April 11, 2011
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette marked his first 100 days in office by reviewing his office's accomplishments, particularly in the areas of public safety and public integrity. Schuette, who took office January 1st, has made the protection of public safety his number one priority. The Attorney General also pledges to defend the Constitution and make Michigan a place where job creators can thrive.
"Last fall, Michigan citizens sent a new team to Lansing to ensure state government is working for them and doing it in the most efficient way possible," said Schuette. "I am proud to say that with the help of the hard-working people of the Attorney General's office, we have hit the ground running and will continue to do so."
Schuette highlighted the following key issues:
· Fighting early release of dangerous criminals: Schuette has led the fight against the early release of dangerous criminals from state prisons. His office implemented a policy of supporting county prosecutors in court to fight decisions by the state parole board to release prisoners that are a threat to families.
· 41 Public Corruption Charges: Upon taking office, Schuette announced the creation of the Public Integrity Unit (PIU). The PIU is the result of a reorganization of existing office staff to place a greater emphasis on prosecuting public corruption. Since then, 41 criminal charges have been filed against individuals holding public positions, including state and local government officials.
· Obamacare: Attorney General Schuette's lawsuit against President Obama's health care law was upheld in the U.S. District Court in Florida, where a judge ruled that the so-called "individual mandate" portion of the law, which requires citizens to buy health insurance or face a fine, is unconstitutional. The case continues on a track toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
· Tightening The Medical Marijuana Law: Schuette has made it a priority to assist county prosecutors seeking to stop those committing criminal activity under a law that was meant to help those with debilitating diseases. This has included filing amicus briefs in court in cases involving driving a car after smoking marijuana and the legality of so-called marijuana dispensaries.
· Saving $60 Million On Healthcare: The Attorney General's office opposed a request by Blue Cross Blue Shield to raise health insurance rates on those who buy their own insurance, resulting in $60 million in savings after the proposed increase was slashed by up to 60%.
· Great Lakes Protection: With the support of Michigan sportsmen's groups and leading environmental organizations, Schuette renewed Michigan's lawsuit against the federal government seeking to protect the Great Lakes from an invasion of Asian carp. The AG's lawsuit calls for cutting the length of a study on separating the Mississippi River basin from the Great Lakes basin from five years to 18-months, and asking that shipping locks in Chicago canals be closed in the interim. Schuette also settled a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency that resulted in stricter regulations for ocean-going ships that dump water into the Great Lakes containing invasive species.
· Consumer Protection: The Attorney General's office continued its tradition of protecting Michigan consumers in many ways, including the creation of an online database where any citizen can research a charity before making a contribution with their hard-earned money. (www.michigan.gov/AGCharitySearch) Schuette also brought statewide attention to the "Grandparents Scam" currently being used to trick grandparents into wiring thousands of dollars to people who claim to be grandchildren in distress but are instead criminals looking to steal from our most vulnerable.