Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to allow more flexibility in how the state dispenses emergency loans to schools and cities.
The five-bill package increases loans the state can give out to municipalities from $5 million each year to a total of $85 million distributed over the next seven fiscal years, creating more flexibility in how the money is distributed. Until Sept. 30, 2018, the legislation also allows school districts under an emergency manager or with rapidly declining enrollment to receive emergency municipal loans.
"As Michigan emerges from difficult economic times, this legislation creates important pathways for cities and schools to receive the funds needed to operate and turn around their entities," Snyder said.
The package includes House Bills 5566-5570, sponsored by state Reps. Cindy Denby, Al Pscholka, Holly Hughes, Mark Ouimet and Bill Rogers. The bills now are Public Acts 284-288 of 2012.
The governor also signed six other bills.
H.B. 4718, sponsored by state Rep. Eileen Kowall, allows dental assistants to assist dentists and dental hygienists as a "second pair of hands" in many procedures and treatments provided at special clinics. The bill now is P.A. 289.
H.B. 5246, sponsored by state Rep. Wayne Schmidt, creates three new SmartZones. In these areas, municipalities borrow against future tax revenue to finance public improvements and attract technology-based firms, entrepreneurs and researchers. Currently, there are 15 such zones in the state. The bill now is P.A. 290.
H.B. 5572, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Lyons, sets minimum quality standards that home visiting services must meet to maintain state funding. This ensures a range of positive mental health, education and health outcomes. The bill now is P.A. 291.
H.B. 5577, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, decreases unnecessary administrative burdens for businesses by reducing the number of years that companies must maintain property records from 10 years to five. The Department of Treasury also will only be able to take action within five years of a report rather than 10. The bill now is P.A. 292.
Senate Bill 601, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, allows for advertising on Club Keno games, creating additional revenue for the School Aid Fund. The bill now is P.A. 293.
S.B. 821, sponsored by state Sen. John Moolenaar, is a technical amendment to P.A. 249 of 2012 meant to exclude 21-foot canoes from unnecessary inspection requirements. The bill now is P.A. 294.
Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.