February 12 - 19, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 7

Focus: Sales Tax On Legal Services
At the close of session last week, legislation to implement the Governor’s proposal to impose a tax on legal services had not yet been introduced. However, members of the State Bar are already responding:

Comment submitted by Stephen M. Kelley: "I write in response to Governor Granholm's February 8, 2007 proposal to institute a new 2% tax on certain services including legal services. The Governor's services tax proposal is not the right solution for Michigan's budget issues for the reasons outlined below." Read Entire Comment

Comment submitted by Nicholas Maloof: "As a member of the State Bar, small business person, President of the Commercial Board of Realtors (CBOR) and member of SBAM, I am extremely concerned with the ham fisted tax proposals of the Governor." Read Entire Comment

Comment submitted by Darris B. Richards: "I strongly oppose this tax and have e-mailed the Governor and my elected representatives to tell them so. I would encourage all state bar members to do the same." Read Entire Comment

Comment submitted by Bradley Vauter: "It saddens me that an old analysis, with no connection to the current proposal or economic situation in the state, is trotted out as the bar's "position" on the matter. I would hope for more and find it particularly appalling that the bar trots this minimal tax as an intrusion.” Read Entire Comment

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 2/19
2/20 House Appropriations Subcommittee: Department of Community Health
Agenda item of interest: Department's Presentation on FY 2007-08 Executive Budget Recommendation for Crime Victim Services

2/20 House Appropriations Subcommittee: Corrections
Agenda: Public Testimony on Local Programs and Services

2/20 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation by the Department of Corrections

2/21 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4065 Prohibit and provide penalties for fleeing the scene of dog or wolf-dog cross bite incident or failing to provide assistance to bitten individual; Pending Referral of: HB 4301 Define, and provide for general amendments of serious impairment of body function (no-fault insurance). (Testimony Only)

2/21 House Tax Policy
Agenda: Presentation on the Governor's tax restructuring proposal by Treasurer Robert Kleine, Michigan Department of Treasury; HB 4189 Revise transfer of ownership resulting from the termination of a joint tenancy.

2/21 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee: Human Services Department
Agenda: Child Support

2/21 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: 1. Overview of the FY 2007-08 Executive Recommendation; 2. State Appellate Defenders Office; 3. Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System; 4. District and Circuit Court Collections

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislation Introduced 2/13– 2/15
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4249 Property; other; adverse possession of certain property; prohibit if property taxes are paid by title owner. Amends sec. 5867 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5867) & adds sec. 5867a.

HB 4250 Civil procedure; remedies; wrongful imprisonment for crime; provide compensation for. Creates new act. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4251'07

HB 4259 Children; adoption; second parent adoption; provide for. Amends secs. 24 & 51 of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.24 & 710.51).

HB 4260 Criminal procedure; records; criminal conviction overturned based on DNA evidence; provide for deletion of record. Amends sec. 16a, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.16a).

HB 4262 Corrections; prisoners; good time system; restore for all prisoners and eliminate disciplinary credits and disciplinary time. Amends secs. 20g, 33, 34, 34a, 35, 36, 51, 65 & 65a of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.220g et seq.) & repeals secs. 33b & 33c of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.233b & 791.233c). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4263'07

HB 4263 Corrections; prisoners; provisions of prison code relating to disciplinary time and disciplinary credits; eliminate, and restore good time credits. Amends sec. 33 of 1893 PA 118 (MCL 800.33) & repeals secs. 34 & 35 of 1893 PA 218 (MCL 800.34 & 800.35). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4262'07

HB 4267 Civil procedure; costs and fees; attorney contingency fees based on a sliding scale; provide for. Amends sec. 919 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.919).

HB 4269 Health; code; filing of death record with the department or estate recovery program; require. Amends sec. 2843 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.2843). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4270'07

HB 4270 Probate; wills and estates; payment from decedent's estate in accordance with the estate recovery program for medicaid; require. Amends sec. 3805 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.3805). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4269'07.

HB 4272 Criminal procedure; probation; special alternative incarceration program as a condition of probation; revise eligibility requirements. Amends sec. 3b, ch. XI of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 771.3b).

SB 195 Criminal procedure; probation; special alternative incarceration program as a condition of probation; revise eligibility requirements. Amends sec. 3b, ch. XI of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 771.3b)

SB 199 Criminal procedure; other; diversion from jail for certain individuals under certain circumstances; amend code of criminal procedure to allow. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 85 to ch. VII. TIE BAR WITH: SB 0200'07

SB 200 Mental health; other; priority for providing mental health services to individuals diverted from jail; require under certain circumstances. Amends sec. 208 of 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1208). TIE BAR WITH: SB 0199'07

SB 203 Health; code; filing of death record with the department or estate recovery program; require. Amends sec. 2843 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.2843). TIE BAR WITH: SB 0204'07

SB 204 Probate; wills and estates; payment from decedent's estate in accordance with the estate recovery program for medicaid; require. Amends sec. 3805 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.3805). TIE BAR WITH: SB 0203'07

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2002-09 - Adoption of Rules 3.904 and 5.738a of the Michigan Court Rules
Rule 3.904, effective May 1, 2007, allows courts to use interactive video technology during the specified delinquency and child protective proceedings, if the court does not order more restrictive placement or treatment.
Rule 5.738a, effective May 1, 2007, allows courts to use interactive video technology to conduct hearings concerning initial involuntary treatment, continuing mental health treatment, and petitions for guardianship involving persons receiving treatment in mental health facilities.
Issued: February 14, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

2002-09 - Rescission of Administrative Order Nos. 2001-4, 2003-4, 2004-3, and 2006-7
(Pilot project relating to the use of Interactive Video Technology)
Issued: February 14, 2007
Effective: February 14, 2007

Administrative Orders
Administrative Order No. 2007-1 - File No. 2002-09
Expanded Use of Interactive Video Technology
Issued: February 14, 2007
Effective: February 14, 2007

Proposed Amendments
2006-44 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.306 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments would alter the requirements for filing amicus briefs with the Michigan Supreme court. Proposal A and Proposal B are published for comment.
Issued: February 14, 2007
Comment period expires:June 1, 2007
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

At the Bar
Nomination Period for McCree Awards for Journalists Extended to Feb. 20

Federal News
Prison Costs Spiral Upward as More are Incarcerated
(Washington Times, 2/15/07)

Bill Would Restore Detainees' Rights, Define 'Combatant'
(Washington Post, 2/14/07)

State News
State Officials Faced with Overstuffed Prisons
(Lansing State Journal, 2/19/07)

Bishop Digs in Against Higher Taxes
(Lansing State Journal, 2/19/07)

Dillon Calls for Investment in Education
(Lansing State Journal, 2/19/07)

Governor Awaits GOP Budget Ideas
(Lansing State Journal, 2/17/07)
See Related:
Granholm Says She's Eager for GOP Budget Proposals
(Lansing State Journal, 2/16/07)

GOP to Reject Part of Granholm's Plan for this Year's Budget
(Lansing State Journal, 2/14/07)

Drug Lawsuit Bills Pass State House Committee
(Lansing State Journal, 2/14/07)

Domestic Violence Victims Could Get GPS Alert System
(Lansing State Journal, 2/13/07)

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