March 12-18, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 11

FOCUS: Tax on Legal Services
On March 15, the Michigan Senate voted to discharge SB 307 (proposed legislation to implement a tax on services) from the Senate Finance Committee, which means that the Committee will not vote on the legislation. The bill is now before the full Senate.

The Senate Finance Committee scheduled hearings around the state on the Governors proposed 2% sales tax on services plan. The State Bar of Michigan provided written testimony at the March 15 hearing in Lansing and oral and written testimony at the March 16 hearing in Grand Rapids stating opposition to a tax on legal services.
Senate Finance Committee Hearings:
3/19 Troy
3/22 Saginaw
3/23 Cadillac

In related news, the Governor’s next Executive Order to implement budgets cuts for the current fiscal year will be presented on March 22. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted down the Governor’s first proposed Executive Order on February 14.

The House Tax Policy Committee has scheduled hearings this week on the Governor’s Michigan Business Tax Proposal.
3/20 Hearing Notice
3/21 Hearing Notice

Related News Articles:
Gov. to Submit Budget Cuts
(Lansing State Journal, 3/17/07)
Granholm Tax Set for Possible Vote
(Lansing State Journal, 3/16/07)
Some Dems Reluctant to Embrace Tax Increase
(Lansing State Journal, 3/15/07)
Analysts call on Michigan to Solve Budget Crisis Soon
(Lansing State Journal, 3/13/07)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 3/19
3/19 House Judiciary Joint Meeting with House Appropriations: Corrections
Agenda: Review of policy affecting prison capacity management.
Morning Session: Presentation by the Michigan Department of Corrections and/or Executive Office of the Governor: Truth in Sentencing; Sentencing Guidelines; Prison Diversion; Parole Board and Parole System
Community Corrections; Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative
Afternoon Session: Public Testimony

3/20 House Ethics and Elections
Agenda item of interest: HB 4001 Require disclosure of contributions to legal defense funds for elected officials.

3/20 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 344 Eliminate certain conflicts with court rules and harmonize with court decisions

3/21 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4184 Revise eligibility requirements for special alternative incarceration programs for prisoners; HB 4272 Revise eligibility requirements special alternative incarceration program as a condition of probation; HB 4475 Expedite commutation hearings and procedures for prisoners who are terminally ill; HB 4249 Prohibit adverse possession of certain property if property taxes are paid by title owner; HB 4217 Clarify application of Michigan consumer protection act to actions expressly permitted by law clarify.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 3/13 - 3/15
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4446 Criminal procedure; evidence; additional blood or urine sample to be taken and preserved for later chemical testing if demanded within 15 minutes of initial chemical test; provide for. Amends sec. 625a of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.625a).

HB 4449 Health; occupations; judicial review of final determinations, orders, or decisions of a peer review entity and release of certain records, data, and knowledge relevant to that review pursuant to a subpoena; provide for under certain circumstances. Amends secs. 16244, 21513 & 21515 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.16244 et seq.).

HB 4459 Crimes; definitions; gang felony crimes; create. Amends 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.1 - 750.568) by adding sec. 411u.

HB 4460 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for gang felonies; enact. Amends sec. 16t, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16t). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4459'07

HB 4466 Crimes; homicide; felony murder; include certain domestic violence offenses. Amends sec. 316 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.316).

HB 4473 Courts; other; statewide collection procedure for court orders of indigent clients; establish and require attorney of indigent client to assist in collection of fees. Amends secs. 6 & 15, ch. V of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 765.6 & 765.15) & adds sec. 3d to ch. XI. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4474'07

HB 4474 Courts; other; indigent defense counsel fund; create. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 177. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4473'07

SB 344 Criminal procedure; other; certain conflicts with court rules; eliminate and harmonize with court decisions. Amends secs. 16 & 16z, ch. XVII, headings, ch. XVII & pt. 2, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16 & 777.16z) & adds secs. 16aa & 16bb to ch. XVII.

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2007-02 - Amendment of Rule 2.107 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment corrects an incorrect reference.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Rule 2.314 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment corrects an incorrect reference.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective:May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Rule 3.216 of the Michigan Court Rules
This amendment corrects a reference to a relettered provision of MCL 55.502, the Friend of the Court Act.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective:May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Rule 7.202 of the Michigan Court Rules
This change reflects the fact that after court reorganization accomplished pursuant to MCL 600.1001 et seq., cases involving the termination of parental rights are handled by the family division of circuit court, and not by the juvenile division of probate court.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Rule 7.313 of the Michigan Court Rules
This change reflects the fact that two different motion fees are applicable in the Michigan Supreme Court, and adds a reference so that both are included.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Rule 8.103 of the Michigan Court Rules
This change is required as a result of a previous amendment of MCR 8.110, dated September 12, 2006, in ADM File No. 2004-42, requiring that the Delay in Criminal Proceedings Report be submitted quarterly instead of monthly.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective:May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Administrative Order No. 1997-10
The amendment corrects an incorrect reference.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

2007-02 - Amendment of Rules 6.433, 7.204, and 7.210 of the Michigan Court Rules
These changes reflect relettered provisions of MCR 6.425.
Issued: March 15, 2007
Effective:May 1, 2007

Administrative Orders
Administrative Order No. 1997 - File No. 2007-02
Access to Judicial Branch Administrative Information
Issued: March 14, 2007
Effective: May 1, 2007

Proposed Amendments
2005-20 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.110 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of Rule 8.110 of the Michigan Court Rules would allow a chief judge or the chief justice to request medical documentation verifying the need for a judge’s or justice’s medical leave. The decision to request medical documentation would be at the discretion of the chief judge or chief justice. Failure to provide sufficient documentation for sick leave or a sick-leave absence that last for more than 12 consecutive weeks would require the chief judge or chief justice to report that fact to the state court administrator, who would then be authorized to order an independent medical examination.
Issued: March 14, 2007
Comment period expires: July 1, 2007
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy – 12th District Court
Hon. Charles J. Falahee, Jr. is vacating his seat on the 12th District Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by April 10, 2007.
View Information

Federal News
White House Opposes D.C. Vote
(Washington Post, 3/17/07)

State News
House Passes Bill Related to Damages in Auto Accidents
(AP/Mlive.com, 3/15/07)

House OKs Bill to Crack Down on Automated Political 'Robocalls'
(Lansing State Journal, 3/14/07)

Proposal Would Merge 2 Cities' Courts
(Detroit News, 3/13/07)

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