At a Glance ...

Lawmakers OK bill trimming court sizes

LANSING (AP) — State lawmakers have approved legislation that will allow for reducing the number of judgeships in the state through attrition.

An estimated 45 judgeships on district and circuit courts would be eliminated through the legislation approved last Thursday.

The bill comes after staffing recommendations made earlier this year by the State Court Administrative Office.

The reduced judge count would come in many areas of the state.

The bill passed by a 101-4 vote in the House and a 33-5 vote in the Senate now goes to the governor for his signature.

Lawmakers still haven’t decided whether to change the number of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals.

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Legislature approves film incentive rules

LANSING (AP) — Movie and film companies that hire Michigan workers and base more of their operations in the state would get better incentives under a new program approved by the state legislature.

The bills won final legislative approval last Thursday with a 35-3 vote in the Senate and a 92-15 vote in the House. The measure advances to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The measure sets up some guidelines for dividing up the $25 million available for state film and movie incentives in the fiscal year that began October 1.

The incentives aren’t as lucrative as the 42 percent subsidy previously received by companies working in Michigan.

Incentives would be higher for productions that spend more on Michigan personnel and use in-state studios.

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Defendants challenge state DNA law

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — Several criminal defendants in Vermont are challenging a new state law mandating that people charged with felonies provide DNA samples to police.

Judge Robert Bent last week heard arguments form the state’s attorney general’s office and the defender general’s office in Orleans Superior Court.

The state has required DNA samples from people convicted of certain felony offenses since 1998.

In 2005, the Legislature expanded the law to include anyone convicted of a felony. Last year, the law was expanded again to include anyone charged with a felony for which the court has found probable cause.

The Caledonian Record reports defense attorneys say that’s the crux of the issue — demanding a sample before a conviction.

The rule is being argued in several counties.

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Judge takes up challenge of state’s bigamy law

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A polygamous family made famous on a reality television show is asking a Utah federal judge not to block their challenge of the state’s bigamy law.

Kody Brown and wives Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn filed a lawsuit in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court in July.

The stars of the TLC show “Sister Wives” say the law is unconstitutional because it prohibits them from living together and criminalizes their private sexual relationships.

Formerly of Lehi, the Browns moved to Nevada in January after police launched a bigamy investigation. No criminal charges have been filed.

Oral arguments in the case are set for Friday before U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups.

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