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Whitmer Signs Bills to Support Small Businesses
April 07, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Support Small Businesses, Improve Insurance Processes, Other Legislation
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 247 and House Bills 4205, 4206, 4332, 4994, and 5541 into law. These bills cover a range of issue areas from improving the process for Michiganders to get prior authorization from insurers for their prescriptions and medications, helping small businesses make space for inventory or other needs, updating outdoor recreation laws, and modernizing the State Bar of Michigan admissions process.
“Today, I will be signing six bipartisan bills, adding on to the over 800 bipartisan bills I have signed since taking office,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Today’s bills will make insurance benefit preauthorization more accessible, support winter recreation and shoe repair businesses, and amend the state bar admittance process. I am proud to sign these bills and will continue to work with anyone to get things done. Together, we can continue delivering on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michiganders, growing our economy, and creating good-paying jobs.”
Senate Bill 247 would amend the Insurance Code to increase transparency among insurers and decrease consumer wait times for prescription drugs and services that require prior authorization. Prior authorization describes situations where an insurer must approve coverage for requested services, prescriptions, or medications before they are received by a covered individual. The bill shortens the time for insurers to consider prior authorization requests before they are deemed granted and places obligations on insurers to provide more information to the public and health care providers regarding the prior authorization process.
“Today’s action by Gov. Whitmer to sign this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation will directly help patients across Michigan,” said state Senator VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This new law reforms the prior authorization process, which has created barriers and inefficiencies with access and quality of care in the health care system. It will promote transparency of practices used by insurers, allowing enrollees and health care providers to be fully informed while making coverage and care decisions.”
“While the intent behind the prior authorization process is to promote safe, timely, and cost-effective care, the process itself has been widely viewed as inefficient and burdensome,” VanderWall continued. “This can directly affect the treatment and care a patient receives and could pose significant risks to a patient’s health. This law will help improve the process and ultimately benefit patients.”
Senate Bill 247 was sponsored by Sen. Vanderwall, R – Ludington, and a copy can be found here.
Supporting Snowmobile Tourism
House Bills 4205 and 4206 allow for one weekend prior to the start of each snowmobile season, that individuals can operate snowmobile-on-snowmobile trails without the required registration or a trail permit.
House Bill 4205 was sponsored by Rep. Steve Johnson, R – Wayland Twp., and a copy can be found here.
House Bill 4206 was sponsored by Rep. John Roth, R – Traverse City, and a copy can be found here.
House Bill 4332 specifies that a two-wheel off-road recreation vehicle (ORV) must have the license attached at either the center of the rear fender or visible on a front suspension.
House Bill 4332 was sponsored by Rep. Steve Johnson, R – Wayland Twp., and a copy can be found here.
Unclaimed Shoe Donation
House Bill 4994 allows shoe repair businesses to donate unclaimed shoes if they have been unclaimed for six months or more.
“This is a victory for Michigan's small businesses and their communities," said state Representative Angela Witwer, D-Delta Township. "This bill supports entrepreneurs and charities at the same time. Cobblers get to clear out space and charities receive high-quality footwear. When it comes to those in need, we must do better, and this bill helps make that vision a reality."
House Bill 4994 was sponsored by Rep. Angela Witwer, D – Delta Township, and a copy can be found here.
House Bill 5541 amends the Revised Judicature Act to allow individuals to utilize their Uniform Bar Examination scores when seeking admission to the State Bar of Michigan.
“With the Governor’s signature, Michigan keeps pace with 40 other jurisdictions that have already implemented the Uniform Bar Exam, score portability makes our state more attractive to law school graduates nationwide and gives our state's law firms and businesses more tools for attracting the best legal talent,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack.
House Bill 5541 was sponsored by Rep. Andrew Fink, R – Adams Twp., and a copy can be found here.