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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills Protecting Michigander's Health from Harmful Asbestos Exposure, Among Other Legislation


June 20, 2024



Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills Protecting Michigander's Health from Harmful Asbestos Exposure, Among Other Legislation



LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation to protect Michiganders from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. The legislation addresses asbestos abatement projects, requiring public contracts to disclose certain information to the public and requiring an annual report for the asbestos emissions program for demolition or renovation. Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has signed 1,292 bipartisan bills and is dedicated to keep working across the aisle to support Michiganders across the state. 



“These bipartisan bills address a range of issues important to communities across Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “By tackling asbestos exposure in homes, empowering small businesses to claim the tax exemptions they need to grow, or relaxing auditing requirements to promote agricultural growth in the state, we’ll keep working together to make a real difference in people’s lives.



Senate Bill 225, sponsored by state Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), will help to protect the public by requiring certain asbestos abatement contractors undergo a background check to determine if they received any violations in the past. The bill mandates projects hire vetted contractors by requiring background checks, publicly posting specific information, and holding public hearings under certain circumstances. This vital oversight will ensure the protection of Michiganders from the serious health risks posed by asbestos, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.



“These new laws will enhance transparency, public health and worker safety in asbestos abatement across the entire state,” said state Senator Stephanie Chang. “This win for neighborhoods in Michigan was made possible thanks to a bipartisan partnership that began in 2018. It’s a great example of the kind of smart, commonsense legislation we can accomplish for Michiganders when we work together at the Capitol. I especially want to extend gratitude to former Reps. William Sowerby (D-Clinton Twp.), LaTanya Garrett (D-Detroit) and Gary Howell (R-North Branch) for their partnership on this legislation as well as Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), Reps. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington), Abraham Aiyash (D- Hamtramck), Denise Mentzer (D-Mt. Clemens) and Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit).”



Senate Bill 226, sponsored by state Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), will improve accountability in asbestos abatement contracting by requiring an annual report on asbestos inspections, including the sufficiency of the number of inspectors for the asbestos emissions program for demolition or renovation activity.



“This legislation has been a long time coming, and I am beyond thankful to see it come to fruition,” said state Senator Erika Geiss. “This bill package requires a local government or authority to perform a background check before contracting with an asbestos abatement contractor and requires EGLE to prepare and submit an annual report related to the EGLE’s asbestos program, the number of inspections and enforcement actions taken, and more. With these statues in place, we are ensuring Michigan's residents are no longer compromised by preventable environmental risks.”



The governor also signed Senate bills into law to establish guidelines for claiming exemptions on liquor purchases and issuing a purchaser’s license number as well as a bill relaxing auditing requirements for funds collected by commodity groups. House bills were also signed into legislation, including a bill allowing emergency services to serve multiple municipalities and a bill designates a portion of the M-3 as the “Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason P. May Memorial Highway.”  



Senate Bill 415 and Senate Bill 416, sponsored by state Senator Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe), streamlines the tax exemption process for microbreweries, minimizing their tax burden. By reducing the cost of operating a small business, more individuals will engage in their local economy. The added exemption also incentivizes folks to open small businesses of their own, providing a vital boost to local economies across the state. 



“Microbreweries are a vital part of the social fabric of many communities,” said state Senator Veronica Klinefelt. “To ensure their continued success, this legislation will streamline the process for these establishments to get their products on the shelves and accessible for Michiganders.”



Senate Bill 691, sponsored by state Senator Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), amends the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act, relaxing auditing requirements for funds collected by commodity groups. This bill reduces red tape that Michigan's commodity groups have to navigate and helps to keep funds in their primary role of promoting Michigan's agriculture.



“I’m pleased to sponsor Senate Bill 691, which will provide support for Michigan farmers by lowering the annual administrative costs for some of our smaller agricultural organizations in the state,” said state Senator Sam Singh. “This legislation will allow those annual costs to instead be reinvested in Michigan-grown products.”



House Bill 4360, sponsored by state Representative Felica Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township), enables municipalities to work together to establish an emergency service authority that sets emergency response boundaries to best serve their residents. The bill also works towards saving taxpayers money by allowing municipalities to pool resources and consolidate their emergency response services, that include fire, police protection, and emergency medical services, ensuring prompt and effective emergency services. 



"The safety and protection of our neighborhoods and hometowns is a top priority of mine,” said state Representative Felica Brabec. “This policy being signed into law means we are going to have strengthened public safety while also making the necessary changes to the current law to increase the efficiency and productivity of emergency service responses by granting local emergency departments the ability to serve the area that makes the most sense for the departments and municipalities. When they create emergency response plans, they can ensure they make the most sense for them and their residents."



House Bill 4154, sponsored by state Representative Jay DeBoyer (R-Clay), designates a portion of the M-3 as the “Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason P. May Memorial Highway.”



“Officer Jason P. May gave his life in service to our country. There is no greater honor or sacrifice,” said state Representative DeBoyer. “It is because of heroes like Officer May that we are able to live free and enjoy the freedom we do. This memorial will mean a great deal to his family as well as the community. He will never be forgotten.”