April 23-29, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 17

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 4/30
5/1 House Tax Policy

5/2 House Tax Policy
Agenda: HB 4367 Create Michigan business tax act (proposed substitute); HB 4369 Provide for exemption for certain personal property from certain school operating mills; HB 4370 Exempt certain industrial and commercial personal property from state education tax; HB 4371 Revise calculation of tax levied for plant rehabilitation; HB 4372 Exempt commercial and industrial personal property from certain taxes.

5/1 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4228 Allow drug analysis field test as admissible evidence in preliminary hearings; SB 88 Provide immunity liability of a peace officer for injuries caused while rendering assistance outside jurisdiction; SB 105 Allow authority for magistrates to oversee arraignments; SB 386 Expand provisions in criminal sexual conduct statutes relating to teachers and other school employees to include volunteers, employees, and contractual service providers.
SBM Position on SB 105: Support in Principle. Granting magistrates the authority to oversee some arraignments would assist in the timely handling of cases that could result in defendants not spending unnecessary time in prison.  This may also help to reduce jail overcrowding.

5/1 Senate Local, Urban, and State Affairs
Agenda: SB 298 Require redaction of social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation in certified copies unless prohibited by law; SB 299 Require redaction of social security numbers by person submitting document unless prohibited by law in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; SB 300 Require redaction of social security numbers by register of deeds in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation unless prohibited by law; SB 301 Require redaction of social security numbers in judgments submitted to register of deeds for recordation unless prohibited by law; SB 302 Require redaction of social security numbers in affidavits submitted to register of deeds for recordation unless prohibited by law; SB 303 Require redaction of social security numbers in recorded documents made available for inspection by register of deeds unless prohibited by law. 

5/2 House Appropriations: Judiciary Subcommittee
Agenda: Presentations on proposed FY 2007-08 judiciary budget: Hon. Clifford W. Taylor, chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and Hon. William C. Whitbeck, chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals 

5/2 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary & Corrections Subcommittee
Agenda: The FY 2007-08 Budget for the Department of Corrections-Health Care 

Complete Committee Meeting List 

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 4/24 – 4/26
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 4643 Drains; districts; liability for certain legal expenses of a drainage district; clarify. Amends sec. 247 of 1956 PA 40 (MCL 280.247).

HB 4646 Torts; malpractice; recovery for negligence of an emergency room doctor; require showing of gross negligence. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2912i.

HB 4650 Civil procedure; other; uniform foreign-country money judgments recognition act; create. Creates new act & repeals 1967 PA 191 (MCL 691.1151 - 691.1159).

SB 435 Courts; district court; eighty-seventh judicial district; reorganize into 3 separate districts. Amends sec. 8152 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8152).

SB 450 Occupations; residential builders; filing of complaints against contractor; require courts to report convictions, allow forfeiture and seizure of property for unlicensed contractors, and provide other amendments. TIE BAR WITH: SB 0451'07, SB 0452'07, SB 0453'07

Of General Interest
HB 4649 Civil rights; sex discrimination and harassment; sex harassment; clarify in Elliott-Larsen civil rights act. Amends title & secs. 102, 103, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 209, 302, 402, 502 & 504 of 1976 PA 453 (MCL 37.2102 et seq.).

HB 4675 Insurance; no-fault; Michigan catastrophic claims association; require to comply with freedom of information act and open meetings act. Amends secs. 134 & 3104 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.134 & 500.3104). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4676'07

HB 4676 Civil rights; open meetings; catastrophic claims association; make subject to open meetings act. Amends secs. 2 & 3 of 1976 PA 267 (MCL 15.262 & 15.263). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4675'07

HB 4677 Insurance; no-fault; annual audit of Michigan catastrophic claims association; require. Amends sec. 3104 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3104).

HB 4678 Insurance; no-fault; membership on Michigan catastrophic claims association board; increase. Amends sec. 3104 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3104).SB 445 Insurance; no-fault; serious impairment of body function; define, and provide for general amendments. Amends sec. 3135 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3135).

At the Bar
The Board of Commissioners will meet on Friday, May 4 during the Bar Leadership Forum. The Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee meeting will meet on Monday, April 30.
Information on Bar Leadership Forum

Sections and Committees
The Appellate Practice Section submitted a public policy report stating its support for Proposal B in ADM File No. 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.

The Appellate Practice Section also submitted a public policy report stating its opposition to 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).

The Criminal Law Section submitted a public policy report stating that it strongly supports in principle, the creation of a diversionary treatment program through Mental Health Courts for individuals who suffer from mental illness, emotional disturbance, developmental disability, or mental retardation who are charged with a criminal act. The position is on 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 and 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.

For a copy of the reports, please contact elyon@mail.michbar.org.

Federal News
U.S. Wants to Limit Guantanamo Detainees' Access to Lawyers
(Washington Post, 4/27/07)

State News
State Justice Asks Granholm to Hold Off on Filling Some Judgeships
(Detroit Free Press, 4/26/07)

Democrat Says GOP will Vote for Tax Increase
(Lansing State Journal, 4/26/07)

Business Groups Get Behind Dems' Tax Plan
(Detroit Free Press, 4/26/07)

Appeals Judges Give up their State Vehicles
(Mlive, Com, 4/25/07)

Drug Courts Get Reviewed
(Traverse City Record Eagle, 4/26/07)

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