Snyder signs bills supporting affordable energy plan

Also signs loan program, recycling, licensing bills

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed two bills to help ensure Michigan’s rates will accurately reflect the cost of service for all customers.

“In December I laid out my plan for a ‘no regrets’ energy future. A key part of that plan is ensuring affordable energy,” Snyder said. “These bills will help us work toward those goals under the existing law, helping to create an environment that encourages greater job investments while honoring the “cost of service” principle that no user should subsidize other users. The bills represent a good first step in our ongoing efforts to reinvent Michigan’s energy policy.”

The governor’s energy goals are available at www.michigan.gov/energy.

House Bill 5476, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Stamas, provides a timeline for the Michigan Public Service Commission, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy to examine cost allocation and rate design methods used to set energy rates, with a focus on whether customers are appropriately rewarded for having “smooth” energy usage. The bill requires each affected utility to submit a proposal exploring rate allocation for production, transmission, distribution and customer-related costs and overall rate design based on affordable and competitive costs of service. Under the bill, other regulated utilities will have the ability to have such a proceeding as well.

HB 5612, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Shirkey, helps ensure funding for residential rate advocates so all Michigan’s ratepayers will be well represented at the proceedings detailed in HB 5476.

The bills are now Public Acts 169 and 170 of 2014, respectively.

The governor also signed 10 other bills:

Senate Bill 265, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, creates an exception for company test vehicles with regard to the vehicle registration tax charged by a Regional Transit Authority. The bill defines “company tax vehicle” as a vehicle owned by a manufacturer and is part of a product testing program or used for the purpose of reporting defects, evaluating quality and performance or suggesting production improvements. It is now PA 171.

SB 648, sponsored by state Sen. John Moolenaar, adds dentistry to the list of providers that can participate in the State Loan Provider Program. It also extends the amount of time a provider can remain in the program and increases the cap on funding to $40,000 per year and $200,000 over a lifetime. It is now PA 172.

SB 649, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Marleau, adds dentistry to the list of occupations a student participant in the grant program for minority students enrolled in medical schools can pursue. The program is not currently in operation. Should sufficient funds be appropriated the program would become active. It is now PA 173.

HB 4528, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, maintains public protections already present in the Michigan Immigration Clerical Assistant Act while removing the state’s obligation to license immigration clerical assistants. It is now PA 174.

HB 4582 and 5284, sponsored by state Reps. Frank Foster and Marilyn Lane, respectively, clarify continuing education licensing requirements for residential builder, maintenance and alteration contractors. They also eliminate the requirement that a license applicant must prove financial stability. The bills are now PAs 175 and 176, respectively.

HB 5220, sponsored by state Rep. Tim Kelly, enables CPA firms to better serve their growing variety of customers by eliminating the requirement that firms have a principal officer. All services provided by these firms must be performed under the supervision of a licensed CPA. It is now PA 177.

HB 5400, 5401 and 5402, sponsored by state Reps. Wayne Schmidt, Ed McBroom and Phil Potvin, respectively, lessen economic waste disposal costs and support the environment. The bills allow materials that meet certain environmental requirements to be used in specified beneficial ways. The bills also provide liability exemptions for people previously storing or using beneficial byproducts and call for proper documentation when moving through the license approval process. They are now PAs 178-180, respectively.

For more information on legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.

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