The Attorney General serves as the State of Michigan’s chief law enforcement officer and upholds and preserves the state’s legal interests. The Attorney General provides legal advice and representation to state officials and agencies and, when warranted, initiates legal action on behalf of the residents of Michigan. The Attorney General also receives and investigates consumer complaints and enforces child support orders. The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 recommends total funding of $91.9 million, of which $36.8 million is general fund.
Highlights of Governor’s Budget Recommendation
• The Executive Budget includes $84.7 million for Attorney General core programs and support services, including funding for 295 attorneys who represent the state in appellate court and the United States Supreme Court, support minors who are victims of abuse and neglect, investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud, and mediate complaints regarding consumer fraud.
• The Child Support Enforcement Division prosecutes parents who are able to pay their court-ordered obligations but do not do so. The division spends approximately $3.4 million to enforce child support orders and collects nearly $20 million in overdue child support payments.
• The Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council will receive almost $2.1 million to provide continuing professional education, case management support, and legal research for local prosecutors throughout the state.
• The governor recommends enhanced support for Michigan women victimized by sexual violence with an additional $1.7 million for sexual assault prosecutions. This initiative originated in 2013 following the discovery of thousands of untested rape kits in Detroit. At that time, a $4 million appropriation enabled the State Police to provide forensic science services to Detroit and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. One-time funding of $3 million in the current year allows the Attorney General to initiate prosecutions based on the results of these tests. The additional investment in the 2016 budget will continue these important prosecution efforts.
• The budget includes $900,000 to target repeat violent offenders and reduce backlogs of outstanding warrants in high-risk urban areas. This program is one component of the governor’s public safety initiative, which began in 2012 and emphasizes enhanced public safety in major urban areas in Michigan.