UPDATE ( 5:18 p.m.) – The bipartisan no-fault insurance reform bill that passed the House this afternoon has just passed the Senate by a wide margin. The bill now heads to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signature.
Gov. Whitmer commented:
“Today’s vote is truly historic. We’ve accomplished more in the last five months than in the last five years. This vote demonstrates that when both parties work together and build bridges, we can solve problems and make life better for the people of Michigan. ”
ORIGINAL STORY – The road was bumpy and full of twists but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative Republicans have finally struck a deal that will make changes to Michigan’s auto insurance system.
In an unusual Friday before a holiday weekend legislative session, lawmakers passed the bipartisan bill through the House with nearly a sweeping majority and is now on its way to the Senate.
The measure previously drew a veto threat from Whitmer. Michigan is the only state to require that drivers buy unlimited personal injury protection benefits with their auto insurance policy.
In statements released prior to the legislature’s rare Friday session, House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake and Whitmer said they came to a bipartisan agreement after negotiations throughout the past week.
Whitmer said in her statement the deal “guarantees rate relief for every Michigan driver; provides a choice in coverage levels; establishes more uniform and structured compensation levels for medical providers; and removes the ability of insurance companies to discriminate based on non-driving factors.”
Chatfield and Shirkey said in their statement that the wait was over for Michigan drivers fed up with paying the nation’s highest car insurance rates.
“After very productive negotiations with our governor over the past week, we now have an agreement on a bipartisan plan that will be signed into law,” they said. “Today’s vote will be a significant victory for the hard-working people of Michigan that will finally fix our broken car insurance system and deliver real, meaningful rate relief for families, seniors and household budgets all over the state.”
6 News Capital correspondent Tim Skubick will be updating this story online and on 6 News