Licensed professionals in Michigan like Realtors, barbers, stylists and landscape architects would be the direct beneficiary if Watervliet State Representative Pauline Wendzel succeeds in getting legislation passed that would provide fee credits for the time they were forced to remain closed during the pandemic.
State Rep. Wendzel has introduced legislation to help those and others among Michigan’s professional license holders as they work to recover from COVID-19.
Wendzel says, “As Michiganders begin to resume their lives in a safe and smart manner, I believe it’s important for state government to do everything it can to help our economy recover from the devastation of COVID-19,” explaining, “As I searched for actions I could take to help the people of our community, I began looking at all of Michigan’s licensed professionals like realtors, barbers and stylists, and landscape architects that were forced to shut down because of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders.” She tells us, “To earn a living in Michigan, the state requires these individuals to pay to hold a license. In my opinion, it isn’t fair for the state to require payment for a product you can’t use.”
Her newly introduced House Bill 5892 would require the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to either provide a credit or prorate a fee on the renewal of a license if the holder of the license was forced to stop their practice because of a state mandate. By way of example, if an individual holds a license that costs $120 per year, and Governor Whitmer shut them down for three months, they would receive a $30 credit on the renewal of their license in 2021. The license would only cost $90 instead of the full $120.
Wendzel concludes, “This in no way makes up for the drastic loss of income for license holders, but it’s a small measure I can take as a legislator to provide relief for these hardworking Michiganders who were shut down through no fault of their own.”
House Bill 5892 is the latest introduction as Rep. Wendzel’s legislative agenda continues to fire on all cylinders. Earlier this month, her 16-bill package aimed at helping Michigan breweries was signed into law by Governor Whitmer. Wendzel’s legislation to protect the Great Lakes, Michigan’s precious natural resources, and the state’s $2.3 billion sportfishing industry is heading into a workgroup in the Senate, and her bipartisan expungement legislation has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now before the full Senate. Additionally, Rep. Wendzel has introduced legislation to provide a deterrent to voter fraud and will be introducing more bipartisan criminal justice reforms relating to sentencing guidelines.