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Governor Snyder signs bills to help make Michiganders healthier and state stronger

 Laws create tax break for blind residents, plates for breast cancer awareness

 Monday, Dec. 23, 2013

LANSING, Mich. – Blind residents will get a break on their property taxes as part of a new law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder today.

 Snyder signed a series of bills that will help with the health and education of Michiganders, including making medications more affordable, providing opportunities for communities to help students obtain financial assistance for vocational training and creating a new license plate to assist with breast cancer awareness.

 “An important state government role is to provide service to our residents,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “These bills, approved with strong bipartisan support, highlight some of the ways state government is helping Michiganders. They’ll make us healthier and stronger, helping our state’s comeback to continue.”

 House Bill 5086, which cleared both houses unanimously, establishes that a person who is blind is considered the equivalent of a disabled person for purposes of eligibility for an income tax credit against property taxes levied on a primary residence.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Cindy Denby, R-Fowlerville, treats blind taxpayers the same as deaf or paraplegic, quadriplegic, or hemiplegic taxpayers.

The bill is now Public Act 206 of 2013.

HB 5138 and Senate Bill 101 authorize a specialty license plate for breast cancer awareness, and designate net revenue from the sale of the plate to Amanda’s Fund for Breast Cancer Prevention, managed by the Department of Community Health. The fund was established in 1991 to provide cancer screening services, and follow-up care if necessary.

The House version was sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, R-Holland, and the Senate version by state Sen. Glenn Anderson, D- Westland.

These bills are Public Acts 207 and 208, respectively, of 2013.

SB 642, sponsored by state Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, provides for the continuation of a program allowing some unclaimed property to support a senior care respite program.

It is now Public Act 209 of 2013.

State Sen. Hansen also sponsored Senate Bill 312, which revises a 2008 law authorizing local “promise zones” to subsidize college tuition for students in areas where many struggle academically, and allows the promise funds to be used for vocational education, books and supplies.

The expansion creates an incentive for students looking to attend college, especially those interested in a skilled trade. Some communities are considering promise zones as an economic development tool.

The bill is now Public Act 210 of 2013.

HB 4831 amends the General Sales Tax Act to exempt the sales tax for over-the-counter medications if they are prescribed by a doctor. Sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, the bill wasapproved unanimously in both chambers.

It is now Public Act 211 of 2013

Visit legislature.michigan.gov for more information.

 

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