Senate panel approves MI Humane Society fundraising plate
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
LANSING — Legislation establishing a fundraising license plate recognizing the Michigan Humane Society was approved Tuesday by the Senate Transportation Committee, said sponsor Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy.
“If passed into law, my bill would help the Michigan Humane Society raise funds for the important work it does,” Pappageorge said. “Funds collected by these special license plates would allow the humane society to provide sterilization services to help reduce the number of stray animals.”
Senate Bill 135 would create the Michigan Humane Society fundraising specialty plate. In addition to registration fees, vehicle owners requesting the specialty plate would initially pay a $35 fee, $25 of which would go to the Michigan Humane Society Fund within the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Michigan has 23 other fundraising or specialty license plates, including one for each of the state’s 15 public universities, the Northern Michigan Olympic Education Training Center and the Michigan Veterans Memorial.
Current law requires a startup fee of $15,000 to be paid to the Transportation Administration Collection Fund for the development costs associated with the license plate. The fee must be paid within 18 months of the effective date of the bill for the plate to be developed.
The MHS is supported by more than 50,000 donors across the state. If half of those donors purchase the MHS specialty plate, $625,000 could be raised in its first year. In subsequent years, $10 of the $25 renewal fee would benefit the humane society and could generate $250,000 annually from the same number of donors.
Michigan is home to nearly 500 animal welfare organizations, including humane societies, rescue groups and animal control agencies. Founded in Detroit in 1877, the MHS is the state’s largest animal welfare organization and takes in approximately 100,000 animals a year. The nonprofit agency sterilizes nearly 20,000 animals annually and offers a low-cost sterilization program to low-income guardians.
The lawmaker and his wife Cristina Pappageorge have four rescue cats as companion animals and have placed another 12 in good homes throughout the area.
“This is an issue Cristina and I care about deeply,” Sen. Pappageorge said. “Nearly 250,000 animals a year are surrendered to animal welfare organizations across the state. By increasing the number of sterilizations we can help reduce the overpopulation problem and work toward our goal of finding a good home for every animal.”
SB 135 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Print friendly version Email this page