March 19-25, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 12

FOCUS: Tax on Legal Services
On March 22, the Senate voted against legislation to impose a 2% tax on most services, including legal services. SB 307 was defeated by a 16-22 vote that saw only Senator Glenn Anderson (D-Westland) crossing the party-line vote. Governor Granholm, Speaker Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Bishop held budget negotiation meetings all week. This vote against SB 307 was one of several actions taken last week to address the state’s budget crisis.

While the immediate threat of the 2% tax on legal services seems to have dissipated with the Senate vote, it is important to remember there is still not a solution to either the current year deficit or the structural deficit. There is a widespread expectation that revenue enhancements will be made in some form. The current Lansing rumors suggest most strongly either an income tax increase (perhaps as introduced by Rep. Cushingberry in HB 4500) or a 6% tax on some services (the services subject to the 6% have not been defined by the proponents but potentially include legal services). Because this debate changes literally by the hour, the State Bar is prepared for any of the current proposals to gain momentum or for any new proposal to surface.

Related News:
Senate Budget Cuts Called 'Mean-Spirited'
(Lansing State Journal, 3/24/07)

Senate OKs School Funding Cut, Votes Down 2 Percent Service Tax
(Lansing State Journal, 3/23/07)

Senate Kills Service Tax
(Detroit News, 3/23/07)

Senate Kills Plan to Tax Services 2%
(Detroit Free Press, 3/23/07)

Granholm Proposes $344M in Spending Cuts
(Lansing State Journal, 3/22/07)

In the Capitol
The Michigan Senate and House have revised session schedules for the first two weeks in April. The Michigan Senate will tentatively meet only on Wednesday, April 4 and Wednesday April 11 at 10:00 am. The Michigan House will tentatively meet only on Thursday, April 5 and Thursday, April 12 at noon.

Committee meetings of interest for the week of 3/26
3/27 Senate Judiciary: Prison Reform and Public Safety
Agenda: Public testimony on proposals to reduce Corrections spending.

3/28 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4525 Include corrections identification card as forms of identification necessary to apply for a state identification card and allow access to certain department of corrections data; HB 4526 Provide for issuance of debit card to access the prisoner's institutional account upon release; HB 4527 Require including issuance of identification card for certain prisoner reentry programs and copies of other identifying documents and require prisoners to obtain certain records; HB 4528 Include corrections identification card as forms of identification necessary to apply for driver license.

FOCUS: 3/29 House Judiciary
Agenda: A presentation on Article VI of Michigan's Constitution by Robert A. Sedler, Distinguished Professor of Law & Gibbs Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at Wayne State University.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4445 Property tax; assessments; property transferred to owner's child; exclude from definition of transfer of ownership. Amends sec. 27a of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.27a).

HB 4492 Appropriations; supplemental; multidepartment supplemental for fiscal year 2006-2007; provide for. Creates appropriation act.

HB 4493 Appropriations; supplemental; multidepartment supplemental for fiscal year 2006-2007; provide for. Creates appropriation act.

HB 4494 Appropriations; supplemental; multidepartment supplemental for fiscal year 2006-2007; provide for. Creates appropriation act.

HB 4495 Appropriations; supplemental; multidepartment supplemental for fiscal year 2006-2007; provide for. Creates appropriation act.

HB 4496 Appropriations; supplemental; multidepartment supplemental for fiscal year 2006-2007; provide for. Creates appropriation act.

HB 4498 Courts; circuit court; election of chief circuit judges in certain judicial circuits; allow. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 569.

HB 4501 Civil procedure; costs and fees; costs and fees in the court of appeals and of court transcripts; increase. Amends secs. 321 & 2543 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.321 & 600.2543).

HB 4512 Retirement; state employees; actuarial liability contribution; modify.

HB 4515 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction in certified copies unless prohibited by law.

HB 4516 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction by person submitting document unless prohibited by law.

HB 4517 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction by register of deeds unless prohibited by law.

HB 4518 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in judgments submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction unless prohibited by law.

HB 4519 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in affidavits submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction unless prohibited by law.

HB 4520 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in recorded documents made available for inspection by register of deeds; require redaction unless prohibited by law.

HB 4521 Family law; marriage and divorce; certain inclusion of personal information in judgment; prohibit unless required by law.

HB 4522 Family law; paternity; inclusion of personal information in order of filiation; prohibit unless required by law.

HB 4523 Family law; child support; inclusion of personal information in an order under the family support act; prohibit unless required by law.

HB 4525 State; identification cards; forms of identification necessary to apply for a state identification card; include corrections identification card and allow access to certain department of corrections data. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4527'07, HB 4528'07

HJR F Criminal procedure; sentencing; capital punishment for first degree murder; provide for. Amends sec. 46, art. IV of the state constitution.

