Michigan Passes Groundbreaking Laws in 2023: From Gun Safety to LGBTQ+ Rights, Here’s What You Need to Know

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan residents will need to familiarize themselves with the new laws and amendments that were passed in 2023 and recently went into effect. Taking advantage of the first combined Democratic majority in the state House, Senate, and governor’s seat in decades, lawmakers approved a range of bills related to various issues including gun safety, minimum wage, LGBTQ+ protections, and the “right-to-work” policy.

The laws relating to gun safety were enacted following the tragic mass shootings at Michigan State University and Oxford High School in previous years. The legislation includes the establishment of a red flag law, requirements for gun storage, and universal background checks on firearm purchases. Michigan residents are now required to keep firearms stored or locked if minors are present on the premises.

Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community also received expanded civil rights protections. The state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was updated to include legal protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The act, which prohibits discriminatory practices based on various characteristics, now safeguards individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Furthermore, Michigan repealed its controversial “right-to-work” policy, which prohibited unionized workplaces from requiring employees to pay union dues and fees. The repeal is viewed as a victory for organized labor, signaling a shift in policy that aims to protect workers’ rights and promote the growth of the middle class.

In terms of reproductive rights, Michigan enacted the Reproductive Health Act, a package of bills aimed at eliminating barriers to abortion care and access. The act repeals medically unnecessary statutes that have restricted access to abortion and criminalized healthcare providers. The legislation also ensures that students at Michigan public universities have access to accurate information about their reproductive health options.

In the education sector, Michigan revised its third-grade reading law, preventing students from being held back based solely on reading scores. Under the updated law, students with low reading assessment scores will receive notification and intervention options to address their difficulties.

Michigan residents making minimum wage will also see a slight increase in pay, as the state’s minimum wage rose from $10.10 to $10.33 per hour. However, this increase is still considered inadequate for a livable wage in the state.

Lastly, Michigan passed a comprehensive climate action plan aimed at lowering utility costs, protecting the environment, and creating green energy jobs. The plan includes initiatives such as improving energy efficiency, prioritizing local communities in regulatory decisions, and establishing a 100% clean energy standard for the state.

These new laws and amendments reflect Michigan’s pursuit of progressive policies and protections for its residents.