Inside and outside of Oakland

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson: Governor for a day

  Governor for a day?
  That's what Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson was Monday.

  Michigan's Constitution says the secretary of state fills in when the governor and lieutenant governor are not available.
  The former Oakland County clerk wound up wearing the big boots Monday because Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley were both out of state.
  While it's not unusual for the secretary of state to fill in, it's very rare when the secretary of state actually signs legislation into law.
  Johnson signed six bills into law Monday in Snyder's and Calley's absence.
  State workers believe the last time a secretary of state signed legislation into law was when Democrat Secretary of State Richard Austin filled in for Gov. James Blanchard and Lt. Gov. Martha Griffiths in 1988.
  "As anyone can tell, it's the most recent anyone could find of a secretary of state acting as governor and signing legislation," said Fred Woodhams of the Michigan Secretary of State's office.
  Among the legislation signed into law by Johnson was bills to bring metropolitan districts operating parks and public utilities under Michigan election law.
  There were four other bills signed by Johnson:
• Senate Bill 1091 sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall of White Lake creates a way for mobile home owners to secure a duplicate title.
• SB 1121 better defines "implement of husbandry" to reflect agricultural vehicles. The legislation eliminates confusion among law enforcement and creates more consistent enforcement.
• SB 1240 extends the immunity given to Department of Human Services employees providing child welfare services to private agencies under contract with DHS providing the same services. This immunity does not apply if the personal injury or property damage is caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct.
• SB 1321 requires private security guards to report crimes to police.

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