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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2012 House Bill 5804: Establish statewide indigent criminal defense standards
  1. Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on August 15, 2012, to create a commission to establish statewide standards and accountability measures for court-appointed attorneys who represent indigent criminal defendants, and create a new state office to implement and enforce these. Local governments would be responsible for funding this at current levels (“maintenance of effort”), with some additional spending required by new standards covered by the state, unless local spending was below minimum levels the commission would determine.
    • Referred to the House Judiciary Committee on August 15, 2012.
      • Reported in the House on September 20, 2012, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on November 8, 2012. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on November 8, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Kenneth Horn (R) on November 8, 2012, to prohibit a local government from paying for any increased spending required by the bill by reducing the budget of its prosecuting attorney. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on November 8, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Kenneth Horn (R) on November 8, 2012, to require the state to pay a local government's prosecuting attorney office the same amount it pays to bring the local's spending on indigent defense up to the minimum level determined by the commission. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on November 8, 2012.
  2. Passed 71 to 36 in the House on November 8, 2012, to create a commission to establish statewide standards and accountability measures for court-appointed attorneys who represent indigent criminal defendants, and a new state office to implement and enforce these. Local governments would be responsible for funding this at current levels (“maintenance of effort”), with the state paying for any additional spending required by new standards, unless the local spending is below minimum levels to be determined by the proposed commission.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on November 27, 2012.
    • Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 27, 2012.

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