89.1 WEMU

'Choose Life' Fundraising License Plate Bill On Its Way To The Governor

May 26, 2017

Michigan License Plate
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

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.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org