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Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist signs first bill as acting governor

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Posted at 3:20 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 15:20:42-05

LANSING, Mich. — Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist has signed a bill into law, making him the first black lieutenant governor to sign a bill into law in Michigan's history, according to the governor's office.

“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 bill signed 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 a felony in the last 10 years, according to the governor's office.

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, according to the office.

Under the current law, Michigan does not grant insurance licenses to individuals with felony convictions, and as a result the state denied 61 applications due to prior felony convictions in 2018. according to the office.

Lt. Gilchrist is serving as acting governor while Gov. Whitmer is overseas on a 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, according to the office.

The bill will take immediate effect.

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