What to know about the bills that recently became law in Michigan

One bill updates Michigan's high school curriculum to include a financial literacy course as a first for the state

Photo of Angela Mulka
FILE – Swim-up bars are set to become a reality at tourist destinations in Michigan under the new legislation.

FILE – Swim-up bars are set to become a reality at tourist destinations in Michigan under the new legislation.

Photo provided/Mike Kline/Getty Images

Several pieces of legislation passed through the Michigan Legislature and were signed into law by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during the week of June 13.

Bills covered everything from allowing 17-year-old wait staff to sell and serve alcohol (House Bill 4232) to updating Michigan's high school curriculum to include a financial literacy course as a first for the state (House Bill 5190).

"Since I took office, I am proud to have signed over 849 bipartisan bills, and today we are adding to that total with a bill to help small businesses across the state," Whitmer said in a press release issued June 14 by her office.

Here's what to know about the pieces of legislation.

House bills:

HB 4232 allows 17-year-old wait staff to sell and serve alcohol at restaurants and other businesses to expand the eligible workforce to fill labor shortages.

"Bars and restaurants throughout Michigan that have been struggling with employment issues applaud the governor for signing this bill into law," Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott Ellis said in a statement. "I know our businesses in northern Michigan and other tourist areas will benefit tremendously from the signing of this bill."

To serve booze as a 17-year-old, the person must complete a server training program as required by the Liquor Control Commission. And, during the person's shift, the "on-premises licensee" is required to have supervisory personnel that is at least 18 years old and has also completed a server training program, according to the state.

HB 4232 was introduced by Rep. Michele Hoitenga R – Manton. 

HB 4527 increases safety requirements on owners or operators of carnival or amusement rides. For instance, the bill requires operators of carnival rides to receive an annual inspection in the spring before they can allow any riders. It also establishes sanctions for people who violate safety provisions within the Carnival Amusement Act.

HB 4527 was introduced by Rep. Thomas Albert, R – Lowell. 

HB 5258 amends the Michigan Election Law to change the timetable for filing, processing and distributing proof ballots for elections.

"HB 5258 saves taxpayer dollars while easing communication between clerks and candidates," Rep. Matt Koleszar, D – Plymouth said in a statement. "It’s a common-sense solution that is a win for everyone." 

HB 5258 was introduced by Rep. Matt Koleszar, D – Plymouth. 

HB 5287 gives county political party committees the authority to appoint to fill a local township office vacancy for the remainder of a term or select a candidate to run for the position in an upcoming special election.

Any appointed candidate must be confirmed by the local township board and any nominated candidate must still be elected by voters in the special election to take office, according to the state. The authority was expanded from township to county political party committees.

HB 5287 was introduced by Rep. David Martin R – Davison.

HB 5386 allows the option for township boards to allocate costs of private road improvements equally among the property owners benefiting from the maintenance or improvement of the road.

HB 5386 was introduced by Rep. Sue Allor, R – Wolverine.

HB 5555 helps ease the up-front unemployment insurance tax burden of seasonal small businesses of 100 or fewer employees by allowing first-quarter payments to be spread out throughout the year, according to the state.

HB 5555 was introduced by Rep. Sue Allor, R – Wolverine.

HB 5875 extends the sunset date of a provision that limits a county’s maintenance of effort rate for Medicaid-funded long-term care services. This will streamline Medicaid operations to save counties money, according to the state.

HB 5875 was introduced by Rep. Bronna Kahle, R – Adrian.

HB 5983 and HB 5984 allow the consumption of food and beverages in public swimming pools, and the service of alcohol in public swimming pools under certain circumstances. The bills cut restrictions and create entrepreneurial opportunities that allow public pool operators to maximize business heading into a "Pure Michigan summer," according to the state.
 
"The Bavarian Inn Zehnder Family applauds Governor Whitmer and the Legislators for approving the swim-up bar legislation," Michael Keller Zehnder, general manager for Bavarian Inn Lodge said in a statement. "This will enable hospitality business operators the opportunity to provide a new experience for their guests which will boost the Michigan Tourism Industry"
 
HB 5983 was introduced by Rep. Rodney Wakeman, R – Frankenmuth.
 
HB 5984 was introduced by Rep. John Cherry, D – Flint.

HB 5190 updates Michigan’s high school curriculum to include a financial literacy course for the first time in state history. The bill will prepare young Michiganders for the future and empower them to take control of their finances, according to the state.

"Adding a financial literacy requirement to Michigan's education curriculum makes sense if our goal is to prepare students for success, in both careers and life," Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. "Too many young adults are unprepared when it comes to making major financial decisions."

The legislation adds a half-credit personal finance course as a high school graduation requirement, starting with ninth-graders in 2024.

The course requirement could fulfill a half credit of the four-credit mathematics requirement, the two-credit language other than the English requirement or the one-credit visual, performing or applied arts requirement. The course could also be completed as part of an approved career and technical education program.

HB 5190 was introduced by Rep. Diana Farrington R – Utica.

Senate bills:

SB 821 allows emergency authorities to purchase real or personal property under an installment purchase agreement and allows emergency authorities to issue bonds or notes.
 
"This legislation opens the door to offer a new and more cost-efficient option for cities, townships and villages to equip their EMS authorities and provide care to area residents," Senator Wayne Schmidt, R – Traverse City said in a statement. "Installment purchase agreements have been available for other local entities to purchase real or personal property, and now emergency services will be able to take advantage of this more effective financing option."
 
SB 821 was introduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R – Traverse City.