Also signs 11 additional measures, vetoes two bills
LANSING — Speed limits on certain Michigan roadways may increase after studies are conducted to ensure safety under legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder.
“Ensuring that all Michiganders are safe while operating vehicles on our state’s roadways is critically important, and these bills allow for appropriately increased speed limits on certain roadways after safety studies are conducted,” Snyder said.
HBs 4423-4427, sponsored by state Reps. Bradford Jacobsen, Rick Outman, John Kivela and Charles Smiley, respectively, require the Michigan Department of Transportation to allow the speed limit to be raised up to 75 mph on at least 600 miles of freeways and up to 65 mph on at least 900 miles of non-freeway “M” roads. The increases are allowed only if safety and engineering studies show the 85th percentile of speeds currently driven on those roads allow for it. The bills also raise the maximum speed limit for trucks from 60 to 65 mph and adjusts measures used by insurers to determine eligibility for auto insurance. The measures are now Public Acts 445-449 of 2016.
Gov. Snyder also signed 11 additional bills:
House Bill 4142, sponsored by state Rep. Ken Goike, limits civil fines for operating vehicles that are over the normal or permitted weight limits due to "misloads." It is now Public Act 450 of 2016.
Senate Bill 541, sponsored by state Sen. John Proos, requires the Secretary of State to ask everyone who applies for a new or renewal driver license if they would like to be added to the organ donor registry. It is now Public Act 451 of 2016.
SB 595, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, eliminates the current requirement for a volunteer firefighter or government employee to obtain a medical waiver before being allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle owned by their governmental entity. This change will align state statute with federal law. It is now Public Act 452 of 2016.
SB 702, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, removes the 50-mile limit on towing a disabled truck to a safe place for repair. It is now Public Act 453 of 2016.
SB 706–708, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, helps generate consistency among county road commission policies related to timber harvesting companies’ usage of roadways. The measures are now Public Acts 454-456 of 2016.
SB 879, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Shirkey, helps create greater efficiency in building Michigan’s infrastructure by updating the processes used to generate and implement life-cycle cost analyses for road construction. It is now Public Act 457 of 2016.
SB 958, sponsored by state Sen. Wayne Schmidt, authorizes the use of school buses for non-school related events of statewide significance, such as the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. The bill also clarifies M-1 Rail’s exemption from being regulated under the Motor Bus Transportation Act. It is now Public Act 458 of 2016.
SB 1068, sponsored by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, removes the requirement for cities and villages to cost-share with the state for construction projects on state freeways that run through their boundaries. This replaces SB 557 previously vetoed by Gov. Snyder. It is now Public Act 459 of 2016.
SB 1089, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, allows road construction and maintenance workers to wear only a lap safety belt and not both a lap belt and a shoulder harness while performing duties in a work zone. It is now Public Act 460 of 2016.
Gov. Snyder also vetoed two bills:
Senate Bill 953 would allow billboards to be built on school property and increase the total number of billboards permitted in Michigan. In his veto letter, Gov. Snyder expressed concern that the legislation would, “put Michigan in jeopardy of losing millions of dollars in federal highway funding at a time when we must continue to aggressively invest in our infrastructure.”
House Bill 5532 would remove training and certification requirements for individuals selling morel mushrooms to food establishments. In his veto letter, Gov. Snyder referenced the increase in poisonings in Michigan related to morel mushroom consumption and wrote, “It is important that wild mushrooms entering our food supply meet the same high safety standards as other products and ingredients.”
For more information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.