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Governor Whitmer Signs Food and Agriculture Legislation Boosting Michigan Economy


June 29, 2022 



Governor Whitmer Signs Food and Agriculture Legislation Boosting Michigan’s Economy

LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills supporting Michigan’s agriculture economy by offering certificates of free sale from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), which empower Michigan’s food and agriculture businesses to export their products. This brings the total number of bipartisan bills signed by Governor Whitmer to 878.

“Agriculture is a cornerstone of Michigan’s economy, and today’s package of bipartisan legislation empowers our food and agriculture businesses to expand and create more good-paying jobs,” said Governor Whitmer. “These bipartisan bills will build on our efforts to support rural communities by investing in high-quality infrastructure, high-speed internet, affordable childcare, attainable housing, and regional economic development. I will work with anyone to get things done that put Michiganders first.”

"Michigan's food and agricultural businesses continue to succeed because they've embraced creativity, innovation, and sustainability," said Gary McDowell, MDARD Director. "I thank Governor Whitmer for signing this bipartisan legislation to help pave the way for MDARD to better assist our $104.7 billion food and agriculture industry’s export of goods increasing Michigan’s global footprint.”

House Bills 5742, 5743, 5744, 5745, 5747 and 5748, along with Senate Bill 1058, together make up a package of bills that would allow MDARD to certify the quality of agricultural products manufactured in Michigan and issue certificates of free sale. This would boost Michigan’s economy by ensuring Michigan food and agriculture businesses are able to export their products to other nations. 

Certificates of free sale are often required for businesses to export their products. 

House Bill 5742 was sponsored by Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, and a copy can be found here

House Bill 5743 was sponsored by Rep. Richard Steenland, D-Roseville, and a copy can be found here.

House Bill 5744 was sponsored by Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover, and a copy can be found here.

House Bill 5745 was sponsored by Rep. Ken Borton, R-Gaylord, and a copy can be found here. 

"I am excited to have lead on this effort to help Michigan farmers. As a fifth generation farmer, I understand the challenges we face as an industry everyday, and I will continue to work to make it easier for Michigan to feed the world."- Rep. Bryan Posthumus, R- Cannon Township

House Bill 5747 was sponsored by Rep. Bryan Posthumus, R- Cannon Township, and a copy can be found here

House Bill 5748 was sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, R-DeWitt, and a copy can be found here.

Senate Bill 1058 was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley, R-Lapeer, and a copy can be found here.

Other Legislation

The governor also signed House Bills 5696 and 5726 which address staffing shortages, 5876 which streamlines sales of hospitals, 5588 and 5589 which update laws regarding microchips in dogs. 

Staffing Shortages

Together, House Bills 5696 and 5726 would help address staffing shortages at alcohol wholesalers by reducing the age at which an individual could conduct specific tasks from 18 to 16 years old and allow minors to be issued work permits for employment at establishments where alcoholic beverages are distributed. This bill would improve staffing shortages for alcohol wholesalers, boosting Michigan’s economy. 

"Thank you to Governor Whitmer for legalizing a practice that is currently happening throughout the state. It's common sense legislation that's a win-win for teenagers looking for a job and employers looking for workers in this tough labor market."- Rep. Stephanie Young, D-Detroit

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer for signing this legislation, which will help address unprecedented labor shortages in the beer and wine industry and prepare Michigan youth for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Spencer Nevins, Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association president. “These new laws will support the many employers that make Michigan’s three-tier system of manufacturing, delivery and retail work.”

House Bill 5696 was sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Young, D - Detroit and House Bill 5726 was sponsored by Rep. Pat Outman, R-Six Lakes and copies can be found here and here.

Hospital Sales

House Bill 5876 would allow hospitals an easier process to partner with or sell to another health system, removing costly requirements in order to transfer assets. This helps smaller hospitals remain viable and ensures continuance of healthcare in our communities.

House Bill 5876 was sponsored by Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, R-Norton Shores, and a copy can be found here.

Animal Microchips

Taken together, House Bills 5588 and 5589 update and ensure consistency in state law and now prohibits the use of tattooing dogs for identification purposes. The legislation now includes the modern practice of microchipping.

“I am thrilled to see Governor Whitmer sign these bills into law today – they are a win for EVERY Michigander, including all of our furry friends. Together, these bills amend technical language to prohibit the use of dog tattoos as a form of identification. Tattoo provisions were in place long before the technology of micro-chipping came into being, and many veterinary professionals now consider tattooing of dogs to be ineffective and cruel. I am proud to have been part of such an important package of bills with my colleague Rep. TC Clements.” - Rep. Ranjeev Puri, D-Canton

House Bill 5588 was sponsored by Rep. TC Clements, R-Lambertville, House Bill 5589 was sponsored by Rep. Ranjeev Puri, D-Canton, and copies can be found here and here.