Gov. Rick Snyder signs bill adding genocide instruction to social studies curriculum

Also signs 10 additional measures

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan students will now learn more about genocides such as the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide in social studies classes under legislation signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Our next generation of leaders needs to have the wherewithal to recognize and help prevent widespread harm to their fellow men and women,” Snyder said. “Teaching the students of Michigan about genocide is important because we should remember and learn about these terrible events in our past while continuing to work toward creating a more tolerant society.”

House Bill 4493, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, requires that all social studies curriculum for grades 8-12 in school districts and public school academies include instruction on genocide. This includes, but is not limited to, the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. It is now Public Act 170 of 2016.

In his signing letter, Snyder also stressed: “There is a delicate balance we need to be mindful of when we consider requiring that certain subjects be included in our statewide education system. The recommendations of local school boards, teachers, other professional educators and parents need to be considered when developing a curriculum. My signing of HB 4493 should in no way signal any indication that elected state officials are the best guiding voice on what specific material should be taught in the classroom.”

Click here to view the signing letter.

Snyder also signed 10 additional bills:

HB 4656, sponsored by state Rep. Joel Johnson, requires drain commissioners and drainage boards to give property owners at least a week of notice, via first-class mail, before entering their property for excavation or tree removal to be conducted on existing drains. It is now PA 171.

HB 4796, sponsored by state Rep. Ray Franz, expands employment protections for National Guard members when working outside of their home state. It is now PA 172.

Senate Bill 481 and HB 4578, sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher and Rep. Phil Potvin, respectively, allows school districts to join an existing recreational authority, the intent of which is to expand recreational opportunities available to the public. The bills specify that any taxes levied by the authority cannot be used for school operating or local government general fund purposes. The measures are now PAs 173 and 174.

SB 748-750, sponsored by state Sens. Darwin Booher, Dale Zorn and Mike Nofs, respectively, provide updates to the Michigan Banking Code to help banks in Michigan maintain a competitive balance with other financial service providers in the marketplace. The measures are now PAs 175-177.

SB 858, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, helps protect sexual assault victims and children conceived as a result of the sexual assault encounter, by allowing victims to bring action in court to revoke a father’s paternity. Upon being signed into law, SB 858 will also qualify Michigan for $414,000 in additional federal funding for sexual assault victim services under the Rape Survivor Custody Act. It is now PA 178.  

SB 844, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, allows the state to sell an unused piece of land and vacant building to Emergent Bio-Defense Systems. The company operates a facility nearby, and the sale would enable it to improve security at one of its entrances. It is now PA 179.

SB 901, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, will allow the United States Golf Association’s 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship to be identified as a licensed national sporting event, giving the general public aged 21 and older the ability to purchase alcoholic beverages during the competition. It is now PA 180.

For more information on this and other legislation, please visit


Related Documents
HB 4493 Signing Letter PDF icon