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Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – September 2, 2022

Bringing you five stories that matter in Michigan this week – September 2, 2022. Legal, legislative, and regulatory updates.

  1. President Biden Announces Student Loan Forgiveness

On Wednesday, August 24, President Biden announced the federal government will extend the current pause on monthly student loan payments. President Biden also stated that the federal government plans to forgive up to $20,000 worth of student loan debt for those who qualify.

Why it Matters: President Biden is relying on the HEROES Act of 2003 [20USC 1098bb] to extend the pause on student payments as well as forgive certain amounts of student loans for qualifying individuals. There may be challenges to the President’s reliance on this statute to forgive student loan debt in the future. Learn more here from our attorney covering the news.


  1. How Michigan Car Insurance Rates Stack Up Nationally

Following an influx of new car insurance companies into the state, Michigan has dropped from being the nation’s leader in cost of car insurance to fourth. The major effort in reducing costs is attributed to the 2019 auto insurance reform, which saw prices for automobile premiums drop considerably.

Why it Matters: Reduced costs for automobile owners is a positive sign for Michiganders. Elected officials are working towards providing consumers a choice for their automobile insurance, which in turn will reduce costs across the board.


  1. Term Limits Will Be Prop 1 on November Ballot

It was recently announced that changes to Michigan’s term limits and financial disclosure requirements will be on November’s ballot as Prop 1. In 1992, Michigan voters voted in favor of a constitutional amendment for term limits. Since then, Michigan House members have been limited to three two-year terms and Michigan Senate members to two four-year terms— a maximum of 14 years between the two chambers.

Why it Matters: If Prop 1 passes, it would permit lawmakers to serve 12 years in Lansing, and all of that time could be spent in the House or Senate, or it could be divided between the two chambers. Additionally, elected officials would have to disclose their assets, income and liabilities, and their involvement in any businesses, nonprofits, labor organizations or educational institutions. Learn more here.


  1. Voting Rights Proposal Fails to Make November Ballot

A voting rights proposal that would make changes to Michigan’s elections—including establishing early voting—failed to make this fall’s ballot. Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on whether to certify the Promote the Vote amendment for the ballot.

Why it Matters: The amendment would have increased absentee ballot access and preempted efforts to enact stricter voter ID rules for those casting ballots in person and for absentee voters. Promote the Vote indicated it would challenge the decision in court.


  1. Michigan to Receive $50 Million from Federal Government for Historic 2020 Flooding

The Federal Highway Administration said Wednesday it will provide $50 million in emergency relief funds to Michigan to reimburse the state for repairs it made to roadways and bridges following severe flooding that took place in mid-Michigan in 2020.

Why it Matters: The money comes as part of a $513 million package the federal government is distributing across different states and territories. Only California and Puerto Rico will receive more than Michigan.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Insurance Defense | Emily Vanderlaan

Election Law | Garett Koger

Trusts & Estates | Elizabeth Siefker