Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
March 9–15, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 11

FOCUS: Omnibus Federal Appropriations Bill
On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2009. This legislation includes $390 million in funding for the Legal Services Corporation, a $40 million increase from the original FY 2009 level.
H.R. 1105 Omnibus Appropriations Act 2009

ABA Supports FY 2010 Funding for the Legal Services Corporation
On March 6, 2009, ABA President Wells sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget commending the President for allocating $435 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

See Related: Civil Legal Aid Saves Money, Creates Jobs, and Generates Revenue, Finds New Texas Study
Texas: New Study Shows Legal Aid Spending Saves Money
The Texas Access to Justice Commission sponsored an independent study showing that spending on civil legal services provides a 'sizeable stimulus to the Texas economy,' by creating increases in consumer spending, personal income and gross product output. View the full report: The Impact of Legal Aid Services on Economic Activity in Texas: An Analysis of Current Efforts and Expansion Potential.

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 3/16
3/17 House Appropriations: Corrections
Agenda: Testimony from Partners in Prevention; Michigan Association of Counties; Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund. HB 4130 Review/discussion of the FY 2009-2010 Executive Recommendation for the Department of Corrections.

3/17 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: FY 2009-2010 Judiciary Budget Subcommittee recommendations.

3/18 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4316 Rescind limitation on liability for drugs that have been approved by federal food and drug administration; HB 4317 Allow drug product liability cases previously prohibited because of FDA approval defense to be commenced within 3 years after repeal of the defense; HB 4318 Clarify liability for inaccurate representations concerning risks of certain drugs, medications, and supplements.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 3/10–3/12
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HJR P Courts; judges; supreme court justices; clarify circumstances requiring disqualification. Amends the state constitution by adding sec. 31 to art. VI.

HB 4571 Torts; medical malpractice; miscellaneous procedural provisions for medical malpractice actions; modify. Amends secs. 2169, 2912b, 2912d, 2912e & 5856 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2169 et seq.).

SB 0354 Insurance; no-fault; mini-tort recovery; increase cap. Amends sec. 3135 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3135).

Of General Interest
HB 4535 Children; abuse or neglect; conditions involving termination of parental rights; expand. Amends sec. 19b, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.19b).

HB 4538 Corrections; alternatives; special alternative incarceration program; delete sunset date. Amends sec. 34a of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.234a).

HB 4553 Economic development; other; Michigan corporate responsibility act; create. Creates new act.

HB 4555 Michigan business tax; other; offer-in-compromise program; provide for. Amends 1941 PA 122 (MCL 205.1205.31) by adding sec. 23a.

SB 0347 Elections; registration; electronic submission of voter registration application on secretary of state's website; allow. Amends sec. 509v of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.509v).

SB 0350 Civil procedure; foreclosure; amount required to redeem foreclosed property; allow certain registers of deeds to calculate. Amends sec. 3240 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.3240).

Additional Legislation of Interest Introduced 3/3–3/5
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 4492 Liens; other; special tools liens; provide for interest and attorney fees. Amends secs. 13 & 23 of 2002 PA 481 (MCL 570.553 & 570.563).

HB 4505 Probate; wills and estates; decisions regarding funeral, burial, or cremation; allow individual to designate a person to make decisions and require that the individual's instructions be followed. Amends secs. 3206, 3207, 3208, 3209 & 3614 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.3206 et seq.) & adds sec. 3210.

SB 0332 Property; other; affidavits to correct errors or omissions relating to previously recorded documents; allow. Amends 1915 PA 123 (MCL 565.451a565.453) by adding sec. 1d.

SB 0344 Liens; other; moldbuilders' liens; revise provisions regarding attachment of lien and prohibit waiver of lien rights in contract. Amends sec. 9 of 1981 PA 155 (MCL 445.619) & adds sec. 9a.

SB 0345 Liens; other; special tools liens; revise provisions regarding attachment of liens and prohibit waiver of lien rights in contract. Amends sec. 23 of 2002 PA 481 (MCL 570.563) & adds sec. 24.

In the Hall of Justice
Administrative Orders
Administrative Order No. 2009-3—File No. 2004-04
Adoption of Concurrent Jurisdiction Plan for the 53rd Circuit Court of Cheboygan and Presque Isle Counties and the Presque Isle County Probate Court
Issued: March 10, 2009
Effective: July 1, 2009

Proposed Amendments
2009-08—Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.936 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would eliminate the procedure by which a juvenile could ask for the return of fingerprints, and instead would require the destruction of fingerprints, which more closely follows the statutory authority in MCL 28.243.
Issued: March 10, 2009
Comment period expires: July 1, 2009
Public hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2009-01—Appointment of Chief Judge of the Genesee County Probate Court
Issued: March 10, 2009

At the Bar
Sections and Committees
The Family Law Section submitted an Amicus Brief in Hunter v. Hunter, Michigan Supreme Court Case No. 136310.

The Family Law Section submitted a Public Policy report on ADMN File No. 2008-35 Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.115 of the Michigan Court Rules (Cell Phone Usage in Court Facilities).

Federal News
Detroit Crime Cases to Require Retesting
(New York Times, 3/15/09)

Justices 5-4, Set Limit on Sweep of Voting Law
New York Times, 3/10/09)

State News
State Leaders May Get 10% Pay Cut
(Lansing State Journal, 3/10/09)

State Revenue Decline Worse Than Expected
(Lansing State Journal, 3/12/09)

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