The Failure of Public Act 222: Sewer Backup Legislation

In 2001 the State of Michigan enacted Public Act 222 (MCL 691.1416 seq.) to provide a statutory exception to governmental immunity for sanitary sewer backups onto real property. Prior to Act 222, the legal theory used by plaintiffs to recover for sewer backup events was the Trespass-Nuisance exception. That common law action carried strict liability for property damages upon a simple showing that sewage or water in a basement came […]

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New Rules Will Cause State and Local Governments to Account for Their Retiree Benefit Promises

As Michigan’s largest private employers try to cut back, they have been addressing the promises they made in more prosperous decades to fund retiree health care costs and defined benefit pensions. The results have uniformly led to cuts to or elimination of those benefits. Now comes the turn of state and local governments. The Government Accounting Standard Board is set to implement new rules next year that will require states, […]

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