Governor Rick Snyder recently signed several bills into law affecting local municipalities. The bills are aimed at clarifying the operations of local municipalities and should make it easier for counties, cities, townships, and villages to file documents and save money at the local government level.
E-Signatures Accepted at Register of Deeds
Generally, an instrument conveying real property must meet certain requirements to be recorded, including a requirement that it contain the original signature of each person executing the instrument. Senate Bill 62 updates the statute to recognize the modern use of electronically affixed signatures by allowing county deed offices to accept electronic signatures for property documents being filed. The bill also provides that a “certified copy” of a death certificate is the same as an original. It is now Public Act 131 of 2015.
Pharmacy Technician Licensure
After tainted drugs led to a nationwide outbreak of meningitis that resulted in 64 documented deaths, including 19 in Michigan, the Michigan legislature enacted a law that requires compounding pharmacies to be accredited through a national accrediting organization approved by the Michigan Board of Pharmacy. In addition, the legislature enacted a law to license pharmacy technicians, because Michigan was then one of only six states that failed to require licensure or certification. The new law set minimum educational requirements at a high school degree or GED equivalent.
The Governor recently signed Senate Bill 468, which adjusts these pharmacy technician licensure requirements. The new law 1) makes an exception to the requirement that a pharmacy tech have graduated from high school; 2) increases from 210 days to one-year the duration of a temporary license; 3) allows a pharmacy technician employed at a multi-site pharmacy to work at any of the pharmacy’s in-state locations; and 4) delays for one-year the deadline for a licensed compounding pharmacy to be accredited. It is now Public Act 133.
Incompatible Office Exceptions
Currently, a public officer is prohibited from holding incompatible offices. House Bill 4070 modifies this rule by allowing employees of municipalities with less than 40,000 residents to serve in dual roles, so long as they are not in charge of negotiating collective bargaining agreements. Specifically, the new law allows a public officer or public employee of a city, village, township or county with a population under 40,000 to serve as a firefighter, police chief, fire chief, police officer or public safety officer, with or without compensation, as long as he or she was not a person who negotiated a collective bargaining agreement on behalf of firefighters, police chiefs, fire chiefs, police officers or public safety officers. This form of consolidation has the potential to save smaller municipalities several unnecessary costs. It is now Public Act 134 of 2015.
Electronic Proof of Insurance
Under the Insurance Code, auto insurance coverage is mandatory for the operation of a motor vehicle. Under the Vehicle Code, drivers must show proof of insurance at the request of a police officer. House Bill 4193 amends the Vehicle Code by allowing a driver to show an electronic copy of their certificate of insurance to a police officer by using a cell phone or tablet. In order to address concerns of officers regarding handling cell phones during traffic stops, the new law allows a police officer to require a driver to e-mail the information from the electronic device to a site designated by the officer (such as a computer in the police car), where the officer could view and verify it. It is now Public Act 135.
Karen M. Daley is an attorney in our Livonia office and is the head of the Firm’s appellate practice group. She concentrates her practice on appellate law, municipal law, and probate law. She may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.