Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
June 24-30, 2013
Volume 11 Issue 26

FOCUS: State Court Administrative Office Releases Judicial Resources Recommendations
Last Thursday the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) issued a report that called for eliminating eight current circuit and district judgeships, while adding eight other circuit and district judges in courts across the state. The report recommends eliminating four Wayne Circuit Court judge positions and adding four judges to the Macomb circuit and two to the Oakland circuit based on shifting workloads for the courts. The Legislature has the authority to create or eliminate judgeships, requiring the SCAO recommendations be debated by the full legislature. Previous legislation to shift judgeships caused major controversy, especially in those communities where positions would be cut. However, this report is not nearly as sweeping as the previous report in 2011 which called for the elimination of 49 judge positions. Eventually, the legislature cut a total of 36 positions.
Recommendations to cut, add judgeships detailed in judicial resources report
Some Michigan Courts Face Cuts, Shifts to Judgeships to Balance Workloads
(Detroit News, 6/27/13)

FOCUS: Indigent Defense Legislation Signed by Governor
This afternoon Governor Rick Snyder signed HB 4529 into law, officially creating the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. The Governor will appoint the 15-member commission, which is expected to hire an executive director and set statewide standards for local indigent defense delivery systems.

In the Capitol
The House of Representatives and Senate will hold session on Wednesday, July 3 at 10 AM, but no votes are expected in either chamber.
House Calendar
Senate Calendar

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
Recommendations to cut, add judgeships detailed in judicial resources report

Microsoft case study highlights Michigan’s “One Court of Justice” website

Nominations Open for Child Welfare Awards; Foster Care Review Board to Recognize Service to Abused and Neglected Children

At the Bar
SBM Mourns the Loss of IT Director William Kramer

Judicial Vacancy—Van Buren County Circuit Court
Hon. Paul E. Hamre is vacating his seat at Van Buren County Circuit Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by July 18, 2013.
View Information

Sections and Committees
The Negligence Law Section submitted public policy position reports on the following items:
Support: HB 4770 Law enforcement; reports; requirements for gaining access to motor vehicle accident reports within 30 days of the report being filed; establish, and provide penalties for noncompliance. Amends 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.1 - 257.923) by adding sec. 503.

Support: HB 4771 Crimes; other; intentionally contacting individual who has sustained personal injury or family member of that individual with direct solicitation to provide service; prohibit under certain circumstances and provide a penalty. Amends 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.1 - 750.568) by adding sec. 410b.

Support: HB 4772 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for crime of unlawfully accessing motor vehicle accident report; establish. Amends sec. 16x, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16x).

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