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Whitmer Signs Legislation to Keep Roads Safe and More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2022

Contact: press@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Signs Legislation to Keep Roads Safe and Save Taxpayers Money; Improve Access to Mental Health Services

LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed House Bills 4973 and 5370 which ensure safe roads for drivers and lower costs for taxpayers, and House Bill 5165, which makes mental health services more accessible. This marks 840 bipartisan bills signed since Governor Whitmer took office.

Keeping Families Safe on the Road

"Ensuring every Michigan driver can go to work, drop their kids off at school, and run errands on safe, smooth roads is one of my top priorities,” said Governor Whitmer. “House Bill 4973 ensures state and local governments can hold accountable those who illegally damage our roads, saving taxpayer dollars as we continue to make the largest investment in our state’s history to fix roads and bridges. Since I took office through the end of this year, Michigan will fix 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges supporting nearly 89,000 jobs. We’re fixing our infrastructure with the right mix and material, so it stays fixed, and the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan and my Rebuilding Michigan plan are turbocharging our efforts to fix the damn roads. I will continue to work with anyone to help Michiganders get to where they need to go safely. All the bills I signed today make a difference for Michiganders and are examples of what we can do when we work together.”

House Bill 4973 eliminates obsolete reference in Michigan’s road laws and streamlines legal proceedings for the recovery of damages to infrastructure including public roads and bridges. The bill allows state agencies and departments to pursue civil action against negligent drivers who cause damage to infrastructure in their jurisdiction by, for example, ignoring height limits for a low bridge and impacting it. 

House Bill 4973 was sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, R – DeWitt and a copy can be found here.

House Bill 5370 will keep families safe by further clarifying rules for drivers turning across a lane of oncoming traffic. Specifically, the bill amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to require a driver of a vehicle, not at an intersection, who intends to turn left across a lane of oncoming traffic to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction that is close enough to constitute an immediate hazard. A person who violates these provisions would be responsible for a civil infraction.

House Bill 5370 was sponsored by Rep. Scott VanSingel, R – Grant, and a copy can be found here.

Increasing Access to Mental Health Services

“Every Michigander deserves access to affordable, reliable mental health care that meets their needs,” said Governor Whitmer. “To get more Michiganders the help they need, we need to tackle the two primary challenges around mental health: cost and supply. HB 5165 will ensure community mental health organizations can hire and retain mental health professionals more efficiently and cost-effectively, ensuring Michiganders in more communities have access to the support they need to thrive. I will work with anyone to expand mental health services and lower costs.”

House Bill 5165, which would determine an individual’s ability to pay for community mental health services by following the federal poverty guidelines and using the federal sliding fee discount program. 

"As I listen to community mental health organizations around the state, I've learned how important it is to hire and retain mental health professionals,” said State Representative Mary Whiteford. “HB 5165 will truly help our communities.”

House Bill 5165 was sponsored by Rep. Mary Whiteford, R- Casco Township, and a copy can be found here.

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