Michigan House and Senate leaders say farewell to the legislature
Lighthearted stories uplifted an otherwise somber day in the Michigan Capitol as the leaders of the House and Senate prepare to exit the legislature at the end of the month. With a new legislative term beginning in January, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, House Speaker Jason Wentworth and House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski said goodbye to their roles during session Wednesday. At the time of her appointment as House Minority Leader in 2021, the House Democratic caucus announced the succession from previous leader Christine Greig made the move the first woman-to-woman leadership transition in Michigan legislative history. The House leaders reached term-limits this year in the lower chamber, and neither chose to seek office in the Senate. Taking over for their predecessors in the new year will be Speaker of the House-elect Joe Tate, D-Detroit, House Minority Leader-elect Matt Hall, R-Comstock Township, Senate Majority Leader-elect Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, and Senate Minority Leader-elect Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton.mlive.com
Here’s what early Nov. 8 election results are showing for Jackson County races
JACKSON COUNTY, MI – Residents in Jackson County may have filled out their ballots, but the election results are still coming in. Live results are still being tallied and can be viewed here: Live: Election results for the Nov. 8 general election in Jackson CountyHowever, here is what early elections results are showing so far. For the Jackson County Board of Commissioners District 5 seat, Republican James “Steve” Shotwell Jr. is leading Democrat Nathanael Mulvihill. Jackson voters are also deciding two Jackson School Board seats. Countywide, proposals for a Jackson County Jail addition and 911 surcharge are failing.mlive.com
Election results for the Nov. 8 general election in Jackson County
JACKSON COUNTY, MI -- Voters across Jackson County are casting their ballots in Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election to decide the fate of candidates seeking seats in the Michigan House and Senate, U.S. Congress, county commission, local school boards and more. Millage proposals for Leoni Township roads, the village of Grass Lake operations, a new county jail facility and more also are on the ballot. The polls close at 8 p.m. We’ll have live results for contested races here. Be aware that it may take a while for the results to come in due to the volume of votes. More from the Jackson Citizen Patriot:Erin Lubahn takes Athlete of the Week honors in Jackson areaRemember when a car crashed into Grand River Brewery?mlive.com
House, Senate Republican candidates entering midterms with cash to burn, big ad spending
In other competitive district spending, Democratic candidate Joey Andrews reported outraising his Republican opponent – Kevin Whiteford, husband of current Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Township – $169,107 to $132,965 in the 38th House district. That, despite Senate Republicans working hard to support their candidates with a wave of in-kind contributions. She also received a staggering amount – nearly $2 million – of in-kind support during the period from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. In the race for the state’s toss-up 9th Senate District, Rep. Padma Kuppa, D-Troy, far outraised her Republican opponent this reporting period. He too, however, also put up a strong showing of in-kind contributions from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee at $585,433 in advertisement purchases.mlive.com
After near extinction, Kirtland’s warbler could replace robin as Michigan’s official state bird
If House Bill 6382, introduced by Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Hancock, makes it into law, the Kirtland’s warbler would replace the robin redbreast as the official state bird. The robin redbreast became the Michigan state bird in 1931 when the state legislature passed a resolution after an election by the Michigan Audubon Society made the selection. Kirtland’s warbler birds were among the first animals in the United States identified as being at risk of extinction. In 1967 the species gained federal protection under the Endangered Species Preservation Act, a precursor to the Endangered Species Act. Now, the Kirtland’s warbler population is estimated to be around 2,000 pairs.mlive.com
Michigan House, Senate to meet for first time since July
Members of the Michigan House and Senate are scheduled to convene this week for the first time since July 1, though the possibility of further session dates remain unclear. The Senate will be returning to the upper chamber on Tuesday, Sept. 20, with the House gathering for session on Wednesday, Sept. 21, according to multiple sources. Committees are also scheduled in both chambers to meet throughout the day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The legislature typically convenes on those three days when not recessed, with the House usually meeting around 1:30 p.m. and the Senate at 10 a.m.As for further session days ahead of the midterms, that remains an unknown. Sources speaking on background to MLive say there has been no communication about planned session days in October.mlive.com
$350 tax credit possible for safe gun storage, training under bipartisan bill package
