Marquette County celebrates passage of bi-partisan bill

Bi-partisan legislation will make Marquette County courts more efficient.

Today, House Representative Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) celebrated the passage of House Bill 4656 in Marquette County. The bill will add a 25th Judicial Circuit Court judge on January 1, 2023. This comes after the judge seat was removed in 2017 due to budget cuts.

“To have our colleagues, which are the majority of the legislators in the state, agree with us, that was a big win,” said Cambensy. “It meant that, even though we’re only three percent of the population up here, we still matter.”

She added that bi-partisan effort was key.

“I couldn’t get this done without Senator McBroom or Senator Schmidt. To have my senators back me like that, that’s why it got done.”

Marquette courts see 25% percent of the court cases in the Upper Peninsula. Cases are back-logged due to COVID–19 and an increase in overall criminal cases.

“When the number of judges was changed from two to one, case numbers were at a certain place, and now they’re just significantly higher,” said Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi. “We’ll definitely be more successful in processing the cases now that we have this seat back.”

Senators Ed McBroom (R-Waucedah) and Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) were in attendance, as well as numerous representatives of Marquette County law offices.

The new judge will be chosen by election, because the position is new. Their start date will be January 1, 2023.