Bills for remote document signing, meetings advance

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    A bill package that would allow for remote signing, witnessing, notarization and recording of certain documents passed through the House Wednesday. 

    House Bills 6294, 6295, 6296 and 6297, introduced by Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Springport), would allow the use of two-way audiovisual real-time technology for any documents that typically require in-person witnessing or attestation.

    Each of the bills passed through the House with a 102-1 vote, except HB 4297, which passes with a 101-1 vote. 

    This bill package is intended to mirror one of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders, which is now no longer effective after the Supreme Court struck down the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act earlier this month. 

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    If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, the bill would be in effect until the end of the year. 

    Another bill passed by the House Tuesday was Senate Bill 1108, introduced by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Theis), which would amend the Open Meetings Act to allow meetings of a public body to be held electronically or with remote participation.

    Members would be allowed to attend meetings remotely if they are away for military duty, have a medical condition, or there is a statewide or local state of emergency or state of disaster that would risk the health or safety of members if the meeting were held in person. 

    This bill also mirrors one of Whitmer’s executive orders that is no longer in effect. 

    The bill passed through the House with an 85-18 vote, and it was returned to the Senate, which concurred 36-1. The legislation now heads to Whitmer’s desk. 

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.