A group of bipartisan lawmakers, comprising two Democrats and two Republicans, are looking to enhance safe storage practices for firearms through a four bill package currently in the Michigan House. House Bill 6350 through 6353 seek to encourage gun owners to follow best safety practices for firearms by incentivizing training and secure weapons storage. The other two bills of the bunch have been referred to the House Tax Policy Committee, however, due to the way they address firearm safety. RELATED: Group lobbying for stricter gun laws in Michigan still considering 2024 ballot initiativeHB 6352, sponsored by Rep. Tim Sneller, D-Burton, focuses on safe storage in the home, though, by way of tax credit. Under HB 6353, safety training program participants would be offered a $350 tax credit for training expenses.mlive.com
Michigan court declines to hear lawmakers’ appeal of order keeping abortion legal
The Michigan Court of Appeals on Wednesday declined to consider the Republican-led state legislature’s appeal of an order keeping abortion legal in Michigan. Lawmakers’ application for leave to appeal is denied “for failure to persuade the court of the need for immediate appellate review,” reads the order, dated Aug. 24. In response to a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood contending Michigan’s law is unconstitutional, Gleicher issued the ruling on May 17. This is one of two legal cases unfolding in the state concerning the tenuous legality of abortion. The Court of Appeals earlier this month found the injunction did not apply to those prosecutors, who are local, not state officials.mlive.com
Nearly $1M in campaign cash pumped into Ann Arbor-area Michigan House, Senate races
ANN ARBOR, MI - Nearly $1 million in cash contributions have fueled Ann Arbor-area state House and Senate races so far this election cycle, as candidates from both major parties jockey for position in new political districts. In total, two Senate seats and seven House seats are up for grabs in districts covering parts of Washtenaw County. Another candidate in a swing district crossing from northern Ann Arbor into deep-red Livingston County and a part of Jackson County is in a similar position. Tightly-contested primaries in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas are also pulling in big money. More form The Ann Arbor News:Over $175K pumped into three Ann Arbor City Council racesWashtenaw County Democratic Party leaders call out candidates for skipping public forums$40K DTE Energy donation fuels Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti transit millage campaignOver $122K pumped into Ann Arbor mayoral race, criticisms flymlive.com
Michigan abortion ban blocked by judge for now, proposed tax cuts for residents: The week in Michigan politics
That’s because the Michigan Court of Claims granted a preliminary injunction this week that would bar Michigan prosecutors from enforcing the state’s 1931 abortion ban if the Supreme Court ruling is overturned as expected. RELATED: Abortion-rights ballot proposal needed to ensure abortion access in Michigan long term, advocates sayAlso this week, Michigan lawmakers announced various tax cut proposals in response to a higher-than expected budget surplus this year. House leadership condemns video stunt tying Michigan lawmakers to ‘debunked election conspiracies’Leaders in the House condemned a video stunt this week that connected Michigan lawmakers to disproven claims of election fraud from 2020. “Targeting any state official for attention or political gain is obviously wrong,” Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said in a statement. The other three candidates were Michael Shallal (57th state House district), Steven Thomas (31st state Senate district) and Howard Weathington (3rd state Senate district).mlive.com
House leadership condemns video stunt tying Michigan lawmakers to ‘debunked election conspiracies’
LANSING, MI – A black van adorned with video screens broke through the steady rain on an otherwise calm Wednesday outside the Michigan Capitol, blaring disproven claims of election fraud from 2020 and catching the attention of Michigan House leadership inside. The video also ties comments by state Reps. Cynthia A. Johnson, D-Detroit, and Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck, from around the 2020 election to that meritless claim. Related: Michigan lawmaker who faced death threats punished for warning ‘Trumpers’ in viral video“Targeting any state official for attention or political gain is obviously wrong,” Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said in a statement. Colbeck participated in an election fraud protest outside the Michigan Capitol in February. Read more from MLive:State Senator among 15 candidates disqualified from Michigan primary ballotsShould prosecutor charge police officer in Patrick Lyoya’s killing?mlive.com
Republican state House primary winner faces GOP challenger after rape comment
You have my word that I will.”Milanowski is running as a qualified write-in candidate in the May 3 special election for the vacant 74th House District seat. The other two candidates in the running are fellow Republican Robert “RJ” Regan and Democrat Carol Glanville. The seat was last held by state Sen. Mark Huizenga, R-Walker, who vacated the seat after winning the Nov. 3, 2021, special election to fill the vacant 28th state Senate District seat. The winner of the May 3 special election will only serve about eight months in the legislature, finishing out the remainder of Huizenga’s term, which ends Jan. 1, 2023. Both Regan and Milanowski said they plan to run in the August primary and the November election for the 84th state House District.mlive.com
Daylight saving time year-round? There’s bipartisan support for the change in Michigan.
