Gov. signs bills focused on creating good government practices

On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed 15 bills streamlining existing law, increasing efficiency and modernizing practices.

"These bills help ensure Michiganders have better access to improved services," Snyder said.

Senate Bill 738, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, provides the Michigan Department of Community Health with extended access to the state's auto insurance database. The bill lengthens the sunset on existing legislation to Dec. 30, 2018, allowing for continued cross-reference of auto insurance and Medicaid claims to maximize recoveries.

SB 1043, sponsored by state Sen. Howard Walker, modernizes language in existing law to protect public land survey areas and the monuments marking them. The bill creates consistency between the Corner Recordation Act and the State Survey Remonumentation Act, allowing the state to more easily grant funding to eligible counties.

SB 1087, sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher, removes licensing requirements for people in the mortgage industry whose primary responsibility is to help delinquent home loan borrowers renegotiate loans. The bill aligns Michigan law with existing federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules.

SB 1125, sponsored by state Sen. Geoff Hansen, gives local governments the ability to establish community foundation funds to be used for the upkeep of municipally owned cemeteries.

House Bill 4703, sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Farrington, allows a person in possession of unclaimed property to appeal to the state treasurer, instead of bringing an action or appeal in circuit court. The bill also simplifies the unclaimed property process and requires the treasurer, upon review, to issue a "notice of determination" stating that official ownership of the property has been granted to the holder.

HB 4760, sponsored by state Rep. Vicki Barnett, requires the Department of Treasury to pay a 3 percent bonus interest on Michigan Business Tax refunds that were not paid within 90 days after the claim was approved or 90 days after the date established by law. Bonus interest applies to only those cases that meet certain requirements, have no calculation errors, and contain all required information.

HBs 4920 and 4921, sponsored by state Rep. John Walsh, provide technical changes to the sales tax and use tax acts to require certain taxpayers to make accelerated payments. The bills update antiquated sections of law to match modern industry practices.

HB 5179, sponsored by state Rep. Kurt Heise, transfers ownership rights of the former Western Wayne Correctional Facility property from the Department of Corrections to the Land Bank Fast Track Authority. The bill increases the development potential of the land.

HB 5195, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, encourages the growth of Michigan food processing by allowing wild game meat from more than one hunter to be used in the sausage-making process while protecting food safety. The bill brings Michigan in line with policies of neighboring states.

HB 5202, sponsored by state Rep. Mike McCready, gives homeowners increased flexibility when dealing with special assessment liens. Under current law, homeowners that want to sell or refinance their homes must pay off the entire lien in a large lump sum payment. This act limits the amount of a lien on property assessed to the amount of an installment payment.

HB 5247, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, updates lifeguard requirements for health and wellness center pools. The legislation allows public health and wellness centers to operate pools under the same guidelines as privately owned pools at similar organizations.

HBs 5794 and 5795, sponsored by state Reps. Mike Callton and Lisa Posthumus Lyons, respectively, provide technical fixes to the Revised Judicature Act passed earlier this year. The bills replace the word "mortgagor" with "purchaser" and redefine the grounds under which a person can redeem property sold at a tax sale bringing the legislation more in line with modern industry language.

HB 5860, sponsored by state Rep. Margaret O'Brien, brings Michigan appraiser licensing policies in line with federal requirements allowing appraisers to remain on the National Appraiser Registry. The bill updates the definitions of "ACB criteria," "limited real estate appraiser" and "uniform standards of professional appraisal practice."

The bills are now Public Acts 419-433, of 2014, respectively.

Snyder also signed 11 bills designating memorial roads and highways across the state:

U.S. Highway 10 in Lake County, beginning with its intersection with M-37 and continuing east to the county line, as the "Sheriff Robert Radden Memorial Highway" (HB 4601, sponsored by state Rep. Jon Bumstead);

The bridge on U.S. 24 in Monroe County between North Custer Road and South Custer Road as the "Matt Urban Memorial Bridge" (HB 4814, sponsored by state Rep. Dale Zorn);

The portion of Interstate 94 in Van Buren County as the "Trooper Rick L. Johnson Memorial Freeway" (HB 4923, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt);

The portion of U.S. 127 in Clinton County beginning at the intersection of U.S. 127 and Colony Road, extending north to Highway M-57 as the "Tim Sanborn Memorial Highway" (HB 4936, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Leonard);

The bridge on U.S. 2 over the Cut River in Mackinac County as the "Heath Michael Robinson Cut River Memorial Bridge" (HB 4957, sponsored by state Rep. Frank Foster);

The portion of M-153 beginning at its intersection at Newburgh Road and extending east to its intersection at Wayne Road as the "Firefighter Brian Woehlke Memorial Highway" (HB 4985, sponsored by state Rep. Robert Kosowski);

The Michigan portion of I-75 as the "Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Highway" (HB 5064, sponsored by state Rep. David Rutledge);

The portion of M-116 in Mason County beginning at the Lincoln River and continuing north to Big Sable River as the "Trooper Paul K. Butterfield, II Memorial Highway" (HB 5257, sponsored by state Rep. Ray Franz);

The portion of M-57 in Montcalm County as the "Joseph Prentler Memorial Highway" (HB 5543, sponsored by state Rep. Rick Outman);

A portion of M-6 as the "David Warsen Memorial Highway" (SB 1099, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Jansen).

Scott Lake Road in Oakland County as the "Officer James R. DeLoach and Officer Steven J. Niewiek Memorial Highway" (SB 1146, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Marleau);

The bills are now PAs 434-444, respectively.

Snyder also signed HB 5072, sponsored by state Rep. Peter Pettalia, designating roads previously known as "Michigan Heritage Routes" as "Pure Michigan Byways." The bill builds on the success of the state's "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign and requires the Michigan Department of Transportation to obtain trademark licensing from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. It is now PA 445.

For additional information on this and other legislation, visit

Published: Fri, Jan 02, 2015