Inside208

Senate Committee passes MISS-DIG rewrite

Posted on October 1, 2013 by sharkins

CALL MISS-DIG. Under the legislation passed today by the Senate Energy & Technology Committee a local unit of government faces penalties if they do not call the MISS-DIG system when beginning a project that involves digging. If a local unit does call MISS-DIG there is no liability.

This afternoon the Senate Energy and Technology Committee unanimously reported Senate Bills 539 and 540.  Originally the legislation last session would have entirely exempted any action under the MISS-DIG Act from government immunity. That was problematic for us, so the fee structure arose as a result of many discussions with the Senate and the Governor’s office, as well as utility stakeholders. The League testified that we always have concerns with expanding government immunity.  Given, however, the inclination of the legislation to create an exception to governmental immunity, this is an extremely narrow exception.

The legislation has wide support from many of the stakeholders in the process, and we will continue to work on this as it heads to the Senate floor.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

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