The Legislative Service Bureau was formally created in 1941 as a nonpartisan legislative information and service agency. With the adoption of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 the Legislative Council was established and with the passage of sections 4.311 to 4.327 of the Michigan Compiled laws, the Council became the governing body for the Legislative Service Bureau. The Council is charged with maintaining bill drafting, research, and other services in the Bureau for utilization by all members of the Michigan Legislature. The Bureau provides bill drafting through the Legal Division; research functions through the Research Services Division; a variety of printing services from the Legislative Printing Division; telephone support for the Legislature as well as computer support for the Bureau and Legislative Council agencies through the Information Technologies Division; and provides the Legislature with consolidated chamber automation, drafting tools, and future updates to Legislative websites through the MiLENIA System Division.
The statutory provision under which the Bureau functions specifically details the nonpartisan nature of this agency. The Legislative Council Act states:
An employee of the Bureau shall not urge or oppose legislation, but upon request shall aid and assist the members of the legislature by advising as to bills and resolutions and by furnishing to them the fullest information upon all matters within the scope of the Bureau relating to their public duties.
All legislative requests are handled by Bureau staff on a confidential basis. The Legislative Council Act also provides:
An employee of the Bureau shall not reveal to any person outside the Bureau the contents or nature of any matter not yet published without the consent of the person bringing the matter before the Bureau.
Although the primary focus of the Bureau is service to the members of the Michigan Legislature and their staff, the agency directly and indirectly provides information to the public. Specific services that you may be familiar with include:
- Compile and publish Michigan's laws
- Compile and publish the Michigan Manual
- Booklets, brochures and newsletters distributed through Legislative offices