Duly Noted

Governor signs bills to address public safety,  human trafficking

Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation allowing DNA samples to be collected at the time of arrest for all felonies.

“Collecting DNA samples at the time of arrest has proved to be an important tool in solving serial rape, murder and cold cases across the country,” Snyder said. “Collecting samples will help identify suspects earlier in the investigation process, [and] reduce the chance of violent repeat offenders...”

Senate Bills 105 and 106, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and SB 107, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones (now Public Acts 457-459), expand the list of violent felonies for which DNA is currently collected to include all felonies. DNA samples will now be taken at the time of arrest from individuals who commit or attempt to commit any felony. Samples will only be sent for testing in cases where the individual is arraigned. The bills bring Michigan in line with the policies of 28 other states. 

The governor also signed other bills:

SB 325 (PA 460), also sponsored by Jones, gives courts the opportunity to prevent child abductions during child custody proceedings. It allows the court to order parents not to take a child without consent of the co-parent in cases where evidence indicates there is a substantial risk of abduction.

SB 596 (PA 461), sponsored by state Sen. David Robertson, creates the Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board, charged with making recommendations to the Legislature on the physical and mental health needs of human trafficking victims and to develop a human trafficking public awareness program. This builds on a package of bills signed last fall.
SB 1049 (PA 462), also sponsored by Schuitmaker, allows police officers to carry and administer opioid medications to people at risk of a narcotic overdose. In addition, police officers are exempt from criminal prosecution for administering the medications in good faith. The bill adds to last fall’s lifesaving legislation requiring EMS responders to be trained in the use of opioid medications.

HB 4186 (PA 463), sponsored by former state Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes, expands current rules for expunging a criminal record from offenders under the age of 21 to all offenders.
The bill allows people with up to one felony and two misdemeanor charges to petition to clear their records five years after the completion of their sentence. The decision to ultimately expunge a criminal record remains with the courts.

HBs 5928 and 5929 (PAs 465 and 466), sponsored by former state Rep. Joe Haveman, create the Criminal Justice Policy Commission, which will be responsible for reviewing current sentencing guidelines, exploring alternatives to incarceration, promoting rehabilitation programs and making recommendations to the Legislature. The bills create court consistency across the state.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.