HJR G Courts; circuit court; election of a chief circuit judge in certain judicial circuits; amend constitution to provide for. Adds sec. 12a to art. VI of the state constitution.

SB 369 Mental health; code; certain provisions regarding persons found not guilty by reason of insanity; revise. Amends secs. 744, 1026, 1028, 1030, 1032, 1034, 1044 & 1050 of 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1744 et seq.); adds secs. 1049, 1052, 1053, 1054, 1055, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1059, 1060, 1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1065, 1066, 1067, 1068, 1069, 1070, 1071, 1072, 1073, 1074, 1075, 1076, 1077, 1078, 1079, 1080, 1081 & 1082 & repeals sec. 1005f of 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.2005f).

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2003-21- Amendment of Rule 9.207 of the Michigan Court Rules
This amendment allows a judge admonished by the Judicial Tenure Commission to request review of the admonishment by the Supreme Court. The amendment in subsection B adds a letter designation and descriptive heading to the provision relating to adjournments granted for requests for investigation filed within 90 days of an election in which the respondent is a candidate.
Issued: March 20, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

2006-21 - Amendment of Rules 5.307 and 5.310 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 5.307(B) and 5.310(E) conform to language in MCL 700.3951 by clarifying that a Notice of Continued Administration is tracked from the date of the appointment of the original personal representative, including a special personal representative.
Issued: March 20, 2007
Effective: March 20, 2007

Proposed Amendments
2006-28 - Proposed Amendments to Rules 5.207, 5.302, 5.307, and 5.409 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments were proposed by the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. They are intended to address and clarify practice issues within the amended rules.
Issued: March 21, 2007
Comment period expires:July 1, 2007
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

At the Bar
Former SBM President Stephen C. Bransdorfer dies at 77

The State Bar of Michigan’s Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 27. The Board of Commissioners will meet on Friday, March 30. For a copy of either agenda, please contact elyon@mail.michbar.org.

Sections and Committees
The Animal Law Section submitted the following public policy report:
Support: SB 350 (Garcia) Income tax; other; animal welfare fund; create. Creates new act. TIE BAR WITH: SB 0349'07

The Children’s Law Section submitted the following public policy report:
Oppose: SB 141 (Van Woerkom) Children; services; court-appointed special advocates; provide for. Creates new act.

The Family Law Section submitted the following public policy reports:
Oppose: SB 34 Criminal procedure; sentencing; requirement of presentence report for nonpayment of support; eliminate. Amends sec. 14, ch. XI of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 771.14).

Oppose: SB 141 (Van Woerkom) Children; services; court-appointed special advocates; provide for. Creates new act.

Support: SB 170 (Clark-Coleman) Children; guardians; relative guardianship assistance act; establish. Creates new act.

Support with Recommended Amendments: HB 4140 Family law; child custody; award of custody to parent convicted of criminal sexual conduct against his or her child; prohibit. Amends sec. 5 of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.25).

Oppose: HB 4147 Family law; child support; termination of child support obligations when DNA evidence demonstrates payer is not the biological parent; provide for. Amends 1982 PA 295 (MCL 552.601 - 552.650) by adding sec. 5f.

The Judicial Conference submitted the following public policy reports:
Support and Offer Amendments: 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

Support and Offer Amendments: 2005-37 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 5.101, 5.105, 5.113, 5.125, 5.206, 5.302, 5.306, 5.307, 5.309, and 5.403 of the Michigan Court Rules and Proposed Adoption of Rules 5.410 and 5.411 of the Michigan Court Rules. The amendments are published in response to a proposal submitted by the Michigan Probate Judges Association and the State Bar of Michigan’s Probate and Estate Planning Section. This was a joint effort to increase the oversight of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, as well as to improve other procedures in probate court.

The Negligence Law Section submitted the following public policy reports:
Support: HB 4044 (Simpson) Torts; product liability; immunity from liability for drugs that have been approved by federal food and drug administration; rescind. Amends sec. 2946 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2946);
HB 4045 (McDowell) Civil procedure; statute of limitations; drug product liability cases previously prohibited because of FDA approval defense; allow to be commenced within 3 years of repeal of the defense. Amends sec. 5805 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5805). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4044'07;
HB 4046 (Valentine) Consumer protection; unfair trade practices; liability for inaccurate representations concerning risks of certain drugs, medications, and supplements; clarify. Amends secs. 2 & 3 of 1976 PA 331 (MCL 445.902 & 445.903).

Support: HB 4301 (Condino) Insurance; no-fault; serious impairment of body function; define, and provide for general amendments. Amends sec. 3135 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3135).

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