FILE - MI Governor Gretchen Whitmer 12-20-21

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, on Dec. 20, 2021, in Detroit.

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed nine bills, including specific pieces of legislation that allow 17-year-olds serve alcohol under certain conditions, increase carnival safety requirements, and legalize swim-up bars.

“While these bills continue our record of bipartisan collaboration, Michiganders are counting on us to continue growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering cost for working families who are facing rising prices at the grocery store and the gas pump,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“In addition to today’s bill, we have an opportunity to cut taxes for working families and seniors, send a $500 rebate to families across the state, and suspend the sales tax on gas to lower prices at the pump. Let’s work together to offer Michiganders real relief right now.”

House Bill 4232 allows 17-year-olds to sell and serve alcohol at businesses after completing a server training program as required by the Liquor Control Commission and supervised by a trained server at least 18 years old.

Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott Ellis welcomed the bill that expands Michigan’s workforce.

“Bars and restaurants throughout Michigan that have been struggling with employment issues applaud the governor for signing this bill into law,” Ellis said in a statement. "While this is a big win for our entire industry, I know our businesses in northern Michigan and other tourist areas will benefit tremendously from the signing of this bill."

HB 5983 and 5984 allow food and drink consumption in public swimming pools, as well as alcohol service under certain circumstances.

“The Bavarian Inn Zehnder Family applauds Governor Whitmer and the Legislators for approving the swim up bar legislation,” Michael Keller Zehnder said in a statement. “This will enable hospitality business operators the opportunity to provide a new experience for their guests which will boost the Michigan Tourism Industry.”

HB 4527 increases safety requirements on owners or operators of carnival or amusement rides and establishes sanctions for bad actors who violate safety provisions within the Carnival Amusement Act.

HB 5875 extends the sunset date of a provision limiting a county’s maintenance rate for Medicaid-funded long-term care services to save counties money.

HB 5258 amends the Michigan Election Law to change the timetable for filing, processing, and distributing proof ballots for elections.

"HB 5258 saves taxpayer dollars while easing communication between clerks and candidates,” Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, said in a statement. “It’s a common sense solution that is a win for everyone."

HB 5555 allows seasonal small businesses with 100 or fewer employers to spread first-quarter unemployment insurance payments throughout the year.

Senate Bill 821 allows emergency authorities to purchase real or personal property under an installment purchase agreement and allows emergency authorities to issue bonds or notes.

“This legislation opens the door to offer a new and more cost-efficient option for cities, townships, and villages to equip their EMS authorities and provide care to area residents,” Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, said in a statement. “Installment purchase agreements have been available for other local entities to purchase real or personal property, and now emergency services will be able to take advantage of this more effective financing option.”

HB 5386 allows township boards to allocate costs of private road improvements equally among the property owners benefiting from the road maintenance.

Despite Whitmer offering tax cuts, she vetoed $2.5 billion of tax relief last week during record 40-year high inflation and rising gas prices.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.