LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette praised the Michigan State Senate today for advancing bills that are key parts of his public safety initiative. The Senate passed the bills unanimously following testimony from the Attorney General’s team in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bills, aimed at keeping violent offenders behind bars, strengthening notification rights to crime victims, and increasing penalties involved in human trafficking now head to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.
“Public Safety is the first responsibility of government and this legislation helps protect Michigan citizens while strengthening the rights of crime victims and their families,” said Schuette. “I am pleased with the great work Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rick Jones and the rest of the Senate has done today to help protect the citizens of Michigan.”
The following bills now head to the State House where Schuette hopes to achieve the same level of bipartisan support:
· SB 1214, introduced by Senator Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek), allows the Attorney General to appeal a parole board release to ensure the public has an independent advocate guarding against the early release of potentially dangerous violent offenders.
· SB 1211, introduced by Senator Mike Green (R-Mayville), is a “Crime Victim’s Right to Know” measure that would: ensure crime victims are notified if a parolee absconds; notify crime victims when the Governor denies a commutation; require crime victims to be notified when the criminal dies in prison; and allow crime victims to show exhibits at parole hearings.
Schuette notes that the Michigan Constitution empowers crime victims to attend all court proceedings and make statements at sentencing hearings(Art. I, sec. 24).
· SB 1213, introduced by Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), and SB 1221 introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R- Antwerp Twp), are human trafficking bills that would increase the penalty for “johns” who solicit sex from a minor from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Attorney General Bill Schuette urges concerned citizens to contact their state representatives and voice their support for this important legislation.