LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed 10 bills into law.
Senate Bill 214 and House Bill 4359, sponsored by state Sen. Judy Emmons and state Rep. Matt Huuki, respectively, allow the state to issue specially designed motorcycle license plates to veterans of the armed forces and current members of the National Guard. Specialty license plates are currently only available for passenger vehicles, but not motorcycles. S.B. 214 and H.B. 4359 and are now Public Acts 73 and 74 of 2011.
S.B. 24, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, allows premium finance companies that are majority owned by insurance agents to share profits with those owner-agents. This change will level the playing field by allowing insurance agents that are associated with premium finance companies to compete for business with insurance agents that are not. The bill is now P.A. 75
S.B. 28, sponsored by state Sen. Geoff Hansen, allows taxpayers to pay their income taxes by using a credit or debit card, which in addition to being more convenient for taxpayers will also save the state money by reducing costs associated with processing checks. Michigan is currently one of only two states that does not offer taxpayers this option. S.B. 28 is now P.A. 76.
S.B. 383, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, gives the Michigan Film Office the ability to negotiate the size of incentives it offers to film, television and video game producers. Under current law, the incentive program is strictly defined, resulting in fixed incentive percentages the film office must offer and greater expenditure of taxpayer money than necessary. With this change, the film office may offer productions lower incentives packages than the current automatic 42 percent subsidy. By having the ability to offer varying levels of support, this change will also give the state more ability to ensure the incentive program creates jobs for Michigan residents. The legislation is now P.A. 77.
H.B. 4315, sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, renames the portion of US-31 between I-196 in Allegan County and M-45 in Ottawa County the “Medal of Honor Recipients Highway.” The Michigan Department of Transportation will work with local veterans organizations to develop a separate sign bearing the names of Lt. Col. Matt Urban, Cpl. John Essebagger, Jr., Sgt. Gordon Yntema and Sgt. Paul Ronald Lambers. H.B. 4315 is now P.A. 78.
H.B. 4666, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, will help the state collect an estimated $5 million of the approximately $12 million owed to it from unpaid liens on farmland by allowing landowners to pay the state at a reduced rate. The legislation will also give farmers an incentive to pay in a timely fashion by charging interest on future liens. Money collected will support the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund. The legislation is now P.A. 79.
H.B. 4727, sponsored by state Rep. Ken Goike, allows children under the age of 18 to volunteer at county fairs and other similar agricultural events without being required to have a work permit, which will make it easier for scout troops, youth ministries and students who participate in 4-H to provide community service. The bill is now P.A. 80.
H.B. 4759 and S.B. 223, sponsored by state Rep. Sharon Tyler and state Sen. Mike Kowall, amend the Commercial Rehabilitation Act to expand the definition of qualified facilities and give local units of government more flexibility to define rehabilitation zones, helping community revitalization efforts. The bills are now P.A.s 81 and 82, respectively.