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Snyder starts signing bills sent his direction

The lame-duck session of the 99th Michigan Legislature was one of the busiest ever. Gov. Rick Snyder signed more than three-dozen bills into law in the last week alone.

EDUCATION

On Dec. 19, Snyder signed House Bill 4421, now enrolled as Public Act 430 and concerns substitute teacher requirements.

The bill eliminates the competency test requirement for substitute teachers. Under the bill, substitute teachers would need to have at least 60 credit hours at a college or university, a minimum of an associate’s degree, has two years of professional experience, or holds a professional license.

It also eliminates the age requirement for substitute teaching in high school, which was 22 years old.

House Bill 6028 was introduced in May, but did not get approval from the Michigan Senate until Dec. 12, and was signed Dec. 19 by the governor. It adjusts the public act that controls the construction and appearance of school buses. Among other things, the bill eliminates an exemption in bus-paint requirements for contractors and allows them to use school-bus paint schemes.

The bill eliminates a provision prohibiting radio speakers near the driver other than two-way communicator speakers.

It also requires all bus driver training programs be approved by the superintendent.

VETERANS

House Bill 4701, introduced in June and signed by the governor on Dec. 19.

The bill makes an adjustment which exempts a filer from having to pay the $50 fee for incorporating a company, if the majority of the initial interests will be held by veterans.

Currently, there is an exemption for filing fees if the membership is mostly veterans, but before the initial incorporation, there is no membership, so an additional bill had to be passed to exempt veterans from the initial filing fee as well.

The bill is one of the few that passed unanimously in both the house and senate during the December legislative session.

Another bill introduced in June but signed on Dec. 19, Senate Bill 434 expands the authority of the veteran facility ombudsman office created in 2016.

According to the House analysis, the bill is to ensure proper oversight of the seven new veterans homes planned across the state in the next ten years. The first two are planned to be in southeast Michigan and a replacement for the aging Grand Rapids veterans home.

The bill was supported by the American Legion Department and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. It also passed unanimously in the House and Senate.

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