Advocacy Update

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

Legislative Session Ends Without ESA Reform

The final days of the 2017-18 Michigan Legislative Session proved frenetic as Governor Snyder and Republicans in both legislative chambers sought passage of numerous priorities. All legislation not enacted in the 2017-18 session will need to be reintroduced in the 2019-20 session and start the process over again. Below is a recap of a few key apartment industry issues:

Emotional Support Animals – The highest priority for which AAM sought passage at the end of the session was Senate Bill 663, which would have strengthened state law to help prevent the false representation of possession of an emotional support animal. The bill passed the Michigan Senate but was ultimately not considered by the Michigan House in the final days of the session as physician groups and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights raised late opposition to certain provisions in the bill. This legislation will be reintroduced in 2019.

Rent Control Bills – The preemption of local rent control is one of the most significant legislative accomplishments in AAM’s history. Unfortunately we are forced to constantly defend this law, and this legislative session was no exception. Three bills were introduced – but not acted upon – to either repeal or allow exceptions to the act. House Bill 4456 proposed a complete repeal, while House Bills 4686 and 4687 would have allowed local units of government the ability to limit rent for disabled individuals and senior citizens while providing property tax breaks to property subject to the local controls.

Prompt Payment – Legislation requiring private construction contracts to include a clause requiring prompt payment for labor, materials and services was also successfully 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.

“Open and Obvious” Codification – Senate Bill 1017 would have provided specific statutory language supporting the “open and obvious” doctrine in Michigan relating to the liability of property owners to injuries, such as slip and falls. Currently, there is no law providing clarity on this issue as its standard came from judicial rule. While this legislation passed the Michigan Senate, it did not pass the Michigan House.

Tree Ordinances – Arising out of a well-publicized dispute in Canton, a package of bills limiting local tree ordinances for certain zoning classifications was introduced in November and hotly debated in the final days of the session. After passage by the Michigan Senate, the bill package stalled in the Michigan House.

Posted in 2019, February 2019 | Comments Off on Advocacy Update

ABMWCSIF Six Year Returned Premium Comparison

Posted in 2019, JANUARY 2019 | Comments Off on ABMWCSIF Six Year Returned Premium Comparison

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.

 

Posted in 2019, JANUARY 2019 | Comments Off on Advocacy Update

Thank You Event Sponsors

Posted in 2018, DECEMBER 2018 | Comments Off on Thank You Event Sponsors

Improve Emergency Action Plans By Preparing For Active Shooter Incidents

WRITTEN BY GARY SMITH, APARTMENT BUILDING MANAGEMENT WORKERS COMPENSATION SELF INSURED FUND

According to OSHA, workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. A subset of this workplace violence falls into the category of “active shooter.” An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.

Recent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics show that active shooter events most commonly occur in businesses (45 percent), schools (25 percent) and government facilities (10 percent). The FBI has designated 50 shootings in 2016 and 2017 as active shooter incidents. Twenty incidents occurred in 2016, while 30 incidents occurred in 2017.1 Unfortunately, these incidents continue to rise in 2018. Further, ActiveShooterData.org analyzed 192 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2015. It found that business locations were the site of more than half of all events, with 98.2

Now, more than ever, it is important for employers to improve their Emergency Response Plans and employee training with active shooter preparation and response programming. In order to understand the current best practices used for preparing for and responding to this workplace threat, the FBI published its Developing Emergency Operations Plans – A Guide for Business in March 2018.3 This 42-page document guides employers through the planning principles, planning process, and offers a basic plan and checklists for preparation and response to active shooter incidents.

Employers are encouraged to download and use this resource to better prepare their workplaces for this potential threat. Proper planning and training will prevent the loss of life! We have posted it for you at:

https://www.builders.org/pdf/active-shooter-guide-for-businesses.pdf

Should you require assistance with reviewing and improving your workplace emergency planning, please contact Gary L. Smith, CRM, CSRM, MLIR, Director of Risk Control at (517) 338-3367 or gary.smith@yorkrsg.com.

Resources:

  1. Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017 – U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation; April 2018.
  2. ActiveShooterData.org
  3. Developing Emergency Operations Plans – A Guide for Businesses – U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation; March 2018.
Posted in 2018, DECEMBER 2018 | Comments Off on Improve Emergency Action Plans By Preparing For Active Shooter Incidents