TitleBytes News & Happenings

MLTA closes out a successful 2015-16 Legislative Cycle and Looks Forward to the New 99th Legislature

Feb 28, 2017

By Cami Pendell, Michigan Legislative Consultants

MLTA was able to end 2016 on a very positive note with the Legislature passing and the Governor signing legislation that eliminates dower in the state of Michigan.  The new laws will accomplish the following:

  • Public Act 489’16 – Abolishes a wife’s dower right in both statute and at common law and repeals sections of the Revised Judicature Act that pertain to dower rights.
  • Public Act 378’ 16 – Deletes a provision that judgments of divorce and separate maintenance include a provision in lieu of dower.
  • Public Act 490’16 – Applies the right of dower only to a surviving widow whose spouse died before the effective date of Public Act 489’16.
  • Because one bill was signed in advance of the two others, the effective dates are a bit staggered. Public Act 378’16 becomes effective on March 22, 2017, while Public Acts 489 and 490 become effective on April 6, 2017.

The Michigan Land Title Association strongly supported this package of bills and worked throughout the legislative process to ensure Senators and Representatives understood the importance of them to the industry.  MLTA is pleased to see that these bills are now officially law.

With the beginning of the New Year, a new legislative cycle began as well.  While the Senate stayed the same because they weren’t up for election in 2016, the House ushered in many new members.  Along with those new members, there is now also new House leadership and committee memberships.  At the helm of the House is Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt), Speaker Pro Tempore Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Majority Floor Leader Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Twp).  Leading the other side of the aisle is Minority Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and Minority Floor Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills).  On the committee front, MLTA traditionally does the majority of its legislative work with the Local Government Committee.  As of January 26th, the House announced its updated committee membership and MLTA looks forward to working with the following members on the House Local Government Committee:  Reps. James Lower (C), Kathy Crawford (VC), Julie Alexander, Ben Frederick, Roger Hauck, Gary Howell, Jim Runestad, Patrick Green (MVC), Jim Ellison, Jeremy Moss and Terry Sabo. It’s interesting to note that Rep. Lower is a freshman member of the legislature and is one of 11 freshman to chair a House policy committee.

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