Whitmer proposes $6.3M to reduce backlog of felony cases

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed spending $6.3 million in federal rescue funding to reduce a backlog of felony cases in Michigan courts that was caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor’s office says there are more than 6,200 cases, the most common being gun cases, that have been awaiting adjudication for roughly five months or longer.

The funding, if approved by the Legislature, would be used to create "virtual backlog reduction dockets" — teamed by visiting judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, court clerks, probation officers and other staff.

In earlier announcements, Whitmer proposed spending $1.5 billion to help boost the business climate and redevelop polluted sites, $1.4 billion to expand health care and infrastructure, $200 million to replace lead water pipes, and $75 million to reduce violent crime.