LANSING — Sponsored by state Reps. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield) and Julie Calley (R-Portland), House Bills 5117 and 5118 were passed unanimously by the Michigan House of Representatives yesterday to reestablish the legislative intent of the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA) by making technical fixes to remove unintended, procedural obstacles.

“A simple error has served as a roadblock with major consequences for the people of our state for far too long,” said Bolden. “Through this bipartisan fix, we are fighting to right this wrong in order to put the WICA back on track to serve its intended purpose: offering rightful compensation and justice to those who have been wronged by our state’s actions. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate and across the aisle to ensure this important legislation makes it to Gov. Whitmer for her signature.”

House Bill 5117, sponsored by Bolden, exempts claims filed under WICA from provisions required by the Court of Claims that create procedural roadblocks in implementation, in order to reestablish the original intent of the Act. Calley’s House Bill 5118 would effectively restart the clock for individuals released prior to WICA’s effective date of March 29, 2017, by allowing the 18-month window for filing claims to begin from the effective date of HB 5118.

Both bills were referred to the Michigan Senate for further consideration.