LANSING — State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Joint Resolution BB today to allow Michigan registered voters to elect the director of the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). That position is currently filled by appointment by the governor.

“The director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services duties include regulating the insurance companies that we all have to deal with when it comes to health insurance, and auto and homeowners insurance,” said Dianda. “Insurance bills of all kinds are among the most expensive bills we pay each month. My residents have complained about higher costs for years, and yet I’ve heard little from our DIFS director about addressing these costs or explaining to my residents why they always seem to go up. I think that it’s time we make this director more accountable to the people he or she serves, and that’s why I’m calling for this person to be elected by the people instead of appointed by the governor.”

HJR BB calls for the DIFS director to be elected to a four-year term. The candidates for the position would be nominated by each party at their party conventions. If the director’s office becomes vacant during a term, then the governor would appoint a person to serve out the remainder of that 

“Insurance isn’t just about protecting ourselves in the events of accidents, illnesses and natural disasters — insurance is a pocketbook issue because it has to be affordable,” said Dianda. “I’ve seen bills introduced to deal with affordability and they either don’t make it out of committee, or if they do, they are defeated because they aren’t what we need. We need to try something new, and I hope my colleagues will support my plan to let the people have a say in who regulates the insurance industry.”