Proposed legislative probe into former House Speaker Lee Chatfield impossible without Republican support
LANSING, MI — House Democrats are urging their Republican colleagues to work with them in establishing a bipartisan investigation into former House speaker Lee Chatfield’s alleged misconduct. The call for a bipartisan investigation comes as speculation has mounted over accusations of financial impropriety that are alleged during Chatfield’s tenure as House Speaker. Happy to look into it more,” Albert said, when asked about the calls to investigate the allegations against Chatfield, who left his post as House Speaker in 2019. A spokesperson for House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said that the House will continue to cooperate with law enforcement agencies as needed. House leadership has offered its assistance in law enforcement probes into the former House Speaker, while making clear it is not currently planning its own internal investigation.mlive.com
House Democrats call for bipartisan investigation into Lee Chatfield’s alleged misconduct
LANSING, MI — House Democrats are calling for a bipartisan investigation into the allegations of “ethical failings and misconduct” against former Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield. A spokesperson for House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said Monday that the House will continue to cooperate with law enforcement agencies as needed. House leadership has offered its assistance in law enforcement probes into the former House Speaker, while making clear isn’t currently planning its own internal investigation. Related: Michigan Attorney General joins investigation of Lee Chatfield sex abuse claimsHouse Democrats announced their intentions to unveil a resolution this week calling for a bipartisan committee to conduct an investigation into the full scope of Chatfield’s misconduct in office. READ MORE FROM MLIVE:Wife of ex-House Speaker accused of sexual assault comes to his defenseFormer House Speaker Lee Chatfield admits affair, denies sexual assault allegations from sister-in-lawFormer House Speaker under investigation for alleged sexual assault, attorney saysmlive.com
Michigan Legislature leaves Sunshine Week in the dark with no reform to transparency laws
LANSING, MI — Another Sunshine Week has passed in Michigan without any meaningful reform to the state’s weak transparency laws. Sunshine Week has become nationally celebrated among news organizations advocating for openness and transparency in government. “It’s something I’ll continue to review,” Shirkey said of legislation that would lift public records request exemptions for state lawmakers. Even in those states, members of the public seeking disclosure reports can obtain the documents via a public records request. “It’s Sunshine Week, and our bipartisan transparency plan is getting well-tanned as it sits in the Senate,” State Rep. Mark Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills, said in a news release.mlive.com
Police raids, guilty pleas, subpoenas and lawsuits: The week in Michigan politics
LANSING, MI -- Two Michigan lawmakers plead guilty to crimes, police raided the home of staff connected to a former lawmaker under investigation and indoor mask recommendations ended this week. State Rep. Jewell Jones (left) sits next to his attorney Byron Nolen during a Dec. 10 hearing at a Livingston County courtroom. Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox speaks during the "Keep America Great Rally" at 215 Central Ave., Holland, Mich., on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The committee expressed interest in a Dec. 2, 2020, video conference call between Cox, Trump’s former campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Michigan Republican activists. Gretchen Whitmer told Michigan business leaders she will protect the state’s economic interests and challenge protests that illegally disrupt the flow of goods.mlive.com
Wife of ex-House Speaker accused of sexual assault comes to his defense
The wife of former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield came to her husband’s defense Thursday as the investigation into sexual assault allegations against him continues. Being a victim of sexual assault herself, Mrs. Chatfield is sensitive to all of those who are true victims of sexual assault. On Tuesday, law enforcement officials raided the Bath Township home of Rob and Anne Minard, former staffers for Lee Chatfield. Police have also obtained a search warrant for Lee Chatfield’s brother Aaron Chatfield, Rebekah Chatfield’s husband. MORE FROM MLIVE:Police raid home of Lee Chatfield’s former chief of staffMichigan Attorney General joins investigation of Lee Chatfield sex abuse claimsMichigan House assisting police in Chatfield investigation, not currently planning its ownFormer House Speaker Lee Chatfield admits affair, denies sexual assault allegations from sister-in-lawFormer House Speaker under investigation for alleged sexual assault, attorney saysmlive.com
Police raid home of Lee Chatfield’s former chief of staff
CLINTON COUNTY, MI — Michigan State Police are searching the home of Rob Minard, who served as chief of staff for former House Speaker Lee Chatfield. A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office also confirmed the raid on the Bath Township home of Anne and Rob Minard. The Michigan House of Representatives has offered its assistance in law enforcement probes into former Lee Chatfield, although the chamber isn’t currently planning its own internal investigation. House members and staff were asked to retain information pertaining to Chatfield’s time in office. Rebekah Chatfield, Chatfield’s sister-in-law, identified herself publicly in a January Bridge Michigan article.mlive.com
Michigan Attorney General joins investigation of Lee Chatfield sex abuse claims
LANSING, MI — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is assisting Michigan State Police in its investigation of the allegations of abuse carried out by former state House speaker Lee Chatfield against his sister-in-law. White represented many of the survivors of convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar and currently represents several Robert Anderson sexual assault survivors. The Michigan House of Representatives has offered its assistance in law enforcement probes into former House Speaker Lee Chatfield, although the chamber isn’t currently planning its own internal investigation. Rebekah Chatfield, Chatfield’s sister-in-law, identified herself publicly in a January Bridge Michigan article. READ MORE FROM MLIVE:Michigan House assisting police in Chatfield investigation, not currently planning its ownFormer House Speaker Lee Chatfield admits affair, denies sexual assault allegations from sister-in-lawFormer House Speaker under investigation for alleged sexual assault, attorney saysmlive.com
AG Nessel To Assist With Investigation Of Ex-Speaker Lee Chatfield
The Michigan attorney general's office said Monday it is now assisting local and state police who are investigating allegations of sexual assault and financial misconduct against former legislative leader Lee Chatfield.detroit.cbslocal.com
Michigan House assisting police in Chatfield investigation, not currently planning its own
