Keith Madden, Esq.
Last spring there was a record flood in Ottawa and Kent counties, and the Governor declared a state of emergency in this area. Despite the danger, and ignoring safety warnings, many thrill-seekers took this opportunity to use their kayaks and jet skis in the flooded areas, with many of these people needing to be rescued by local Police and Fire personnel.
In order to deter such reckless behavior and to be fair to taxpayers, the Michigan Legislature is now considering a law, House Bill 4856, that would allow cities to require any individual who is "grossly negligent" during a declared emergency to pay the city's costs of providing emergency and rescue services. This bill was written by Representative Brandon Dillon of Grand Rapids, and has been assigned to the House Local Government Committee for review and consideration. Representative Dillon expects bi-partisan support for the bill. He says that he has received a very positive response from his associates in the Legislature and from the general public. "A lot of people support the common sense of it and we expect it to pass easily."
It appears very likely that the Michigan Legislature will take advantage of this opportunity to deter reckless behavior, help financially troubled municipalities, and demonstrate that Democrats and Republicans can work together to support sensible legislation.
Fausone Bohn, LLP represents a number of municipal governments and government agencies. If you would like further information about this law, or any other government issue, please contact attorney Keith Madden at (248) 912-3230.