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Regulations On Emotional Support Animals Debated In Michigan Legislature

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Lying to your landlord about needing an emotional support animal could become a crime in the state.  As Cheyna Roth reports, bills in the state House would make it a misdemeanor.

Concerns over the bills include a potential “chilling effect” on people with mental health problems getting emotional support animals.  

Democratic Representative Sara Cambensy is a bill sponsor.  She doesn’t think that would be a problem.

“I think the people that need them will seek them out, regardless of our bill package.”

The bills would also add regulations for getting a prescription for an emotional support animal.  For example, the doctor would have to be licensed in Michigan and have been treating the patient for at least six months.  

Lawmakers are considering changes to the bills before they move out of a House committee.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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