In 2021, Michigan joined dozens of states that have already passed measures to observe one permanent time through the entire calendar. It’s because of daylight saving time that Americans get an extra hour of sun at the end of the day in March but one less hour in bed. “Daylight saving time leads to increased traffic and workplace accidents, higher rates of strokes and heart attacks, and decreased rates of workplace productivity,” Irwin said. The Michigan House voted 87-22 to advance their own version of the bill to move to year-round DST in April 2021. READ MORE FROM MLIVE:Michigan lawmakers introduce bills to keep daylight saving time all yearmlive.com
GOP Michigan House candidate denounced for rape comments, said he tells daughters to ‘lie back and enjoy’
Top Michigan Republicans on Tuesday denounced a state House candidate over his remarks about rape, the latest in a number of controversial comments from the man who narrowly won a special GOP primary a week ago.
Shiawassee County Sheriff BeGole considering run for state House
SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, MI—The sheriff in Shiawassee County is considering running for a seat in the Michigan House in the November 2022 election. “There are a lot of issues right now and we have to find solutions.”BeGole is a longtime Shiawassee County police officer and resident, having spent more than 30 years with the sheriff’s office. His father, George BeGole, was a former District Court Judge in Shiawassee County for 16 years. The seat, which represents what is currently called the 85th District, is occupied by another Republican with strong Shiawassee County ties. While the 85th District once included parts of Shiawassee County’s Sciota and Woodhull townships, it essentially swaps those for parts of Genesee County’s Argentine, Gaines and Mundy townships.mlive.com
Bills to ban research on cells obtained from abortions pass Michigan House
Two bills passed by the Michigan House Wednesday aim to ban research on cells obtained from abortion procedures, although critics said the premise violates the state constitution. House Bills 5558 and 5559, sponsored by state Reps. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, and Bronna Kahle, R-Adrian, taken together would prohibit research on cells obtained from abortion and ban the option to donate remains from abortions to medical research, as well as make using cells from abortions in medical research a five-year felony. “Medical research is vital – but research on aborted babies is unacceptable and unnecessary,” Albert said in a statement after the vote. State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, also pointed out that a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2008 prohibits state laws that restrict or discourage embryonic stem cell research. Both bills passed 55-51 along partisan lines in the House and now head to the Senate for consideration.mlive.com
Michigan Senate approves $1.2B for COVID response, healthcare retention
Lawmakers passed the supplemental, HB 5523, which would appropriate approximately $1.2 billion in federal funds primarily to the state health department’s COVID-19 response. Of the money allocated to COVID-19 testing, $100 million would go to employers testing unvaccinated workers, and $90 million would contribute to vaccination efforts. Michigan still has nearly $5 billion in federal pandemic funding left unspent. The proposal passed the Senate 36-2 Tuesday, without discussion. An earlier version of the bill passed the Michigan House in December and it is expected to receive approval in the same chamber Tuesday afternoon.mlive.com
Michigan House backs additional grants for businesses hit hardest by COVID-19 pandemic
Legislation passed in the Michigan House last week would direct $184.6 million to restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and other businesses that were shuttered for months during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, which passed the House in a 96-6 vote, would use federal COVID-19 aid money at the state’s disposal to fund grant programs for several industries. Another $10 million would be available to assist owners of restaurants serving alcohol to train and certify staff, and $25 million would be set aside for community development financial institutions to assist small businesses. “Thousands of small businesses across Michigan have closed their doors forever in the past two years,” Albert said in a statement. The legislation now heads to the Michigan Senate and would need to pass that chamber and be signed by Whitmer to become law.mlive.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
With most of the Michigan National Guard vaccinated, Republicans skeptical of exemption process
LANSING, MI — The Michigan National Guard’s vaccine waiver process was the topic of debate Tuesday evening at a Michigan House and Senate joint panel. Michigan lawmakers heard from representatives from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs about the Michigan National Guard’s vaccine waiver process during a House Oversight joint meeting with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military and Veterans Affairs/State Police.mlive.com
Kalamazoo’s newest public outdoor space, Haymarket Plaza, will open with community celebration in September
KALAMAZOO, MI — Members of the public are invited to an opening and dedication ceremony for downtown Kalamazoo’s newest outdoor space designed for community, arts, music, and social interactions. The community celebration is set for 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, Kalamazoo development company Treystar said in a news release. Driven by the belief that downtown commercial spaces create opportunities for community and business, Treystar partnered with Catalyst Development and the city of Kalamazoo to create Haymarket Plaza, Treystar said. “We are excited to unveil Haymarket Plaza and celebrate its completion with the community,” said Treystar Partner and CFO Fritz Brown. Designed by TowerPinkster Architects with assistance from Kingscott Associates, Haymarket Plaza features a snow-melt system, decorative concrete, lighting, Landscape Forms furniture, an open area designed for entertainment and/or food trucks and an outdoor seating area for food/beverages.mlive.com
