LANSING, Me – The State House on Tuesday approved a series of bills that would provide a higher level of confidentiality to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
According to the proposals, crime victims and their children would be given an identification number and alternative address for the state to mail items such as driver’s licenses and other state documents.
The program would equate Michigan with 37 other states that provide some form of address confidentiality to crime victims, according to the bill’s sponsor, Sen.. . Ruth Johnson, a Holly Republican, said in a news release.
« For many survivors of these heinous crimes, fleeing their abusers could mean the difference between life and death, » said Johnson. “This bipartisan package is about saving lives and giving survivors some level of security by reducing the risk of them being threatened or injured again. «
As part of the program, the Secretary of State of Michigan would reissue all official state IDs, including driver’s licenses with a specific state address, to protect participants’ residential addresses. The state Department of Technology, Management and Budget would use a mailbox to forward state documents to the participants’ actual address, which would be kept confidential.
Schools may not disclose the addresses of students and parents or guardians of students when participating in the program. The program would also protect a subscriber’s address from Freedom of Information Act requests.
The bills are also intended to ensure that victims can vote. Michigan voter registration records are publicly available, including voter addresses. Participants could use their program ID in the state’s qualified voter record to protect their location from their perpetrator’s access.
Bill supporters say up to 5. 000 Michigan residents could participate in the program. The program requires an application to be sent to the Attorney General’s Office, where applicants will write a statement of the risk involved in disclosing their address. No criminal conviction is required to prove a threat.
The bills are going back to the Senate, which previously passed the bills, to review the changes made by the House. If the Senate approves the changes, the bills are sent to the governor for approval.
House of Representatives from Michigan, Michigan
World News – USA – Michigan State House approves bills that give abuse survivors more confidentiality
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