October 22-28, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 43

In the Capitol
FOCUS: FY 08 State Budget
State lawmakers are said to be in the final stages of negotiations for the FY 08 budget. Negotiations center around how to cut $435 million to balance the budget that is still in deficit despite new revenue from the increase in the personal income tax and the extension of the sales tax to some services that will be effective December 1. The budget bills have all been referred to their respective conference committees, meaning the House and Senate can adopt them by an up or down vote at any time. Both chambers have scheduled additional session days to address the conference committee reports. Action was seen on six departmental budgets by early afternoon today, with conference committee votes recommending budgets for the Department of Agriculture; Department of Higher Education; Department of Labor and Economic Growth; Department of History, Arts and Libraries; Department of Military and Veteran Affairs; and the Department of State Police.
See related news:
State Braces for Layoffs, Cuts to Balance Spending
(Lansing State Journal, 10/27/07)

Lansing Makes Budget Headway
(Detroit News, 10/26/07)

As budget Deal Nears, State Departments Brace for Fallout
(AP/Mlive.com, 10/26/07)

FOCUS: Service Tax
The Department of Treasury has launched its website detailing the extension of the sales tax on some services at www.michigan.gov/taxchanges. The site provides an overview of the tax, explanations of services taxed, registration forms, and filing deadlines and an FAQ.

Committee meetings of interest for the week of 10/29
10/29 Conference Committee on Judiciary Budget
SB 233 Provide judiciary appropriations for fiscal year 2007-2008.

10/31 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4616 Prohibition on embryonic research and human cloning; HB 4617 Increase the penalty for human cloning; HB 4618 Revise the sentencing guidelines for the crime of human cloning to reflect increase penalty.
The following bills are for referral to the Committee on Intergovernmental, Urban and Regional Affairs: HB 5292 Provide for litigation under the Michigan zoning act; HB 5293 Provide for qualifications of individuals designated as referees for certain litigation.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 10/23 – 10/26
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5356 Businesses; business corporations; definitions of "professional service" and "services in a learned profession"; include, and revise certain conversion procedures.
HB 5357 Businesses; professional corporations; definition of "professional services"; revise and include definition of "services in a learned profession".
HB 5358 Businesses; limited liability companies; definition of "professional service"; revise.
HB 5365 Property tax; appeals; reimbursement of tax tribunal fees to individuals who win property tax appeal; provide for. Amends sec. 52 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.752).
SB 841 Criminal procedure; bail; bondsman's costs and fees; modify. Amends sec. 167b of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.167b).

Of General Interest
HB 5337 Elections; registration; proof of United States citizenship when registering to vote; require. Amends sec. 509q of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.509q) & adds sec. 496a.
HB 5355 Crime victims; other; distribution and use of crime victim's rights funds; broaden types of authorized expenditures.
HB 5367 Children; foster care; out-of-state placement of juvenile; prohibit use of state funds. Amends sec. 18, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.18).
HB 5368 Children; foster care; out-of-state placement of juvenile; prohibit use of state funds. Amends sec. 5 of 1974 PA 150 (MCL 803.305).
HB 5373 Use tax; collections; application of tax to certain services; repeal. Repeals sec. 3d of 1937 PA 94 (MCL 205.93d).
SB 845 Use tax; collections; application of tax to certain services; reduce rate for certain period and repeal. Amends secs. 3 & 3d of 1937 PA 94 (MCL 205.93 & 205.93d.added) & repeals sec. 3d of 1937 PA 94 (MCL 205.93d).

At the Bar
Important Decision Regarding Non-refundable Retainers

U.P. Lawyers Enthusiastic About Keefe Presidency

Judicial Vacancies:
73B District Court
Hon. Karl E. Kraus is vacating his seat on the 73B District Court in Huron County.
4th Circuit Court
Hon. Edward J. Grant is vacating his seat on the 4th Circuit Court in Jackson County.

State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeships should submit an application by November 16, 2007.

SBM Legal Milestone Plaque Placement Part of Mackinac 50th Anniversary Event

Highlights of the Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids

Sections and Committees
The following public policy reports were submitted:

The Business Law Section adopted an amicus brief on Estes v. Titus.

The Prisons & Corrections Section adopted the following position:
Support in Principle: HB 5213 (Coulouris) Criminal procedure; expunction; record expungement for certain offenders; provide for. Amends sec. 1 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.621) & repeals sec. 4 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.624).

Federal News
In Students’ Eyes, Look-Alike Lawyers Don’t Make the Grade
(New York Times, 10/29/07)

State News
Voters Without ID Card Can Still Cast Ballot
(Detroit News, 10/29/07)

U.S. Judge Rules Mich. Violated Prisoner Rights
(Detroit News, 10/27/07)

Crowd Tackles Judicial Issues
(Traverse City Record Eagle, 10/26/07)

Cutbacks Hit Drug Courts Hard
(Detroit News, 10/25/07)

Mich. Bill Would Compensate People Exonerated by DNA
(Detroit Free Press, 10/23/07)


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