Governor signs Zorn rental property bill, vetoes local public servant reform

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed Sen. Dale Zorn’s measure to increase flexibility for transferring rental property but vetoed another bill allowing certain local government board members to serve their communities in public safety roles.

Senate Bill 16, now Public Act 14 of 2021, allows rental property owners more flexibility when transferring property between entities.

“I want to thank the governor for finally helping us end this form of double dipping,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Before this reform, Michigan rental properties were subject to unnecessary and costly reinspections when they were transferred from one type of entity to another — even if the owners of both entities were the same people. With the governor’s signature, that extra red tape has been cut for these limited situations.”

Whitmer vetoed SB 17, which would have helped more local communities fill first responder and public safety positions. A public servant of a Michigan township, city, village or county with a population of 25,000 or more cannot serve that community as an EMT, firefighter, police officer or public safety officer. SB 17 would have expanded the population limit to 40,000.

“It is disappointing and frustrating that the governor rejected allowing more local elected officials who have the necessary training to also serve their communities in lifesaving roles,” Zorn said. “This option is already allowed for small local units, so this wasn’t a new idea. It was simply about providing more flexibility to more communities struggling to find enough first responders to protect their families — an issue that has become more difficult during the pandemic.”