Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
October 19–25, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 43

FOCUS: Sales Tax on Legal Services
As reported last week, Rep. Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing) formally introduced a package of bills that would include lowering the sales and use tax to 5% and extending the rate to services with an exemption for business to business; educational; non-profit; and physician services. The revenue generated would be dedicated to the School Aid Fund, revenue sharing, repealing the Michigan Business Tax Surcharge, with any remaining funds going to the General Fund after the Comprehensive Transportation Fund and the Michigan Health Initiatives.
Please see:
HJR KK Sales tax; rate; lower sales and use tax rate and apply sales tax to services; amend constitution to provide for.
HB 5527 Sales tax; other; sales tax on services; implement.
HB 5528 Use tax; other; application of use tax to certain services; provide for.
HB 5529 Repeals the Michigan Business Tax surcharge. Amend 2007 PA 36 by repealing section 281 (MCL 208.1281).

Care to Comment?

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 10/26
10/27 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Discussion with Governor Granholm regarding the relocation of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Standish, Michigan. SB 713 Enact sentencing guidelines for gang recruitment and retaliation violations; SB 850 Adjust requirements for adding circuit judgeships; SB 851 Adjust number of circuit judgeships; SB 882 Revise statute of limitations and repose for actions against architects, engineers, surveyors, and construction contractors.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 10/20–10/22
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HJR KK Sales tax; rate; lower sales and use tax rate and apply sales tax to services; amend constitution to provide for. Amends secs. 8, 10 & 11, art. IX of the state constitution.

HB 5527 Sales tax; other; sales tax on services; implement. Amends secs. 1, 2, 4, 4a, 4d, 4h, 4j, 4q, 4t, 4u, 4w, 5b, 6, 10, 16a, 19, 23 & 25 of 1933 PA 167 (MCL 205.51 et seq.) & adds sec. 4c.

HB 5528 Use tax; other; application of use tax to certain services; provide for. Amends secs. 4 & 20 of 1937 PA 94 (MCL 205.94 & 205.110) & adds secs. 3g & 4b.

HB 5538 Criminal procedure; bail; additional fee when posting bail; impose, and direct revenue to indigent counsel defense. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1777.69) by adding sec. 10 to ch. V.

HB 5539 State financing and management; funds; indigent defense counsel fund; create, and provide for distribution of revenue. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding sec. 177.

Of General Interest
HB 5529 Michigan business tax; surcharge; surcharge tax; repeal. Repeals sec. 281 of 2007 PA 36 (MCL 208.1281).

In the Hall of Justice
Whether Parents Can Waive Children's Legal Claims at Issue in October 28 Oral Argument Before Michigan Supreme Court

Genesee County Child Support Project Receives Federal Grant

The Michigan Supreme Court has a Public Administrative Conference scheduled for Thursday, November 5, following oral arguments.

At the Bar
Casemaker 2.1—Your Newest Legal Research Service

Tips & Tools Seminar

FOCUS: The Executive Committee met on October 13, 2009 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following Public Policy positions by a unanimous vote.

2005-13—Proposal to Establish and Require Compliance with Court Collections Program and Reporting Requirements
On order of the Court, this is to advise that the Court is considering adoption of an administrative order that would require the State Court Administrator to establish court collections program and reporting requirements and that would require courts to comply with those requirements.
SBM Position: Support

2008-09—Proposed Amendment of Rules 3.210 and 3.211 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal, submitted by the Michigan Judges Association, is intended to clarify and simplify the procedures courts use to grant judgments in domestic relations cases.
SBM Position: Oppose

2009-07—Proposed Amendments of Rules 7.105, 7.204, 7.205, and 7.302 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments would create a prison mailbox rule, which would allow a claim of appeal or application for leave to appeal to be deemed filed when a prison inmate acting pro se places the legal documents in the prison's outgoing mail. The proposed rule would apply to appeals from administrative agencies, appeals from circuit court (both claims of appeal and applications for leave to appeal), and appeals from decisions of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court, and would apply prospectively.
SBM Position: Authorize the Criminal Issue Initiative to advocate its position

2009-14—Proposed Amendment of Rules 7.101 and 7.105 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would clarify that briefs filed in cases that involve an appeal to a circuit court from a district court or an appeal of a decision by a state administrative agency, board, or commission may not exceed 50 pages in length, similar to the length restriction for briefs filed in the Court of Appeals.
SBM Position: Support

Sections and Committees
The Probate and Estate Planning Section submitted Public Policy reports on the following bills:

Support: HB 5009 Probate; trusts; personal property trust perpetuities act; limit application to certain property. Amends sec. 4 of 2008 PA 148 (MCL 554.94).

Support: HB 5010 Probate; trusts; uniform statutory rule against perpetuities; revise to reflect limitation of the personal property trust perpetuities act to certain property. Amends sec. 5 of 1988 PA 418 (MCL 554.75).

Support and Amend: SB 0885 Probate; wills and estates; final disposition of decedent remains; require that directions left by a decedent be followed. Amends 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.1101700.8102) by adding sec. 3210.

State News
Rank-and-file Lawmakers Felt They Had Little Voice on Budget
(Lansing State Journal, 10/25/09)
See Related:
Granholm Slashes School Fund by $212 Million
(Detroit News, 10/23/09)
Senate Sends Bills to Governor with a No-Veto Warning
(Lansing State Journal, 10/21/09)
Granholm Vetoes Some K-12 Funds
(Lansing State Journal, 10/20/09)

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