Governor Snyder Takes Action on E-Cigarette, Food Safety and Concealed Pistol License Legislation

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While the Michigan legislature officially opened the 2015-16 session this week, some residual work from the 2013-14 session remained. We witnessed dozens of bills pass in the final days of the lame duck session, with much of the debate centering around a compromise on a $1.2 billion transportation package. And while Senate Bill 2 was not included among the agenda items considered during the lame duck session, there was no shortage of activity on legislation impacting health care in Michigan.

The busy lame duck session left Governor Snyder with a sizeable stack of bills to wade through. This week, he took action on legislation addressing the regulation of e-cigarettes, food safety in restaurants, and concealed pistol licenses. Here is a quick update on those and other legislative issues MAFP staff have been tracking:


Passed the Legislature, Signed by the Governor

SB 730 [Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan)] – This legislation amends the Food Law to require at least one managerial employee of certain food establishments to be employed as a food safety manager, and requires that certain food establishments post educational materials and notices to customers to inform the server about any food allergies, among other things. 

  • MAFP supported the legislation.

HB 4736 [Representative George Darany (R-Dearborn)] – This legislation would authorize a health professional to provide expedited partner therapy (EPT) for the partner of a patient diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease without a requirement for a direct examination.

  • MAFP supported the legislation.

SB 1033 [Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton Twp.)] – This legislation would exempt medical retainer agreements, which includes direct primary care practices, from being regulated as traditional insurance.

  • MAFP took a neutral position.

SB 275 and HB 4118 [Senator Joe Hune (R-Hamburg)] – This legislation amends the Social Welfare Act to provide for a pilot program in three or more counties for suspicion-based substance abuse testing and screening as a condition of eligibility for welfare programs.

  • MAFP did not take an official position.

HB 5842 [Representative Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle)] - This legislation provides for the permanent revocation of physician licensure under certain circumstances, among other things.

  • MAFP did not take an official position.

Passed the Legislature, Vetoed by the Governor

SB 789 [Senator Mike Green (R-Mayville)]—Amends the Handgun Licensing Law to, among other things, abolish county concealed weapon licensing boards. One provision of particular concern would revoke the automatic prohibition on concealed pistol licenses (CPL) for persons subject to personal protection orders (PPO).

  • It is for that reason that MAFP opposed this legislation.
  • Gun violence as a serious public health concern was an issue raised during last July’s Annual Meeting. In that spirit, MAFP also sent a letter of support for HB 4774, which did not advance prior to adjournment.

SB 667-668; HB 4997 [Multiple sponsors] – Amends the Youth Tobacco Act to prohibit minors from being able to purchase, possess or use vapor products, such as e-cigarettes. However, the legislation fails to regulate these products as tobacco products. [We supported a substantially stronger piece of legislation, SB 5393, would have defined e-cigarettes and similar vapor products as a “tobacco product” under law and regulated them as such. No action was taken on that bill prior to adjournment.]

  • It is for this reason that MAFP is opposed to the legislation.

Failed to Pass the Legislature Prior to Adjournment*

HB 5958 or, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [Representative Jase Bolger (R-Marshall)] - This legislation would, among other things, prohibit infringement on the free exercise of religion unless a case could be made for a compelling government interest in doing so.

SB 1073 [Senator Randy Richardville (R-Monroe)] – Amends the Public Health Code to revise certificate of need (CON) program requirements to allow for hospital beds to be shifted from Pontiac to a new hospital near Clarkston.

SB 1128-1130 and SB 1137 [Senator Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw Twp.) & Senator John Pappageorge (R-Troy)] – Amends the Public Health Code to include Hepatitis C virus in the definition of "serious communicable disease or infection" and makes it a felony if a person fails to inform his or her sexual partner that they have the disease. The bills also would, among other things, require the Department of Corrections to test a prisoner before he or she is released on parole or discharged after completing his or her sentence unless the prisoner was already diagnosed.

*MAFP did not take an official position on these bills