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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs 7 bills into law

Whitmer signs 5 Senate bills, 2 House bills into law

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich., Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich., Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed five Senate bills and two House bills into law Tuesday.

Senate Bill 241

Whitmer said she signed this bill to create the Water Shutoff Restoration Act, promote access to clean water and protect Michiganders from the spread of COVID-19 by making sure every occupied residence has access to clean running water for regular hand-washing.

READ: Gov. Whitmer hints at possibility of resuming indoor dining at Michigan restaurants

The bill prohibits water shutoffs prompted by missed payments and mandates water services be restored to residences where it has been shut off, in most circumstances, through March 31.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Stephanie Chang, (D-Detroit).

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“Every Michigander deserves access to clean water, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said. “This legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Stephanie Chang, will help ensure every Michigander can wash their hands and give their child a glass of water at the dinner table. My administration will continue working to ensure clean water for all Michiganders, and I look forward to partnering with everyone who wants to get this done.”

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“I am beyond thrilled that Gov. Whitmer signed Senate Bill 241 today and am grateful for her leadership and the bipartisan support from my colleagues,” Chang said. “During this pandemic, access to clean water is more important than ever to ensure that Michiganders in big cities, suburban towns, and small villages across our state can have water to drink and wash their hands.”

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Senate Bill 1246

This bill amends the Open Meetings Act to allow public bodies to meet electronically and remain in compliance. It also extends current remote attendance provisions to March 31.

Once public bodies can meet in-person again, the bill requires compliance with social distancing and cleaning guidelines if they chose to hold in-person meetings.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton).

“Throughout this pandemic, Michigan’s local leaders have continually adapted while providing critical essential programs and services, which are vitally important to residents and communities during this time,” said Neil Sheridan, executive director of the Michigan Townships Association. “We thank both Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature for extending the timeframe allowing townships and all local governments to meet virtually to conduct public business.”

Senate Bill 1234

This bill amends the General Property Tax Act to adjust the procedures for obtaining a “poverty exemption” and, in certain cases, allows for extensions of the exemption without the need to reapply.

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This bill was sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake).

Senate Bills 676 and 1137

These bills amend the General Property Tax Act to create a process for a former property owner to claim surplus proceeds from the sale or transfer of property.

This is in accordance with the Michigan Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Rafaeli LLC v. Oakland County.

The two bills were sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) and Runestad (R-White Lake).

House Bill 5481

This bill amends Article 26A of the Occupational Code to align with recently enacted federal regulations concerning Appraisal Management Companies.

It was sponsored by Rep. Diana Farrington (R-Utica).

House Bill 5824

This bill amends the State Equalization Act to allow a one-time extension for equalization of assessment rolls.

It effectively codifies Gov. Whitmer’s executive order 2020-87.

The bill is tied barred with Senate Bill 5825, which has not yet been presented.

It was sponsored by Rep. Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak).

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