February 5 - February 11, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 6

Focus: Sales Tax On Legal Services
On February 8th, State Budget Director Bob Emerson and State Treasurer Robert Kleine presented to a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees the Governor's proposal to resolve the current budget deficit and the repeal of the Single Business Tax, an amount nearing $3 billion. Of immediate concern is a tax restructuring proposal to initiate a 2% sales tax on services that would include legal services.

You may access information about the complete proposal online at the State Department of Budget website or view the Tax Restructuring Proposal.

State Bar of Michigan’s Position Statement Opposing a Tax on Legal Services
The State Bar's position was adopted in May 2005 after consideration of how various fiscal restructuring proposals may result in a proposed tax on legal services and the potential impact of such a tax.

Voice Your Reaction!
In next week’s Public Policy Update, look for member comments to the proposal or follow the discussion online.
Submit Your Comment

Related news articles:
Michigan Businesses Vow Fight Against Granholm's Proposed Tax
(Detroit News, 2/9/07)
Business Owners Blast Granholm's Service Tax as Job Killer
(Macomb Daily, 2/9/07)
Shift for Businesses would be Dramatic
(Detroit Free Press, 2/8/07)
Granholm's Tax Plan Spreads out the Pain
(Detroit Free Press, 2/8/07)
Granholm Seeks 2% Sales Tax on Services
(Lansing State Journal, 2/8/07)
Granholm Offers Plan for Mix of Cuts, Tax Hikes and Reforms
(Lansing State Journal, 2/7/07)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 2/12
2/13 House Appropriations: Corrections
Agenda: Presentations from the Department of Corrections on: Department Overview, FY 2007-08 Executive Recommendation for Corrections, Prisoner Population Growth

2/13 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Organizational Meeting and Presentation on Sentencing Guidelines

2/14 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4044 Rescind immunity from liability for drugs that have been approved by federal food and drug administration; HB 4045 Allow drug product liability cases previously prohibited because of FDA approval defense to be commenced within 3 years of repeal of the defense; HB 4046 Clarify liability for inaccurate representations concerning risks of certain drugs, medications, and supplements.

2/14 House Tax Policy
Agenda: Presentation on the Emergency Financial Advisory Panel Report and Presentation by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislation Introduced 2/6 – 2/15
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4208 Disabilities; qualified interpreter for deaf or deaf-blind individual; define and provide in certain circumstances. Amends title & secs. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 of 1982 PA 204 (MCL 393.502 et seq.) & adds secs. 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 8a & 8b.

HB 4213 Labor; public service employment; power of arbitration panel to impose compromise on economic issues; establish. Amends sec. 8 of 1969 PA 312 (MCL 423.238).

HB 4217 Consumer protection; unfair trade practices; application of Michigan consumer protection act to actions expressly permitted by law; clarify. Amends sec. 4 of 1976 PA 331 (MCL 445.904).

HB 4228 Criminal procedure; evidence; drug analysis field test; allow as admissible evidence in preliminary hearings. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 11b to ch. VI.

HB 4233 Records; other; certain certified records; clarify who is authorized to request and receive. Amends sec. 2882 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.2882).

HB 4236 Property; other; affidavits to correct errors or omissions relating to previously recorded documents; allow. Amends 1915 PA 123 (MCL 565.451a - 565.453) by adding sec. 1d.

SB 172 Children; foster care; child under relative's care; prohibit removal under certain circumstances. Amends 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.21 - 712A.32) by adding sec. 11a to ch. XIIA.

Of General Interest
HB 4247
Property tax; personal property; wind energy systems; include foundation, easement, and right of way in definition of personal property. Amends sec. 8 of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.8).

In the Hall of Justice
Law Career Programs for Junior High, High School Students to be Offered by Michigan
Supreme Court Learning Center

Rule Amendments
2007-03 - Rescission of Administrative Order No. 1983-3
The adoption of AO Nos. 1988-4 and 1998-4 has made AO No. 1983-3 obsolete.
Issued: February 6, 2007
Effective:February 6, 2007

Federal News
A Renewed Call to Televise High Court
(Washington Post, 2/12/07)

State News
Legislation Could Reverse Protection for Drug Companies
(Lansing State Journal, 2/12/07)

Land Wants 16-year-olds to Preregister to Vote
(Lansing State Journal, 2/12/07)

House Panel to Look at Supreme Court Dispute
(Lansing State Journal, 2/8/07)

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