March 5-11, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 10

FOCUS: Tax on Legal Services
At this time, no hearings or votes on the Governor’s sales tax on services plan are scheduled in the legislature. Speaker of the House Andy Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop formed a special bipartisan, bicameral six-person workgroup. The workgroup has been charged with proposing cuts for the 2006-2007 fiscal year budget by March 16.

Last week, the State Bar of Michigan issued a press release and a member advisory alert regarding its position opposing a tax on legal services, which is included in the Governor’s tax restructuring plan.
State Bar of Michigan Opposes "Misery Tax" on Legal Services

Action Alert – Stop the Proposed Tax on Legal Services
The State Bar of Michigan strongly urges you to contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask for their opposition to the proposed tax on legal services.
Find Your Elected Officials

Use the State Bar’s position to communicate why a tax on legal services is harmful to Michigan citizens and businesses.
It is important to note that because of limitations on advocacy as a unified state bar, the State Bar cannot take a position on taxation in general, including taxation of services other than legal services, nor on how the current budget crisis should be resolved. Because State Bar members are among the most educated and knowledgeable citizens of this state, you are urged to consider what you would do to address the current crisis. If you express opposition to a tax on legal services, it is also important to share your views on what to do instead.

Related Legislation:
HB 4368 (Cushingberry) Sales tax; collections; tax on services and admission transmission transactions; provide for.

SB 307 (Brater) Sales tax; collections; tax on services and admission transmission transactions; provide for.

Related News:
Ad to Protest Granholm Tax Plan
(Detroit News, 3/10/07)

Granholm Says State Can't Cut Its Way Out of Deficit
(Lansing State Journal, 3/6/07)

Lawmakers' Perks on Chopping Block
(Lansing State Journal, 3/6/07)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 3/12
3/13 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 275 Provide for exemption for nursing mothers from jury duty.

3/14 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary and Corrections
Agenda: FY 2007-08 Subcommittee Recommendation

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislation Introduced 3/6 - 3/8
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4397 State financing and management; purchasing; requirement for certain contracts to include a provision to require certain individuals to perform contract; provide for. Amends sec. 261 of 1984 PA 431 (MCL 18.1261).

HB 4398 Local government; public services; public entities with private competition; require financial disclosure. Creates new act.

HB 4402 Crimes; penalties; penalties for certain crimes of imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; amend Michigan penal code to exclude application to juvenile offenders. Amends 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.1 - 750.568) by adding sec. 506b. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4403'07, HB 4404'07, HB 4405'07

HB 4403 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; amend probate code of 1939 to prohibit. Amends secs. 2d & 18, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.2d & 712A.18). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4402'07, HB 4404'07, HB 4405'07

HB 4404 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; prohibit. Amends secs. 1 & 1b, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1 & 769.1b).

HB 4405 Corrections; parole; parole of certain juvenile offenders sentenced to imprisonment for life; allow. Amends sec. 34 of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.234). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4402'07, HB 4403'07, HB 4404'07

HB 4406 State; symbol; English; establish as the official state language. Creates new act.

HB 4420 Courts; district court; twentieth and twenty-first districts; combine. Amends sec. 8121 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8121).

HB 4422 Civil procedure; civil actions; limitation on recovery amount allowed in small claims suits; revise. Amends sec. 8401 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8401).

HB 4423 Torts; malpractice; affidavit of merit; require for all malpractice actions against licensed professionals. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2912i.

HB 4425 Retirement; judges; retirement allowance for judges; increase. Amends 1992 PA 234 (MCL 38.2101 - 38.2670) by adding sec. 513.

HB 4433 Property tax; tax tribunal; certification of mediators and mediation process; provide for. Amends secs. 3, 31 & 32 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.703 et seq.) & adds sec. 47.

HB 4434 Property tax; tax tribunal; issuance of proposed decisions and determination of fees; provide for. Amends secs. 26, 49 & 61 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.726 et seq.).

HB 4435 Property tax; tax tribunal; restriction on number of members from same occupation; remove. Amends sec. 22 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.722).

HB 4436 Property tax; tax tribunal; small claims hearings; modify. Amends sec. 62 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.762).

HB 4437 Property tax; tax tribunal; requirement for evening hearing in the small claims division if requested; repeal. Repeals sec. 66 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.766).

Of General Interest
HB 4412 Insurance; essential; insurance scoring for personal insurance; prohibit and provide for base rate adjustment. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100 - 500.8302) by adding ch. 21A.

HB 4430 Crimes; criminal sexual conduct; age of consent for certain criminal sexual conduct violations; increase to age 18. Amends secs. 520b, 520c, 520d & 520e of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.520b et seq.).

HB 4442 Property tax; Headlee; Headlee rollback; modify. Amends sec. 34d of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.34d).

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2006-26 - Amendment of Rule 3.921 of the Michigan Court Rules
This amendment adds a requirement mandated by 42 USC 629h that for states receiving federal Court Improvement Program grants, a court rule must be in effect ensuring that foster parents, preadoptive parents, and relative caregivers are notified of any proceedings relating to the child. Form JC 45 will be amended to allow courts to instruct the Department of Human Services to provide notice to the listed individuals, and to require the Department of Human Services to inform courts that it has notified the required parties.
Issued: March 7, 2007
Effective:May 1, 2007

At the Bar
PMRC Technology Training in Lansing with Barron K. Henley

Sections and Committees
The Appellate Practice Section adopted a position on 2005-36 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 7.204 and 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules. The proposed amendment of Rule 7.204 of the Michigan Court Rules would make various technical changes. The proposed amendment of Rule 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules would clarify how a motion for a new trial, a motion for a rehearing or reconsideration, or a motion for other postjudgment relief tolls the time within which to file an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals.
View Position

The Elder Law and Disability Rights Section submitted the following positions:
Oppose: 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

Oppose: 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

Oppose: 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

Oppose: 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

Federal News
Veterans Groups Object to Change on Lawyer Fees
(Washington Times, 3/6/07)

State News
Drug Court Numbers Rise
(Macomb Daily News, 3/11/07)

Some Diversity OK in Prop 2
(Detroit Free Press, 3/8/07)

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