Michigan Residents Brace for Sweeping Changes as New Laws Take Effect in 2024

Michigan’s Lapeer County and its residents have started 2024 with the implementation of various new laws. These laws, which have come into effect or will be in effect soon, reflect the priorities of the newly Democrat-controlled State House, Senate, and governor’s office. After nearly four decades of Republican control, Democrats won the majority in the 2022 elections, resulting in a significant shift in legislative decision-making.

Many of these new laws will take effect on February 13, 2024, exactly 91 days after the Legislature concluded its 2023 session. The changes encompass a wide range of topics, including expanded protection for Michigan’s LGBTQ community, a provision allowing 16-year-olds to pre-register as voters, and alterations to election procedures. The latter requires clerks to hold nine days of early voting, beginning with the upcoming February 27 Presidential Primary.

One of the notable areas of focus has been gun laws, with several bills being passed to address the issue of gun violence. Effective February 13, 2024, Michigan residents will now be required to store firearms unloaded and locked, using either a locking device or a locked container if a minor is or will likely be present on the premises. The aim is to enhance gun safety, and these changes will also lower the cost of gun safety devices, ensuring efficient access to materials necessary for storing firearms securely.

Background checks related to firearm purchases have also been expanded. Previously, only handgun purchases required a universal background check in Michigan. However, as of February 13, 2024, all firearm purchases, including long guns, will be subject to background checks.

Additionally, the state has established extreme risk protection order laws, commonly known as red flag laws. By enabling the prevention of individuals in distress from using firearms to harm themselves or others, these laws aim to minimize potential risks.

In terms of other new laws, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act has been expanded to provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Furthermore, the controversial “right to work” policy has been repealed, a move heralded as a victory for organized labor. Moreover, the state’s minimum wage has seen a slight increase from $10.10 to $10.33 per hour, effective January 1, 2024.

The implementation of these new laws will undoubtedly have an impact on local communities, and The County Press will closely follow and report on their effects. It is important to monitor how these legislative changes shape the daily lives and well-being of Lapeer County and Michigan residents, bringing both progress and challenges alongside them.