per animal;
•    Bearded turkey: $1,000 per animal; and
•    Waterfowl: $500 per animal.

“Michigan has seen a number of appalling incidents of poaching over the past few years,” said Pavlov, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “Criminals have used rifles, golf clubs, baseball bats, and other means to illegally take wild animals, sometimes selling their parts overseas. These bills will help protect our wild resources and preserve the integrity of Michigan’s hunting heritage.”

SBs 244, 245 and 246 now head to the Michigan House for further consideration.

Pavlov: Canadian panel’s decision to approve nuclear waste dump a staggering mistake

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Phil Pavlov responded with shock and disappointment after Canada’s Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel (JRP) announced Wednesday it has recommended the construction of a permanent Canadian nuclear waste repository on the shores of Lake Huron.

“It is extremely troubling that the Joint Review Panel finds it acceptable to bury 7 million cubic feet of radioactive waste less than one mile from the shore of Lake Huron, threatening the health of the entire Great Lakes region,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “More than 75 Michigan communities, along with local government agencies in other U.S. states and Canada, passed official resolutions opposing this project, but this unelected panel has turned a deaf ear.”

The JRP has sent a report of their recommendations to Canadian Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq. Aglukkaq has four months to study the report before deciding whether to approve it.

“In the 1980s, Canadian officials were rightly concerned about possible nuclear waste 25 miles from their border. They were right to oppose that project then, and they are tragically wrong to let this waste dump project go forward now,” Pavlov said.

In 1986, Canada’s secretary of state for external affairs expressed opposition to a potential nuclear waste site in Maine. Last September, Pavlov addressed members of the Joint Review Panel and asked them to adhere to the standard their own government set for nuclear waste storage in 1986.

Pavlov sponsored measures last year designed to halt construction of the Kincardine, Ontario facility while strengthening Michigan’s protection of natural resources against radioactive waste. The Michigan Senate unanimously approved the legislation in June.

Several key conservation groups had registered their support for the legislative package, including Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Michigan Environmental Council, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Sierra Club Michigan and Michigan League of Conservation Voters. In addition, thousands of citizens signed a petition at demanding that President Obama exercise the United States’ international rights to stop the project.

“With today’s decision, the world’s largest supply of fresh water is in peril,” said Pavlov, the vice chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. “It is a sad day for Michigan, Canada and every state in the Great Lakes basin.”