LANSING, Mich., May 9, 2024 — State Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement after the final passage of House Bills 5534, which requires the State Court Administrative Office to determine a stable, just system of funding local trial courts:

“There is a real or perceived conflict of interest between a judge’s impartiality and the obligation to use the courts to generate operating revenue. Historically, there have been subtle or even overt suggestions that more speeding tickets and other fines should be issued in order to plug holes in local governments’ budgets. Those suggestions need to remain in the past, as our current court funding model results in unequal access to justice, and harms those who are the most vulnerable and have the least access to financial resources. Michigan is now poised to comply with the multiple Supreme Court decisions issued on court funding.

“We have overcome several barriers to send this legislation to the governor — most of them were artificial and politically motivated. I’m proud to have played a part in creating a real solution for trial court funding. My priority is serving the people of our state, and that’s going to continue, no matter who or what stands in my way.”