May 28 - June 3, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 22

FOCUS: Michigan Fiscal Crisis Update
At the annual Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting on Mackinac Island, talk largely centered around the state’s current budget crisis. Governor Granholm continues to advocate for a mix of government reform, budget cuts, and increased revenue. Possible revenue enhancements gaining the most attention are a sales tax on luxury services and/or an increase in the income tax.

Agreement on a replacement for the Single Business Tax appears to be near. It is reported that Senate Republicans now agree with Governor Granholm and House Democrats that the replacement tax should be revenue neutral.

See related news:
GOP to Support Revenue-Neutral Tax
(Lansing State Journal, 6/1/07)

Dems, GOP Agree on Size of Business Tax
(Detroit News, 6/1/07)

House OKs Balanced Budget Measures
(Lansing State Journal, 5/31/07

Nearly a Deal on Business Tax
(Detroit Free Press, 5/31/07)

State Still Unable to Rule out Layoffs
(Lansing State Journal, 5/30/07)

Fix to Lean Heavily on Tobacco Cash
(Detroit Free Press, 5/30/07)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 6/7
6/6 House Judiciary

Agenda: HB 4789 Prohibit operation of an off-road vehicle by certain individuals under the influence of or visibly impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance; HB 4794 Prohibit operation of a watercraft by individuals with a high blood alcohol level or with certain controlled substances; HB 4795 Prohibit operation of a snowmobile by certain individuals under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; HB 4813 Revise sentencing guidelines for operating vessel, ORV, or snowmobile under influence of alcoholic liquor to include operating with any amount of schedule 1 controlled substances in operator's body.

6/6 Senate Appropriations
Agenda: SB 232 Provide for fiscal year 2007-2008 budget for department of human services; HB 4850 Increase securitization of tobacco funds amount; HB 4851 Authorize transfers of money by Michigan higher education student loan authority to Michigan merit award trust fund.

6/6 Senate Families and Human Services
Agenda: SB 141 Provide for court-appointed special advocates.
Children's Law Section Position: Oppose
Family Law Section Position: Oppose
The State Bar of Michigan does not have a position on SB 141 but opposed in principle identical legislation introduced last session.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/29 – 5/31
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 4859 Courts; juries; jury pool selection process; revise. Amends secs. 1304, 1312 & 1321 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304 et seq.) & adds secs. 1301c, 1310a & 1310b. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4755'07

HB 4861 Civil procedure; costs and fees; fees to court of appeals; revise. Amends sec. 321 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.321).

Of General Interest
HB 4866 Businesses; business corporations; filing fees; revise. Amends sec. 1060 of 1972 PA 284 (MCL 450.2060).

SB 554 Property; other; recordable instrument conveying an interest in real property; require to specify type of road on which property is located. Amends sec. 1 of 1937 PA 103 (MCL 565.201).

At The Bar
The Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee of the Board of Commissioners will meet on Friday, June 8.

Sections and Committees
The Family Law Section submitted the following public policy reports:
Support: HB 4731 (Bieda) Family law; other; lewd and lascivious cohabitation; repeal prohibition. Amends sec. 335 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.335).

Support with recommended amendments: HB 4735 (Polidori) Human services; children's services; procedure for placement of children in a foster home; expand to give special consideration to relatives. Amends sec. 4a of 1994 PA 203 (MCL 722.954a).

Oppose: HB 4736 (Byrum) Human services; children's services; procedure for placement of children in a foster home; expand to give special consideration to individuals of same religious background. Amends sec. 4a of 1994 PA 203 (MCL 722.954a).

Support: HB 4741 (Beida) Family law; personal protection orders; prohibition against harming animals owned by petitioner; include in personal protection order. Amends sec. 2950 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2950).

Oppose: HB 4818 (Steil) Family law; child custody; factors determining best interest of child; include equal time for both parents as a factor. Amends sec. 3 of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.23).

Support: SB 506 (McManus) Family law; paternity; circumstances under which putative father may sue to establish paternity of a child born to a married woman; establish. Amends secs. 1, 4 & 6 of 1956 PA 205 (MCL 722.711 et seq.).

Support: SB 522 (Whitmer) Family law; friend of the court; informational pamphlet; allow to be provided electronically. Amends sec. 5 of 1982 PA 294 (MCL 552.505).

Support with recommended amendments: SB 543 (Barcia) Children; protection; appeal process; provide for. Amends 1935 PA 220 (MCL 400.201 - 400.214) by adding sec. 5b.

Support: SB 553 (Pappageorge) Family law; child support; system for payment of support over the internet; require office of child support to establish. Amends sec. 6 of 1971 PA 174 (MCL 400.236).

The Prisons and Corrections Section submitted the following: Statement Regarding Extending Parole Terms for Parolees Who Owe Restitution.

In the Hall of Justice
Appointment to State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners Announced by Michigan
Supreme Court

Openings Still Available for Law Career Program Offered by Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center

Other Actions
2007-01 - Supreme Court Appointment of Commissioner-at-Large of the State Bar of Michigan
Laura A. Chappelle is appointed commissioner-at-large of the State Bar of Michigan for a three-year term commencing in September 2007.
Issued: May 29, 2007

2007-01 - Appointment of Chief Judge of the 29th Judicial Circuit Court
Hon. Randy L. Tahvonen is appointed chief judge of the 29th Judicial Circuit Court effective May 1, 2007, for the unexpired portion of a two-year term, which commenced January 1, 2006.
Issued: May 29, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

State News
NAACP: Reform Courts
(Detroit News, 5/30/07)

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