Upsets, runaways and surprises: A round up of Michigan’s closely watched House, Senate races
That was especially true for Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Onsted, who secured victory in the 34th Republican House district primary by just seven votes over retired firefighter Ryan Rank. There was also a matchup in the 64th House district which pit two incumbent House lawmakers against one another this cycle – the only one to do so. And while he wasn’t backed by Trump specifically, the far-right conservative candidate Steve Meckley lost to Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale) in the 35th House district primary. RELATED: Michigan primary election mostly smooth with scattered mishapsNowhere near as many Democrats faced difficult primaries as Republicans did, however. One of the biggest may have been between Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, and Sen. Marshall Bullock, D-Detroit, in the 8th Senate district.mlive.com
Did Trump’s endorsement help Michigan House, Senate candidates? It’s to be determined.
Eubanks, a Chesterfield resident, reported spending $59,891 during that same time period and is heading into the primary election with $5,708 still on hand. Bricker, who is running in the 88th House district, had a similar story when compared to VanWoerkom’s fundraising haul. In instances like VanWoerkom, Theis and LaSata, Sellek said the use of a Trump endorsement is something of a double-edged sword. Additional candidates who have received Trump’s endorsement include Rachelle Smit, who is running in the 43rd House district; Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford), who is running in the 51st House district; Kevin Rathbun, who is running in the 71st House district; Angela Rigas, who is running in the 79th House district; and Mike Hoadley, who is running in the 99th House district. Joseph reported raising less than $6,000 and is entering the contest with just $1,801 left in the bank, having spent $8,446.mlive.com
Michigan Sen. McMorrow: Republicans ‘creating issue that doesn’t exist’ with education laws
A Democratic Michigan state senator whose passionate Senate Floor speech went viral last week is saying that her Republican colleagues are creating problems that don’t exist in an effort to rile up their supporters and avoid addressing “real issues.”
Flashpoint Interview: Michigan Sen. Mallory McMorrow talks viral speech
Michigan Senator Mallory McMorrow sits down with us to chat about her speech that is getting national attention. The Michigan senator discusses her comments and how it’s making people reflect on what is going on in politics today.
Michigan Democrat has powerful response to GOP fundraising email claiming she grooms and sexualizes children
LANSING, MI – A Democratic Michigan state senator has a powerful message for GOP colleagues who baselessly accused her of grooming and sexualizing children in a recent fundraising email – “Hate won’t win.”“Hate wins when people like me stand by and let it happen. I won’t,” Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, wrote in response to what she called a “hateful scheme” from a Republican state senator. McMorrow delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, April 19, in response to being named in a fundraising email by Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton this week. The email, published online by Michigan Advance and other news outlets, called McMorrow a “progressive social media troll” who “grooms and sexualizes kindergarteners.”“These are the people we are up against,” the email from Theis’ campaign reads. Last week, McMorrow and two other Democratic senators walked out of a Senate session in protest of an invocation delivered by Theis, Michigan Advance reported.mlive.com
Red light cameras would be banned in Michigan under new bill
LANSING, MI — The use of automated traffic enforcement systems, often referred to as red light cameras, would be banned in Michigan under legislation being led by Senate Republicans. Members of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard testimony about the bill Wednesday from its sponsor, Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton.mlive.com
Michigan Republican senators vote to condemn federal vaccine mandate for Head Start employees
LANSING, MI — Senate Republicans approved a resolution Wednesday to condemn a federal vaccine mandate approved by President Joe Biden requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees of a federal education program. The resolution, offered by Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, symbolically condemns Biden’s “authoritarian Head Start Vaccine and Mask Mandate and call upon Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel to take action against this egregious federal overreach,” the text reads. The measure was presented as a resolution and does not carry the force of law. A federal district judge in Louisiana recently blocked the Biden administration’s mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in the federal Head Start early education program. The legal challenge, brought by 24 states, also blocks the mandate’s requirement that Head Start students age 2 or older wear masks while indoors or in close contact with others.mlive.com
Michigan Senate approves ban on requiring coronavirus vaccine for minors
LANSING, MI - The Michigan Senate passed a bill banning state or local health officers from mandating children receive COVID-19 vaccines. Albion College, a private university, is also requiring vaccines for students and staff. Children aged 12-15 recently became eligible to receive Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical trials are also underway to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in younger children, including infants. Read more from MLive:Vaccinating youth will be key in reducing COVID-19 spread, new variantsPetition for COVID-19 vaccine mandates gaining steam at Michigan’s public universitiesHouse hearing on COVID-19 vaccine passport ban includes testimony invoking HolocaustPfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to U.S. children as young as 12 years old‘Backdoor to a mandate’: Protesters, Republican lawmakers oppose COVID-19 vaccine passportsCDC’s advisory group recommends use of COVID-19 vaccine in teens 12-15mlive.com
