Gov. Rick Snyder: Pilot program intended to remove barriers to employment, independence

Friday, December 26, 2014

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation creating a one-year pilot program that would help people on state assistance who are abusing drugs to get the help they need.

House Bill 4118 and Senate Bill 275, sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Farrington and state Sen. Joe Hune, respectively, creates a limited, three-county pilot for screening and testing for welfare recipients and applicants if there is reason to believe they are using abusing drugs.

“We want to remove the barriers that are keeping people from getting good jobs, supporting their families and living independently,” Snyder said. “This pilot program is intended to help ensure recipients get the wrap-around services they need to overcome drug addiction and lead successful lives. We’ll then have opportunity to assess effectiveness and outcomes.”

Under the pilot, three counties in Michigan to be determined will administer a suspicion-based screening and testing program to Family Independence Program recipients suspected of drug use. If the screening prompts the Michigan Department of Human Services staff to suspect use of a controlled substance, the applicant or recipient must take a substance abuse test. Refusal to take the test results in ineligibility of benefits for six months.

If the result of a substance abuse test is positive, the applicant or recipient will be referred to a treatment program. If an individual refuses to participate in the program or fails to submit to periodic substance abuse testing required under the program, their assistance will be terminated. Benefits can be restored after a person passes a substance abuse test.

The pilot program must be completed by Sept. 30, 2016.

They are now Public Acts 394 and 395 of 2014.

Snyder also signed SB 1103, sponsored by state Sen. Randy Richardville, extending the sunset for the Michigan film credit program by seven years to 2021. The bill also revises the rebate amount for state-serviced qualified production and personnel expenditures, but limits incentive funding for high-level personnel to no more than 30 percent of production’s total incentive.

In addition, the incentive now requires one Michigan resident to be hired for every nonresident through Sept. 30, 2017 and 1.5 Michigan residents for every nonresident hired Oct. 1, 2017 until Sept. 30, 2020. The new law also requires that at least 10 percent of funding awarded be for motion pictures, documentaries or television series with a budget of under $15 million. It is now PA 396.

Snyder also signed two other bills.

HB 5781, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Lori, updates who can administer the oath of office for state representatives and senators to include the secretary of the Michigan Senate and clerk of the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill removes chancellor or chief justice of Michigan’s chancery court, which has not existed in Michigan since 1847, when chancery courts were replaced with circuit courts. It is now PA 397.

HB 4890, sponsored by state Rep. Ed McBroom, gives cemetery owners the ability to recover burial rights for abandoned burial plots. Under this bill, cemetery owners can re-sell burial plots if no contact has been made with the cemetery owner for 60 years. Prior to certifying burial rights abandoned, the cemetery must post a written notice of intent and attempt to contact the owner. It is now PA 398.

Snyder also vetoed HB 5380, sponsored by state Rep. Ray Franz, which establishes procedures for naming Michigan delegates and alternates to a federal constitutional convention, in the event that one is called.  This bill would give four individual legislative leaders in the House and Senate the authority to appoint two-thirds of the constitutional delegation. In his veto letter, Snyder wrote that because those leaders are not elected by the entire state, this method of choosing delegates does not give all Michiganders an equal voice.  

For more information on this and other legislation, visit



Related Documents
Governor Snyder's veto letter of HB 5380 PDF icon