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Code Alert: Michigan, 07 May 2012


Will the Michigan Senate Leave Citizens holding the Bill on Higher Energy Costs and Reduced Safety?

The Michigan Home Builders Association continue to single handedly push through legislation HB4561 that will extend building code adoption cycles in the state of Michigan from 3 years to 6 years. In the fall of 2011 the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee held hearings on HB4561. After receiving compelling oral and written testimony during two different hearings in support of electrical safety, energy efficiency requirements and the need to recognize safe installation codes for new technologies such as electric vehicles from a wide spectrum of the electrical and building and manufacturing communitys to throw out HB4561, the committee voted to send the proposed legislation to the Senate for adoption. Once again the PRIMARY proponent is the Michigan Home Builders Association.

On April 26, the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee held its first public hearing on HB4561. The majority of the allotted time during the hearing was given to the Homebuilders (MHBA) arguing that slowing adoption will cut costs to the citizens of Michigan. Because of the cost associated with adopting codes that permit the state of the art technology to reduce construction cost and ensure safety is in place for new technology such as electric vehicles that are a growing sector of the automotive industry in the state. The real issue is that home owners and businesses are left holding the higher utility bills for years to come because energy code adoption is delayed. Consider the next 20 years of energy savings that would permit home owners to reinvest that savings into their local economy, but not if the home builders succeed at convincing the senate that short term gains for them are necessary that can be paid for by our kids and grandkids.

The opposition for this bill has extensive support from organizations such as the Michigan Manufacturers Association which includes large manufacturing firms such as General Motors, Ford Motor, as well as nearly 2500 other manufacturers in the state. They recognize that the most up-to- date codes permit the latest technology to bring investment and jobs to the state of Michigan. Without the ability to drive efficiencies through new technological advances, the edge necessary to remain competitive in manufacturing has a significant opportunity to be lost to other states in the country.

The opportunity to help the senate recognize the simplistic cost savings message being touted by the Michigan Home Builders Association leaves Michigan tax payers to pay the price years to come through potential insurance increases, higher utility bills, and lost investments that will impact every tax payer in the state. Michigan tax payers, homeowners and business need to share their concern with their state senator so that a single association does not drive legislation that leaves safety and economic competitiveness at risk. Express your concern to the committee at the next scheduled hearing on May 10, 2012 in Lansing.

COMMITTEE: Senate Regulatory Reform Committee
DATE: Thursday, May 10, 2012
TIME: 12:30 p.m.
PLACE: Farnum Building, Room 110, Ground Floor
125 W. Allegan Street, Lansing, MI 48933
Committee Clerk: (517) 373-5307 sjones@senate.michigan.gov

Contact: Don Iverson, don.iverson@nema.org