2016 continues to be an eventful political year for the broadcast industry. We helped draft legislation, participated in policy work-groups, testified in committee hearings, visited lawmakers in their districts and in D.C., and met with the Governor’s office and numerous state department heads. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters continues to strengthen our relationships with lawmakers so we can serve as a strong advocacy voice for our industry.
State of the State Address - The MAB was instrumental in delivering live broadcast of the Governor’s annual State of the State Address. The broadcast was streamed to our members and on the MAB’s website. We thank our members for their participation!
Legislative Reception - The MAB Annual Legislative reception was a great success with over 60 lawmakers, staff and state department executives in attendance. MAB members are vital in building and sustaining great relationships with the lawmakers and we thank our members for attending this event!
Public Threat Alert System Legislation – State Representative Brandt Iden (R-61) and Michigan State Police (MSP) requested MAB’s input in drafting House Bill 5442. The bill requires that MSP establish and maintain a public threat alert system plan that would rapidly disseminate useful information to radio, television, and through wireless emergency alerts (WEA). The bill states that the public threat alert system plan shall be activated only in accordance with the policies created by the Michigan State Police. HB 5442 contains no mandates for broadcasters. Status: HB 5442 passed the Michigan Legislature and was presented to Governor Snyder who is expected to sign it into law.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (aka Drones) Legislation – Drones are becoming increasingly popular as a hobby and for commercial purposes and, as a result, Michigan State Legislature considered several bills that would create a ‘no drone zone,’ including the Mackinac Bridge (SB 432). MAB worked with lawmakers and the Mackinac Bridge Authority to include ‘news gathering exemption’ in the bill language that allows our members to use drones for news coverage to the extent allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The MAB also help draft legislation (SB 994) that would create a Drone Policy Task force that would develop statewide policy recommendations on the operation, use and regulation of drones in Michigan. Under the bill, member of the MAB staff will be appointed to serve on the legislative task force.
Status: the MAB testified in support of these bills in the Senate Transportation Committee. The bills passed the committee and referred to the full Senate Chamber for a vote.
MABPAC - The MAB Political Action Committee (MABPAC) is a way for broadcasters to help elect like-minded candidates who identify with our priorities. MABPAC is a non-partisan, Michigan Political Action Committee with a mission of helping to elect legislators who understand and support the interests of Michigan broadcasters and serve on state committees of importance to our industry. With term limits in effect, it is increasingly more difficult to forge long-term relationships with Michigan’s elected officials. A strong political action committee and face-to-face meetings are the two most important tools in creating dependable lasting relationships with the lawmakers.
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