Big news: Senate passed my “civil asset forfeiture" reform bill, soon to be signed into law

I have some very exciting news to report.

Yesterday, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed, without amendment and giving immediate effect, House Bill 4499, my "civil asset forfeiture" reform bill.

Click here for news coverage.

I use quotation marks on the term "civil asset forfeiture" because it is a misleading, euphemistic term to describe what is actually the confiscation and selling of personal property.

Essentially, Michigan's "civil asset forfeiture" system today allows law enforcement to seize the personal property of anybody charged with a crime by claiming that "a preponderence of evidence" suggests that said property may have been used in committing a crime.

In actual effect, law enforcement agencies are broadly permitted to confiscate -- and then, amazingly, sell for agency profit -- the personal property of those charged with a crime.

My legislation would require a more rigorous "clear and compelling" burden of proof standard be applied to allow for so-called "civil asset forfeiture" confiscation of property rather than the existing "preponderence of evidence" standard.

My bill, House Bill 4499 of 2015, passed the House 104 to 5 on June 4, and passed the Senate yesterday 38 to 0.

Unless unusual circumstances prompt Governor Snyder to veto the bill, it is likely to be signed into law in the coming weeks.

It will be my first Public Act as a freshman lawmaker.

Typically, only minor, non-controversial legislation passes by such enormous majorities.

Yet this is an important bill with substantial implications for individuals and for law enforcement agencies.

I'm honored and thankful this important legislation is moving forward.

Thanks again for all you do for freedom and prosperity in Michigan.

Rep. Gary Glenn