Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.
Justice for Kids and Communities Package Passes Committee
Last week, the Justice for Kids and Communities (House Bills 4624 – 4643) package, which is based on the recommendations from the governor’s 2021 bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force, passed out of the House Criminal Justice Committee.
This legislation will transform Michigan’s juvenile justice system by bolstering community safety, reducing disparities and improving outcomes for kids and their families. More specifically, the bills will:
- Establish best practices and minimum funding for juvenile justice.
- Provide for appointed counsel for kids.
- Require a closer look at each child’s suitability for diversion programs by creating specific factors for courts to consider.
- Strengthen and expand the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman for handling, investigating and reporting incidents in juvenile detention facilities.
These changes are definite improvements and are much-needed to ensure that Michigan’s kids and their families have a constructive experience with juvenile justice.
Child Marriage Bills Signed by Gov. Whitmer
Gov. Whitmer recently signed the final bill in the package (House Bills 4293 – 4302) to ban child marriage in Michigan. Previously, Michigan law allowed 16- and 17-year-old children to marry with permission from a parent or guardian, and children younger than 16 could marry with both parental and judicial approval. The bills in this package set 18 as a minimum age for marriage with no exceptions. This was the third term that I have introduced these bills, and the fourth term that state Sen. Sarah Anthony has introduced these bills. We are happy to see an end to this human rights abuse.
Rep. Hope Attends Bill Signing for Trooper Starr Memorial Highway
Last week, I attended the ceremonial bill signing for my bill, House Bill 4689, naming part of U.S. 127 for Trooper Caleb Starr, who tragically died in 2020 in the line of duty after a drunk driver collided with his vehicle. I proudly sponsored this memorial highway bill, and I hope it serves as a token of our appreciation for Trooper Starr’s outstanding public service and sacrifice.
Ingham County Land Bank Receives Nearly $900,000 in Grant Awards
The Michigan State Land Bank Authority recently awarded the Ingham County Land Bank $870,000 for the demolition, renovation and stabilization of damaged properties in our area. I am excited to hear about this investment in our community; this funding is a step in the right direction in making our community a more attractive place to live and work.
Rep. Hope Takes Holt Students onto House Floor
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking a group of students from Holt onto the House floor. It was great seeing such bright, young students taking an interest in their state government.