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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Legislation Cutting Taxes for Small Businesses and Addressing the School Bus Driver Shortage


December 17, 2021 



Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Legislation Cutting Taxes for Small Businesses and Addressing the School Bus Driver Shortage 

The governor also signed a bill extending healthcare options, among other pieces of legislation 


LANSING, Mich. - Governor Whitmer today signed bipartisan legislation to put Michigan first by supporting Michigan's small businesses and address the school bus driver shortage. She also signed legislation expanding healthcare options, among other legislation.  


Small Business 

Senate Bill 674 cuts taxes for small gas station owners by streamlining the gas tax process, helping small businesses and consumers.  


"Senate Bill 674 cuts taxes for small business owners across the state," said Gov. Whitmer. "This bill will help us alleviate costs on gas station owners, which I hope they pass along to their consumers. We will continue working together to cut taxes and lower costs for Michiganders as we usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan."  


Senate Bill 674 was sponsored by Senator Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, and a copy can be found here 


School Bus Drivers 

House Bill 4861 will amend the Pupil Transportation Act to allow individuals with insulin-treated diabetes to operate a school bus if they meet certain qualifications. This change aligns with federal law and will help Michigan address the school bus driver shortage.   


"I am committed to putting Michigan students first, and make sure every child is able to access safe transportation to and from school," said Gov. Whitmer. "We're removing state requirements that potential drivers with insulin-treated diabetes have to meet before they get commercially licensed, making it easier for more people to safely transport our kids to school."  


House Bill 4861 was sponsored by Rep. Jack O'Malley, R-Lake Ann, and a copy can be found here. 


Expanding Healthcare Options for HIV Patients 

The governor also signed House Bill 4521, which will amend the Public Health Code to allow an organ from a patient with HIV to be transplanted into a patient who has HIV.  


Under House Bill 4521, if the recipient is HIV-positive, an individual may receive an organ from an HIV-positive individual if the recipient is also HIV-positive. The recipient must be informed that the donor tested positive, and the recipient and the person responsible for the transplantation agree in writing to the use of the organ.  


"House Bill 4521 is a step towards fairness for those living with HIV in Michigan", said Governor Whitmer. "This bill helps us put the health of Michiganders first by ensuring safe transplants for those in need, regardless of their HIV status. By updating the law with this legislation, we are expanded organ availability and saving lives." 


"I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work on this life-saving legislation with so many incredible partners," said Rep. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield. "Updating Michigan's law to align with the federal H.O.P.E. Act will expand the total pool of donors, meaning this legislation will be saving the lives of both HIV+ and HIV- patients here in Michigan. Access to quality healthcare for all our residents is a priority of mine, and I am so pleased our state is making strides to expand organ availability for all Michiganders."  


"We thank Governor Whitmer for signing the HOPE Act into law," said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. "Before the HOPE Act, Gift of Life Michigan had to send organs from HIV-positive patients out of state instead of saving HIV-positive patients here in Michigan. The HOPE Act, introduced by Rep. Brabec and now signed into law, would remove that restriction. This law will benefit Michigan patients, bring the state in line with federal law, increase efficiency, and give hope to residents waiting for these gifts. Every time someone in our state receives a life-saving transplant, one less person is waiting, and there is more hope for those still in need." 


House Bill 4521 was sponsored by Rep. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield, and a copy can be found here. 


County Commissioner Term Requirements 

Senate Bill 242 and Senate Bill 245 together will update the term requirements for county commissioners.  


Instead of terms concurrent with that of State representatives (2-year terms), county commissioners' terms would be for four years, beginning at the November 2024 general election. Members of a county board of commissioners will serve terms concurrent with those of State representatives only until December 31, 2024. 


"These bills help ensure that our county government officials can stay focused on governing and not on election year politics," said Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield. "The scope of county commissioners has increased since two-year county commission terms were set decades ago and our bipartisan legislation brings Michigan in line most counties throughout the country that recognize these critical issues deserve robust analysis and deliberation." 


Senate Bill 242 was sponsored by Senator Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and Senate Bill 245 was sponsored by Senator Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, and copies can be found here and here.  


Pharmacy Licenses 

House Bill 5072 will streamline the criteria under which a pharmacy must seek licensure as a wholesale distributor of prescription drugs. This change will align with federal law and make it easier for hospitals to distribute prescription drugs.  


House Bill 5072 was sponsored by Rep. Ryan Berman, R-Commerce Twp., and a copy can be found here. 



Senate Bill 494 will extend the water quality protection fee, which is used to finance the Freshwater Protection Fund, to December 31, 2025. The fee was set to be repealed at the end of 2021.  


Senate Bill 494 was sponsored by Senator Kevin Daley, R-Lum, and a copy can be found here.