Gov. gets 1st bill, would add back northern Michigan judge

    Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

    The Legislature on Thursday sent its first bill to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — a plan to restore the 95-A District Court in Menominee County.

    Whitmer and lawmakers have been in office for about two-and-a-half months. The Advance reported that more than 400 bills had been introduced in the first two months, including high-profile bills reforming auto insurance and the Freedom of Information Act.

    Sen. Ed McBroom | Michael Gerstein

    The Upper Peninsula court was eliminated in 2012 after a 2011 Judicial Resources Recommendation (JRR) report said 45 judgeships should be axed, according to a nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency analysis of the the proposal. The northern Michigan court was one of them.

    Senate Bill 87, sponsored by state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), reinstates a judge to that office. The bill flew through both chambers without opposition.

    Supporters say that although the court dissolved in 2012, there has been a “substantial increase” in the area’s caseload, the fiscal analysis said. They also expressed hope that the judge could help facilitate the creation of a new drug court for the area.

    No arguments against the legislation were presented in House committee hearings.

    In 2019, a state district court judge salary is $170,815. The analysis said the bill would have no impact on state or local coffers, however.

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