Senate committee OKs Zorn local government and rental property bills

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn’s measures to increase flexibility for serving on local boards and transferring rental property became the first two policy bills to be approved by a committee in the new session.

Senate Bill 16 would allow rental property owners more flexibility when transferring property between entities. It is a reintroduction of SB 692, which was passed by the Legislature last year only to be pocket vetoed by the governor without explanation.

The Senate Local Government Committee unanimously reported the bill Thursday to the full Senate.

“This reform would end a form of double dipping that happens when an owner transfers property from one type of entity to another — even if the owners of both entities are the same people,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I was disappointed when the governor didn’t sign this reform last time. Hopefully now we can find common ground on ending these unnecessary and costly rental property reinspections.”

The second bill reported by the committee was SB 17, which would help 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 expand the population limit to 40,000.

“Even before the pandemic, some Michigan townships just above the population limit were struggling to find enough first responders and police officers,” Zorn said. “Making this simple change would allow more local public servants who have the necessary training to serve their communities in their lifesaving roles.”