© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Selected stories from the WKAR NewsRoom in your morning email. SUBSCRIBE HERE

Public Defense Bill Stalled in Committee

court justice southerfried morgueFile.jpg

The state Attorney General has stalled a plan to overhaul Michigan’s public defense system. As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, supporters were hoping the bill would pass in a committee hearing Thursday morning.

Almost everyone agrees Michigan needs to improve its system for providing defense attorneys to those who can’t afford one. The state is consistently ranked as one of the worst in the country.

But Bill Schuette’s legislative relations director Alan Cropsey came to the hearing with a long list of concerns about the bill. He says it would open the state to lawsuits, and doesn’t provide enough oversight. Cropsey’s testimony ate up a big chunk of the hearing, which was forced to adjourn without a vote.

Republican Representative John Walsh chairs the House Judiciary Committee. He scolded Cropsey and the Attorney General for not bringing their criticisms forward sooner.                      

“Your card indicates neutrality," he said. "There was nothing in your presentation that would indicate neutrality.”

Supporters of the bill hope to have another hearing this month.

Related Content
News from WKAR will never be behind a paywall. Ever. We need your help to keep our coverage free for everyone. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. You can support our journalism for as little as $5. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.