Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
May 4-10, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 19

FOCUS: Budget Reductions
On May 5, the Governor's Executive Order outlining $304 million in budget cuts was adopted shortly after being presented to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The House Appropriations Committee voted for adoption 27-4 and the Senate Appropriations Committee 17-2.
Governor Granholm's' Executive Order Budget Reductions

Current year budget cuts were also made to the Legislative and Judicial branches last week. HB 4309 was adopted by a vote in the Senate of 36-0 and in the House of Representatives by 105-3. The bill requires the Legislature and Judiciary branches to decrease their budgets by 4%.
See related:
House, Senate Panels OK Granholm's Cuts to Help Balance State Budget
(Detroit News, 5/5/09)
Michigan to Cut Budget by $304 Million, Use Federal Stimulus to Cover Rest of $1.3 Billion Deficit
(Mlive.com, 5/5/09)

A Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference is scheduled for May 15. The Directors of the Senate Fiscal Agency and the House Fiscal Agency, along with the State Treasurer, will present their estimates for the next fiscal year budget.

Register Now! May 21—Michigan Public Defense Task Force Conference
The State Bar of Michigan is cosponsoring the 2nd Annual Michigan Public Defense Task Force Conference. The theme is "Reforming Michigan's Public Defense System: The Economic, Social and Human Benefits." This free one-day conference, hosted at the Radisson Hotel Lansing, is an opportunity to engage in a discussion about Michigan's public defense system and the ongoing reform efforts taking place in Michigan. Join national and local experts in exploring critical public defense issues.

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 5/11
5/12 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation by the Honorable Daniel P. Ryan, Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan; SR 41 A resolution to urge the Michigan Department of Corrections to implement nondenominational prison congregation programs within our prisons; SB 478 Require report to legislature of status of offender tracking system.

5/12 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: FY 2009-2010 Michigan Department of Corrections budget

5/13 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4405 Provide for record expunction for certain offenders; HB 4835 Enact sentencing guidelines for bias-motivated crimes; HB 4836 Prohibit bias-motivated crime and provide penalties; HB 4845 Provide for general amendments to insurance notice and statute of limitations; Pending introduction and referral: HB 4918 Clarify certain provisions regarding lifetime probationers; HB 4919 Clarify persons sentenced to lifetime probation for certain drug crimes for applicability of statute; HB 4920 Revise eligibility for parole for certain prisoners; HB 4921 Eliminate reference to major controlled substance offenses; And any other business properly before this committee.
SBM Position: The State Bar of Michigan has a history of supporting increasing the opportunity to apply for record expungment. View Past Positions

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/5–5/7
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4885 Courts; juries; jury pool selection process; revise. Amends secs. 1304, 1312, 1321 & 1344 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304 et seq.) & adds secs. 1301c, 1310a & 1310b.

HB 4886 Courts; juries; names and addresses of taxpayers; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends sec. 28 of 1941 PA 122 (MCL 205.28).

SB 0548 Liens; construction; requirement that construction lien fund be named as a defendant; provide that requirement does not apply to claimants who are not members of the fund. Amends sec. 203 of 1980 PA 497 (MCL 570.1203).

SB 0558 Businesses; limited liability companies; filing deadline for annual reports and certain low-profit LLC amendment certificates; modify. Amends secs. 207a & 803 of 1993 PA 23 (MCL 450.4207a & 450.4803).

In the Hall of Justice
2008 Annual Report of State Judiciary Released

Law Firm's Claim for Unpaid Legal Fees, Sentencing Challenge to be Heard by Michigan Supreme Court in Arguments

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative conference on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.
Public Conference Agenda

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom located on the sixth floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915.
Public Hearing Agenda

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—Arenac County Probate Court
Hon. Jack W. Scully is vacating his seat on the Arenac County Probate Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by May 18, 2009.
View Information

Judicial Vacancy—36th District Court
Hon. Mark A. Randon is vacating his seat on the 36th District Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by May 18, 2009.
View Information

The May 2009 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is now available online at www.michbar.org/journal. This month's issue introduces the State Bar "A Lawyer Helps" program, designed to raise the public's consciousness about the good that lawyers do through pro bono and community service.
State Bar Launches "A Lawyer Helps" Program to Celebrate and Support Attorneys' Contributions to Society

Sections and Committees
Consumer Law Section Report Finds Michigan Consumer Protection Act "Toothless"

The Family Law Section submitted a Public Policy report on the following items:
Support and Amend: HB 4005 Children; parental rights; rights of putative father; require document notarization before termination. Amends sec. 37, ch. X of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.37).

Oppose: HB 4015 Children; adoption; access to certain adoption records; allow unless a denial is on record. Amends secs. 27b & 68, ch. X of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.27b & 710.68).

Support: HJR L Legislature; legislators; term limits; repeal. Repeals sec. 54, art. IV of the state constitution.

Support and Amend: SB 0101 Family law; friend of the court; reference to domestic relations mediation in child custody act; revise to reflect amendment to friend of the court act. Amends sec. 7b of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.27b).

Support and Amend: SB 0102 Traffic control; driver license; procedures for suspension and reinstatement of driver license due to child support arrearage; revise. Amends sec. 321c of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.321c). TIE

Support and Amend: SB 0103 Civil procedure; costs and fees; consolidated fees from divorce, paternity, and family support acts; provide for. Amends secs. 2137, 2529 & 2538 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2137 et seq.).

Support and Amend: SB 0104 Family law; child support; certain duties of the office of child support; establish, and eliminate child support bench warrant enforcement fund. Amends secs. 3 & 3a of 1971 PA 174 (MCL 400.233 & 400.233a) & repeals sec. 6a of 1971 PA 174 (MCL 400.236a).

Support and Amend: SB 0105 Family law; marriage and divorce; collection and distribution of child support provision; revise. Amends secs. 23 & 24 of 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.23 & 552.24).

Support and Amend: SB 0106 Family law; paternity; procedures for collection of medical expenses related to birth of a child born out of wedlock paid by medicaid; revise, and revise collection and distribution of child support provisions. Amends secs. 2, 7 & 19a of 1956 PA 205 (MCL 722.712 et seq.) & repeals sec. 19 of 1956 PA 205 (MCL 722.729).

Support and Amend: SB 0107 Family law; child support; procedures for collection of medical expenses related to birth of a child whose parents are separated paid by medicaid; revise, and revise collection and distribution of support provisions. Amends secs. 1, 2 & 8a of 1966 PA 138 (MCL 552.451 et seq.) & repeals sec. 7 of 1966 PA 138 (MCL 552.457).

Oppose: SB 0458 Criminal procedure; sentencing; requirement of presentence report for nonpayment of support; eliminate. Amends sec. 14, ch. XI of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 771.14).

Federal News
Justices Agree to Take Up Sentencing for Young Offenders
(New York Times, 5/4/09)

State News
Michigan Supreme Court Weighs Control Over Witness Attire
(Detroit News, 5/11/09)

Parole for Juvenile Lifer Crimes Debated
(Detroit News, 5/7/09)

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