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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of December 28, 2016

By Judy Augenstein

Increased speed limits in some areas of the state and limitations on seclusion and restraint practices in schools are one step closer to becoming law after being presented to Governor Rick Snyder this week along with the "driveway bills, SB 706, 707 & 708.  The Governor is expected to sign the bills any day now.

The speed limit legislation allows speeds in Michigan to rise to 75 miles per hour for some highways and 65 mph on some highways.  The new maximums are limited to only 600 miles of freeway and 900 miles of what would likely be mostly rural highways where the base speed limit now is 55 mph.  Speed limits could only be changed if a study conducted by the Department of State Police and paid for by the Department of Transportation determined such a change was feasible.  The bills also would allow reduced speeds in hospital zones in some cases.

The bills limiting seclusion and restraint practices in schools were a major initiative for Lt. Governor Brian Calley.  The legislation would prohibit seclusion and restraint in non emergency situations, something Lt. Gov. Calley has said he heard about often on his special education listening tour across the state.  Lt. Calley is the parent of a special needs child. 

Julie Calley, wife of the Lt. Governor was elected to represent the 87th House District.  She was the only House candidate who did not have a primary challenge as the district is 85% Republican.  She was chair of the Ionia County Commission and Chair of the Michigan Community Service Commission.  It is expected she will be named to one of the many committees dealing with children, special needs issues issues or mental health issues.  2017 House committee assignments will not be available until sometime in January.

The driveway bills, SB's. 706, 707 & 708 prohibit a local government from requiring a special permit for a logger to enter/exit a state or federal forest.

HB 4142, legislation to cap fines on truck mis-loads has NOT been presented to the Governor as it has not been vetted by the MSP--- as of this writing.

Have a Happy New Year!!

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