Midland Daily News — Glenn testifies on plans to clarify state law in House committee

Victoria Ritter | vritter@mdn.net | June 5, 2020

Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, testified before the House Judiciary Committee this week on two separate measures she introduced to clarify state law to better serve the people of Michigan.

The first, House Bill 5153, would ensure further protection of Michigan children by updating the definition of the word “neglect” in state law to ensure children who are threatened with harm are protected as necessary. Several instances where necessary court intervention was not possible for children due to inconsistencies in state law were brought to Glenn’s attention and sparked this legislation.

“This simple update clarifies current law and brings the definition of ‘neglect’ in one statute in line with other parts of the law,” Glenn stated in a news release. “Aligning these definitions might seem simple but it will make a difference in the lives of so many children by ensuring their safety and protection.”

The second measure Glenn testified in support of is part of a larger plan that re-examines the penalties for low-level crimes in Michigan. Glenn said reclassifying certain misdemeanors as civil infractions would establish better, more proportional penalties that make sense based on the offense in question.

Specifically, Glenn’s legislation addresses violations involving the misuse of vehicles registered as farm vehicles. Currently, these violations are misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $100 fine, and it is required to appear in court. Under Glenn’s proposal, the violations would become civil infractions punishable by a fine of up to $150, and a court appearance would not be required.

“This simple change would protect our hard-working farmers from receiving a misdemeanor for this low-level offense while saving court time and therefore tax dollars,” Glenn stated. “It’s really a win-win for all Michiganders.”

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