The Michigan House has offered its assistance in law enforcement probes into former House Speaker Lee Chatfield, although the chamber isn’t currently planning its own internal investigation. The woman identified herself publicly as Rebekah Chatfield, Chatfield’s sister-in-law, in a Bridge Michigan article last week. Gideon D’Assandro, spokesperson for current House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, told reporters Wednesday the House made contact with both Lansing and state police and offered full cooperation. Asked why the House hadn’t started its own investigation, D’Assandro said they are deferring to law enforcement, as their investigation had already begun when the House was made aware. Related coverage:Former House Speaker Lee Chatfield admits affair, denies sexual assault allegations from sister-in-lawFormer House Speaker under investigation for alleged sexual assault, attorney saysLee Chatfield resigns as CEO of Southwest Michigan First after criticism from Kalamazoo communityKalamazoo Promise latest to cut ties with Southwest Michigan FirstFormer House Speaker says politics not a factor in new role at Southwest Michigan FirstOutgoing House Speaker had big wins on auto insurance and criminal justice, but pandemic was a stumbling blockMichigan House Speaker not interested in expanding civil rights law to include LGBT protectionsmlive.com
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Garrett Soldano models transparency platform off Whitmer’s promises
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Garrett Soldano unveiled a set of transparency and anti-corruption proposals that might sound familiar to Michigan Democrats. Soldano, a Kalamazoo chiropractor, said his “Michigan Sunshine 2.0″ platform is modeled after reforms Gov. Related: Whitmer campaigned on transparency, but Michigan still lags the nation“This is a bipartisan issue,” Soldano said. He also criticized non-disclosure agreements signed by Whitmer and state lawmakers regarding potential development projects that could benefit from a new $1 billion incentive package signed into law last year. Maeve Coyle, communications director for Whitmer’s re-election campaign, said the governor has taken multiple actions to improve transparency in state government.mlive.com
Sister-in-Law Says Ex-Michigan House Speaker Raped Her for Years
Rey Del Rio/Getty ImagesThe woman who filed a police complaint alleging she was raped repeatedly by former Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield has been identified as his sister-in-law.The accuser, Rebekah Chatfield, told local outlet Bridge Michigan that the lawmaker had first assaulted her when she was a 15-year-old high school student dating his brother; he was allegedly an adult at the time. The abuse allegedly first took place at Gaylord Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church around 2010. Rnews.yahoo.com
Former House Speaker Lee Chatfield admits affair, denies sexual assault allegations from sister-in-law
Chatfield deeply regrets the decisions he has made...But he did not assault this woman in any manner during their years-long adult relationship. White represented many of the survivors of the Larry Nassar, and currently represents several Robert Anderson sexual assault victims. Chatfield was first elected to the Michigan House in 2014 and represented the 107th District in northern Michigan. He was elected House Speaker in his final term and served in that role until he was term-limited out of office in December 2020. Related coverage:Lee Chatfield resigns as CEO of Southwest Michigan First after criticism from Kalamazoo communityKalamazoo Promise latest to cut ties with Southwest Michigan FirstFormer House Speaker says politics not a factor in new role at Southwest Michigan FirstOutgoing House Speaker had big wins on auto insurance and criminal justice, but pandemic was a stumbling blockMichigan House Speaker not interested in expanding civil rights law to include LGBT protectionsmlive.com
Insights into sexual assault allegations against former Michigan House Speaker
Thursday the news broke about sexual assault allegations made against Lee Chatfield the former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. It was made by Chatfield’s now sister-in-law who claims he sexually assaulted her from age 15 to last summer. Lee Chatfield is 33. Bill Seikaly is an attorney who has represented sexual assault victims for decades. He’s also represented sexual assault victims against Dr. Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics and against Dr. Robert Anderson at the University of Michigan.wxyz.com
Michigan Matters: Biden, Trump & the Political Road Across Michigan
Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain discusses politics with Lavora Barnes, chair, Michigan Democratic Party, Rocky Raczkowski, chair, Oakland County Republican Party, David Dulio, Director of Oakland University Center for Civic Engagement, and...detroit.cbslocal.com
Former House Speaker under investigation for alleged sexual assault, attorney says
LANSING, MI — Former Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield is being investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting his sister-in-law for more than a decade, the lawyer retained by the victim said Thursday. White represented many of the survivors of the Larry Nassar, and currently represents several Robert Anderson sexual assault victims. City of Lansing spokesperson Scott Bean confirmed Thursday that city police received the compliant, and referred it to the Michigan State Police. He was first elected to serve the 107th District in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in 2014. ALSO ON MLIVE:Lee Chatfield resigns as CEO of Southwest Michigan First after criticism from Kalamazoo communityKalamazoo Promise latest to cut ties with Southwest Michigan FirstFormer House Speaker says politics not a factor in new role at Southwest Michigan Firstmlive.com
Ex-Michigan House Speaker Chatfield accused of sex assault
State police in northern Michigan were investigating Thursday after a woman accused former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield of sexually assaulting her multiple times, beginning when she was 14 or 15 years old. The accuser, now 26, filed a criminal complaint with the Lansing Police Department, which referred it to state police earlier this week.news.yahoo.com
Southwest Michigan First hires Las Vegas economic development leader as organization’s new CEO
KALAMAZOO, MI — Jonas R. Peterson has been named the new CEO of Southwest Michigan First, the regional economic development organization announced Friday, Oct. 22. Related: What is Southwest Michigan First, and why did Kalamazoo reject Lee Chatfield as its next CEO? Attributes that rose to the top were:A strong understanding of the economic development ecosystem and how to work within a multi-jurisdictional region to strengthen commerce. Before that, he served as director of the Mohave County Community and Economic Development Department in Kingman, Arizona. He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council and currently serves as the Council’s vice chair.mlive.com
Southwest Michigan First prepares to interview CEO candidates after receiving over 130 resumes
