Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
February 4-10, 2013
Volume 11 Issue 6

FOCUS: Gov. Rick Snyder 2014 Budget Unveiled
Before a joint session of House/Senate Appropriations, Governor Snyder introduced his budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Although the governor's proposal to increase the gas tax $1.2 billion for road repair received the most attention in the media, the governor's proposal also included increased funding for Michigan's courts. The governor proposed that $4 million be budgeted to a new Trial Court Performance Innovations Fund for the adoption and improvement of performance measures and to provide funding for grants for innovative proposals to improve the trial courts. In addition, the governor called for increased funding to mental health courts and drug and alcohol treatment courts. You can read the full summary of the budget proposal here: Governor Snyder's Budget Proposal.

Budget: Snyder Wants to Raise Gas Tax, Expand Medicaid
(Lansing State Journal, 2/7/13)
Gov. Snyder's Budget Calls for Fuel Tax, Vehicle Registration Increases to Fix Roads
(Detroit Free Press, 2/7/13)
Snyder Budget Calls for Higher Gas Tax, Vehicle Fee, More for Education
(Detroit News, 2/7/13)

House Republicans Action Plan for Hard-Working Michigan Taxpayers
On January 30, the House of Representatives Republican caucus unveiled their action plan for Michigan's future. In their plan the House Republicans state that they will "explore ways to reduce these [corrections] costs and help reformed prisoners successfully reintegrate into society." The House Republican plan calls for reviewing sentencing guidelines and studying "diversionary programs, 'truth in sentencing' percentages and disciplinary credits whereby an inmate can earn time off of his or her sentence through good behavior and engaging in training and educational programs." You can read the full House Republican Action Plan here: Action Plan.

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 2/11
2/12 Senate Transportation
Agenda Item of Interest: SB 169 Authorize autonomous driving under certain circumstances.

2/12 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 134 Revise certain reference to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct to reflect changes in substantive law; SB 135 Revise age of consent for sexual contact between school employee and student; And any other business properly before the committee.

2/12 House Appropriations: Corrections, Joint Meeting with Senate Appropriations: Corrections Department
Agenda: Presentation by the Auditor General on Audit Reports.

2/13 House Criminal Justice
Agenda: Presentation given by the State Bar of Michigan;
HB 4093 Maintain alcohol content for individuals operating a vehicle under the influence of alcoholic liquor at 0.08 without reversion to 0.10;
HB 4131 Maintain alcohol content for individuals operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcoholic liquor in the code of criminal procedure at 0.08 without reversion to 0.10;
HB 4127 Allow GPS bail monitoring of certain offenders.

2/13 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary
Agenda: Senate Fiscal Agency presents an Overview of the Governor's Budget Recommendation.

2/14 House Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation by the State Court Administrative Office;
HB 4054 Modify definition of eligible domestic relations order;
HB 4123 Provide protection from liability of personal injury or property damage caused by propane gas equipment or appliances;
HB 4064 Allow digital court records and electronically filing court papers.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 2/5–2/7
View all bills introduced 2/5-2/7
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4186 Criminal procedure; expunction; record expunction for certain offenders; expand, and provide for under certain circumstances. Amends secs. 1, 3 & 4 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.621 et seq.).

HB 4189 Corrections; parole; procedures for objection by judge of parole for prisoner; revise. Amends sec. 34 of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.234).

HB 4206 Criminal procedure; youthful trainees; eligibility criteria for youthful trainee program; modify. Amends sec. 11, ch. II of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 762.11).

SB 0144 Mental health; guardians; guardianship petitions for developmentally disabled minors; allow the court to schedule certain hearings before the minor turns 18 years of age. Amends secs. 609, 614 & 618 of 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1609 et seq.).

SB 0169 Traffic control; traffic regulation; autonomous driving; authorize under certain circumstances. Amends title, division heading & sec. 244 of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.244) & adds secs. 2b, 663, 664, 665, 666 & 817.

SB 0170 Criminal procedure; youthful trainees; eligibility criteria for youthful trainee program; modify. Amends sec. 11, ch. II of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 762.11).

Of General Interest
HB 4177 Crimes; homicide; reference to vulnerable adult abuse in first degree murder statute; revise. Amends sec. 316 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.316).

HB 4180 Public employees and officers; compensation and benefits; salary for governor's appointees; restrict to a civil service pay range. Creates new act.

HB 4199 Children; protection; mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse or child neglect; expand to include coaches and school volunteers. Amends sec. 3 of 1975 PA 238 (MCL 722.623).

HB 4209 Crimes; penalties; crime of soliciting sex act from a minor who is at least 16 years of age; increase penalties. Amends secs. 448 & 451 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.448 & 750.451).

HB 4210 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for crime of soliciting a minor 16 years of age or older to commit prostitution; amend to reflect increased penalty. Amends sec. 16w, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16w).

SB 0153 Family law; marriage and divorce; employee designated by county clerk to solemnize marriage in a county having more than 1,500,000 inhabitants; allow. Amends sec. 7 of 1846 RS 83 (MCL 551.7).

SB 0162 Courts; jurisdiction; jurisdiction for prosecution of felony offenses; expand to include county where consequence intended to have effect. Amends sec. 8, ch. II of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 762.8).

SB 0168 Public employees and officers; ethics; financial disclosure report; require certain candidates for elective office and state and local officials to file. Creates new act.

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2012-12—Amendment of Rule 3.925 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 3.925 clarify the rules and procedures for retention and destruction of various records in juvenile cases.
Issued: February 6, 2013
Effective: May 1, 2013

2012-13—Amendment of Rule 3.976 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 3.976 requires a court to indicate on the record the reason that no petition for termination of parental rights need be filed, thus providing a record to future auditors who review the state's foster care program that the court explicitly chose the option.
Issued: February 6, 2013
Effective: May 1, 2013

2012-20—Amendment of Rule 3.616 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 3.616 provide that the files of adult foster care youth are confidential, but may be accessed by the youth and by DHS. The amendment eliminates the requirement that the petition and order be served on the previous court in which the youth's child protection case was disposed because the case is no longer active. This order also corrects numbering of subsection (F)(2)(i)-(iv) so that the subsections are labeled with letters (a)-(c).
Issued: February 6, 2013
Effective: May 1, 2013

Proposed Amendments
2012-36—Proposed Administrative Order No. 2013-X
The proposed administrative order would establish procedures for courts that are required to or choose to implement a business court.
Issued: February 6, 2013
Comment period expiration: May 1, 2013

2012-36—Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.112 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed rule amendments of MCR 2.112 would provide a means to identify business court cases and the placement of those matters on the business court docket.
Issued: February 6, 2013
Comment period expiration: May 1, 2013

At the Bar
The January 2013 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is now available online.

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