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Governor Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills to Protect Public Safety


March 11, 2022  



Governor Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills to Protect Public Safety 

Legislation will center victims and survivors and ensure violent criminals are kept off the street 


LANSING, Mich. - Governor Whitmer signed House Bills 4562 and 4563 that amend the Michigan Corrections Code to allow the Michigan Parole Board to deny parole for violent incarcerated individuals for up to five years after a majority vote and written report. This would ensure that victims of horrific, violent crimes do not have to relive traumatizing experiences every year at parole hearings. 


"Every family, in every community, deserves to feel safe at home and in their community," said Governor Whitmer. "Keeping people safe is a top priority, whether from a deadly virus or violent crime. Today, I am proud to sign two bipartisan bills that center victims and ensure that a group of violent criminals are kept off the street. In my budget recommendation for next year, I proposed surging resources to local communities to help them retain and recruit more cops and first responders. I also proposed using federal funds to tackle our court backlog and increase resources available to law enforcement. I am so grateful to everyone who works hard to keep Michigan safe. I will never stop fighting to protect Michigan families." 


"Today, I am breathing a sigh of relief knowing that my family and many others across Michigan are safer," said Randy Gilbert, a survivor of violent crime. "This legislation ensures that survivors of horrific crimes are not retraumatized year after year by being forced to relive the worst thing that happened to them. It protects communities and families like mine. I've been advocating for this day for a long time, and I am proud that Governor Whitmer and our legislators got it done." 


"I am relieved to see these bills signed into law, and I hope that victims and their families can rest more easily," said Rep. Angela Witwer (D-HD 71), a sponsor and co-sponsor of the bills. "I grew up down the road from one of Don Miller's victims. Gov. Whitmer did the right thing by signing these bills before he was once again up for parole and before the families were revictimized and had to testify." 


"This legislation is smart policy that all of us can agree on," said Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-HD 65). "Working across the aisle with State Representative Witwer is evidence that when working together for the health and safety of our constituents in mind, the legislature can be a force to be reckoned with. I am thankful that Prosecutor Lloyd brought this commonsense policy to us to advocate and fight for survivors of heinous crimes, like Randy Gilbert and others that have had to live and relive the details of their trauma year after year with the parole board." 


"I want to thank Governor Whitmer, Representatives Witwer and Lightner, and the Michigan legislature for passing the Victim of Violent Offenders Parole Reform Act", said Doug Lloyd, Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney and PAAM President.  "This act recognizes the devastating and long-lasting impact violent crimes have on victims and their families.  Though it affects a small number of prisoners, this law has a major impact for victims, providing them a measure of peace."   


Bill Summaries 

HB 4562 (Lightner-R) would amend the Corrections Code to allow the Parole Board to conduct a subsequent parole review of prisoners who had been denied parole within five years after denying a prisoner parole under certain circumstances, and to modify certain reporting requirements. 


HB 4563 (Witwer-D) would amend the Corrections Code to specify that all decisions and recommendations of the Parole Board would have to be by a majority vote of the Board or, except as otherwise prohibited by the Code, a Parole Board panel created under the Code. 


Governor Whitmer's Focus on Protecting Public Safety  

As a former prosecutor, public safety is a core issue for Governor Whitmer. She has worked closely with local leaders, law enforcement officers, and community organizations to bring down crime and ensure people feel safe whether they're going to work, picking up their kids from school, or grabbing groceries.  


Through her time in office, Governor Whitmer has enacted historic criminal justice reform. She signed bipartisan "Clean Slate" laws which will help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders emerge from the criminal justice system with enhanced opportunities for jobs and housing and allow them to pursue their full potential. She also launched task forces to address pretrial incarceration and juvenile justice and pursued reforms to improve relationships between law enforcement and the people they serve.  


Some of Governor Whitmer's signature accomplishments include:  

  • Delivering $40 million in COVID hazard pay for local officers and first-responders and over $10 million premium pay for MSP troopers.  
  • Signing budget bills delivering $1.4 billion to local governments to help them fund local police, fire departments, and emergency medical services.  
  • Signing Clean Slate bills to make hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, including 80,000 Detroiters, eligible to have their records expunged, expanding their opportunities for jobs and housing, and invested millions of dollars to assist returning citizens with expungement.  
  • Proposing the $75 million MI Safe Communities framework that would utilize federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to reduce crime and keep families safe by tackling the court backlog, expanding resources available to law enforcement, and uplifting communities by making investments in jobs programs, counseling, and education.  


Additional highlights of Whitmer's efforts to protect public safety and build up communities can be found online. 



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