Michigan Senate bill would ban emergency orders requiring coronavirus vaccine for kids
Pending legislation in the Michigan Senate would ban state and local health departments from requiring students to get a COVID-19 vaccine under emergency public health orders. In the House, lawmakers have debated legislation to ban state agencies, departments, districts or other government entities from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination passport for state programs or other activities. A separate House-passed higher education spending bill would bar public universities from requiring vaccination for enrollment, university housing or in-person instruction, a move some university employees are calling for. Children aged 12-15 recently became eligible to receive Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Related coverage:Vaccinating youth will be key in reducing COVID-19 spread, new variantsPetition for COVID-19 vaccine mandates gaining steam at Michigan’s public universitiesHouse hearing on COVID-19 vaccine passport ban includes testimony invoking HolocaustPfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to U.S. children as young as 12 years old‘Backdoor to a mandate’: Protesters, Republican lawmakers oppose COVID-19 vaccine passportsCDC’s advisory group recommends use of COVID-19 vaccine in teens 12-15mlive.com
MHSAA says new bill targeting transgender athletes in Michigan is ‘unnecessary’
The Michigan High School Athletic Association does not support a bill that would require Michigan student athletes to compete only against athletes of the sex they were assigned at birth. MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl told MLive on Monday he believes the bill is unnecessary and its governance and case-by-case approach is the best way to handle and discuss transgender high school athletes. Over the years, Uyl says inquiries regarding transgender athletes have been made in a variety of sports, including swimming and bowling. Over the last decade, Uyl said the topic of transgender high school athletes and competition comes up on a yearly basis at national meetings of state high school sports associations. Uyl said the MHSAA does not want its decisions about transgender athletes to be made by politics.mlive.com
Michigan bill would ban transgender student athletes from playing on teams associated with gender identity
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan joined more than 20 states that have recently introduced legislation that would ban high school transgender students athletes from playing on teams associated with their gender identity. Senate Bill 218 aims to prohibit a transgender boy from playing on a boys team as well as transgender girls playing on girls teams. The bill was introduced by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) and co-sponsored by 12 other GOP senators, including Rep. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake). That’s what matters most.”Runestad contends that you can be a supporter of transgender rights yet still object to transgender girls competing on girls teams. However, Knott said there is not an example of high school transgender athletes taking those opportunities.
Bill would restrict transgender student athletes to teams of same sex
State Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, has introduced a bill that would require Michigan student athletes to compete only against athletes of the same biological sex. Theis said her bill would help level the playing field for female sports. “School officials shouldn’t treat a transgender female student as a girl between 8AM-3PM and then treat her like she’s a boy when sports practice starts,” Knott said in a statement. Local schools across the nation are already creating policies that protect transgender youth and ensure a level playing field for all students—and they’re working. Blanket bans on transgender student athletes undermine those local efforts.”Gov.mlive.com
Michigan Senate reaffirms Second Amendment in resolution Democrats call ‘insurrectionist’
LANSING, MI - Michigan senators bickered Wednesday over a resolution that would charge the state with defending the Second Amendment from any future federal gun control measures. Senate Resolution 22, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, seeks to “preserve the Second Amendment” by stating that the state Senate would oppose federal laws that “infringe on the right to bear arms.”The resolution passed along partisan lines, 20-15, with Democrats uproariously opposing it. “It’s a resolution that says that if we don’t like the laws, we’ll meet you at the Michigan border with our guns. It’s incredible how fast you’ll do anything to protect your guns.”Geiss continued by saying since armed protesters packed into the Michigan State Capitol on April 30, the Senate hasn’t done anything to improve security measures. Read more from MLive:Open carry of firearms banned inside Michigan Capitol6 from Michigan arrested during riots, storming of Capitol in Washington D.C.mlive.com
Michigan House approves remote meetings for local governments until March 2021
LANSING, MI - Local government meetings may get three more months to unconditionally hold remote meetings under legislation approved in the Michigan House on Wednesday. Senate Bill 1246, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, would push the end date to March 31, 2021. Whitmer initially pushed for remote meetings by local government in her executive orders to mitigate COVID-19 spread. The Senate bill adopted all of the provisions of House Bill 6207, sponsored by Rep. Luke Meerman, R-Coopersville, which was abandoned for its Senate bill counterpart. The Michigan House also passed a series of bills that allowed for remote signing and electronic transfer on important documents.mlive.com