Whitmer vetoes Republican plan to end extra $300 of unemployment
Michiganders on unemployment can keep getting up to $662 per week of unemployment benefits, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed a Republican bill that aimed to axe the extra $300 of weekly funding put up by the feds. Besides the extra $300, all other federal unemployment benefits also end the first week in September. Michigan dipped under 500,000 weekly unemployment claims on June 26 – the most recent week data for which data is available. Republicans and business owners have criticized the extra unemployment benefits, saying it encourages people not to work and causing a labor shortage.mlive.com
What happens now that Michigan’s first round of redistricting hearings is complete?
On Thursday, the commission held the last of 16 hearings to glean input from the public about what their Congressional, state House and state Senate districts should look like. And a redrawing of state House and Senate districts could decide which party ultimately controls the state Legislature. Michigan has 110 state House seats and 38 state Senate seats that are divvied up evenly by population every 10 years based on updated U.S. Census data. Watch commissioners Cynthia Orton, Anthony Eid and MC Rothhorn speak with MLive reporter Lauren Gibbons about the commission’s work and what happens next:Read more on MLive:Michigan’s redistricting commission wants to see your ideal political maps. ‘Communities of interest’ encouraged to make voices heard at Grand Rapids political redistricting meetingMichigan voters chose to take politicians out of the redistricting process.mlive.com
$300 unemployment supplement would be eliminated under bill passed in Michigan House
LANSING, MI — The $300 federal unemployment bonus going to residents who lost work during the COVID-19 pandemic would be eliminated under a bill passed Thursday by the Michigan House. During debate on the House floor Thursday afternoon, Republicans argued that HB 4434 would usher in a true “return to normalcy” as the state prepares to abandon most of its pandemic-related restrictions next week. Related: Michigan will end COVID-19 mask mandate, capacity limits earlySpeaking in support of the bill, Rep. TC Clements, R-Temperance, said “normal” is impossible without eliminating the supplemental unemployment benefit. Democrats scolded their colleagues’ efforts to stop using the federal funding for the supplemental benefits, saying that doing so would deny Michiganders their own tax dollars. Whitmer, who has spoken in favor of continuing to use federal funding to boost the state’s economic recovery, would likely veto the bill.mlive.com
Michigan House advances bills banning vitamin E acetate in vaping products
An additive linked to vaping-related lung injuries and death would be formally banned in Michigan under legislation passed in the Michigan House this week. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency in November 2019 created testing requirements banning the presence of vitamin E acetate in all marijuana vaping products and halted marijuana vaping sales until they could be tested for the presence of vitamin E acetate. In December 2019, the state recalled thousands of marijuana vaping products that tested positive for the additive. When it comes to vaping, Vitamin E acetate can be used as a filler added to THC vaping cartridges - it’s a cheaper substance that dilutes potency. Related: Michigan recalls 9,380 marijuana vaping products over vitamin E acetate concernsRelated: Michigan testing, labeling rules for marijuana vaping products updatedmlive.com
Budget talks advance, GOP election bills tweaked: The week in Michigan politics
LANSING, MI - This week in Lansing was more about molding legislation than passing bills, at least on major topics. Both chambers made moves to further clarify key initiatives, with budget talks picking up in the House and Senate and amendments made to Senate Republican election bills. During a May 5 hearing of the Senate Election Committee, Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, amended his Senate Bill 286, which would close drop boxes at 5 p.m. on Election Day, or three hours before polls close. Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 335, sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, with a vote of 21-15. The House also passed House Bill 4728, sponsored by Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton.mlive.com
Michigan House passes bill to improve rural internet access
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House on Thursday approved a bill to encourage internet companies to provide broadband access to underserved areas after the coronavirus pandemic shone a light on that need. Equity in internet access and how to fund it has been discussed by policymakers in Michigan in the past. Michigan ranked 19th among the states in 2020 for best internet coverage, prices and speeds by BroadbandNow, but Rep. Michele Hoitenga, who represents Manton in northern rural Michigan, said that is not good enough. The state Senate will next review a House amendment and the bill could then head to Gov. The Senate bill and a similar House bill that aims to create a tax exemption for broadband providers are tie-barred, meaning one cannot become law without the other.
