Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation to create a more thorough and effective nursing home inspection process.
Senate Bill 884, sponsored by state Sen. Goeff Hansen, ensures several improvements to the review procedure, including more timely revisits and responses to correction plans. The bill also requires that the inspection teams include a nurse, and provides for a grant award program for nursing homes that receive the highest quality rating.
"The state has an obligation to ensure the highest standard of care for our seniors living in nursing homes," Snyder said. "I applaud the Legislature's collaboration with care organizations from around the state to create a more effective inspection process."
The bill now is Public Act 322 of 2012.
The governor also signed seven other bills.
S.B. 388, sponsored by state Sen. John Gleason, changes the sentencing guidelines for first- and second-degree fleeing and eluding. First-degree will be punishable by a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment, while second-degree will be punishable by a maximum of 15 years' imprisonment. The bill now is P.A. 323.
S.B. 990, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, allows homeowners who temporarily reside in nursing homes or assisted living units to retain their Principal Residence Exemption on their property taxes. Homeowners must provide maintenance for the property while away. The bill now is P.A. 324.
S.B. 1004, sponsored by state Sen. Arlan Meekhof, allows state tobacco dealers to compete with online companies by capping the sales tax on a premium cigar at 50 cents, beginning Nov. 1. The bill now is P.A. 325.
S.B. 1123, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Jansen, enables the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to participate in the selling of mortgages and changes the income limits for single-family loan programs. The income cap was previously $108,000, but the bill brings it in line with the federal limits for loans financed with tax-exempt bonds. The bill now is P.A. 326.
S.B. 1124, also sponsored by Jansen, clarifies the definition of escrow in the context of the amount of funding available for use in loans. The state is able to lend 20 percent of escrow funds. The bill also requires that loans made from escrow funds be used for construction or rehabilitation of multifamily housing developments. The bill now is P.A. 327.
S.B. 1125, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, raises the limit on the total principal of notes and bonds issued by MSHDA from $3 billion to the previous limit of $4.2 billion. The bill now is P.A. 328.
S.B. 1129, sponsored by state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, allows local government units to fully fund health care obligations by issuing bonds to pay for all or a portion of unfunded liabilities when converting a defined benefit retirement plan into a defined contribution retirement plan. The bill is now P.A. 329.
Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.