The job was posted on LinkedIn and Indeed, Southwest Michigan First said, and they received more than 130 applications. The Southwest Michigan First board had about 65 members prior to the announcement that Chatfield was hired. Carla Sones was announced interim CEO of Southwest Michigan First on Dec. 21, 2020. Related: What is Southwest Michigan First, and why did Kalamazoo reject Lee Chatfield as its next CEO? Southwest Michigan First wants to help companies deal with things like creating a workforce that’s prepared as industries move to more automation, she said.mlive.com
Zeigler Auto Group expands to Wisconsin, buys 4 new dealerships
KALAMAZOO, MI – The locally owned Zeigler Auto Group has expanded to Wisconsin with the purchase of four new dealerships. The dealerships were rebranded to Zeigler Honda of Racine, Zeigler Toyota of Racine, Zeigler Hyundai of Racine and Zeigler Kenosha Subaru. Zeigler, headquartered in Kalamazoo, now owns 78 franchises in 35 locations across Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. “Besides the fact that these are top-performing, high-volume stores, we chose these stores because of their great potential,” Zeigler Auto Group President and Owner Aaron Zeigler said in the release. Related: Zeigler Auto Group pays $85K to employees after failing to pay overtime, minimum wageAaron Zeigler is also chairman of the regional economic development nonprofit Southwest Michigan First.mlive.com
Ron Kitchens steps down from Western Michigan University board after move to Alabama
KALAMAZOO, MI -- Former CEO of Southwest Michigan First Ron Kitchens is stepping down from his role on the Board of Trustees at Western Michigan University. Kitchens, who was appointed to the board in 2016, left his position at Southwest Michigan First in December and moved to Alabama. “The board and the university have greatly benefitted from Trustee Kitchens’ vision, expertise in economic development and affinity for Western,” said WMU Board Chair Lynn Chen-Zhang. After his departure, the organization’s board named former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield as the new CEO in February. Also on MLive:Game-changing $550M donation can help Western Michigan University reverse declining enrollment with scholarships, services for studentsMichigan will end COVID-19 mask mandate, capacity limits earlyJuneteenth to become federal holiday celebrating end of slaverymlive.com
Lawmakers face ‘reckoning’ on expanding LGBT protections in civil rights act, supporters say
Whether it’s through legislation or at the ballot box in 2022, expanded civil rights protections for Michigan’s LGBT residents are coming, advocates said during a Monday news conference. Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act currently protects people from discrimination based on several factors when it comes to employment, housing and public accommodations: religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status. Gretchen Whitmer and lead legislative sponsors, Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, and Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, said that while progress has been made on advancing LGBT rights in Michigan, it’s time to address gaps in the law. Pohutsky said the landscape “has changed profoundly” on LGBT rights since the idea of expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was first introduced. Citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Pohutsky said it’s important all Michigan residents can support and rely on each other as they take steps to rebuild.mlive.com
Lee Chatfield made LGBT friends in Lansing, and they don’t see his resignation as a ‘win’
Chatfield, R-Levering, was a conservative Republican who had gotten to Lansing by challenging an opponent who proposed extending civil rights to LGBT people. “He’s like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna love Lee Chatfield.’ And I said, ‘I hardly think that I am going to love Lee Chatfield,’” Nessel said in an interview. His selection sparked backlash, with some pointing to his record of opposing the inclusion of LGBT civil rights protections in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act as evidence he was out of step with the community. Big partners cut ties with Southwest Michigan First, and the organization responded by issuing a non-discrimination policy. Chatfield was engaging in conversations about LGBT rights and getting to know LGBT people, and was backing the non-discrimination policy at Southwest Michigan First.mlive.com
Michigan lawmakers reintroduce bill to add LGBT protections to civil rights act
Michigan lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to expand Michigan’s civil rights law by including protections against discrimination for LGBT people. Sponsored by Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, House Bill 4297 would add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the list of protected classes under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on several factors when it comes to employment, housing and public accommodations. Gretchen Whitmer has indicated her support of making the change to Michigan’s civil rights law and in 2019 extended protections to cover people based on sexual orientation and gender identity within the state workforce and for state contractors and services. Last fall, the group submitted 483,461 signatures to the state for its initiative to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of protected classes. Her bill, House Bill 4275, specifically references braids, locks and twists as examples of hairstyles that would be protected from discrimination.mlive.com
Michigan’s economic development groups avoid controversy, pursue jobs
Michigan’s network of economic development organizations come in all shapes and sizes, with different structures, different areas of expertise and different budgets. Most economic development groups seek to steer clear of such politically charged controversies. Have the local governments that contract with economic development organizations learned anything from the Chatfield controversy at Southwest Michigan First? Part of what economic development groups do is connect employers with subsidies from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). She said local economic development groups play a crucial role in marketing their respective regions to new businesses.mlive.com
Southwest Michigan First apologizes after Lee Chatfield resigns, promises ‘inclusive’ search for next CEO
We remain committed to increasing access to capital, entrepreneurial opportunities, leadership development programs and representation at board tables,” Southwest Michigan First said. MLive reached out to several members of the Southwest Michigan First board of directors to ask about the hiring. Though some could not be reached for comment last week, including Southwest Michigan First Board President Aaron Zeigler, others did respond. Western Michigan President Edward Montgomery, a member of the Southwest Michigan First board, said the CEO’s policy positions don’t align with WMU’s values. Read more:Kalamazoo Promise latest to cut ties with Southwest Michigan FirstKalamazoo hires director of diversity, equity and inclusionKalamazoo Community Foundation ends membership with Southwest Michigan First over misalignment of ‘values and vision’Western Michigan president: Southwest Michigan First CEO’s policy positions don’t align with WMU’s valuesFormer House Speaker says politics not a factor in new role at Southwest Michigan Firstmlive.com
Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield resigns as CEO of Southwest Michigan First
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield has resigned as CEO of Southwest Michigan First amid community pushback. pic.twitter.com/loS4v0kH3t — Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) February 22, 2021Southwest Michigan First, an economic development agency in Kalamazoo, announced Chatfield as the new CEO on Feb. 11. According to WOODTV, the city of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Promise both pulled support from Southwest Michigan First after the announcement that Chatfield had been hired. As the community started voicing concerns about Chatfield, Southwest Michigan First said it updated its handbook to make it clear it did not discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation. pic.twitter.com/iyTKdviZMh — Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) February 16, 2021READ: More political coverage
Lee Chatfield resigns as CEO of Southwest Michigan First after criticism from Kalamazoo community
KALAMAZOO, MI — Lee Chatfield, who was named the CEO of Southwest Michigan First last week, has resigned, according to a Tweet from Chatfield this morning. pic.twitter.com/loS4v0kH3t — Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) February 22, 2021Chatfield, the former Michigan House Speaker, was hired as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, the organization announced last week on Thursday, Feb. 11. The Kalamazoo City Commission on Monday, Feb. 15, voted to pull funding from Southwest Michigan First and encouraged others to do the same because of the views Chatfield has expressed. Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery, a Southwest Michigan First board member, said Chatfield’s policy positions do not align with WMU’s values. Read more:KVCC president resigns from Southwest Michigan First board over CEO hireKalamazoo Community Foundation ends membership with Southwest Michigan First over misalignment of ‘values and vision’Western Michigan president: Southwest Michigan First CEO’s policy positions don’t align with WMU’s valuesFormer House Speaker says politics not a factor in new role at Southwest Michigan Firstmlive.com
Ex-Mich. House Speaker Chatfield’s opposition to LGBTQ protections cost him a six-figure job
Michigan HouseFormer Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering. pic.twitter.com/loS4v0kH3t — Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) February 22, 2021His bigotry finally caught up with him.Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, who was an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ protections when he was in the Legislature, resigned Monday from his new six-figure job amid heavy criticism.Chatfield, a Republican from Levering, was hired earlier this month as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, an economic development group. I don’t say that as a shield, and I certainly don’t say that to use as a weapon. And I don’t want to feel I have to be quiet about that within this community so I could collect a paycheck. The city of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Promise also cut ties and funding to the group.metrotimes.com
Kalamazoo Promise latest to cut ties with Southwest Michigan First
KALAMAZOO, MI — Pressure continues to mount on Southwest Michigan First, as institutions organizations across Kalamazoo County have announced separations from the influential economic development group. The Kalamazoo Promise, which oversees the administration of scholarships for free college tuition to Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates, is the latest to separate from Southwest Michigan First, announcing the decision on Friday, Feb. 19. Last week, Southwest Michigan First announced it hired former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield as its new CEO. Von Washington Jr., executive director of community relations at The Kalamazoo Promise, is listed as a Southwest Michigan First board member. The Kalamazoo Community Foundation recently cut ties, and the president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College resigned this week because of the CEO selection.mlive.com
KVCC president resigns from Southwest Michigan First board over CEO hire
KALAMAZOO, MI — L. Marshall Washington, the president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College, has announced his resignation from the Southwest Michigan First Board of Directors, effective immediately. Washington shared his decision in a letter sent to the school community on Feb. 18, citing the controversy caused by Southwest Michigan First’s hiring of a new CEO. “For the past two years, I have served as a member of the Board of Directors of Southwest Michigan First,” Washington said in the letter. Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery, a Southwest Michigan First board member, said Chatfield’s policy positions do not align with WMU’s values. Read more:Kalamazoo Community Foundation ends membership with Southwest Michigan First over misalignment of ‘values and vision’Western Michigan president: Southwest Michigan First CEO’s policy positions don’t align with WMU’s valuesFormer House Speaker says politics not a factor in new role at Southwest Michigan Firstmlive.com
Kalamazoo Community Foundation ends membership with Southwest Michigan First over misalignment of ‘values and vision’
KALAMAZOO, MI — The Kalamazoo Community Foundation is the latest organization end its membership investment with Southwest Michigan First, citing a misalignment of values and vision. “We are proud to support the LGBTQ civil rights advocacy agenda,” the Kalamazoo Community Foundation said in a Thursday, Feb. 18 statement. “Southwest Michigan First’s values and vision for economic development do not align with the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. The Kalamazoo Community Foundation was established in 1925 with a gift of $1,000 from one couple, W.E. Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery, a Southwest Michigan First board member, said Chatfield’s policy positions do not align with WMU’s values.mlive.com
Kalamazoo County will consider cutting annual $75K payment to Southwest Michigan First
KALAMAZOO, MI — The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners is talking about cutting off its annual payment to Southwest Michigan First after the regional economic development organization hired former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield as its new CEO. Kalamazoo County Board Chairperson Tracy Hall, a Democrat, said the county allocates $75,000 to Southwest Michigan First annually. The Kalamazoo City Commission on Monday, Feb. 15, voted to pull funding from Southwest Michigan First and encouraged others to do the same. Bauer said Tuesday he was not impressed by Southwest Michigan First updating its policy, saying that change should have been made long ago. Between the city’s action and the potential action by the county, Southwest Michigan First would be looking at up to $85,000 in lost funding.mlive.com
Kalamazoo commissioners cancel membership with Southwest Michigan First over CEO selection
