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Snyder signs bills requiring background checks of workers who care for elderly

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation ensuring thorough background checks of workers who care for the elderly.

Senate Bills 787 and 788, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Nofs, modify existing statute requiring certain individuals involved in elderly care to undergo a background check so the language meets FBI standards. Owners, operators, authorized representatives and certain other individuals involved in homes for the aged or adult foster care will be required to provide written consent for the Michigan State Police to conduct a criminal history check and a criminal records check through the FBI at the time of application, appointment or renewal.

"We have a responsibility to ensure the best and safest care for Michigan's elderly," Snyder said. "A thorough background check of caregivers ensures only the most dedicated and scrupulous Michiganders work with our vulnerable citizens."

The bills now are Public Acts 51 and 52.

The governor also signed:

S.B. 611, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, which extends legislation specifying the rate at which counties providing Medicaid-funded nursing home services must reimburse the state.  The law was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, but now will last through 2017. It now is P.A. 48.

S.B. 702, sponsored by state Sen. John Moolenaar, which updates the language of a previous bill to accurately reflect when the Bureau of Health Professionals began conducting criminal background checks and fingerprint submissions. Statute required them to begin in 2006, but because of software limitations, the bureau could not fully implement them until 2008. Now P.A. 49, the legislation reflects this date change.

House Bill 4589, sponsored by state Rep. Pat Somerville, which clarifies that the "2-inch" sidewalk rule applies to state highways as well as county roads. The 2-inch rule recognizes that states and counties have the duty to maintain sidewalks and a vertical difference of 2 inches or greater constitutes a dangerous walkway and cause for injury. Applying this rule to both levels of government provides clarity and consistency in the law. It now is P.A. 50.

H.B.s 4668 and 4669, sponsored by state Rep. Frank Foster, ensures fairness in property taxes assessed on summer resort associations, treating them like condominium transfers. When a homeowner sells a resort cottage, the legislation will protect the rest of the resort members from seeing a massive tax increase while guaranteeing the new homeowner is taxed for the full value of the house. The bills now are P.A.s 46 and 47.

Visit for more information on the bills.