LANSING, Mich., Feb. 10, 2022 — Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Senate Bill 694 as Public Act 8 of 2022 to maintain the current circuit court judgeship in Saginaw County, which had been previously scheduled to be eliminated. State Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) and state Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) sponsored the legislation at the request of Chief Judge Darnell Jackson.
“Losing a circuit court judgeship in a county as populous as Saginaw would have slowed proceedings and decreased our residents’ access to justice,” said O’Neal, D-Saginaw. “I’m very proud of the work that we did on behalf of our constituents. Those in our court system have the right to have their cases heard within a reasonable timeframe.”
PA 8 of 2022 is a judicial reorganization that would maintain the circuit court judgeships in Saginaw County. The bill would also add circuit court judge positions in Muskegon and Wayne counties, reorganize the 89th Judicial District in northern Michigan and allow Kent County to add a fifth probate judge.
“One of the most important jobs of the judiciary is ensuring swift and impartial justice,” said Horn. “This is a win for the people of Saginaw and a way to better serve and protect our community. This will guarantee access to an effective and efficient court system for all.”
“I first want to thank state Sen. Ken Horn and state Rep. Amos O’Neal for their efforts in making this all happen,” said Saginaw County Judge Darnell Jackson, who personally testified in Lansing to make the case for the judgeship. “When I approached them with my concerns about losing a judgeship in Saginaw County, they both pledged their support to save it. Had it not been for the two of them, this would not have occurred. They have served the citizens of Saginaw County well.”