KALAMAZOO, MI — The Kalamazoo City Commission has distanced itself from Southwest Michigan First after the organization hired a new CEO with a high-profile political resume and views that commissioners say they do not agree with. The city pays $10,000 to Southwest Michigan First for an annual membership with Southwest Michigan First, and the last payment was made in December, Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema said. Before the discussion Monday evening, several people called in to the Kalamazoo City Commission meeting to voice their concerns. In the most recent election in 2019, Southwest Michigan First PAC gave $1,000 to Mayor David Anderson’s campaign. City Commissioners Chris Praedel and Jeanne Hess each received $750 from the Southwest Michigan First PAC, and candidate Pete Kushner received $750.mlive.com
Ex-Michigan resident flooded with calls, texts after Trump campaign posts wrong number for Chatfield
In social media postings Sunday, the president's campaign organization targeted Chatfield and Lee Shirkey, a Republican and the Senate majority leader. An email message seeking comment was sent to a Trump campaign spokesman. No legal avenue remains for the Trump campaign to change the outcome in Michigan, said Tracy Wimmer, spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, which oversees elections. Rose's phone number was still on the campaign's Facebook post Monday evening. Although none of the callers made threats, Rose plans to get a new phone number — pronto.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer vetoes bill to let 1-time DUI offenders clear record
Gretchen Whitmer refused to sign a bill that would have let an estimated 200,000 one-time drunken drivers ask a judge to set aside their conviction, despite the measure's broad bipartisan support in the Michigan Legislature. The Democrat took no action on the expungement legislation Monday, allowing it to die when a 14-day review period expired. Michigan currently does not allow someone to petition a court to set aside a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. In Michigan, an expungement — or set aside — clears the public record of a conviction so it does not appear in a background check. People with a DUI on their record can be greatly hampered in their careers, McBroom said, especially those who need a commercial driver's license.
GOP attorneys could face sanctions over falsehoods pressed in Michigan election lawsuits
In the latest filing, the attorney for Wayne County, Robert Davis, called on the federal judge in Michigan’s Eastern District to sanction lawyers for six Michigan Trump supporters suing Gov. Sanctions for Michigan AG, Secretary of StateTuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also said her office along with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will likely file sanctions of their own to get attorneys such as Powell banned from state courtrooms. That attorney, Matthew DePerno, has been a frequent guest of the far-right outlet Newsmax, a recent favorite of President Trump’s. The case is still ongoing in state court. The suit alleges that by allowing a state’s executive branch to certify a presidential election instead of state legislatures, it violates the constitution.
Michigan House approves $483 million COVID relief bill
The Michigan House announced Monday morning it has approved a $483 million COVID-19 relief bill that was passed by the Senate on Friday night. According to the House, the bill includes:$64 million in small business survival relief$220 million to extend unemployment benefits$45 million in direct payments to workers who have been impacted by the virus$75 million for hospitals and healthcare workers,$22 million for increased testing$57 million for vaccine distributionThat adds up to $483 million in relief. The Senate voted 35-2 to approve Senate Bill 748. Congress is expected to pass a relief bill today that includes stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, rental and eviction relief, money for schools and small business loans. As we continue working to eliminate this virus, I urge all Michiganders to be smart and stay safe.
Michigan GOP Rep. Gary Eisen removed from committee after comments on Electoral College disruption
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Rep. Gary Eisen has been removed from his committee assignments for the rest of the term after he made comments during a radio interview on Monday. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson and others on the Oversight committee, Republicans, Democrats, and members of the Electoral College. Because of that, Rep. Eisen has been removed from his committee assignments for the rest of the term. Our group, who will also be at the Capitol today to request to be seated as electors, intends to participate in our democracy peacefully. Rep. Gary EisenREAD: Michigan State House and Senate offices close Monday during Electoral College vote
Michigan lawmakers, groups condemn Republican leaders for punishing state rep. over Facebook video
After the hearing, Rep. Johnson received death threats in several voicemails, with one even calling for her lynching. Be in order, make them pay.”Though Rep. Johnson says she was not inciting violence with her message, Republican Michigan leaders and lawmakers whole heartedly disagreed. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others. The MLBC is on record condemning all acts of violence, threats, racist rhetoric toward any citizen of this great state. Rep. Johnson released a video this week, where she discussed these spiteful messages and as a result, she’s been stripped of her committee assignments.
Michigan AG on lawsuit seeking to overturn election: ‘This is how democracies die’
Related: AG Barr: No evidence of voter fraud that’d change election outcome“This is how democracies die,” Nessel said Friday. “By virtue of these types of actions, which are unprecedented in American history.”Legal experts don’t believe the high court will hear the case. Despite that, four Michigan GOP congressmen have signed onto the case and 15 GOP state lawmakers. Nessel and the Attorney Generals of the other states have all filed briefs with the high court. Each member who signed their names on their respective briefs also won their own elections in 2020, which they are now asking to be invalidated.
Michigan AG responds to Texas lawsuit against state’s election process
Michigan’s election results faced another round of legal challenges in courts both big and small just four days before the Electoral College is slated to meet and finalize the 2020 election. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel responded to the state of Texas, which is suing Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia -- three other key states that voted in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. Texas alleged that Michigan broke its own election laws to send absentee ballots to voters during a pandemic, and argued that the court should throw out millions of votes. More: Michigan AG: Texas AG Paxton’s election lawsuit is clear signal request for pardon by TrumpNessel said the claims in the lawsuit are “absurd” and already have been debunked in lower courts. The scheme has been floated and then called for by President Trump, his campaign and his legal team before and after the presidential election in an effort to overturn election results.