Michigan Senate passes bill stopping health officers from banning family gatherings during pandemics
A bill that will stop state and county health departments from banning family gatherings during an emergency, like a pandemic, passed the Michigan Senate on Monday. Under the bill, sporting events include school, college, and any organized sporting activity. Whitmer vetoed $652 million in spending and the tied-barred policy bill limiting the administration’s authority to issue pandemic-related orders on March 9. In response, Michigan Senate Republicans threatened to sue Whitmer’s administration if it tried to separate federal funding from the tied-barred policy. Related: Michigan Senate approves creation of committee to suspend public health orders between sessionsOn Dec. 31, Whitmer vetoed a pair of Republican lame-duck efforts to curb her administration’s emergency powers.mlive.com
Michigan Senate panel clears bills subjecting Legislature, governor to open records requirements
A package of bills aimed at subjecting the Michigan Legislature and governor to more public scrutiny is one step closer to seeing the light of day in the Senate. The Michigan Senate Oversight Committee moved Tuesday to advance the bills to the Senate floor for further review. Gretchen Whitmer has previously expressed support for expanding public records laws but stopped short of voluntarily subjecting her own office to FOIA when rolling out an executive directive to update the process for state agencies. She said in 2019 she’d prefer the legislative package get passed “so this isn’t just a policy for the Whitmer administration” and has a wider reach. House bills:- House Bill 4383- House Bill 4384- House Bill 4385- House Bill 4386- House Bill 4387- House Bill 4388- House Bill 4389- House Bill 4390- House Bill 4391- House Bill 4392Senate bills:- Senate Bill 232- Senate Bill 233- Senate Bill 234- Senate Bill 235- Senate Bill 236- Senate Bill 237- Senate Bill 238- Senate Bill 239- Senate Bill 240- Senate Bill 241Related coverage:Whitmer campaigned on transparency, but Michigan still lags the nationMichigan House unanimously votes to include governor, legislature in open records lawsOpen records expansion poised to advance in Senate committee as group tees up ballot initiativeSecretary of State announces ‘worst to first’ agenda to improve Michigan’s transparency lawsmlive.com
Michigan House unanimously votes to include governor, legislature in open records laws
The Michigan House once again made its stance clear on an ongoing effort to include lawmakers and the governor in open records laws Thursday, voting unanimously on a 10-bill package aimed at improving the state’s bottom-of-the-barrel transparency laws. The Michigan House has voted through similar iterations of the bills for several sessions in a row with broad bipartisan support. Gretchen Whitmer has previously expressed support for expanding public records laws but stopped short of voluntarily subjecting her own office to FOIA when rolling out an executive directive to update the process for state agencies. She said in 2019 she’d prefer the legislative package get passed “so this isn’t just a policy for the Whitmer administration” and has a wider reach. Progressive group to launch ballot initiative for FOIA reform in MichiganHouse bills:- House Bill 4383- House Bill 4384- House Bill 4385- House Bill 4386- House Bill 4387- House Bill 4388- House Bill 4389- House Bill 4390- House Bill 4391- House Bill 4392Senate bills:- Senate Bill 232- Senate Bill 233- Senate Bill 234- Senate Bill 235- Senate Bill 236- Senate Bill 237- Senate Bill 238- Senate Bill 239- Senate Bill 240- Senate Bill 241mlive.com
Previously vetoed spending proposals for COVID-19 response headed back to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
