Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
February 4-10, 2008
Volume 6 Issue 6

Due to the holiday, next week’s Public Policy Update will be published on February 19.

Focus: 2009 Fiscal Budget
On February 7, State Budget Director Robert Emerson presented Governor Granholm’s 2009 budget recommendations to a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Information is online at www.michigan.gov/budget.

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 2/11
2/12 Joint Meeting with Appropriations: Human Services, and House Families and Children’s Services
Agenda: A review of Bridges information technology integration project.

2/12 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4167 Increase the penalties under certain circumstances for intentionally discharging a firearm from vehicle; HB 4168 Enact sentencing guidelines for increased penalties for crime of intentionally discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle causing serious impairment of a body function; SB 291 Create definitions of gang felony crimes; SB 292 Enact sentencing guidelines for gang felonies; SB 660 Prohibit and provide penalties for gang activity; SB 661 Enact and assign 50 points under offense variable 13 under certain circumstances, sentencing guidelines for crimes involving gangs; SB 1059 Clarify process for judicial waiver of parental consent requirement.
State Bar of Michigan Position on SB 0291: Oppose.

2/12 Senate Local, Urban, and State Affairs
Agenda: HB 5032 Make corrective and technical revisions to the zoning enabling act.
Real Property Law Section Position: Oppose.

2/13 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4092 Require DNA testing upon arrest for certain crimes.

2/13 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: Michigan Department of Corrections FY 2008-2009 Budget

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
Proposed Amendments
2006-09 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.202 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposed amendment would clarify that motions for summary disposition that involve claims of governmental immunity based on MCR 2.116(C)(7) and (C)(10) that are denied are appealable by right in the Court of Appeals. This proposed language is designed to address the jurisdictional issue that arose in the cases of Newton v Michigan State Police, 263 Mich App 251 (2004) and Walsh v Taylor, 263 Mich App 618 (2004).
Issued: February 5, 2008
Comment period expires: June 1, 2008
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2007-38 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.201 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 6.201(B)(1) would eliminate the requirement that the prosecuting attorney provide the defendant with any exculpatory information or evidence known to the prosecuting attorney only upon request. This proposal also clarifies that the prosecuting attorney is required to provide such information or evidence regardless of whether it is requested by the defendant. The Court would appreciate specific comments on whether a court rule requiring the prosecuting attorney to provide the defendant with exculpatory information or evidence is necessary, in light of the prosecuting attorney’s constitutional obligation to do so under Brady v Maryland, 373 US 83 (1963), and, if so, whether the proposed amendment of MCR 6.201(B)(1) is consistent with the requirements of Brady.
Issued: February 5, 2008
Comment period expires: May 1, 2008

Public hearing: To be scheduled

Administrative Order
Partial Rescission of the Third Judicial Circuit Court’s Local Administrative Order 2006-12
(Jury pool summoning and qualification procedures)
Issued: February 8, 2008
Effective: February 8, 2008

At the Bar
Technology Tips, Tricks, and Gadgets Seminar in Flint

Vacancies at ABA House of Delegates

Sections and Committees
The Animal Law Section submitted public policy positions for the following items:
Support: HB 4139 Criminal procedure; sex offender registration; crime of sodomy; specify sodomy of an animal for inclusion in sex offender registration requirements. Amends sec. 2 of 1994 PA 295 (MCL 28.722).

Support with Recommended Amendments: HB 5598 Family law; marriage and divorce; placement of pets by court in an annulment, divorce, or separate maintenance action; provide for. Amends 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.1 - 552.45) by adding sec. 22a.

The Family Law Section submitted public policy positions for the following items:
Support and Amend: HB 4925 Children; abduction; uniform child abduction prevention act; create. Creates new act.

Support: HB 5245 Employment security; benefits; disqualification from receiving benefits when leaving employment; create exception for domestic violence victim. Amends 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1 (MCL 421.1 - 421.75) by adding sec. 28b.

Support: HB 5513 Family law; marriage and divorce; change of name procedure whenever decree of divorce is granted; revise to make gender neutral. Amends title & sec. 1 of 1905 PA 299 (MCL 552.391).

Oppose and Amend: HB 5586 Family law; marriage and divorce; requirement that judgment of divorce contain provisions regarding wife's dower rights; eliminate. Amends sec. 1 of 1909 PA 259 (MCL 552.101).

Oppose and Amend: HB 5587 Probate; other; dower rights; repeal. Creates new act & repeals secs. 1 - 29 of 1846 RS 66 (MCL 558.1 - 558.29) & secs. 2931 & 2933 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2931 & 600.2933).

Oppose and Amend: HB 5588 Probate; wills and estates; references to dower in estates and protected individuals code; revise to reflect abolition of dower. Amends secs. 1303, 2202 & 3807 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.1303 et seq.).

Oppose: HB 5598 Family law; marriage and divorce; placement of pets by court in an annulment, divorce, or separate maintenance action; provide for. Amends 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.1 - 552.45) by adding sec. 22a.

Oppose: HJR NN Family law; parental rights; rights of parents and legal guardians to direct upbringing of children; declare as a fundamental constitutional right. Amends the state constitution by adding sec. 27 to art. I.

Oppose: SB 1002 Civil procedure; costs and fees; attorney fees; require losing party to pay winning party's fees in a civil lawsuit. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2443.

State News
Lawmakers Disagree on Security IDs
(Detroit News, 2/7/08)

Flurry of Ballot Ideas Submitted to State
(Lansing State Journal, 1/5/08)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center | Michigan Supreme Court | Michigan Legislature | MCL Search Engines