Inside208

CALL MISS-DIG. Immunity Exception Passes House Committee

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Dene Westbrook

CALL MISS-DIG. Under the legislation passed unanimously today by the House 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 morning the House Energy and Technology Committee unanimously reported on 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 always has 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 legislation. It now goes to the full House for consideration.

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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