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Gov. Whitmer extends court costs policy

Michigan defendants will continue having to pay their trial costs when found guilty after the governor recently extended the policy for another year and a half

The fees go toward funding local courts.

Attorney Angeles Meneses says that’s a problem.

“When a court has that fundraising duty, but they’re also required to be sentencing someone, it creates the appearance of bias.”

Local government advocates, like Herasanna Richards of the Michigan Municipal League, supported the extension. But she says she’d like to see a different funding solution established.

“How can we transfer this cost to the state in which our operations are still what they need to be and communities feel safe and communities can trust public safety as it operates within their communities?”

Assessing the court costs on defendants brings in an estimated tens of millions each year.

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