LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, in his role as acting governor, signed House Bill 4044 on Thursday which passed with strong bipartisan support. With the bill signing, Lt. Governor Gilchrist becomes the first black lieutenant governor to sign a bill into law in our state’s history.  

“As the first black lieutenant governor to sign a bill into law, today’s historic action symbolizes the opportunity that exists when we create a space for more participation from a more diverse set of voices and experiences,” Gilchrist said. “Governor Whitmer and I built the most diverse administration in our state’s history because we believe that our practices, policies, and proposals should reflect and enable Michiganders from all backgrounds to be successful.” 

The signed legislation will reverse the lifelong ban on felons who submit applications for insurance producer licenses by allowing the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to issue those licenses to individuals who have not been convicted of a felony in the last ten years. 

While many applicants with prior felonies will be granted an insurance producer license, the new law will still provide exemptions for people with violent-, fiduciary-, or financial-related crimes.   

Under current law, the State of Michigan does not grant insurance licenses to individuals with felony convictions. As a result, the State denied 61 applications due to prior felony convictions in 2018. 

Lt. Governor Gilchrist is serving as the acting governor due to Governor Whitmer’s overseas business trip to Israel to strengthen relationships and build business ties with startups and mobility companies to help Michigan compete for good-paying, high-tech jobs.  

House Bill 4044, sponsored by Rep. Michele Hoitenga, will take immediate effect. 

© 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Comments