URGENT! Text or Call Your Senators NOW to Vote NO on HB 5981

Posted on September 20, 2022 by Matt Bach

The Michigan Senate is taking action TODAY on a bill related to Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) that the Michigan Municipal League opposes and we need your help to fight it.

Senators are on the floor now and may vote on House Bill 5981, which will preempt local zoning authority and require residential treatment programs to be a permitted use in all residential zones, not subject to any special use or conditional use permit. View our blog from earlier today with additional details.

Please call or text your state Senators NOW  and tell them to oppose HB 5981 as amended. The amendment would allow up to 10 children per location and that is too many compared to what’s allowed in other similar laws. The League has proposed six or fewer children allowed per location.

That number – 10 – was picked by one company that is actively pursuing this legislation and that number is inconsistent with the requirements of other licensing facilities.

Qualified residential treatment programs (QRTP) provide trauma-informed treatment for up to 25 children per location and require staffing 24 hours a day / 7 days a week by medically licensed personnel. This bill becoming law would permit a use that does not fit into a residential setting given the type of facility, requirements, and intensity of use. HB 5981 will stop your municipality from providing compatible uses within a zone and it will not allow you to have buffering or adequate parking standards apply to the QRTP.

This bill IS NOT being done because of a federal requirement. It is being pursued by one company that refuses to go through the local process and apply for a special land use permit with their local unit of government.

The MML has testified in opposition to the bill and has worked on an amendment to put these programs in line with other state-licensed facilities.

If an amendment is adopted on the Senate floor limiting the number of individuals to six or fewer (mirroring existing law for adult foster care facilities), the MML will be neutral on the bill. While not ideal, it is a fair compromise to avoid the all-out preemption being pushed for.

Please call now and tell your Senator you oppose HB 5981 as reported from committee and why they should oppose it too.

Jennifer Rigterink is the League’s assistant director of state and federal affairs handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or her cell at 517-202-1577..

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