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“Choose Life” fundraising license plate bill on its way to the governor

Sen. Patrick Colebeck

Controversial legislation surrounding license plate fundraising is on its way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk.

Republican lawmakers have tried for years to pass similar legislation. The bill would create a Choose Life fundraising license plate with proceeds going to the Choose Life Fund for nonprofit organizations for, “life-affirming programs and projects.”

The Choose Life Fund was created by Right to Life of Michigan – an anti-abortion group.

Democrats in the House attempted to pass several amendments to broaden the scope of where proceeds would go. All failed.

Critics of the legislation say the government is taking a side on the issue of abortion. But bill sponsor Senator Patrick Colbeck says that’s not the case.

“Frankly it’s just sitting there saying, when somebody has taken and made the decision to go off and make a life affirming choice, we want to support them,” he said.

But Minority Floor Leader, Representative Christine Greig said the legislation goes farther than that. She said the legislation is tantamount to the government picking a side in the abortion debate. 

“It seems to me that we should all be concerned by the prospect of having government entities handling funds that are being distributed to agencies promoting any political or religious belief,” she said.

SB 163 is now on its way to the governor’s desk for a signature or veto.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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