Update: Marriage Legislation in Michigan - 1/30/02

Smartmarriages ® cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Wed Jan 30 14:00:48 EST 2002

subject: Update: Marriage Legislation in Michigan - 1/30/02

from: Smart Marriages


Just a quick note to let you know about legislation we have been working on
in Michigan. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, HB 4827 was voted out of committee
(Retirement). Current law allows local municipalities to eliminate pension
payments to surviving spouses of deceased police officers and firefighters
if the surviving spouse remarries. This legislation will eliminate that
serious marriage penalty.

Also on Tuesday, a second committee (Family and Children Services) held
hearings on HB 5545 to create a legislative commission on marriage and
fatherhood. Similar to the commissions in other states, this one could lead
the way in developing policies to strengthen marriages in Michigan. The bill
should easily pass out of committee based on testimony and comments from

In December, a third committee (Civil Law and Judiciary) held hearings on
four bills relating to marriage and divorce. HB 5164, 5165, 5167 and 5168
will provide incentives for premarital education, require a divorce effects
education program and parenting plan when minor children are involved in a
divorce proceeding and, modify the no-fault divorce process in Michigan.

Two bills, HB 5153 and 5165 are in a fourth committee (Tax Policy). These
two bills will provide a tax credit for couples that participate in a
qualified marriage education, enrichment or preservation program.

Other legislation to promote marriage is in the works but not yet
introduced, including legislation which will target our public schools and
probably go to a fifth committee (Education). Who knows, perhaps by the end
of the legislative session, every committee in the Michigan legislature will
have legislation concerning marriage. Maybe next session they should create
a Family Formation and Preservation Committee where they can send all of the
bills. We'll work on that.

Big things seem to be happening. Just hope we can pull half of them off.

Dan Jarvis
Research and Policy Director
Michigan Family Forum

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