michigan law http://michiganradio.org en Plan to overhaul public defense gets boost from state Court of Appeals http://michiganradio.org/post/plan-overhaul-public-defense-gets-boost-state-court-appeals <p>Lawmakers hoping to change the state’s public defense system say the plan is gaining momentum, thanks to a state Court of Appeals decision.</p><p>The court this week said a class action lawsuit against three Michigan counties can go forward. The suit says the counties failed to offer adequate legal counsel to people who could not afford lawyers.</p><p>State Representative Ellen Lipton is working on legislation to overhaul the state’s public defense system.</p><p>“This, I think, will actually focus the issue, not ‘this is a legislative priority,’ but now we’ve got a Court of Appeals decision saying, ‘this is now a priority for our courts.”</p><p>The state House passed similar legislation last year, but it stalled in the Senate. Lipton says she hopes new bills will be introduced this month. Thu, 04 Apr 2013 19:33:03 +0000 Jake Neher 12015 at http://michiganradio.org Plan to overhaul public defense gets boost from state Court of Appeals Commentary: Ballot insanity http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-ballot-insanity <p>There are two very different proposals this year that would dramatically change life in Michigan.&nbsp; Both have evidentially gotten way more than enough signatures to qualify to be on the November ballot. But opponents of both are fighting hard to prevent people from having a chance to vote on them.&nbsp; And what this ought to say to all of us is that our state constitution is fundamentally flawed.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 25 Jun 2012 15:08:40 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 8011 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Ballot insanity