Snyder signs legislation expanding accessibility, affordability of community colleges across the state

Community college students who do not reside within a community college district will now have expanded opportunities to pay residential tuition rates under legislation signed last Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Michigan is well poised to be the national leader in developing talent, and community colleges are a tremendous resource to help us achieve this goal,” Snyder said. “These bills help make community colleges more affordable, increasing opportunities for new students and adults to gain the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century workforce.”

House Bill 4265, sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, allows a community college to expand its tax district to non-bordering communities. Joining the district, which includes options for lower tuition and improved access to job training programs, would still require approval by the local board of education or unit of government and local voters to expand the tax district. It is now Public Act 374 of 2016.

Snyder also signed nine additional bills:

• House Bill 4677, sponsored by state Rep. David Maturen, allows assessors to create a separate tax parcel for a portion of farm land that is no longer considered agricultural property. The remaining agricultural parcel will not be subject to an increased tax. It is now Public Act 375 of 2016.

• HB 4850, sponsored by state Rep. Jason Sheppard, gives state purchasing preference to Michigan-sourced bio-based products. It is now Public Act 376 of 2016.

• HB 5484, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Lyons, will require the Natural Resources Commission to review and determine if additional colors are safe and effective for individuals to wear while hunting, including “hunter pink.” It is now Public Act 377 of 2016.

• HB 5520, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, removes the requirement for a dowry provision in judgments of divorce and separate maintenance. It is now Public Act 378 of 2016.

• HB 5533, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Canfield, eliminates the requirement for a Physician’s Assistant to practice under the supervision of a physician, and now requires Physician’s Assistants to obtain a practice agreement with a participating physician or podiatrist. It is now Public Act 379 of 2016. 

• HB 5599, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, clarifies definitions and processes associated with the use of the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund and reduces the amounts owners and operators must pay in order to access the fund. It is now Public Act 380 of 2016.

• HBs 5824 and 5825, sponsored by state Rep. Ben Glardon, expand the definition of “addition” to freestanding buildings that are under the nonprofit medical facility’s license and serve the same function as the main hospital building. They are now PAs 372 and 373.

• Senate Bill 717, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, expands the types of actions allowed in order to facilitate underground fuel tank clean-up processes. It is now Public Act 381 of 2016.

• SB 1187, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, supports sound scientific fish and wildlife management in Michigan, allows the Natural Resources Commission to designate species as game animals and restores the NRC's authority to regulate the taking of sport fish. It is now Public Act 382 of 2016. 

For additional information on this and other legislation, visit