What do newborns and windshields and bears have in common?

On the surface, nothing. But in the state Legislature, the three topics were among a bevy of odds and ends that got a final vote in the wee hours of Tuesday night.

Here’s a rundown:

  • In 1980, the state banned drivers from tinting the windshields, driver’s and passenger-side windows in their cars. But the Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill — HB 5634 — that eliminates that ban, citing new technology and the need to filter out the sun’s heat and harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun. The bill would still prohibit signs or non-transparent materials on the drivers’ side windows. The measure narrowly passed on a 20-18 vote and now heads to Snyder for his signature or veto.
  • Currently, the parent of a newborn can relinquish their baby for adoption at safe spots, like firehouses, police stations or hospitals without fear of prosecutions. The original bill, passed in 2000, was intended to provide safe haven for babies who are abandoned by their mothers. The newest bill will allow those emergency providers to have a “newborn safety device,” which is basically a hygienic box cut into the side of a building that can be used to deposit newborns. The bills – HB 5750and 5751 – received final passage in the state Senate Tuesday night on a 30-8 vote, sending it to Gov. Rick Snyder to sign or veto. Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, voted against the bill, saying he was a volunteer firefighter and didn’t think that it was wise or appropriate for firefighters, perhaps sooty and dirty from fighting fires, to handle newborns.
  • Want to raise a bear? The Legislature said that as long as it’s only four, that people and businesses can raise up to four black bear sows a year. The bill makes special provisions for Oswald’s Bear Ranch, a roadside zoo in the Upper Peninsula town of Newberry where tourists can see bears roam and get a picture taken with a cub. Animal rights activists have protested the ranch, saying the animals should not be used for entertainment. The Senate passed the bill — HB 6050 — on a 26-12 vote, sending it to Snyder to sign or veto.