The start of a new year means new laws will take effect in the coming days and weeks of 2016. Here are descriptions of several of them.
One new law lets drivers pulled over by police show proof of their auto insurance on their phone instead of having to provide a hard copy.
Another new law revises rules so people with service animals can visit restaurants and other places without being turned away. The state will also offer voluntary ID’s, tags and vests for service animals. The state also must accept reports from people who encounter problems while using a service animal.
There is also a ban on Palcohol, the powdered product that makes vodka, rum and other alcoholic drinks when mixed with water. Supporters of the measure say the product is unsafe and opens the door to more underage drinking. Creators of the product have said it is no more dangerous that traditional liquid alcohol.
The state is now required to notify the public about a search for any person suspected of injuring or killing a police officer. The Blue Alert system will function like Amber Alerts that help find missing children. The system is to include television and radio stations broadcasting information about people suspected of killing or seriously injuring law enforcement officers. Michigan joins 26 other states that have Blue Alert systems.
Our state will now let people caring for those with disabilities open tax-exempt savings accounts to pay for their long-term need.
Another measure raises the maximum account balance in Michigan’s 529 college savings plan to $500,000.