Thursday, November 21, 2013

Michigan Republicans make it harder to hold the State Government accountable to Citizens.

From the desk of Michigan 76th district Representative Winnie Brinks: 

Michigan Court of Claims. 

In case you blinked, legislation that would make it harder for citizens to hold their government accountable was pushed through the legislative process last week. The majority party in the House and Senate banded together to pass SB 652, which restructures the Court of Claims by transferring it from the 30th Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals.
During the debate, House Democrats outlined the substantial flaws and constitutional concerns with the bill. For these reasons, we offered up a total of 13 amendments to enact provisions that would create a more balanced judicial system in light of SB 652’s proposed changes. Unfortunately, all of the amendments were voted down.
The bill was rushed through in less than two weeks with only a few hours of testimony. The change of jurisdiction will end up costing Ingham County more than $500,000, which was not addressed in the bill. In the end, even though the editorial boards of many major Michigan newspapers expressed deep concern and caution, the governor still signed the bill. In his accompanying message, he acknowledged that there would need to be a trailer bill to fix the various legislative issues.


Ed Note: FYI, Winnie Brinks is the Michigan Representative whose district includes the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. 

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