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Governor Whitmer Signs Bills into Law

Michigan Business Network
February 10, 2022 7:00 AM

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The new laws create savings for first-time homebuyers and adds judges to areas with high caseloads   

LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday signed House Bill 4290 and Senate Bill 145 to lower costs for first-time homebuyers by creating tax-exempt saving accounts and allow Michiganders to deduct contributions from their taxes. The governor also signed Senate Bill 694 into law, which creates six new judgeships in areas around the state with high caseloads to ensure Michiganders have better service in our state’s judicial system, and Senate Bill 654, which reorganizes courts in certain Lake Michigan shoreline communities. The legislature passed these bills with overwhelming bipartisan support.   

First-Time Home Buyer Savings Program 

House Bill 4290 and Senate Bill 145 establish the Michigan First-Time Home Buyer Savings Program in the Department of Treasury, to allow Michiganders to open first-time home buyer savings accounts to save for and purchase single-family residences in Michigan. Any associated contributions, interest accrued, or qualified withdrawals from an account would be exempt from taxation and Michiganders could claim up to $5,000 for a single return or $10,000 for a joint return on their taxes   

“Homeownership creates opportunity for Michigan families and sets a foundation for economic success,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am proud to sign this legislation which will put Michiganders first by helping families save for and purchase homes.”   

“This new law sets up the state’s first dedicated savings vehicle for a new home purchase,” said James Iodice, Michigan Realtors President. “These accounts will help individuals and families achieve the dream of homeownership, retain our talented college graduates, and promote financial literacy and smart savings. Realtors® are very excited to work as ambassadors for this new program. We are thankful to Governor Whitmer, as well as Representative Manoogian and Senator Horn for their leadership on this important issue.   

House Bill 4290 was sponsored by Rep. Mari Manoogian, D – Birmingham, and a copy can be found here.   

“Homeownership is a hallmark of the American Dream, and yet too many Michiganders – particularly young folks – are unable to save up enough to afford their first homes in here in our communities,” said Rep. Manoogian. “This new program will put young people and new families on the pathway to success and will help our state retain its best and brightest, allowing people to stay here in our communities to raise the next generation of Michiganders. I’m grateful we have a governor who can see the potential in every one of residents and families, and cities and townships, and I thank her for her support and partnership in bringing this bill across the finish line and into law.”   

Senate Bill 145 was sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn, R – Frankenmuth, and a copy can be found here.   

“I’m proud to see this program finally become a reality,” said bill sponsor Senator Ken Horn. “Buying a house is hard, especially in today’s economy. We know the importance of home ownership in establishing vibrant communities and in retaining and attracting talented young people to Michigan.”   

Improving Michigan’s Access to Justice   

Senate Bill 694 reorganizes provides additional judgeships in the following district and circuit courts: 

  • 3rd Circuit (Wayne) 
  • 10th Circuit (Saginaw) 
  • 14th Circuit (Muskegon) 
  • 20th Circuit (Ottawa) 
  • 89th District (Presque Isle) 
  • Kent County Probate Court   

“Adding judges in areas with high caseloads will mean regular people can have their day in court, without wasting their entire afternoon in a waiting room,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michiganders expect and deserve a justice system that works for them, and I was proud to sign this legislation ensuring better service for Michiganders.”   

Senate Bill 654 reorganizes judicial districts in the shoreline communities of Lake County and Oceana County.   

Senate Bills 654 and 694 were sponsored by Sen. Jon Bumstead, R – Newaygo, and copies can be found here and here.   


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