Daily Briefs

State high court names two to Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum
The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed two federal members to the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Jeff J. Davis will serve a term ending July 1, 2016. The Hon. Timothy P. Greeley will serve a term ending July 1, 2017.

Heise invites mother of Kelsey Smith to testify
 State Rep. Kurt Heise and the House Criminal Justice Committee today heard testimony from Missy Smith, the mother of Kelsey Smith, on the importance of allowing police to use a person’s cell phone location in certain emergency situations.

House Bill 4006, sponsored by Heise, requires wireless telecommunication providers to disclose a user’s location to police in emergency situations where there is a serious risk of death or bodily harm.

“The story of Kelsey Smith is a tragic one,” said Heise, chair of the committee. “We must do everything we can to make sure every Michigan resident is safe, which is possible if we put in place procedures that allow police to respond quickly to save those who are in need of protection.”

Missy Smith gave testimony about the horrific story of her daughter’s 2007 death, where Kelsey was kidnapped, raped, sodomized and murdered. During her testimony, she stressed the importance of allowing police to access cell phone locations, noting that if the police had access to Kelsey’s cell phone location she may still be alive today.

“In emergency situations, every minute matters,” said Heise, R-Plymouth Township. “We have a duty to make sure that stories like Kelsey’s never happen again. Kelsey’s Law gives our police officers the necessary tools to respond quickly, which can be the difference between life and death.”

Heise also said that in order to protect an individual’s privacy and to combat abuse, the bill requires an officer to seek a court order to continue using or requesting pings after 48 hours.
HB 4006 unanimously passed the committee and now heads to the House floor.

State Senate approves changing presidential primary date: March 8

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Changing course from last week, Michigan's Senate and House have approved a March 8 date for the 2016 presidential primary.

The Senate voted 37-1 to approve two bills Thursday after the majority Republicans in the House changed the legislation from a March 15 date.

House Elections Committee Chairwoman Lisa Posthumus Lyons says she was concerned that a March 15 date might present a conflict with the date when rural residents appeal their property tax assessments with local review boards. Officials in some smaller townships had expressed logistical concerns.

The March 15 date was preferred in the original version of the legislation because it had been endorsed by the state Republican Party.

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