Shirkey supports bill to reduce credit card fraud in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate recently approved a measure that would decrease the threat posed by credit card skimming devices by requiring all filling stations in Michigan to improve security measures at the pump.

“Skimming devices are becoming more and more prevalent and are imposing a huge financial risk every time someone needs to stop for gas,” said Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Technology is growing exponentially more powerful as time goes by. This bill encourages innovative steps needed to keep up with these advances and help prevent people’s private financial information from being stolen.”

Electronic skimming devices are typically installed in seconds, hidden inside of gas pumps, and are used to copy the credit and debit information of customers for criminal use. Most pumps have a universal master key that criminals can easily obtain to gain entry, install the device, and then return later to retrieve the stolen information.

Senate Bill 415 would allow filling stations the option of installing any of the following on individual pumps: tamper proof security tape with logo; a device to render the pump or scanning device inoperable with unauthorized access; encryption of credit card information; a new lock to replace the manufacturer’s lock; or any other security measure approved by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

According to MDARD, approximately 70 credit card skimmers have been found and removed from gas pumps in Michigan since 2015.

“We are thankful that customer protection has increased and many gas stations have taken the initiative to secure their pumps, but this bill would ensure all stations provide some sort of protection against these devices.”

SB 415 now heads to the Michigan House for further consideration.

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Shirkey: Fall turkey hunting licenses available now

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey is reminding area hunters that they can apply for fall turkey hunting licenses through Aug. 1.

“While the spring is traditionally when we hunt wild turkey, the fall also offers a limited season and applications for the fall turkey hunt are now available,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Speaking as a hunter, you are encouraged to apply soon for a chance to secure one of a limited number of licenses for the fall turkey season.”

The fall turkey hunt season runs Sept. 15 to Nov. 14. A total of 51,350 licenses are available, including 4,650 general licenses that may be used on public or private land and 46,700 licenses for private land use only.

Licenses and applications may be purchased at any authorized license agent or online at www.mdnr-elicense.com. The application fee is $5.

Information about fall turkey hunting can be found at www.michigan.gov/turkey and in the Michigan Fall Turkey Digest at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests. Drawing results and leftover license availability also will be posted online starting Aug. 14.

“Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson counties offer awesome opportunities for us to enjoy the outdoors,” Shirkey said. “No matter the game you choose, stay safe and enjoy the hunt!”

If any licenses remain after the drawing, unsuccessful applicants may purchase a leftover license at any license agent or online from Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. to Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. After that licenses will be available for purchase by any hunter until the quotas are met.

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Christmas in July!

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey on Friday said the search is underway to find the 2017 state Christmas Tree.

The tree will be displayed in front of the Michigan Capitol and featured as part of Lansing’s holiday festivities.

“In the last 30 years, the state Christmas Tree has come from locations all across Michigan — from private yards to public land near highways and forests,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “There is no reason that the tree couldn’t come from a resident of Branch, Hillsdale, or Jackson County. Let the search begin!”

Shirkey said to be considered, a tree must be a spruce or fir, at least 55 feet tall, within easy access of a road with no interference from wires and available at no cost.

Nominations are requested by July 30, 2017. Anyone nominating a tree should send their name, phone number, a photo of the tree and information about its size and location to ChristmasTree@michigan.gov.

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