Lansing Capitol

Four Michigan State Police officers secure the front of the Capitol on Jan. 13, 2021 in preparation for possible weekend protests.

(The Center Square) – Gov. Whitmer signed a flurry of bills Thursday with topics ranging from affordable insulin to changing college scholarship metrics.

“I am committed to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to make real, lasting change for Michigan families,” Whitmer said in a statement. “For people living with diabetes, access to insulin is a matter of life and death. I’m proud to sign Senate Bills 155 and 156 because they ensure access to an emergency insulin supply for people facing an interruption of care, and require insurance to cover that emergency supply. I’m also proud to sign House Bills 4055 and 4056 – students should be able to afford a college education based on their overall scholastic achievement, especially when facing unprecedented obstacles to taking otherwise required tests like the ACT and SAT. ”

Senate Bill (SB) 155 aims to ensure access to emergency insulin supply at an affordable cost by allowing pharmacists to dispense an emergency supply of insulin to individuals with an expired but otherwise valid prescription issued within the last 12 months.

SB 156 requires insurance to cover an emergency supply of insulin when dispensed under SB 155’s circumstances.

“I am happy to see this legislation reach the finish line and being formally signed into law,” said Senator Daley, R-Lum. “Countless Michiganders need insulin to survive, and they should never be forced into a place where they can’t get their lifesaving medication. My bills would establish a safety net for those who rely on this medication in their daily lives.”

HBs 4055 allows the Michigan Department of Treasury to use overall scholastic achievement to determine college scholarship eligibility instead of relying exclusively on the ACT and SAT.

HB 4056 amends the tuition grant act to allow undergraduate students enrolled in private colleges and universities for the 2020 spring term and the 2020-21 academic year to have two extra semesters of eligibility for the above grant.

“I can’t imagine trying to navigate applying for college and financial aid as a young adult in the midst of a global pandemic,” Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, said in a statement. “Students should not be punished for impossible circumstances outside of their control. I’m proud of these bipartisan bills to lend some extra support to students who are working hard to achieve their educational and professional goals.”

The governor also signed seven additional bills into law.

HB 4015 amends the Michigan Consumer Protection Act to require that non-state entities providing online services similar to state services include a conspicuous disclosure on their of the availability of state services and disclose prominent fees.

HB 4123 allows the state to provide financial assistance for municipalities to improve their sewage, stormwater, and other water treatment through energy efficiency projects. 

HBs 4540 and 4541 improve the Q-Line in Detroit by requiring motorists to keep streetcar tracks clear of obstacles and empowering transit police to enforce those requirements.

HB 4641 extends filing deadlines for property owners holding Neighborhood Enterprise Zone certificates for 180 days. NEZ tax abatements help property owners rehabilitate residential housing within distressed communities

“As a result of bipartisan collaboration in the Legislature and with the Administration, this is a win for our state's economy,” Rep. Steve Marino, R-Harrison Twp, said in a statement. “I look forward to additional partnerships that continue to bolster Michigan's economic future." 

SB 256 is a budget implementation bill to appropriate provisions for the Department of State in the FY 2020-21 Budget Act.

SB 438 ensures Michigan police officers can take a person into custody after an arrest from operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The bill creates an exception that people arrested for non-serious misdemeanors should be issued appearance tickets rather than taken into custody.

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.