Brandenburg notes new state laws
Several new laws affecting children, young drivers and veterans that passed earlier in the year take effect in September, including:
Public Act 282 of 2018 allows for the use of courtroom support dogs to comfort witnesses, including a child under age 16 or a vulnerable adult. Therapy dogs can calm witnesses, particularly children, helping them overcome their fears to deliver their testimony.
Public Act 276 of 2018 requires driver’s education to include information on what to do and how to interact with law enforcement during a traffic stop. The training will help make this situation safer and less stressful for young drivers.
Public Act 211 of 2018 prohibits what is often called “pension poaching” to better protect veterans from fraud and predatory financial abuse.The new law will prevent individuals or agencies from profiting off veterans benefit services that are offered at no cost through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Service helps recover lost life insurance money
A free service offered by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has helped consumers recover more than $6.3 million in death benefits since 2016.
The Life Insurance and Annuity Search Service (LIAS) was created to help beneficiaries locate a deceased family member’s life insurance policy or annuity contract that was purchased in Michigan. Each month, the agency forwards consumer requests to Michigan licensed life insurance and annuity companies to try to locate lost policies. During the last two years, over 2,000 requests have been submitted to participating insurance companies. Insurance companies contact the beneficiary directly if a policy match is found. They will not contact anyone who is not a beneficiary or legally authorized to receive the policy information. Find more information, including a search request form, at www.michigan.gov/lias.
Pure Michigan hunt offers exciting hunting opportunity
The start of fall hunting season is a good time to remind outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen about the annual Pure Michigan Hunt opportunity. This “hunt of a lifetime” offers three winners the chance to obtain licenses for antlerless deer, bear, elk and spring and fall turkey, and first pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area, along with a prize package valued at over $4,000!
Applications for the 2019 drawing are $5 each and available at license agent locations and online at www.mdnr-elicense.comuntil Dec. 31. Revenue helps fund Michigan’s wildlife habitat restoration and management. More information is available at www.michigan.gov/pmh.
Organ donor registry surpasses 5 million
The secretary of state’s office recently reported that more than 5 million residents have now joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry! Senate legislation signed into law has helped increase the number of registered organ donors. Public Act 451 of 2016 — Lauren’s Law — requires the secretary of state’s office to ask whether someone would like to sign up on the organ donor registry when they apply for a driver’s license.
Anyone can join the registry, regardless of age or medical history. Visit www.michigan.gov/sos, call 866-500-5801 or stop by any secretary of state office to sign up.