Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
March 5–11, 2012
Volume 10 Issue 10

FOCUS: Governor Rick Snyder Presents Special Message on Public Safety
In a news conference at Flint on March 7, Governor Snyder offered several initiatives to increase public safety through "a system of smart justice." Highlights included $2.1 million for mental health courts and the creation of a ninth court in Saginaw; $1.25 million to create a drug court initiative in Genesee, Wayne, Oakland, and Saginaw counties; and an update on the ongoing meetings of the Indigent Defense Advisory Commission.
Press Release: Governor Says 'Smart Justice' is Key to Safe Communities, Economic Growth
Governor Snyder Speech
Snyder Wants 180 More Troopers as Part of Crime-Fighting Plan
(Detroit News, 3/7/12)
See also:
Gov. Rick Snyder Proposes More State Police in Flint, Detroit, Pontiac, Saginaw
(, 3/7/12)
Snyder Calls for More Cops, Techs to Fight Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Saginaw Crime
(Detroit Free Press, 3/7/12)
Snyder Has Wide-Ranging Plan to Improve Safety
(Lansing State Journal, 3/7/12)

FOCUS: Martel v. Clair U.S. Supreme Court Opinion
On March 5, in Martel v. Clair, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that the same "interests of justice" standards in non-capital cases applied when replacing appointed counsel in capital cases.
SBM Blog: How To Be Both Charming and Scathing

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 3/12
* Please note that the House Judiciary Committee typically meets on Thursday at 10:30 but at the time of publication had not yet posted a hearing notice. Check the Complete Committee Meeting List for updates.

3/13 House Appropriations: General Government
Agenda: Presentations on FY 2013 Executive Budget: Legislative Auditor General; Department of State; Civil Service Commission.

3/13 House Families, Children, and Seniors
Agenda: SB 466 Provide for senior medical alert program; Testimony Only: SB 455 Revise sentencing guidelines for certain fraud violations; SB 459 Increase crime of obtaining signature by fraud and penalties for financial exploitation of vulnerable adults under certain circumstances; SB 465 Revise sentencing guidelines for crime of financial exploitation of vulnerable adult to reflect increased penalties.
Elder Law & Disability Rights Section Position on SB 455, SB 459, and SB 465: Support
Elder Law & Disability Rights Section Position on SB 466: Support

3/13 House Appropriations: Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation by the Honorable Robert P. Young, Jr., Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

3/13 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4393 Exempt certain minors presenting themselves for treatment from underage drinking violation under certain circumstances; SB 974 Restrict authorization to medical marihuana in certain places; And any other business properly before the committee.

3/13 House Appropriations: Corrections
MDOC presentation on Field Operations Administration and related budget proposals.

3/14 Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing
Agenda: HB 4601 Enact limits of liability of successor corporation for asbestos claims; And any other business properly before the committee.
Negligence Law Section Position on HB 4601: Oppose

3/15 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation on the FY 2012-13 Judiciary budget from Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. Michigan Supreme Court and Chief Judge William B. Murphy, Michigan Court of Appeals.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 3/6–3/8
View all bills introduced 3/6-3-8
Of Interest to the Legal Community
SB 1005 Juveniles; other; certain child development training for lawyer-guardian ad litem; require, and modify termination of parental rights provisions. Amends secs. 17d & 19b, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.17d & 712A.19b).

In the Hall of Justice
Teachers, High School Students Can Experience 'Moot Court' Through Supreme Court Learning Center Summer Programs

Proposed Amendments
2010-20—Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.302 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposed amendment of MCR 6.302 would reinsert a requirement that a court advise a defendant who pleads guilty that the defendant's maximum possible prison sentence may be longer than the maximum possible prison sentence for a particular offense if the defendant falls within the parameters of the habitual offender statute (MCL 769.13). The statute allows a prosecutor to notify the defendant that the prosecutor intends to seek an enhanced sentence after the defendant pleads guilty. Thus, the sentence range given by the court may not take into account any sentence enhancement at the plea hearing.
Issued: March 7, 2012
Action: Declined to adopt and file closed.

At the Bar
Applications for State Bar Committee Service Due May 11

State Bar Seeks Law Firm Applications for Pro Bono Circle of Excellence by March 31

New Albanian American Bar Association Formed

Federal News
Justice Dept. Blocks Texas Law Requiring Photo ID at Polls
(New York Times, 3/12/12)

Appeal of Death Row Case Is More Than a Matter of Guilt or Innocence
(New York Times, 3/10/12)

State News
Judgment Day for Michigan's Juvenile Lifers: The U.S. Supreme Court Considers Banning Life Without Parole for Minors
(, 3/12/12)
See also:
Special Report: What's at Stake for Michigan's Juvenile Lifers as U.S. Supreme Court Tackles Life Without Parole
(, 3/11/12)
MLive Media Group Awarded by State Bar of Michigan for Juvenile Lifer Series
(, 3/10/12)

WSU Professor Launches Petition to Require Corporations to Disclose Political Spending
(Detroit Free Press, 3/8/12)

Freshmen Legislators and Lobbyists: A Match Made with Money
(, 3/7/12)
See also:
Report: As Michigan Economy Floundered, Spending by Michigan Lobbyists Soared 86%
(Detroit Free Press, 3/6/12)

Michigan Debuts Toll-Free Child Abuse Call-in Plan
(Lansing State Journal, 3/5/12)

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