Charlevoix County’s Michigan State legislators recently voted on a number bills, including restrictions on phone-in voting, an increase in the penalties for assaulting court and municipal employees, extending court cost levies, and expanding the scope of MSHDA.
• House Bill 4184, Restrict local government “phone-in” voting: Passed 96 to 12 in the House
To restrict members of an elected public body casting a vote without being physically present. This would be allowed in one meeting per year per member, if the individual is absent for what other members deem to be good cause. It would also be allowed if a delay on a personnel or infrastructure issue could raise costs or liability.
105 Rep. Triston Cole R – Mancelona Y
• House Bill 4302, Increase penalty for assaulting court and municipal employees: Passed 93 to 14 in the House
To increase from 10 to 15 years in prison the maximum penalty for an assault on a local government employee or officer that causes a serious injury.
The bill was introduced after two Berrien County bailiffs were killed by handcuffed defendant who grabbed a deputy’s gun while being escorted to court.
• House Bill 4612, Extend expansive court cost levies: Passed 85 to 23 in the House
To extend until October 2020 a 2014 law that expanded the costs that can be imposed on an individual convicted in a criminal case so they also include some of the routine costs of operating a court. See also House Bill 4613 (next vote), which addresses the legality of these impositions.
• House Bill 4613, Investigate restricting expansive court cost levies: Passed 103 to 5 in the House
To create a state commission to recommend changes to trial court funding in light of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that questioned charging defendants for costs that are unrelated to their case and instead cover routine court and municipal operations.
• House Bill 4580, Expand scope of MSHDA lending: Passed 103 to 4 in the House
To expand the scope of a state government housing development authority by allowing it to also participate in residential loan refinancing.
Y = Yes, N = No, X = Not Voting