Governor signs bill continuing energy assistance program

Low-income residents will continue to receive assistance with paying their energy bills under legislation signed last Thursday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

“The Michigan Energy Assistance Program helps ensure that Michiganders receive assistance with their energy bills, helping them move toward financial self-sufficiency,” Snyder said.

House Bill 5512, sponsored by state Rep. Earl Poleski, extends the Michigan Energy Assistance Program by three years, until Sept. 30, 2019, ensuring the availability of $50 million in Low-Income Energy Assistance Funds to provide energy assistance to low-income customers. It is now Public Act 147 of 2016.

Snyder also signed 22 additional bills:

HB 4634, sponsored by state Rep. Ben Glardon, waives the $10 late fee for vehicle registrations on seasonal vehicles. Vehicles with a renewal date that falls outside of the season the vehicle is being used can be waived if an individual renews their registration in person and shows proof of valid storage insurance. In addition, proof of valid no-fault insurance is required. It is now PA 148.

HBs 4787 and 4830, sponsored by state Reps. Amanda Price and Nancy Jenkins, respectively, broaden the criminal penalties for coercing or attempting to coerce a pregnant woman into having an abortion against her will. The measures are now PAs 149 and 150.

HB 4984, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Barrett, creates a mechanism for collection of delinquent taxes on property purchased from the land bank. It is now PA 151.

HBs 5017-5022, sponsored by state Reps. Anthony Forlini, Peter Pettalia, Paul Clemente, Lana Theis, Tom Barrett, and Leslie Love, respectively, reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions to allow them to remain competitive in the current financial services market. The measures are now PAs 152-157.

HB 5131, sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Farrington, simplifies tax requirements for partnerships and Limited Liability Companies to save administrative and compliance costs. It is now PA 158.

HBs 5132 and 5133, sponsored by state Reps. Jeff Farrington and Wendell Byrd, respectively, clarify sourcing for advertising and promotional direct mail and other direct mail to ensure Michigan is in compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. The measures are now PAs 159 and 160.

HB 5247, sponsored by state Rep. Rob VerHeulen, will allow green flashing, rotating or oscillating lights to be used on public service vehicles, such as snowplows, in conjunction with traditional amber (yellow) lights. Studies have shown that the human eye is more sensitive to the color green so the new lights will be an effective complement to the amber lights. It is now PA 161.

HB 5251 and Senate Bill 752, sponsored by state Rep. Brandt Iden and state Sen. Peter MacGregor, respectively, allow banks to hold loan-promotion raffles. The raffles must be authorized by the bank’s board of directors, each customer closing on a loan must receive entry into the raffle, and the raffle cannot mislead customers, violate federal law or negatively impact the bank’s safety. The measures are now PAs 162 and 163.

HB 5395, sponsored by state Rep. Joel Johnson, will allow communities with eminent public health risks due to failed sewage systems to work with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to apply for grant funding to cover a portion of the construction. The grants would pay for up to 50 percent of project costs related to the planning, design and construction of collection and treatment systems for communities that demonstrate financial need, up to $2 million. This legislation complements the Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater grant and loan program put into place in 2013 that encourages communities to evaluate the state of their underground infrastructure.  It is now PA 164.

SB 453, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, eliminates residency restrictions on third-class district magistrates, allowing collaboration of court-related services between neighboring districts. It is now PA 165.

SB 637, sponsored by state Sen. Joe Hune, updates labeling requirements for cool grass and treated seeds to better align them with state and federal requirements. It is now PA 166.

SBs 656 and 657, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, revises the definition of a collection agency in order to reduce confusion among industry professionals. They are now PAs 167 and 168.

SB 569, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Nofs, increases the monetary amount local governments are allowed to place in a “rainy day fund” from 15 percent to 20 percent of its most recent general fund budget. It is now PA 169.

For additional information on this and other legislation, visit

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