Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
November 9–15, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 46

FOCUS: The Pew Center on the States Report: Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril
Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril, a report released by the Pew Center on the States on November 11, 2009, highlights the ten states troubled most by the recession: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Researchers identified six factors contributing to California's difficulties and used these as a scoring system for the other states: loss of state revenues; the relative size of budget gaps; increasing joblessness; high foreclosure rates; legal obstacles to balanced budgets—specifically, a supermajority requirement for tax increases or budget bills and poor money-management practices.

Michigan received a score of 27, three points ahead of California's 30, but 10 points below the United States as whole at 17. Michigan's revenue change percentage was the highest at -16.50%.
See related:
More Michigan Woe Forecast
(Detroit News, 11/13/09)
Michigan Will Be Among the Poorest States for Years, Study Says
(Detroit Free Press, 11/12/09)
Pew Study: Michigan on Track for California-Style Money Woes
(Detroit News, 11/12/09)
Study: Michigan Crumbles Under Outdated Tax System
(Detroit Free Press, 11/11/09)

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate will be in session Wednesday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m. and 10 a.m. respectively. November 18 is the only anticipate session day for both chambers in the next two weeks.
House Session Schedule
Senate Session Schedule

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 11/16
11/17 House Judiciary: Corrections Reform
Agenda: HB 4497 Restore good time system for all prisoners and eliminate disciplinary credits and disciplinary time; HB 4498 Eliminate provisions of prison code relating to disciplinary time and disciplinary credits and restore good time credits; HB 4499 Eliminate reference to disciplinary time in provisions concerning sentencing multiple felonies.

11/17 House Health Policy
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 5043 Make license revocation or denial upon conviction of first, second, or third degree criminal sexual conduct permanent.

11/18 House Appropriations
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 5592 Remove sunset on crime victim's rights fund excess revenue provision.

11/18 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4403 Expand immunity for national ski patrol member to include nonski emergencies; HB 4098 Eliminate driver responsibility fee; HB 4101 Allow driver responsibility fee to be assessed for only 1 year instead of 2; HB 4604 Revise responsibility and payment method for driver responsibility fees; HB 4885 Revise jury pool selection process; HB 4886 Allow names and addresses of taxpayers to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools; HB 4969 Require use of e-verification system by employment agencies; HB 4355 Require state contractors to verify legal residency of employees; HB 5603 Revise procedures for imposing driver responsibility fee; and any other business properly before this committee.
Litigation Section Position on HB 4403: Oppose
SBM Position on HB 4885 and HB 4886: Support the Concept of Expanding Jury Pools

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 11/10–11/12
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 5592 Crime victims; rights; crime victim's rights fund excess revenue provision; remove sunset.

HB 5601 Courts; juries; individuals who fail to return jury questionnaires; ensure continued eligibility for jury service.

Of General Interest
HJR OO Legislature; legislators; term limits; revise to combination of 14 years total legislative service.

In the Hall of Justice
Proposed Amendments
2009-18—Proposed Amendments of Rules 7.211, 7.313, and 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments of MCR 7.211, 7.313, and 8.119 would clarify that materials filed with a trial court, with the Court of Appeals, or with the Supreme Court that relate to a motion to seal a record are nonpublic until the court disposes of the motion.
Issued: November 13, 2009
Comment period expires: March 1, 2010
Public hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2009-01—Appointment of Chief Judges of Michigan Courts
Issued: November 10, 2009

At the Bar
The State Bar of Michigan's Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee and the Board of Commissioners will meet on November 19, 2009. For more information, please contact pcunningham@mail.michbar.org.

Judicial Crossroads Task Force Committee Rosters Announced

Young Lawyers Section Hosts November Food Drive and Networking Event

Two Former SBM Presidents Elected to Cooley Board of Directors

Sections and Committees
The Real Property Law Section submitted a Public Policy report on SB 0791 Property; other; uniform real property electronic recording act; create. Creates new act.

State News
Supreme Court Weighs Juvenile Life Sentences
(U.S. News, 11/11/09)

For University of Michigan Innocence Clinic Students, Experience is the Best Teacher
(Ann Arbor.com, 11/10/09)

Grand Rapids Judge William B. Murphy Named New Chief Judge for Michigan Court of Appeals
(Grand Rapids News, 11/10/09)

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