The Republican-led Michigan Legislature took additional steps Wednesday to send $652 million in proposed COVID-19 response spending previously vetoed by Gov. The funding in question was included in an overall COVID-19 relief package signed by Whitmer last week. She line-item vetoed the proposed measures, citing “problems in the bills” and a lack of negotiation between the Legislature and her administration on the measures. Wednesday’s votes were the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Whitmer and legislative Republicans over how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those tensions have bled into the process of allocating billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 aid available to the state.mlive.com
Open records expansion poised to advance in Senate committee as group tees up ballot initiative
A similar package in the House cleared committee last week and is scheduled for its second reading on the floor Wednesday. The Michigan House voted through similar legislation unanimously last session, and Moss and McBroom have been working on the issue together since they served in the House. Gretchen Whitmer has previously expressed support for expanding public records laws, but stopped short of voluntarily subjecting her own office to FOIA when rolling out an executive directive to update the process for state agencies. She said in 2019 she’d prefer the legislative package get passed “so this isn’t just a policy for the Whitmer administration” and has a wider reach. House bills:- House Bill 4383- House Bill 4384- House Bill 4385- House Bill 4386- House Bill 4387- House Bill 4388- House Bill 4389- House Bill 4390- House Bill 4391- House Bill 4392Senate bills:- Senate Bill 232- Senate Bill 233- Senate Bill 234- Senate Bill 235- Senate Bill 236- Senate Bill 237- Senate Bill 238- Senate Bill 239- Senate Bill 240- Senate Bill 241Progress Michigan proposed ballot language:Read more on MLive:Whitmer curbs use of controversial separation agreements in executive directiveWhitmer said separation agreements like Robert Gordon’s are ‘used often.’ In state government, they’re not.mlive.com
Michigan House celebrates SXSW with street performances, virtual panels, and live concerts
click to enlarge Courtesy of artistMichigan indie-pop artist Michigander will close out the week of Michigan House's SXSW events with a performance at El Club. It looks a little different this year but Michigan House is live @sxsw More that 40 organizations from Detroit to Marquette are part of this year virtual embassy to the Conference & Festival. “Even though we still can’t do it exactly like we’d like to — we didn’t want to lose the chance to connect that SXSW gives us each year. So we’re using all the tools at our disposal to provide at least one day of celebration. “Select is thrilled to play a role in bringing the stages back to life in Michigan.metrotimes.com
Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan House to host panels at SXSW
ANN ARBOR – Michigan House is again preparing to serve as a platform for the state’s innovators and creatives to connect with the worldwide audience that attends the South by Southwest Conference and Festival (SXSW) next week. In the moment it was devastating, but even within a couple days it was clear the right decision had been made,” said Ted Velie, a co-founder of Michigan House. We were thrilled then, that SXSW found a way for us to still connect this year.”AdOver the course of the five day virtual conference, Michigan House will host three Official SXSW Panel Discussions, a virtual meet-up for entrepreneurs, a Michigan Startup Portfolio, and a Michigan House Booth on SXSW’s digital platform. AdSee the schedule below for the panels, organized by Ann Arbor SPARK’s Komal Doshi, and the Michigan-focused SXSW event. Hosted by Start Garden, Ann Arbor SPARK, Detroit Startup Week & MEDCTo attend the free event, register here.
