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The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us)



Opinion No. 6201

January 30, 1984


Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 33--time when bill signed by Governor becomes law


Effective date

A bill passed by the Legislature, given immediate effect by that body and signed by the Governor, becomes law when it is filed with the Secretary of State.

Honorable Richard H. Austin

Secretary of State

Michigan Department of State

State Treasury Building

Lansing, Michigan

You have requested my opinion on the following question:

Does an act which has been given immediate effect according to article 4, section 27 of the Michigan Constitution go into effect the moment the governor signs the bill?

Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 33, provides, in pertinent part:

'Every bill passed by the legislature shall be presented to the governor before it becomes law, and the governor shall have 14 days measured in hours and minutes from the time of presentation in which to consider it. If he approves, he shall within that time sign and file it with the secretary of state and it shall become law. . . .' (Emphasis added.)

Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 27, provides:

'No act shall take effect until the expiration of 90 days from the end of the session at which it was passed, but the legislature may give immediate effect to acts by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to and serving in each house.' (1) (Emphasis added.)

Giving the words of Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 33, second sentence, their usual and ordinary meaning, Vetter v Fowler, 167 Mich 499; 133 NW 500 (1911), an act signed by the Governor shall become law when it is filed 'with the Secretary of State'. However, the law may not be immediately effective unless the Legislature takes appropriate action to give it immediate effect in accordance with Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 27.

An act given immediate effect by the Legislature overrules the general rule that an act shall take effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session. Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 27.

It is my opinion, therefore, that a bill passed by the Legislature, given immediate effect and signed by the governor, becomes law upon its filing with the Secretary of State.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General

(1) The predecessor of this constitutional provision specified that only acts making appropriations and acts 'necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety' could be accorded immediate effect. Const 1908, art 5, Sec. 21.


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