LANSING (WWJ/AP) – It’s now a crime to attach high-tech “skimmer” devices to ATMs in order to record debit-card information.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed several pieces of legislation, including a five-bill package that creates criminal penalties for using a skimmer device. The gadgets record information off ATM cards and capture PIN numbers used to make transactions.
“Skimming” from ATMs is a growing problem, Snyder said, and both majority Republicans and minority Democrats in the Legislature backed the measures.
“These devices are used to steal from others, and we need to crack down on this problem to help protect Michiganders,” Snyder said in a statement. “This is a bipartisan package of bills approved unanimously, showing the united commitment to fighting this growing issue.”
A person convicted of skimming faces five years in prison for a first offense, increasing to 15 years for a third and subsequent offense.
Another bill Snyder signed targets solicitation of people involved in vehicle accidents. Under the new law, access to accident reports is prohibited for 30 days if lawyers or others want to offer injured victims their services.
Another new law extends a program that lets repeat drunken-driving offenders get a restricted driver’s license by installing a breath alcohol ignition device in their car.
Other bills that received the governor’s signature include measures to:
— Establish the state Capitol as a state historic site and creating a commission to ensure the building is maintained. The governor said Thursday the laws give the 135-year-old building the protection it deserves. It’s one of fewer than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks. Lawmakers, however, have not yet designated an ongoing funding source for Capitol maintenance projects.
— Let customers bring their own bottles of wine to restaurants with a liquor license and designating a regional economic development district in the Upper Peninsula.
— Create a fund to sell the public on the benefits of hunting. The fund will receive about $1.6 million a year from an already approved $1 surcharge on new base hunting and fishing licenses.
— Prohibit law enforcement officials from helping federal authorities indefinitely detain American citizens without charges. It is a response to the National Defense Act, which Snyder’s office said “allows the federal government to detain people for an unlimited time without charges being brought against them.”
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