COVID-19 spending, transgender athletes and daylight savings time: The week in Michigan politics
Michigan still has more than $2 billion in federal aid available from the last COVID-19 relief package that hasn’t been allocated yet. Both House Bills 4219 and 4220, sponsored by Reps. Tenisha Yancey, D-Harper Woods, and Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, passed 93-17. These bills closely resemble Senate Bill 1254, sponsored by Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, from the last legislative session. House Bills 4127-4131 aim to address these issues, while two additional bills from Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton, would formalize the absentee ballot mailing and counting process for local precincts. Related: Bill would restrict transgender student athletes to teams of same sexShould Michigan stop changing time?mlive.com
Michigan House approves drunken driving expungement for first-time offenders
LANSING, MI - Expungement for first-time drunk driving offenses is one step closer to becoming Michigan law. Both House Bills 4219 and 4220, sponsored by Reps. Tenisha Yancey, D-Harper Woods, and Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, passed 93-17. Read more: Whitmer pocket vetoes first-time DUI expungement bill with little explanationWhitmer “pocket vetoed” the bill by not signing it before the 14-day timeline for her to take action on it. Both Republicans and Democrats in the House hope this new expungement push is different due to the support of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Read more: Michigan House renews bipartisan push for first-time drunken driving expungementThe expungement push has been part of a bipartisan effort in the Legislature over the last two years, culminating with the passage of “Clean Slate” legislation last fall.mlive.com
COVID-19 aid, confidentiality agreements, guns and LGBT rights: The week in Michigan politics
Read more: Restaurants, casinos, gyms, nursing homes: All the changes Michigan made to COVID-19 restrictions on TuesdayAdditionally, Michigan nursing homes in all counties can allow indoor visitors and are encouraged to resume activities like communal dining and group activities. Read more: Michigan to allow nursing home visitation statewideAll staff at nursing homes have been offered both doses of the vaccine, according to the state. Slightly more than $347 million in COVID-19 testing funds is tied to the bill, which will see a vote next week in the House. House Bill 4220, sponsored by Rep. Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, would allow for the first-time offender to apply for expungement from a judge. Read more: Michigan House renews bipartisan push for first-time drunken driving expungementThe other delayed package is a set of election reforms recommended in 2019 by the Auditor General.mlive.com
Michigan independent redistricting commission will seek more time to draw political maps
Michigan’s independent redistricting commission will seek additional time to redraw the state’s political districts through the courts, citing expected delays in the release of U.S. Census data. But the U.S. Census Bureau, citing pandemic-related delays, announced in February that redistricting data won’t be made available to states for months, promising the data by Sept. 30, 2021. Commissioners voted unanimously Friday afternoon to give Julianne Pastula, the commission’s legal counsel, authority to ask the Michigan Supreme Court for more time to draw the maps due to the late census data. The current redistricting process is Michigan’s first with an independent commission handling the redrawing of state House, Senate and congressional districts. The commission was assembled as a result of a November 2018 ballot proposal, Proposal 2 which passed with support from 61% of voters.mlive.com
COVID-19 relief, health care reform and more transparency: This week in Michigan politics
Health care reform. Sen. Jim Stamas listens as votes are taken at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on Thursday, April 25, 2019. “In the instance of a public health crisis or a public health emergency, it’s absolutely the responsibility of the state health department to take action and have that authority,” she said. The resolution is sponsored by Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, and is part of his overall push to improve government transparency and ethics laws. Michigan House battling health care insurance industry to control drug pricesA bipartisan group of state House representatives on Wednesday introduced health care reforms that aim to cap costs on medications and improve transparency in the price-setting process.mlive.com
Michigan House resolution would make it harder to pass bills in lame duck session
Michigan’s “lame duck” legislative session days in the weeks after an election are known for late nights, last-minute amendments with little time for review and bitter partisan battles over dozens of bills at once. On Wednesday, the Michigan House cleared a resolution to overhaul how lame duck works, voting 102-7 to require a two-thirds vote on any bill taken up after November general elections in even years. Because House Joint Resolution A would change the state Constitution, the proposal requires two-thirds approval in both the House and Senate to pass. Read more on MLive:Elected officials in Michigan would disclose financial records in new House bill50 states of financial disclosure: How Michigan stacks upProposed financial disclosure requirements for Michigan officials clear first step in committee processNew Michigan House Speaker names ethics reform as top priorityIs 2019 the year Michigan officials can agree to open their records to the public? Michigan lawmakers say they want financial transparency, but few are releasing recordsmlive.com
