Advocacy Update

Written by Forrest Wall, CAE, Staff Vice President and Industry Relations

Busy Lame Duck Session Includes Numerous AAM Issues

The end of the 2017-18 Michigan Legislative Session saw a flurry of activity given the gubernatorial and other leadership changes coming in 2019. As a matter of fact, as of this writing (submitted before the session ended), this lame duck was on track to be one of the busiest ever in Michigan. There was the potential that over 300 bills could be sent to Governor Snyder in the final days of 2018!

AAM was tracking and working on dozens of bills that would impact the rental property industry. The highest priority for AAM was Senate Bill 663, which would strengthen state law to help prevent the false representation of possession of an emotional support animal. The bill passed the Michigan Senate and was being considered by the Michigan House in the final days of the session. Other legislation for which AAM sought passage included Senate Bill 1017, which would provide specific statutory language supporting the “open and obvious” doctrine in Michigan. Currently, there is no law providing clarity on this issue as its standard came from judicial rule.

Equally as important, AAM also worked to oppose a number of threats to our industry. Bills repealing or allowing exceptions in Michigan’s Rent Control Act were stopped in this session. The preemption of local rent control is one of the most significant legislative accomplishments in AAM’s history. Legislation requiring construction contracts to include a clause requiring prompt payment was also opposed by AAM. The bill exempted single family residential and attached residential less than 7 units, but apartment buildings over 7 units were included with other types of construction.

Look for a final report on the bills above and other legislation of interest in my column next month. All legislation proposed but not enacted in the 2017-18 session will need to be reintroduced and start the process over in the 2019-20 session.


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