Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19 and its effects on housing, employment, and more.
Tear Gas Prohibition Act
I introduced a bill on Wednesday that would prohibit the use of chemical irritants, commonly known as “tear gas,” as a crowd control mechanism. Tear gas can be used to silence viewpoints with which those in power do not agree. This offends the U.S. Constitution, and it should alarm every American. In addition to harming human health, tear gas poses a very real threat to the First Amendment and its guarantees of the right to peaceful assembly, the right to petition the government, and the right to free speech.
Implicit Bias and De-escalation Police Training Bill Passes Michigan House
House Bill 5837 passed the Michigan House unanimously on Wednesday. This bill would add de-escalation, implicit bias, and mental health training to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) certification requirements. Some Michigan police departments already require some form of de-escalation, cultural competency, or implicit bias training, but HB 5837 would require that every officer receive such training as part of their initial MCOLES training and certification.
Michigan House Votes to End Surprise Medical Billing
On Wednesday, the Michigan House overwhelmingly approved a bill package that will end surprise medical billing. Under this legislation, patients will be protected from surprise bills for medical visits and procedures that occur when a patient unknowingly receives care from a provider outside their network.
Potential Property Tax Relief Passes Michigan Legislature
Two bills that will help provide tax relief, House Bills 5761 and 5810, passed the Michigan House and Senate this week. HB 5761 would allow property taxpayers to defer payment of their summer taxes to March 1, 2021, without penalty. HB 5810 would provide counties with funds to make advance tax payments to local taxing units for any deferments made under HB 5761. These bills now await the governor, which is expected soon.
Guidelines Announced for the Return of Professional Sports
Yesterday, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order that allows for the return of professional sports without live audiences. Major League Baseball “spring” training is scheduled to begin on July 1 and a shortened 60-game season will begin on July 24.
Administrative Hearings Can Continue to be Held Remotely
Certain state administrative hearings can continue to be held either by telephone or video conferencing technology under Executive Order 2020-132. This order is effective immediately and goes through June 31.
Electronic Signatures Can Continue to be Used
Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order on June 24 that continues to temporarily permit the use of an electronic signature on most legal documents, including deeds and other instruments. It also allowed for remote witnesses and notarizations. The order is effective immediately and continues through July 31.
While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team is still providing responsive service as they work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at email@example.com if we can help.