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Eight bills signed by governor

Friday, July 15, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
P: 517-335-6397 E: 
LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder signed eight bills into law.

Senate Bill 229, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Nofs, amends the Child Protection Law to help public officials identify the factors that may contribute to the death of a child in foster care by, among other things, creating a registry of statistical information regarding children who have died under state supervision and improving information sharing between the courts and various agencies. 

These changes were already made by Public Acts 68 and 69 of 2011, but due to an oversight the previous pieces of legislation both attempted to amend the same section of law, meaning the provisions in P.A. 68 were immediately overwritten by P.A. 69.  This new bill corrects the problem by combining all of the changes into P.A. 89.     

S.B. 422, sponsored by state Sen. Roger Kahn, allows the Department of Environmental Quality to continue collecting aquatic nuisance removal, storm water discharge and others fees that were set to expire.  Revenue collected from the fees is used to support environmental protection programs.  The legislation also extends watercraft registration look up fees and other fees charged by the Department of State.  The bill is now P.A. 90.    

S.B.s 441 and 442, both sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, will save the state an estimated $22 million by requiring automobile insurers to provide the Secretary of State's office with an insured individual's name, address, and policy numbers in addition to his or her vehicle identification number, which is already required.  This will allow the state to ensure Medicaid claims are only paid after other insurance options are exhausted.  The bills are now P.A. 91 and 92.

S.B. 446, sponsored by state Sen. Phil Pavlov, improves public employer health care pooling legislation originally approved in 2007 by clarifying health care claims costs information requirements.  It also requires public employers and pooled plans to obtain at least four bids from different insurance carriers when renewing a medical benefit plan.  The legislation is now P.A. 93. 

House Bill 4350, sponsored by state Rep. Gail Haines, protects licensed health care providers who volunteer their services at nonprofit clinics from lawsuits.  Similar protections are already extended to retired health care workers who volunteer their time.  Nonprofit clinics that provide health care to low-income residents who might not otherwise have access to health care are also protected from lawsuits under this bill.  H.B. 4350 is now P.A. 94. 

H.B. 4700, sponsored by state Rep. Deb. Shaughnessy, requires the board of a school district, intermediate school district or the board of directors of a public school academy to be the health care policy holder for employee group health care benefits, or have access to claims utilization and cost information.  This reform is one of the best practices school districts were asked to implement in exchange for receiving a one-time $100 per-pupil funding grant to help offset budget reductions.  The bill is now P.A. 95.

H.B. 4379, sponsored by state Rep. Eileen Kowall, gives all property owners that are subject to paying a special assessment charged by a lake improvement board the ability to vote to dissolve the board.  Currently, only waterfront property owners are able to vote whether to keep or dissolve a lake improvement board, even though non-waterfront property owners may be required to pay additional property taxes through the special assessment.  The legislation is now P.A. 96.

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