Rep. Hall: House approves plans increasing cybersecurity, cracking down on illegitimate emotional support animals

Categories: Hall News,News

Lawmaker’s legislation heads to the Michigan Senate

The Michigan House today approved a pair of measures spearheaded by state Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) to increase government and critical infrastructure cybersecurity and crack down on individuals intentionally falsifying their need for an emotional support animal.

Hall’s first proposal, garnering unanimous support, would enhance Michigan’s cybersecurity capabilities. The plan came in wake of a 2019 performance audit of the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3) that revealed deficiencies in the agency’s effectiveness in assisting local governments and critical infrastructure in cybersecurity emergencies.

Hall said after listening to the issues raised by the state auditor, he authored legislation to make the MiC3 program operate more effectively and efficiently. Hall’s plan would develop a stronger framework and a more streamlined process to head off cyber-attacks threatening critical state infrastructure.

“In this day and age more than ever, we need to make sure we are best prepared to combat those who wish to undermine and compromise our cyber systems and critical infrastructure,” Hall said. “Cyber-attacks pose a serious threat to our personal information and Michigan needs to be prepared to fend off these attacks with a trusted group of cyber defenders. These much-needed reforms will save taxpayers money by ensuring MiC3 provides more efficient services moving forward.”

The Michigan House also approved Hall’s bipartisan measure cracking down on people who falsify the need for an emotional support animal with stricter penalties, while also protecting those who have a legitimate need for these companions.

Hall said while all pets provide some form of emotional support for their owners, in Michigan and around the country, there has been a steady uptick in the number of people going online to receive fake doctor notes to circumvent community or association rules they find inconvenient.

“This is about closing a loophole in current law that has led to abuse by people who are falsifying the need for an emotional support animal,” Hall said. “It is unacceptable that people – as well as some unscrupulous health care providers – are committing fraud by lying about a mental or emotional disability. While these individuals may feel their actions are harmless, what they are really doing is denigrating those who actually have a need for such a companion and putting apartment and condo associations in a tough spot when administering rules. This is a serious problem that we are tackling through common-sense solutions.”

House Bills 5426 and 4910 now move to the Senate for consideration.