Michigan lawmaker disciplined for warning Trump backers
They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official," they said in a joint statement stating that violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics. "That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the threats come from public officials. Behavior like this will not be tolerated this term or next.”Johnson could not be reached for comment. Earlier in the video, she urged people to “be smart” and “hit them in the pocketbook" — an apparent reference to Trump supporters. She urged people to call 911 or the police if they have been threatened or fear for their safety.
Michigan House cancels voting session after Giuliani test
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House canceled its voting session scheduled for Tuesday following an announcement that President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had tested positive for the coronavirus. Giuliani visited Lansing last Wednesday to testify for hours before a Republican-led committee investigating alleged election irregularities. “The CDC guidelines would not consider them close contacts with anyone, even if Mayor Giuliani had been positive, but they want to go above and beyond in the interest of public safety. With the recent spike in COVID cases nationwide, this makes sense.”Chatfield, who was being tested, said several other House members need to miss Tuesday’s session for non-virus reasons. Votes will be taken on Wednesday and Thursday in the second-to-last week of the two-year session.
Could Michigan’s 2020 General Election set a precedent that impacts future elections?
He’s not really interested in COVID relief these days,” University of Michigan professor Richard Primus said. Primus teaches constitutional law and is a contributor for the Federalist Society. He said the president’s efforts to undermine the election, including the invitation sent to GOP leaders, are troubling for the election process by spreading distrust in democracy. “It doesn’t look to me like Speaker Chatfield and Senator Shirkey have done anything criminal, they haven’t taken any actions that a bribe was made to them or they accepted one. However, under state law, an audit cannot happen until an election is certified.
All eyes on Michigan -- Board of State Canvassers to decide if election results will be certified
DETROIT – The Michigan Board of State Canvassers is set to meet Monday to decide whether Michigan’s election results will be certified. Republican Party leaders asked the Michigan Board of State Canvassers to delay certification two weeks to look into irregularities. The vote to certify Michigan’s election results comes nearly three weeks since Election Day. Despite Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump by hundreds of thousands of votes, House Speaker Lee Chatfield spoke of the believed dangers that could follow a split decision on the Michigan Board of State Canvassers. In an interview with Fox News Sunday morning Republican and Michigan House Speaker, Lee Chatfield, talked about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” ahead of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers scheduled Monday meeting to certify election results.
Michigan Republican warns of ‘constitutional crisis’ ahead of meeting to certify election results
DETROIT – In an interview with Fox News Sunday morning Republican and Michigan House Speaker, Lee Chatfield, talked about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” ahead of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers scheduled Monday meeting to certify election results. Chatfield debunked circulating rumors that he was asked to intervene in the election process during Friday’s meeting. Currently, Black voters are suing the Trump campaign over its effort to invalidate election results. Since the presidential election Republican leaders have made allegations of voter fraud without substantial evidence. It began the day you and other leaders refused to stand behind our clerks and election process,” said Koleszar in the Tweet.
Nightside Report Nov. 22, 2020: Michigan lawmaker warns of potential ‘constitutional crisis,’ dozens of guns stolen from Alpena store
DETROIT – In an interview with Fox News Sunday morning, Republican and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield talked about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” ahead of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers scheduled Monday meeting to certify election results. “If they didn’t have an order that it be certified, well now we have a constitutional crisis in the state of Michigan. WATCH Local 4 News at 11Metro Detroit weather: Winter Weather Advisory canceled as snow showers leaveSunday night will be cold. Overnight lows will be in the 20s and low 30s. Re-freezing and icy roads are possible overnight even though no additional rain or snow will fall.
Michigan leader: Trump didn't ask for election interference
The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state's largest and home to Detroit. “Michigan election law clearly requires that the state’s electors must be those nominated by the party that received the most votes — not the Legislature,” says a stock email House Republicans are sending in response to people who contact their offices. Experts on Michigan election law have said the state board's authority is limited in scope and that it must certify the results now that all 83 counties have reported theirs to the state. The deadline is Dec. 13, but that is five days after the federal “safe harbor” date — when Congress cannot challenge any electors named by that date in accordance with state law. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed that there were no serious irregularities.
Michigan lawsuit claims Trump Campaign is attempting to disenfranchise Black voters
DETROIT – A group of Detroit voters are now suing the Trump Campaign, claiming it’s trying to disenfranchise Black voters in their attempt to block the certification of votes in Wayne County. The lawsuit Anthony is talking about is 18 pages long. The plaintiffs are several local Detroit voters, along with the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. They are suing Donald Trump and his campaign, claiming they’re trying to disenfranchise Black voters by trying to block the certification of votes in Wayne County. And we hired Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”You can read the entire lawsuit filed against Trump and his campaign by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and Detroit residents here.
Michigan State Sen. Mike Shirkey returns from Trump visit, does not answer questions
DETROIT – The envoy of Michigan Republican lawmakers who traveled to the White House Friday for a controversial meeting with President Donald Trump returned home Saturday. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey refused to answer questions despite releasing a statement the day before. There were also photos of Chatfield and several other Michigan Republicans drinking inside Trump Hotel while seated at a table. The State Board of Canvassers meets Monday to vote on certifying the state election. Since the presidential election Republican leaders have made allegations of voter fraud without substantial evidence.
Detroit voters sue President Trump over his attempt to block certification of election results
DETROIT – Three Detroit voters have joined a local organization in suing President Trump and his campaign over their effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Wayne County Board of Canvassers certifies results despite initial deadlockThe lawsuit comes days after two GOP members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers initially voted not to certify the votes, citing discrepancies in the county’s numbers. The pair changed their minds again, however, after President Trump called them personally on Tuesday evening after the certification process. Still, some argue that their meeting with the president so close to the state’s certification meeting is concerning. We expect the State Board of Canvassers to do its job and count the votes.”The Michigan Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. on Monday.
