These New Michigan Laws Hit the Books in 2017
As we enter the new year, there are a handful of new laws of which you should be aware. Regardless of who you are, at least one of these laws will touch your life (or wallet) in some way.
1. Minimum Wage Raised From $8.50/hr to $8.90/hr -- Effective January 1st, 2017
As we have previously reported, minimum wage employees will be able to buy an extra McDonald's cheeseburger for every 2.5 hours of work. Not bad. That number is set be raised an additional 35 cents to $9.25/hr on January 1st, 2018.
2. Gas Tax Went Up an Additional 7.3 Cents/Gallon -- Effective January 1st, 2017
Another item we reported long ago was the additional gas tax that is intended to fund road repairs. While this is a good idea in theory, we've heard this song and dance before. If I had a dollar for every time a tax hike was supposed to pay for roads or education and didn't, I could probably afford to fund Michigan's road repairs myself. That's an exaggeration, obviously, but you get my point. Side-note -- diesel fuel saw an increase of 11.3 cents/gallon.
3. Vehicle Registration Cost Increased by 20% -- Effective January 1st, 2017
Another part of the road funding package signed by Governor Snyder in 2015, was a 20% registration fee increase. Combined with the gas tax, the increases are expected to generate around $1.2 billion annually for road repairs. Unfortunately, a recent report said Michigan falls about $4 billion/year short on infrastructure spending, a decent portion of which is road repair. $1.2 billion is a good start, but will it be enough? We'll see.
4. New Standards Set for Telehealth Industry -- Effective March 21st, 2017
With the recent boom on demand doctors taking advantage of technology, Michigan is wisely playing ahead of (or with) the curve by setting standards for such things. Under the new telehealth policies, doctors will be able to prescribe some medications remotely.