Michigan House OKs metal theft bill after deal

Bill to tighten rules in scrap metal market; Senate expected to approve

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan lawmakers have brokered a deal over legislation to better restrict sales of stolen metal.

The state House Wednesday overwhelmingly approved (98 yes, 12 no) a bill to tighten rules in the scrap metal market. The vote came after legislators compromised over how to regulate sales of the most-stolen items -- copper wire, air conditioners and catalytic converters.

Read back: Lansing legislatures tackle Detroit scrappers problem

Scrapyards will only buy those items by mailing a check or debit card to sellers unless the payment is under $25. The bill's expected to win final approval in the Senate Thursday.

Legislators have differed over a proposed three-day waiting period for payment.

Thieves are known to target abandoned dwellings to strip copper wiring and other metal. Law enforcement says the legislation will help crack down on the problem.

View: House Bill 4593

More: Local 4 Defenders help catch Detroit scrappers in act

Mayor Mike Duggan: Great news for Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan released the following statement after the House's approval:

"Today's passage of HB 4593 is great news for Detroit and every other community that has struggled with the issue of illegal scrappers. Not only does it create an important paper trail for law enforcement, it removes many of the incentives, such as immediate cash payment, that have made it all too easy for scrappers to profit from the dismantling of our city.

This version of the bill gives us everything we asked for and is a great example of the kind of bi-partisan cooperation I expect we will see more of going forward. Speaker Jase Bolger deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership in getting this important legislation through the House, as do Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Sen. Virgil Smith and the rest of our Detroit delegation. We're confident the Senate will concur with the changes made in the House and pass the bill tomorrow. We anticipate that Gov. Snyder will sign it as soon as Friday."

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