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Whitmer signs bills to support the education, safety of Michigan Children

The governor also signed the Senate Bill 721 to make it easier for an individual to preserve an interest, claim, or charge on their marketable record titles
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

LANSING — Today, Governor Whitmer signed legislation that will ensure every child within foster care receives a quality education aligned within the Michigan Merit Curriculum content standards. The governor also signed legislation to update safety standards for child car seats and restraints. 

“Today, we are taking more extensive action to further the safety of every Michigan child. From safe transportation to providing a guaranteed and quality education for all children within the foster care system,” said Governor Whitmer. “Getting this done will further the success of all Michigan children and keep them safe. Let’s keep working together to build a brighter and safer future in our state.”  

House Bill 4676, sponsored by state Representative Stephanie A. Young, amends the Foster Care and Adoption Services Act to ensure every child placed in foster care has guaranteed access to a quality education. This bill helps to align their education curriculums with the Michigan Merit Curriculum content standards, as well as enabling them to receive educational records, to the same extent as all students who are not in foster care. 

“This is a significant milestone for our foster care youth and a testament to our belief that every child in Michigan, regardless of their circumstances, should have equal opportunity to achieve academic success,” said state Representative Stephanie A. Young (D-Detroit). “When I heard the heartbreaking stories of foster youth who were working hard at their studies, only to discover their caretakers had given them busy work that wouldn’t count toward graduation, I knew I had to act. By ensuring the educational materials that foster kids receive meets the standards of the Michigan Merit Curriculum, we’re making changes that will help uplift the future of our kids. I’m so proud to have led this effort and thank all of the parents, educators and community members who joined together with me to make this happen.” 

“Michigan’s foster kids deal with so many challenges in their lives, but being denied graduation because their curriculum is inadequate should never be one of them,” said Thomas Hickson, Jr., Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy of the Michigan Catholic Conference. “All Michigan’s children deserve a quality education to be able to succeed later in life.  We applaud Representative Young for her work and leadership to fix this issue in House Bill 4676 and are grateful the bill is being signed by Governor Whitmer.” 

House Bill 4511, sponsored by state Representative Carrie Rheingans, amends the Michigan Vehicle Code by updating Michigan’s child car seat restraint requirements to better protect children and align with federal standards. 

“I am happy this bill crossed the finish line after the coalition has been trying for the past few terms. As a mother, I know how important it is to have clear and concise safety guidance when it comes to our kids,” said state Representative Carrie A. Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor). “It has taken 15 years to update safety seat laws in our state, and I'm thrilled Michigan will be aligned with the most recent federal and industry standards. Parents will now better understand when it is safe to move their child from one seat to the next, with less confusion.” 

“Every child deserves safety and security wherever they are, especially in a vehicle when being properly restrained can be lifesaving,” Col. James F. Grady II, director of the Michigan State Police. “The State Police supports this legislation which aligns Michigan law with federal safety guidelines providing additional safety protections for properly restrained children traveling on our roads.” 

“The child passenger safety legislation updates exemplify Michigan's unwavering dedication to children's safety by bringing laws more closely in line with current best practices,” said Holly Alway, Safe Kids West Michigan Coalition Coordinator and Injury Prevention Manager at Trinity Health. “While transitioning children from rear-facing to forward-facing and booster seats can be confusing, we are dedicated to supporting families in navigating these stages. Safe Kids coordinators and child passenger safety technicians across Michigan stand ready to offer hands-on guidance on proper fit and installation and provide resources to ensure every child is protected while traveling. 

“This is a great step in helping to keep our kids safe on the roads,” said Dr. Johnathan Gold, an East Lansing Pediatrician, and Advocacy Chair for the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MIAAP). “Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death in the U.S.  Updating our state law with respect to car seats has been a long-standing priority for Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and it is exciting to see it come to fruition. We are grateful for the support of Governor Whitmer signing these bills into law. We are also grateful for bill sponsors Representative Carrie Rheingans and Representative John Fitzgerald for their hard work in passing this important legislation.” 

House Bill 4512, sponsored by state Representative John Fitzgerald, amends section 907 of the Michigan Vehicle Code in order to allow a court to waive any civil fine, cost, or assessment against a person who received a civil infraction for a violation of child restraint system requirements if the person, in addition to current requirements, showed evidence that the person had received education from a certified child passenger safety technician.   

“The signing of House Bills 4511 and 4512 marks a huge step forward for the safety of our youngest Michiganders. By aligning Michigan’s safety seat standards with federal guidelines, we ensure that parents and caregivers have consistent information about which seat is right for their child,” said state Representative John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming). “I am proud to have played a part in this important achievement. Together, we are making Michigan a safer place for families and growing Michiganders.” 

The governor also signed the Senate Bill 721 to make it easier for an individual to preserve an interest, claim, or charge on their marketable record titles. 

Senate Bill 721, sponsored by state Senator Jeremy Moss, amends 1945 PA 200, known as the marketable record title act. This bill will extend the dates from March 29, 2024 to September 29, 2025 to give Michiganders more time to preserve their interest, claim, or charge within their marketable record title. 

“I appreciate the collaborative efforts of Gov. Whitmer, my Senate and House colleagues, and all stakeholders involved in championing the passage of Senate Bill 721," said state Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield). "This legislation takes the necessary steps to modify the Marketable Record Title Act and will extend timelines for preserving property interests and reducing disputes.”