LANSING, Mich. — It’s a new year and that means new laws are hitting the books.
From new requirements at school board meetings to critical incident mapping for schools in the event of a shooting to support for service animals in training, some new laws are taking effect in 2023.
"[It's] just to open up some additional options for some of our communities," said Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope talking about a new law that expands options for polling locations across the state.
“Current state law says that polling places pretty much have to be in government buildings," he said. "Or they can be in churches or in apartment complexes of a certain size. And so, there's like these tiers that you look at for for when you're trying to place a polling location that's convenient to voters and meets all the requirements.”
The new law, which hit the books on Jan. 1, allows the use of some private businesses like banquet halls, clubhouses or even wedding venues for polling places.
Another law coming to us in 2023 will have a significant impact for survivors of crime.
“The expanded rules for the crime victims compensations is going to make it more flexible for survivors to submit requests for reimbursement from the state," said Kaitlynn Dwyer-Brownell, interim executive director of End Violent Encounters (EVE) in Lansing.
This law hits the books in August and expands just who is eligible for financial help after a crime and eliminates the rule that people have 48 hours to report a crime to the police department.
“If there are too many restrictions, too many rules to follow, it makes that process more complicated," she said. "That in turn can deter folks from even trying to apply in the first place. So any time that we're removing barriers, we're making it easier for folks to get this type of compensation is going to make it better for survivors.”
Other laws will be taking effect in the coming months as well, including a new requirement to teach personal finance in high schools, new protections for online purchases and assessing sign language skills in schools.
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