Republican leaders ask Michigan Board of State Canvassers to delay certification of election results
DETROIT – Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox penned a joint letter dated today to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers asking to delay the certification of election results for two weeks. Since the presidential election Republican leaders have made allegations of voter fraud without substantial evidence. The letter was sent only a day after Michigan Republican leaders met with President Donald Trump. After the meeting both leaders issued a joint letter noting that the meeting with the president was on the state’s fight against COVID-19. @Local4News pic.twitter.com/qUMYjSr35H — Grant Hermes (@GrantHermes) November 21, 2020My joint letter with @GOPChairwoman to the Members of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers.
ClickOnDetroit Morning Briefing -- Nov. 21, 2020
The leaders of Michigan’s House and Senate met with President Donald Trump Friday. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 295,177 as of Friday, including 8,377 deaths, state officials report. New COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use. New Today: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Nov. 21, 2020Here’s a look at more of the data:
Michigan GOP lawmakers: Meeting with President Trump was on state’s ‘fight against COVID-19′
The leaders of Michigan’s House and Senate met with President Donald Trump Friday. We have since sent the same correspondence to congressional leaders.”They made sure to ask for further federal dollars to deal with the impact of COVID-19. Currently, it’s hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money that is back filling the state budget. Both leaders also addressed the vote certification process. Several legal experts and local leaders say the state’s certification of votes is simply the next step in the process and should carry on normally, despite drama over the certification process in Wayne County this week.
Nightside Report Nov. 20, 2020: Michigan winter outlook: What La Niña could mean for storms, temperatures
DETROIT – The latest outlook at what winter 2020-2021 could look like in Michigan. 4 Fast FactsBe InformedMichigan Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey and House speaker Lee Chatfield met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday. After meeting with President Donald Trump, the Michigan GOP lawmakers released a statement saying that they’re not aware of any information that would change President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers is expected to certify the results of the 2020 election on Monday, Nov. 23. Read MoreThursday, Nov. 19, 2020 --
Michigan GOP lawmakers say White House meeting with Trump was about push for COVID-19 relief
WASHINGTON – Michigan Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey and House speaker Lee Chatfield met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday. READ: Michigan GOP lawmakers meet with President Trump at White HouseSenate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield released the following statement:“The President of the United States extended invitations to us on Wednesday evening. We each accepted his invitation as we would accept an invitation from any sitting President if asked to meet at the White House. “We used our time in the White House to deliver a letter to President Trump making clear our support for additional federal funds to help Michigan in the fight against COVID-19. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.”I was glad to have met with President Trump this evening.
Michigan GOP lawmakers meet with President Trump at White House
DETROIT – Michigan Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey and House speaker Lee Chatfield met with President Donald Trump at the White House Friday. It’s one of the most controversial White House meetings in recent history and there’s concern the president is going to try get Shirkey and Chatfield to overturn Michigan’s election results. No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it. We each accepted his invitation as we would accept an invitation from any sitting President if asked to meet at the White House. “We used our time in the White House to deliver a letter to President Trump making clear our support for additional federal funds to help Michigan in the fight against COVID-19.
During live interview, Jocelyn Benson says Lee Chatfield texted her he hasn’t confirmed meeting with Trump
During an interview with CNN Friday morning, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she had not spoken with state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield about their invitation to meet with President Trump in Washington. UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: Chatfield Chatfield tweeted : “No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it. 🇺🇸”However, during the live interview Benson said Chatfield texted her that “he hasn’t confirmed with anyone that he’s going or not.”Reports say Trump will meet with several Republican state legislators from Michigan about the election results today. of State Jocelyn Benson this morning on CNN: "Actually, the speaker *just* texted me and said he hasn't confirmed with anyone that he's going or not." President - Michigan View All CandidatesRepresentatives with the Michigan State House and Senate could not be reached for comment by Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.
What we know about President Trump’s meeting with two Michigan GOP lawmakers
DETROIT – Michigan Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey and House speaker Lee Chatfield are expected to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House Friday. It’s an extraordinary move as the Trump Campaign continues to attempt to stop Michigan from certifying the election results. Speaker Lee Chatfield confirmed that he was meeting with the president in a tweet just before the meeting Friday, saying he is honored to speak with Trump. No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it. And I look forward to our conversation.”The 4 p.m. meeting comes after a contentious meeting with the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.
Local 4 News at Noon -- Nov. 20, 2020
DETROIT – Here’s what you missed on Local 4 News at Noon. What we know about President Trump’s meeting with two Michigan GOP lawmakersMichigan Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey and House speaker Lee Chatfield are expected to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House Friday. It’s an extraordinary move as the Trump Campaign continues to attempt to stop Michigan from certifying the election results.
Morning Briefing Nov. 20, 2020: Michigan GOP lawmakers to meet with Trump, Pfizer seeks emergency use of its vaccine
There has been some suggestion from a few GOP activists that the state legislative leadership could change the state’s electors. Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in USPfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month and eventually an end to the pandemic -- but not until after a long, hard winter. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 285,398 as of Thursday, including 8,324 deaths, state officials report. New COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 130,000 on Wednesday, near its highest mark on record.
Trump tries to leverage power of office to subvert Biden win
President Donald Trump listens during an event in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, on prescription drug prices. Experts on Michigan election law said the Board of State Canvassers' authority was limited in scope. The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in persuading the board not to certify the results. In two Democratic-leaning counties in Wisconsin that are recounting votes, Trump’s campaign sought to discard tens of thousands of absentee ballots that it alleged should not have been counted. "It’s an open attempt to intimidate election officials, it’s absolutely appalling.
Michigan GOP lawmakers to meet with President Trump at White House Friday
Their vote will stand.”The big question is what the Michigan Board of State Canvassers does on Monday. In midst of the election certification process, President Donald Trump has asked Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield to meet with him at the White House on Friday. Representatives with the Michigan State House and Senate could not be reached for comment. “There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote. Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify,” said secretary of state spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer, the AP reports.
