Four bills signed into law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 

Contact: Sara Wurfel
P: 517-335-6397 E: wurfels@michigan.gov 

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today approved legislation requiring governments to make impartial decisions when awarding contracts for construction projects.

Senate Bill 165, sponsored by state Sen. John Moolenaar, prevents the state and local units of government from requiring companies that want to bid on construction, repair, remodeling or demolition projects to participate in a collective bargaining agreement and prevents discrimination against those that do not.

"This legislation is important because it gives everyone equal opportunity to compete for jobs," Snyder said.  "Governments need to make decisions based on competitive bidding and value for taxpayer money.  Union and non-union companies and their work forces are all valued and will continue to be able to partner on projects."

The legislation is now Public Act 98 of 2011.

The governor also signed three additional bills.

House Bill 4792, sponsored by state Rep. Chuck Moss, deletes a provision in the Michigan Legislative Retirement System Act that prohibits the system from spending money saved for future retiree health care until the system is 100 percent funded.  Eliminating this prohibition will prevent the need for the state to spend an additional $1 million to make up for a shortfall in the system.  It is now P.A. 99.

S.B. 46, sponsored by state Sen. Arlan Meekhof, defines "biofuel" as any renewable fuel product that is derived from recently living organisms or their metabolic byproduct and streamlines regulations for producing biofuels in an agricultural setting.  Small farms that produce ethanol or biofuels for their own use will not need to apply for special permits.  The bill is now P.A. 97.

S.B. 371, sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher, allows Oceana, Newaygo, Montcalm, Gratiot, Saginaw, Tuscola and Sanilac counties to approve ordinances enabling off-road vehicles to operate on road shoulders.  With these additions, the entire Upper Peninsula and 19 counties in the Lower Peninsula may allow ORVs to operate on road shoulders.  S.B. 371 is now P.A. 107.

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