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Whitmer vetoes bill placing limits on emotional support animals in Michigan

She believes the law required too much information about tenants’ medical treatment
Emotional support dog.
Emotional support dog.(WILX)
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:11 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - A plan to limit the use of emotional support animals in Michigan will not become law.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed House Bill 4910 on Wednesday, which would have required people to obtain a disability diagnosis to receive an emotional support animal and made it a crime to falsely claim a pet is an providing emotional support.

The bill would have required doctors to treat a patient for six months before prescribing an emotional support animal. Official designation as an emotional support animal allows their owners to live with them in public housing or group homes.

In a letter to the Michigan House, Whitmer said the bill required landlords to access private medical information about prospective tenants with emotional support animals and also violates the Fair Housing Act, which could places Michigan’s Section 8 funding at risk.

“While I appreciate the intent behind these bills -- to ensure that housing providers are able to verify the need for emotional support animals -- these bills result in too great an intrusion on the privacy of people with disabilities,” Whitmer wrote.

She indicated that she is willing to work with lawmakers on emotional support animal reforms in the next legislative session, which begins in January.

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