Michigan Senate approves bill that would limit public health orders to 28 days
LANSING, MI - The Michigan Senate approved a bill capping public health emergency orders to a 28-day timeline, which would mirror the time restriction imposed on Gov. Senate Bill 1253, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, would amend the state’s Public Health Code to make emergency orders by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon valid for only 28 days. Enactment is unlikely, as Whitmer has leaned on Gordon’s public health orders to limit public gatherings in an effort to prevent disease spread. Democratic senators tried to amend Senate Bill 1253 prior to the vote, leading to heated partisan debate on the Senate floor. Whitmer’s previous authority to declare emergency orders without a time restriction was derived from the 1976 Emergency Management Act and the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act.mlive.com
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs law allowing virtual public meetings
1108 amends an existing law that requires most government meetings to be open to the public by allowing for and accommodating remote participation, even as some in-person public meetings resume. “By allowing for remote meetings, public bodies and residents can continue practicing safe social distancing while also ensuring meetings remain open, accessible and transparent to the public,” Whitmer said in a signing statement. RELATED: Bill to allow virtual government meetings headed to Whitmer for signatureWhitmer signed executive orders, beginning in March, allowing those in-person public meetings to be suspended and replaced with virtual meetings, held using teleconferencing technology and with citizens calling or writing in with public comment. Without the replacement bill passed on Friday, such virtual meetings could have been considered a violation of the state’s Open Meetings Act, which is aimed at promoting government transparency. As written, the law allows local governments to hold virtual meetings, or to accommodate members of the governing body to participate remotely.mlive.com
Bill to allow virtual government meetings headed to Whitmer for signature
LANSING, MI - Guidance on public and virtual meetings could be headed to local governments across the state after the passage of a bill in the legislature. Senate Bill 1108, sponsored by state Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, would permit virtual public meetings as long as the local government declares a state of emergency. The legislation would allow for virtual meetings by local governments until December 2021. Additionally, Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, offered an amendment calling for the allowance of virtual meetings until March 2022, rather than the end of next year. On Monday, Oct. 12, Lansing City Council canceled its meeting “out of an abundance of caution," assuming that the alternative to virtual meetings was gathering in person.mlive.com
Protestors gather in Lansing to oppose mandatory masks for youth athletes during sports
Whitmer’s executive order that requires athletes to wear masks during competition. When Whitmer reinstated high school football and other sports earlier this month, she did so with a mandate that athletes wear face coverings at all times, during competition. Khaldun has said that athletes who don’t feel they can comfortably participate may not be able to partake in sports. The family has no issues with masks in general but are looking for a way for her daughter to still compete comfortably. “I’m fine wearing masks other times, but the studies show so far that there hasn’t been a higher increase of positive cases of soccer players versus the general public,” Kelly DeBarr said.mlive.com
Today: Michigan legislatures to announce Return to Learn plan for schools
LANSING, Mich. Michigan House and Senate lawmakers said they will announce the Return to Learn plan on Tuesday. Related: Michigan schools face budget cuts amid coronavirus pandemicState Rep. Pamela Hornberger and Sen. Lana Theis, chairs of the House and Senate education committees, will deliver an overview of the bicameral plan. School districts were forced to shift to remote learning during the unprecedented school closures, which many werent prepared to do. Whitmer says the Michigans Return to School Roadmap will be released on June 30. Gretchen Whitmer to outline next steps for schools to reopen this fallMeanwhile, Michigan State University has compiled an array of recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and other research, officials said.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer considers major change to COVID-19 nursing home policy
Gretchen Whitmers contested executive order concerning nursing homes and the coronavirus (COVID-19) expires Wednesday night, and she signaled that shes considering a major change to the current policy. Officials said there was a mad scramble inside Michigans nursing homes and the regional hubs where the COVID-19 positive patients went. There have been no mandates from the state that the nursing homes must take COVID-19 positive patients.Instead, the state gave homes $5,000 per patient. The oversight committee is anxious to see what Whitmer does with the new nursing home order. Members are still looking for solid numbers on how many Michiganders died in nursing homes.
Ele's Place opens new facility for grieving children, families in Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Ele's Place Ann Arbor. ANN ARBOR, Mich. - On Sunday, Ann Arbor nonprofit Ele's Place Ann Arbor opened its new Home for Healing Hearts facility for grieving children, teens and families. Photo courtesy of Ele's Place Ann Arbor. A community-based nonprofit organization, Ele's Place Ann Arbor focuses on providing more resources to grieving children in eight Southeast Michigan countries and 31 cities. Ele's Place programs are free.