Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
February 10, 2014
Volume 12 Issue 6

Please Note: Next week’s Public Policy Update will be published on February 18. The State Bar will be closed on February 17 in observance of President’s Day.

Focus: Governor’s budget proposal
Last Wednesday, February 5, Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his FY 2015 proposed budget. Included in the $52 billion proposed budget is a recommended 2.1% increase in funding for the judiciary over current spending levels. Governor Snyder also highlighted several general fund expenditures in the judiciary budget:

  • $4.1 million to continue implementation of a unified case management information system;
  • $5.4 million to maintain drug treatment courts;
  • $5.8 million for mental health courts and jail diversion support;
  • $1 million to fund the newly created Michigan Indigent Defense Commission;
  • $1 million, one-time investment in the Trial Court Innovation Fund.

The budget now moves to the legislature for consideration, and final approval is expected by June 1.

Budget Director Explains 2015 State Spending Plan
(WKAR, 2/6/14)
See also:
Michigan Budget: See What Gov. Rick Snyder Wants to Spend on Schools, Cities and Public Safety
(, 2/5/14)
Governor Rick Snyder Unveils Proposed 2015 State Budget
(WXYZ, 2/5/14)
Gov. Snyder’s Proposed Budget Includes Property Tax Cut, Increased Spending on Schools, Roads, Police
(Detroit Free Press, 2/5/14)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 2/10
2/11 House Appropriations: General Government, 9:00 AM, House Office Building Room 326
Testimony on proposed FY 2014-15 budgets from: Department of Attorney General; Office of the Auditor General; Department of Civil Rights.

2/11 Senate Judiciary, 2:30 PM, Farnum Room 110
HB5121 Increase number of judgeships in the sixteenth circuit court;
HB5122 Increase number of judgeships in the sixth circuit court;
HB5123 Modify number of judgeships in the seventeenth circuit and the fifth district, and consolidate certain district court districts;
HB5124 Consolidate certain circuit and district courts, and reduce the number of certain judgeships under certain circumstances;
HB5125 Authorize consolidation of certain district court districts under certain circumstances and modify the number of judges;
SB535 Create methamphetamine offenders registry, and require offenders to obtain a prescription to purchase ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products for a period of 10 years;
SB563 Enact sentencing guidelines for crime of purchasing or possessing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine knowing that it will be combined with any other quantity of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine for the purpose of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture methamphetamine;
SB564 Establish as a crime the purchase of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine for another individual who intends to manufacture methamphetamines;
SB756 Prohibit selling or furnishing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine without a prescription to individual previously convicted of methamphetamine-related offense under certain circumstances;
And any other business properly before the committee.

2/12 House Appropriations, 9:00 AM, Capitol Room 352
Agenda Items of Interest:
SB 557 Allow certain state funds to be used to provide mental health services;
SB 558 Establish program to divert persons with serious mental illness from justice system to treatment.
SBM Position on SB 558: Support.
Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee Position on SB 558: Support.
Prisons & Corrections Section Position on SB 557 & SB 558: Support.

2/12 House Criminal Justice, 10:30 AM, House Office Building Room 327
HB 5234 Modify human trafficking provisions;
HB 5235 Amend sentencing guidelines for human trafficking crimes to reflect changes in human trafficking laws;
HB 5236 Amend criminal forfeiture provisions in the revised judicature act of 1961 to reflect changes in human trafficking law;
HB 4346 Establish intentionally discharging a firearm at a dwelling or an occupied structure as first degree murder;
SB 582 Increase penalties for intentionally discharging a firearm from vehicle or at a dwelling or a potentially occupied structure under certain circumstances;
SB 583 Enact sentencing guidelines for increased penalties for crime of intentionally discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle or at a dwelling or potentially occupied structure.

2/13 Senate Appropriations: Corrections Department, 9:00 AM, Capitol Senate Appropriations Room

2/13 Michigan Law Revision Commission, 12:00 PM, Capitol Rooms 402 & 403

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislative Action Last Week:
Summary of legislative action on all bills that the State Bar or sections of the State Bar have taken positions.

HB 4570 (Postponement of Jury Service for Students) passed the Senate, 38-0 on February 4.
SBM Position: Support.
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Support.
Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee Position: Support.

SB 0475 (Trampoline Court Safety Act) passed the House, 57-53 with substitute H-2 on February 4 and was enrolled in the Senate on February 5.
Negligence Law Section Position: Oppose.

SB 0319 (Juvenile Parole) passed the House, 62-48 with substitute H-3 on February 4.
Criminal Law Section Position: Support and Amend.
Prisons & Corrections Section Position: Support and Amend.

HB 4486 (Involuntary Substance Abuse Treatment0 advanced to the third reading in the House on February 5.

SB 31 and SB 32 (Insurable Interest) were presented to the Governor on February 5.
Probate & Estate Planning Section Position on SB 31 and SB 32: Support.

HB 4534 (Animal Abuse Registry) was reported out of House Judiciary with substitute H-7 on February 6.
Animal Law Section Position: Support.

HB 5061 (Animal Shelter Denial of Adoption) was reported out of House Judiciary with substitute H-1 on February 6.
Animal Law Section Position: Support.

HB 5062 (Animal Shelter Access to Criminal History Records) was reported out of House Judiciary with substitute H-1 on February 6.
Animal Law Section Position: Support.

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
"Court News Michigan" added to Supreme Court communications offerings; subscribe for free to round-up of Michigan court news

At the Bar
Advisory: SBM Opposes Voluntary Bar Legislation

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