Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer threatened to veto two auto-insurance reform bills passed by each chamber of Michigan’s Republican-majority legislature, setting the tone for negotiations expected to begin this weekend.
The GOP-controlled House voted early Thursday morning to give motorists the option to opt out of unlimited personal injury protection coverage as part of an auto insurance reform plan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, said would ensure rate reductions for Michigan drivers. Whitmer told reporters she would not sign that bill, nor similar legislation adopted by the Senate Wednesday, without stronger guarantees for consumer protections and financial relief.
“These bills don’t cut it,” Whitmer said. “They do not guarantee that rates are going to go back, and the public would be furious if something was passed, signed into law and they were told that problem was fixed and it wasn’t. That’s exactly what happened with the last gas tax.”
Both sides of the aisle agreed that legislation should guarantee rate reductions for all Michigan drivers. Chatfield said the House bill passed Thursday does just that, by allowing drivers to opt out of the existing requirement for unlimited personal injury protection and mandate rate reductions for five years based on coverage level.