Representative Runestad Looks Forward to Challenge of House Judiciary Chair

Categories: Runestad Op-Ed

As we begin the 99th Legislature in the Michigan House of Representatives, I’m ready to continue working hard to find solutions to crucial issues important to families here in Oakland County. With that said, I am honored to have been appointed as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. This is where we review matters pertaining to our constitutional rights, civil liberties, privacy rights and due process for civil cases.

I can’t tell you how excited I am, because of any committee I could have possibly been appointed to chair, there’s none that come close to the passion I have for the Judiciary Committee. In one way or another, the legal system pertains to every citizen in the state of Michigan. We all have to deal with the laws, the courts, and the interpretations of the courts, which often impact families at their most vulnerable moments.

The way our system of government is structured, the nuts and bolts of issues are addressed during committee meetings. As a committee chair I will be on the frontline of policy and legislation, and I am thrilled about the meaningful impact our committee can have over the next two years.

During our first Judiciary Committee meetings we will have presentations about the court system so members of the committee understand the whole picture. Officials from the circuit court, the district court, the Supreme Court and the Judges Association will all be sharing information with the committee and bringing the members up to speed.

During my first term I made certain that careful consideration went into everything I did. I worked to educate myself and others before I worked on policy. That’s the way I operate, and that’s the way I expect our committee to operate. Before we consider a bill in committee I’m going to want to know whether the bill sponsors have done their homework: Have they talked to all of the stakeholders involved? Do they know who supports the bill, who opposes it and why? It’s critical to address that information before a bill is put up for a vote.

If anyone in our district has any thoughts or ideas they would like to share about the Judiciary Committee, or any other matters concerning state government, I encourage you to join me during my local coffee hours on the second Friday of each month from 8 to 9 a.m. at Leo’s Coney Island, 6845 Highland Road in White Lake; from 10 to 11 a.m. at Colasanti’s Market, 468 S. Milford Road in Highland; and from noon to 1 p.m. at Bakers of Milford, 2025 S. Milford Road in Milford. I will also hold a special office hour Monday, March 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Highland Township Library, 205 W. Livingston Road in Highland.

In addition, residents can schedule individual appointments on a Monday or Friday by calling my office at (517) 373-5864.