On July 27th, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 112, which amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to allow soliciting in public roadway intersections by charitable and civic organizations that qualify as 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations under federal IRS regulations.
The Act only authorizes the solicitation activities during daylight hours, and the qualifying organization is required to comply with all applicable local regulations. Local governments are specifically authorized to enact and enforce regulations that restrict, but do not prohibit, the permitted activities.
In addition to any local regulations, the organization must comply with several new regulations in the Act, including the maintenance of at least $500,000.00 in liability insurance. In addition, all solicitors must be at least 18 years old and must wear high-visibility safety apparel meeting ISEA standards.
The Act does not allow the soliciting to occur in a work zone, nor in any intersection that does not have traffic control devices.
The Act also immunizes local governments from liability for any claims arising out of the use of an intersection for permitted solicitations.
Any person who violates the statute or local regulations is responsible for a civil infraction. Local governments have 60 days to bring any existing regulations into compliance with the new law.
Local governments will want to review all local ordinances and regulations to ensure compliance with Public Act 112. New and existing regulations may be subject to court challenge if they go too far beyond what the Act allows. Therefore, sound legal advice will be valuable when navigating how best to implement the new law in your community.
Don DeNault is a lifelong resident of Macomb County and has been practicing law with the firm since his graduation from law school in 1996. Don is a shareholder who focuses his practice on all areas of municipal and school law, including Freedom of Information Act issues, Open Meetings Act issues, zoning, police issues, student discipline, bidding and purchasing, historic preservation, appeals, litigation defense, civil service, civil rights, governmental immunity, government contracts, ordinance drafting and policy preparation. He is also an experienced litigation and appellate attorney, and he serves as chairperson of the firm's Municipal Practice Group.