Sen. Cavanagh continues to advocate for improvement and support to Michigan’s auto insurance system, greater equity in state’s regulatory efforts 


LANSING, Mich. (April 17, 2024) — Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.) and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on LARA/DIFS successfully passed their initial budget proposals today. Leading the subcommittee, Chair Cavanagh worked closely with her Senate colleagues to develop budget proposals aimed at improving government accessibility and protection for Michigan consumers.

Senate Bill 765, the appropriations bill for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), underscores Sen. Cavanagh’s focus on improving and bringing transparency to Michigan’s insurance system. The proposed DIFS budget allocates funds to enhance insurance customer service and improve the management of customer complaints throughout the state. In particular, it urges DIFS to open new satellite offices throughout Michigan to offer in-person support to consumers, as well as holding Michigan auto rate increases to the same transparency standards as health. The budget also would commission a third-party study on the effects of the state’s auto no-fault reforms passed in 2019.

“Michiganders have felt the pain and suffered the consequences of an insurance system that has continually failed them. From steep premiums to insufficient support after an unexpected life event, our state’s residents bear the brunt of these shortcomings,” said Sen. Cavanagh. “While Senate Democrats made significant progress by passing changes to the auto no-fault system to better support people severely injured in an accident and their families, we still have much work ahead of us to provide Michiganders with the insurance and transparency they deserve. Our policy and budget efforts must work in concert to improve our state, and the budget proposal passed by this subcommittee represents tangible steps toward ensuring every Michigan consumer is treated fairly and with respect.”

Other notable highlights from the proposed DIFS budget include:

  • Support for additional staffing to accommodate increased workloads due to growth in the insurance sector. 
  • Expanded reporting on health and auto insurance rate filings, providing Michiganders more transparency on prices of their required insurance products

Additionally, the subcommittee passed Senate Bill 764, the proposed budget for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). This budget prioritizes the empowerment of residential utility customers’ interests in administrative and judicial proceedings. The LARA budget also includes proposed funding for a report to assess the impact of implicit bias training requirements for health professionals and continues to build on the social equity program for the state Cannabis Regulatory Agency that Sen. Cavanagh helped create last year.

Other funding priorities in the LARA budget include:


  • Covering staffing costs for overseeing the implementation of the Clean Energy Future legislation and expanding reviews of energy plans. 
  • Hiring qualified interpreters to expand government accessibility to deaf, blind, and deafblind Michiganders 
  • Addressing the state’s backlog of elevator inspections. 
  • Fully funding the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, providing for the essential standards of a dignified legal defense for all Michiganders 
  • Funding the Michigan Saves Green Bank, allowing lenders to offer loans with better rates and terms to residential and commercial borrowers for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. 

“These aren’t just figures on paper; they represent real solutions to real problems. The budgets we are encouraging for DIFS and LARA center consumer protection and advocacy in our priorities,” said Sen. Cavanagh. “Ensuring that state government is accessible and responsive to consumer concerns is a profound responsibility. These budgets meet Michiganders where they are, recognizing unique and differing needs and concerns, and promoting affordability and fair practices within Michigan businesses. I am proud to craft a budget that gives a voice to those Michiganders who have struggled receiving the assistance and accountability they deserve.”

As the full Senate Appropriations Committee, the Legislature, and the governor’s office finalize the budget, Sen. Cavanagh remains steadfast in advocating for state funding to be utilized effectively, prioritizing measures that uphold the safety and protection of Michigan consumers.