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Gilchrist becomes first black LG to sign a bill into law

Posted: 4:14 PM, Nov 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-21 16:14:36-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist had made state history by becoming the first black lieutenant governor to sign a bill into law.

Gilchrist, who is Michigan’s first African American lieutenant governor, enacted legislation Thursday to end a lifetime ban on felons becoming licensed insurance agents. His signature came during a bill-signing event in the rotunda of the Capitol building.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on a trade trip in Israel.

Gilchrist says the bill signing symbolizes the opportunity that exists when diversity is embraced. Then-Secretary of State Richard Austin was the first black statewide officeholder to sign a bill in 1988.

Starting in six months, the state will be able to issue licenses to certain people who have not been convicted of a felony in the previous ten years.