Why did this bill from 2007 pass so quickly in the final days of this legislature?
Could it be the federal settlement agreement pending sanctions?
Could it be a desperate plea from administrators to elected officials to divert attention from the federal violations of law within the child welfare system in order to keep their jobs?
Or could it be concessions with the Michigan Children's Institute to keep the newly elected Governor Snyder in the dark of its omnipotence? You see, it was the Superintendent who granted the decision to adopt, despite the evidence.
What, you thought only the court had the power to grant? Oh no, my dear readers, the Superintendent possesses the powers of the court to "consent or withhold" the grant of adoption.
So why does the Superintendent have so much authority in the judicial branch? Because he is a civil servant of the executive branch! See, in Michigan, one must prove his decisions were arbitrary and capricious, not that they were false or improper decisions, just whimsical.
Bill Johnson has a divinity degree. Therefore all his decisions are directly told to him from God and as such are not whimsical. But the best part is the Superintendent not only is a vessel for the word of God, he is represents the State of Michigan without being appointed or elected, with no oath of office filed in the great repository of the state.
If you think this was a horrible life experience the Amers lived through, there are tens of thousands of other families in the state who have experienced the same thing, if not worse.
Keep in mind, the language of the new law, "fit". The relatives still have to go through screening, in which the state still has stricter standards than with reunification efforts.
All in all, including the monetary incentive, it is better than nothing. It's a start.