The week in Michigan politics — 8/31/18

The state's most significant political stories of the week


DETROIT – Here's our summary of top stories from across Michigan:

Will Anyone Be Held at Fault Over Flint? [City Lab]

The highest-ranking official to face criminal charges for the Flint water crisis is still on active duty as the director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. And in the state’s aggressive but slow-moving investigation of itself, the public is paying the courtroom costs—all of them.

Prosecutors argue that Nick Lyon, the DHHS director, is responsible for involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office in connection to Flint’s ill-fated water switch. In addition to the infamous lead contamination, the mismanagement of the water may also have caused an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a virulent type of pneumonia that killed 12 people and sickened 90 in 2014 and 2015. (There’s a good chance that there were more cases.) It wasn’t made public until January 2016. Last week, after a lengthy preliminary examination, Lyon was bound over for trial, with the judge ruling that there is probable cause that the delay contributed to deaths.

Bill would give $45M for nationwide PFAS testing [MLive]

Questions rise ahead of Michigan marijuana provisioning centers shutdown deadline [Metro Times]

The Medical Marihuana Licensing Board deadline for unlicensed provisioning centers to shut down is Sept. 15. The original deadline was June 15, but the state licensing office moved it back because of a backlog in processing applications.

Since then, only 16 licenses out of a reported 637 applications have been granted.

Electoral politics

Michigan Dems, GOP lace up for 10-week sprint to general election [Detroit News]

James, Stabenow Accept 2 Debates in Michigan's Senate Race [U.S. News & World Report]

VP Pence stops in Michigan to fundraise for John James; says Senate race is 'critical' [Up North Live]

Most of Michigan's U.S. House incumbents safe, election forecast predicts [MLive]

Odds on Stevens to win Trott's seat in Congress [Detroit News]

Where they stand: Michigan Attorney General candidates [Bridge]

Minimum wage hike on November ballot, pending Michigan Supreme Court appeal [Bridge]

Legislature could pre-empt ballot votes on minimum wage, sick leave [Free Press]

Rashida Tlaib lays out her radical green vision for Michigan [Think Progress]

Matt Morgan Wins Ballot Spot in Congressional Race [U.S. News & World Report]

Other stories

Stopping harassment at the capital [Traverse City Record-Eagle]

But a bill that would make illegal settling sexual misconduct claims against elected officials with public funds hasn't gone anywhere since a representative introduced it in January.

That bill could die in committee by year's end, but two representatives for northwest Michigan districts think it still has a chance.

Michigan takes bite out of medical pot foods with bans on infused butter, cheesecake, jerky [Detroit News]