Inside208

Governmental immunity exception receives hearing in Senate committee

Posted on May 8, 2012 by sharkins

This afternoon the Senate Energy & Technology committee held testimony on SB 1084, a bill that creates an exeption to governmental immunity for a municipal corporation with respect to its obligations under the MISS-DIG Act.

The bill redefines “proprietary function” as an exception to governmental immunity and specifically defines acts under the MISS-DIG Act to be proprietary functions rather than governmental functions. This would create liability on behalf of our communities that damage a utility’s underground storage facility even while undertaking quintessential governmental functions such as replacing sewer lines, rebuilding roads, etc.

The League testified in opposition to this legislation, siting significant concerns about raising costs for local units of government as well as the implications of creating an exeption to governmental immunity.

Chairman Nofs indicated a willingness to work on the bills and potentially take them up in a few weeks.

Samantha Harkins works for the Michigan Municipal League handling municipal services and energy and technology issues.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

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