#TBT: Judging a committee by its accomplishments

Categories: Blog Features,In Case You Missed It,Initiatives,Reinventing MI

TBT-JudiciaryIn similar fashion to last week’s #ThrowbackThursday, we are again focusing on the achievements of another House committee – the House Judiciary Committee.

Chaired by Rep. Kevin Cotter, the House Judiciary Committee discusses and passes bills that, on the surface seem nuanced and confusing, but have a huge impact on Michigan laws and an everyday influence on many of our lives.

Since the beginning of the 2013-14 legislative session, the committee has discussed and passed the following legislation:

  • Firearms records bill, a six-bill package to increase privacy protections for gun owners. The package of bills creates a uniform law enforcement procedure, guarantees accountability and brings firearms records within the protection of the Fourth Amendment.
  • Breastfeeding bills to protect nursing mothers, helping them feel as comfortable as possible when feeding their child in a public place. Other measures ensure moms who are breastfeeding in public cannot be charged with indecent exposure or disorderly conduct for an act seen as natural and beneficial to many.
  • Mental health court bills established statewide mental health courts, ensuring that those with mental disabilities will no longer go untreated while incarcerated, thus reducing recidivism rates.
  • Opioid antagonist bills allow family, friends and first responders to administer a life-saving drug to recovering addicts during an accidental overdose. Other bills in the package enable family members to have medication prescribed to them – rather than the recovering addict – as well as shield these people from civil lawsuits and criminal liability when acting in good faith.
  • Animal abuse legislation to help create a registry for offenders of Michigan’s animal cruelty laws and prevent individuals on that registry from adopting animals from animal shelters.
  • Making the court system more efficient by allowing for more judicial resources recommendations, reforms to Michigan’s preliminary examination process and a new digital records retention method which allows court documents to be created and maintained electronically. The legislation also allows documents to be signed electronically.
In the Legislature, we strive for improving lives and making Michigan a safer place, and we have been able to accomplish both thanks in part to the legislation we have passed in the House Judiciary Committee.

— State Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant

The House Judiciary Committee has passed many bills out of committee and has many more it is considering as we head towards the end of the legislative year – all with the goal of ensuring Michigan’s families feel safe and its courts can operate efficiently.

In the past year, the Judiciary Committee has passed numerous bills that help ensure a better, brighter future for Michiganians. To learn more about the bills currently before it, check out House Judiciary Committee’s page.