Multiple Legislations Signed by Governor Whitmer Wednesday

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Wednesday that supports health professionals working in medically underserved communities, combatting the opioid epidemic, along with other legislation.

To date, Governor Whitmer has signed over 795 bipartisan bills into law.

“Today’s bill signing builds on our momentum bringing Democrats and Republicans together to get things done for Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer. “These bills supporting health professionals in medically underserved communities, combatting the opioid epidemic, and more are examples of what we can achieve when we work together. I am committed to getting things done on the kitchen-table issues and will work with anyone to put Michigan first.”

Governor Whitmer first signed Senate Bills 246 and 435, which increase loan forgiveness for health professionals working in medically underserved communities as part of the Michigan Essential Health Provider Program.

Officials say the bills increase the loan forgiveness to a maximum of $300,000 over the course of ten years and expands physician specializations that qualify for the essential health provider repayment program.

“I’m excited by the unique opportunity that this bill offers. Communities all around the state are facing a real problem in this shortage of medical professionals. This bill will offer tuition relief for medical students that sign contracts in areas of need,” said Sen. Curt VanderWall, R – Ludington. “It’s a step in the right direction to connect patients with quality care. And I’m happy to say that now mental health professionals will be eligible for this program. Our hope is to attract talent from our state and other states and pair them with communities of need to combat the shortage of critical health care around our state. I want to thank the Governor for her support of this legislation and look forward to working with her on this issue.”

Governor Whitmer also signed House Bills 5262, 5263 and 5264, which increase access to non-opioid directive forms: a form that directs health professionals and emergency medical services personnel to not administer opioids to them by requiring insurance providers to provide a non-opioid directive form to their enrollees upon enrollment, as well as make a form accessible on the website of insurance providers and hospitals.

“As a nurse and mom, I’ve realized the importance of people being involved in their medical decisions, especially in regard to pain management,” said Rep. Mary Whiteford, R – Casco Twp. “These bills are a great step towards ensuring that opioids are not the only option for pain control for our loved ones.”

Additionally, House Bill 5261 would allow an exception for certain health professionals to administer an opioid to someone who had executed a non-opioid directive form if the opioid were for intraoperative use.

Governor Whitmer additionally signed the following bills:

  • House Bill 4880: Adds physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers to a list of individuals required to report suspected child abuse or child neglect through the Child Protection Law.
  • House Bill 5701: Simplifies the process for school administration to install a temporary locking device or system, including those used to keep an active shooter out of a classroom. Also specifies that school administration will no longer need to construct documents that were sealed and signed by a licensed architect or licensed professional engineer to seek approval for this type of device or system.
  • House Bill 4821: Expands the duties of Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Commission to include the maintenance of the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
  • House Bill 5252: Requires the Department of State to post on their website a summary of initiative or referendum petitions and update the status of the petitions online every 30 days.
  • House Bill 4451: Allows the Secretary of State to authorize representatives to examine applicants for driver’s licenses.
  • Senate Bill 244: Amends the Revised Judicature Act to modify procedures for providing proof of service of process.