LANSING, Mich., Dec. 8, 2023 — As part of a historic Legislature with a Democratic trifecta, House Democrats celebrated the official signing of legislation inspired by real issues brought forth by constituent and community advocates. As part of their Putting People First Agenda, Michigan Democrats have continuously prioritized meeting and working with grassroots and community activists on critical legislation that positively impacts countless Michiganders. Democrats are listening and putting power back where it belongs — with the people.
The community-led initiatives signed into law include:
- House Bill 4520 sponsored by state Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Linden) and House Bill 4521, sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), creates an enhanced fine for assault with a deadly weapon, if the victim is a health professional or medical volunteer who is performing their duties at the time of the crime.
- House Bills 4885 and 4923, sponsored by state Rep. Donovan McKinney (D-Detroit), allow for the training and registration of medication aides, with conditions running parallel to those adopted in 2017 that govern the training and registration of nurse aides.
- House Bills 4320 and 4387 — also referred to as the Justice for Allie bill package — sponsored by state Rep. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy), prohibit a person from intentionally or knowingly harassing, abusing, threatening, forcing, coercing, compelling or exploiting the vulnerability of a vulnerable adult in a way that causes them to provide sexually explicit visual material to that person or any other person. This bill passed the House and Senate unanimously.
- HB 4276, sponsored by state Rep. Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn), increases access to vital medications for Michiganders by ensuring that independent pharmacists can operate and be fairly compensated for their services and care.
- SB 410, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), eliminates a provision that currently makes the manufacturer or seller of a drug immune from product liability.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed these bills into law. In celebration of these community advocated policies, House Democrats issued the following statements:
“These were all people-driven bills that started with community-lead initiatives. It’s a new day in Lansing and across Michigan, and we can continue to show that the advocacy of voters matters,” McKinney said. “Among all this great legislation are bills I was grateful to sponsor because the training for medical aides that will come out of it will benefit both health care professionals and patients.”
“For over a decade, we’ve been trying to protect doctors and nurses who are simply trying to help their patients. Our health care workers are part of the cadre of frontline heroes who kept our society functioning during the pandemic, and we owe them our gratitude. I’m proud to see this citizen-led initiative finally make it across the finish line,” Breen said.
“What happened to Allie and her family should never happen, but when this crime is committed, law enforcement needs to hold predators accountable. Now they can,” MacDonell said. “I am proud to have led on this important legislation, and I’m thrilled that it passed with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.”
“This is a major win for Michiganders everywhere who rely on their community pharmacy for low cost, life saving prescription drugs. Michigan will be a leader in making sure that independent pharmacies are compensated fairly, ensuring access to care so protect across our state.,” Farhat said.
“When I decided to run for state representative, I made it my mission to speak to as many people in my district as possible to learn how I could best represent them if they chose to elect me. I’m proud of the people-centered agenda that my Democratic colleagues and I advanced this year,” said state Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City). “One of those issues I heard talking to folks was access to affordable health care. The bills signed today — improving access to medicine, protecting doctors and nurses, and holding drug companies accountable for devastating side effects — means that people in Northwest Michigan and around the state will see their care improve.”