Snyder signs legislation to reform parole guidelines

Modernized parole guidelines will be codified under legislation signed Thursday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

“As we work to help ex-offenders successfully reenter society, it’s important that we have objective parole guidelines in place to enhance public safety,” Snyder said. “This legislation will allow Michigan to safely maintain its current successful approach to parole, under which the state’s recidivism rate has reached an all-time low.”

House Bill 5377, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, codifies the current practice of objective parole. The new law sets clearer guidelines to determine whether an incarcerated person who scores as low-risk to re-offend is ready to go home once they’ve reached their earliest release date. The bill defines a limited list of 11 substantial and compelling reasons that the state Parole Board may use when denying parole in a case where a high probability of parole exists. The bill, which was supported by a broad group of stakeholders from the ACLU to the Detroit and Grand Rapids Chambers of Commerce, is now Public Act 339 of 2018.

Snyder also signed two additional bills:

• HB 4679, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Lilly, codifies the current practice of the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies to provide a fiscal analysis for each bill scheduled for a hearing before committee. The analysis would have to include the summary of the bill, an estimate of potential impact or amount the bill would increase or decrease governmental revenues and expenditures, including any federal funding. It also must analyze the impact on taxpayers, and any other information the fiscal agency considers necessary, including potential local government financial impacts. The bill is now PA 340 of 2018.

• HB 5084, sponsored by state Rep. Steve Marino, updates current law to require an elected county road commissioner, before beginning their term, to deposit a bond with the county treasurer instead of the county auditor. The bill is now PA 341 of 2018.

For additional information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.

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