Michigan House Passes ESA Bill
On Sept. 21, the Michigan House of Representatives unanimously passed the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) bill (HB5751). The bill is now headed for the Senate.
If approved, the bill would create the Emotional Support Animal Act, which would provide a regulated process through which a person with a disability can be certified by a healthcare provider as needing an emotional support animal.
Who is a healthcare provider according to the proposed legislation?
Health care provider would mean any of the following:
- A licensed physician or physician’s assistant licensed;
- A nurse practitioner licensed as a registered professional nurse and granted a specialty certification as a nurse practitioner by the Michigan Board of Nursing;
- A clinical nurse specialist licensed as a registered professional nurse and granted a specialty certification as a clinical nurse specialist; and
- A mental health professional who is trained and experienced in the area of mental illness or developmental disabilities and who is one of the following:
- A physician.
- A psychologist.
- A registered professional nurse; and
- A licensed social worker, counselor, or marriage and family counselor.
The bill would allow a healthcare provider who meets both of the following to certify a person with a disability’s need for an emotional support animal:
- The health care provider has an established provider-patient relationship with the person with a disability for at least 30 days before the health care provider certifies the person with a disability’s need for an emotional support animal; and
- The healthcare provider determines that the person with a disability has a need for an emotional support animal.
The bill would prohibit a healthcare provider from receiving a fee or other form of compensation for the sole action of certifying an emotional support animal.
Help is available
The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to assist municipalities, landlords, and others regarding the laws surrounding emotional support animals. For more information, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.