Rudy Giuliani zeroes in on Wayne County election results, claims massive conspiracy
The press conference came just hours after the Trump campaign filed to dismiss its case to stop the certification of Michigan’s election results. “That case was attempting to get Wayne County board of supervisors to decertify, and they did,” Giuliani said, misidentifying the Board of Canvassers as supervisors. But Giuliani and the campaign’s filing are wrong: The Wayne County Board of Canvassers did certify the election after a 2-2 deadlock earlier this week. Michigan officials said Thursday that there’s no legal basis for them to reverse their decisions. Read the latest here: Michigan: GOP canvassers can’t legally rescind Wayne County election certification vote
Trump invites top Michigan lawmakers to White House amid longshot bid to overturn election result
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has invited two top Republican Michigan lawmakers to the White House this week. Senate Republican Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield will reportedly attend a meeting a the White House on Friday. It is telling that Michigan GOP legislative leaders Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield are jetting off to Washington DC this week to meet with President Trump. Two Republican members of the board -- Monica Palmer and William Hartmann -- refused to certify the election results on Tuesday. Read more: Trump targets Wayne County vote certification in late bid to block Biden
Michigan House speaker shuts door on Whitmer impeachment talk
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield on Wednesday slapped down calls by some Republican lawmakers for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s impeachment for her actions mitigating the spread of COVID-19. However, Chatfield said an effort to impeach Whitmer would lack merit and would be every bit as “shameful” as the impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump. The people of Michigan deserve a seat at the decision table, Chatfield said in a statement Sunday. Chatfield said House Republicans stand ready to act in a bipartisan way when Whitmer decides it is worth her time.
Trump summons Michigan GOP leaders for extraordinary meeting
The Michigan Legislature would be called to select electors if Trump succeeds in convincing the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Biden’s victory in the state. Asked at a Lansing news conference about the plan for legislative leaders to visit Trump, Democratic Gov. “Wayne County voters need to have full confidence in this process." Biden crushed Trump in Wayne County by a more than 2-1 margin on his way to winning Michigan by 153,000 votes, according to unofficial results. But Trump and his allies have spent two weeks raising false claims of fraud and refusing to concede to Biden.
Michigan House Speaker says GOP will launch vote counting inquiry
The Republican-led Michigan State House and Senate will hold hearings on the “voting and counting process” in the state, according to House Speaker Lee Chatfield. The proposed inquiry comes as President Trump is seeking to stop vote counting in key election states, including Michigan. There is no evidence of voter fraud tied to the 2020 Michigan election. Republicans are expected to keep control of the Michigan House. Michigan Republicans held a press conference on Friday, alleging voter fraud in Michigan, but offered no evidence to back the claims.
Michigan House Speaker questions response to alleged terrorist plot against governor, Capitol
LANSING, Mich. – Controversy at the Michigan State Capitol continues after an already troubling week, amid the alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap the governor. RELATED: Letter criticizes Michigan governor for not warning legislature about domestic terror plotIt’s safe to say it has been a busy and scary week at the Michigan State’s Capitol building, especially after the FBI stopped alleged threats to kidnap the governor. Saturday, Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, spoke out about the threats, “I think the plot was evil, plotted by evil men and it needs to be condemned. Why weren’t we in the Legislature warned of the plot to take hostages at the Capitol? I am also alarmed the Lieutenant Governor recently blamed Michigan Republicans for the evil plans of these unstable men.
Letter criticizes Michigan governor for not warning legislature about domestic terror plot
The letter was sent after 13 men were charged this week in a domestic terror plot to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow the government. He also brought up Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist saying he recently blamed Michigan Republicans for the domestic terror plot. New Today: Michigan sheriff shared stage at protest with man charged in domestic terror plot to kidnap, kill governorRead the entire letter here"We need to cooperate more. I am also alarmed the Lieutenant Governor recently blamed Michigan Republicans for the evil plans of these unstable men. Will the Lieutenant Governor turn it down with the entire Republican Party, millions of whom are his constituents?
Big Ten changes course, aims for October start to football
FILE - In this June 4, 2019, file photo, Kevin Warren talks to reporters after being named Big Ten Conference Commissioner during a news conference in Rosemont, Ill. Leaders of six state legislatures in the Big Ten footprint have sent a letter to commissioner Kevin Warren asking the conference to reconsider its decision to cancel the fall football season. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)Big Ten is going to give fall football a shot after all. The Big Ten said its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to restart sports. The move came amid sharp pressure from coaches, a lawsuit from players and pressure from parents and even President Donald Trump pushing for a Big Ten football season.
Michigan governor, Republican leaders announce bipartisan budget agreement, call on Congress for resources
Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield released the following statement after reaching a bipartisan budget agreement, which includes adjustments to the fiscal year 2020 budget and allocation of Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars. Read the statement:“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our state budget. This agreement provides crucial funding for Michigan families, schools, and communities grappling with costs incurred as a result of the virus. Whitmer and legislative leaders for working together to minimize the negative impact on schools, students and public education employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This budget agreement prevents education funding cuts for the current fiscal year and, looking ahead, will help finalize plans to safely reopen schools in the fall.
Michigan State of Emergency expires at midnight; governor wants 28-day extension
The Michigan Legislature is meeting Thursday to continue debating the State of Emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gretchen Whitmer wants to extend the emergency another 28 days after it expires Thursday night at midnight. The state Legislature is slated to vote on the governor’s request before it expires. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Michigan has risen to 40,399 as of Wednesday, including 3,670 deaths, state officials report. State officials say the rate of growth is continuing to slow, while testing rates continue to rise.