New law reforms indigent defense systemA new law will improve Michigan's public defense system and fulfill our constitutional duty to provide adequate legal defense to individuals who can't afford an attorney to represent them in criminal defense cases.
Under the law, a special commission will be created to set statewide standards for indigent defense services that all counties must meet. The state will fund any additional costs imposed on the county court system. The commission will also develop criteria for someone claiming indigence so those truly in need of a public defender will have access to one.
Prior to the new law, some groups believed that Michigan counties were not providing adequate indigent legal counsel. The reforms help Michigan avoid a potentially costly federal lawsuit.
Robertson backs Amber Alert fundraisingSince 2001, the Michigan Amber Alert program has proven helpful in the recovery of more than 300 missing or endangered children.
I recently supported a new law to create a voluntary check-off box on state income tax returns and allow taxpayers to donate funds to the Amber Alert program. The special fund will ensure there is adequate funding to support this important service.
Fall turkey hunting around the corner!Applications for fall turkey hunting licenses are now on sale through Aug. 1. A total of 51,850 licenses are available - 5,150 general licenses that may be used on public or private land and 46,700 licenses for private land only.
Hunters may apply for a turkey hunting license at any authorized license agent, at DNR Operations Service Centers or online at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings. The application fee is $4. Drawing results will be posted online starting Aug. 15.
The fall turkey hunt season runs Sept. 15 - Nov. 14. For rules and information on this great outdoor sport, access the 2013 Fall Turkey Hunting Digest at www.michigan.gov/hunting.
Robertson: Save money by comparing insurance coverageThe 2013 guides to automobile and homeowners insurance offered by the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) are now available.
The guides provide tips on how to reduce premiums as well as information on types of coverage and how various discounts and surcharges can affect a premium. A list of the most common discounts offered, including specific amounts offered by each company, is also included.
Worksheets are provided to use when comparing coverages along with a list of companies that offer a website for consumers to receive a quote online.
Find the guides at www.michigan.gov/difs under Consumers/Publications/Guides. Print copies are also available by calling DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442.
At your serviceAs always, I am here to serve you. Should you ever have any questions or need assistance in a state matter, please feel free to contact my office at (866) 305-2126 or by visiting my website www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. I'll gladly help.