In her seventh State of the State address, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm called for a freeze on auto insurance rates.
She said the freeze would last for a year, “while the Legislature works to enact comprehensive insurance reform to ensure that Michigan drivers have access to solid coverage at fair and affordable rates.”
On Wednesday, state insurance advocate Melvin “Butch” Hollowell released a report with recommendations on changes that could lower auto insurance rates in Michigan.
Granholm warned during her speech that insurance companies that don’t freeze rates for 12 months while lawmakers work on insurance reforms could be punished by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.
The insurance price freeze was one of several steps Granholm outlined to help the state and its citizens cope with the downturn in the economy and in state revenues. She also proposed:
Streamlining government to reduce its size. The governor has asked Lt. Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. to lead a comprehensive effort to create a government that provides better service at less cost to taxpayers.
Maintaining fiscal responsibility through additional budget cuts and reforms, including elimination of the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries; ending state financial support for the two state fairs; returning enforcement of wetlands protections to the federal government, and continuing to reform the criminal justice system to further reduce the corrections budget.
Freezing college tuition for the next academic year.
Enacting the Home Foreclosure Prevention Act to give families at risk of foreclosure up to 90 days to work out a financing arrangement.
Protecting access to health care. The governor asked legislators to refuse to cut people off of health care.
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