What to look out for as Michigan’s new legislative session begins
Michigan lawmakers came back to the state Capitol building in Lansing on Wednesday to kick off the new legislative session, although circumstances remain far from normal. Both the House and Senate convened for the first time in the new session Wednesday, with the state House formally electing Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, as new House speaker. Precautions regarding social distancing, floor restrictions and other measures remain in effect, and the Michigan House will be allowing remote committee participation this session. Michigan’s state Capitol has long been an outlier in terms of what’s allowed to be brought in the building. On Monday, the Michigan State Capitol Commission voted to ban open carry of firearms in the Capitol after Shirkey signaled he’d support the measure.mlive.com
House allows for remote participation in committee meetings, but reps must be present to vote
LANSING, MI - The Michigan House will allow for remote participation in committee meetings, a new rule designed to mitigate COVID-19 spread. Lawmakers approved House Resolution 1 on Wednesday, Jan. 13, which allows committee members to remotely deliberate on bills, though lawmakers still must be physically present to vote on anything. Senate Joint Resolution 0, sponsored by Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, was introduced last April and allowed for remote participation in a state of emergency. Wednesday’s implementation of remote committee participation came shortly before Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, announced he tested positive for COVID-19 in December two days after the end of the lame-duck session. Outside of the new remote participation rule, the House and Senate’s internal COVID-19 rules include mask-wearing recommendations, but not mandates, as well as practicing social distancing per CDC guidelines.mlive.com
Michigan Capitol temporarily shut down as state police investigate ‘threat’
The building is all clear after MSP conducted its bomb sweep, according to state police and facility managers. LANSING, MI - The Michigan Capitol was temporarily shut down due to state police investigating a “threat,” according to a Thursday alert sent out to House representatives and staff. Michigan State Police are investigating. Four people died during the storming of the Capitol, according to the Associated Press. Read more: Attack at U.S. Capitol threatens ‘constitutional crisis,’ says Michigan state senatorCongress eventually resumed their session later Wednesday and officially certified Biden’s victory by early Thursday.mlive.com
Gov. Whitmer says she’ll sign Michigan COVID-19 relief bill ‘in very near future’
After a week, Whitmer has yet to ink her signature on Senate Bill 748, which passed nearly unanimously in both Republican-controlled chambers. Read more: 700,000 unemployed in Michigan could lose benefits today if Trump doesn’t sign COVID relief bill, Whitmer saysCongress sent the bill to Trump’s desk on Dec. 22, which he signed at his private club in Florida on Sunday. With her office’s review of the relief bill entering its second week, state Republican leaders are pushing for an immediate signature. A bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill has been sitting on @GovWhitmer's desk since Dec. 22. — Sen. Mike Shirkey (@SenMikeShirkey) December 28, 2020“A bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill has been sitting on (Whitmer’s) desk since Dec. 22,” wrote Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, on Twitter.mlive.com
Eligible first-time DUI offenders in Michigan could have convictions expunged under new bipartisan bill
click to enlarge Shutterstock.comA new piece of legislation on Gov. “This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people.”First-time drunk driving convictions, however, were not among those convictions eligible for forgiveness.Enter Senate Bill 1254 . Introduced by Republican state Sen. Ed McBroom, the proposed amendment would allow eligible individuals with first-time OWI convictions to apply to clear their records through the courts and would require a judge to sign off on the request. Michigan residents with more than one OWI, or whose drunk driving resulted in physical harm, death, serious injury, or a felony conviction, would not be expunged under the legislation.As per the original Clean Slate legislation, expungement of select misdemeanors only affect public records and the visibility of those convictions. Courts and law enforcement will still be able to access prior OWI/DUI conviction history.Under current Michigan law, drunken driving offenses remain on an individual's record for life.metrotimes.com
5 things the Michigan Legislature failed to address in 2020
With COVID-19 dominating every aspect of life in 2020, the Republican leaders in the Michigan Legislature shifted focus to address the pandemic. Here are five things the Michigan House and Senate failed to do before the end of 2020. For the top five the state Legislature accomplished in 2020, click here. Read more: Internal COVID-19 protocols in Michigan Capitol lag behind other Republican-led legislaturesAt least 11 members of the Michigan Legislature have tested positive for COVID-19 since March. It closely resembles previous protections provided under state law for survivors of former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar to file suit.mlive.com
Whitmer signs bills banning water shutoffs, allowing virtual meetings by local governments
Gretchen Whitmer signed a series a bills late Tuesday, including extensions to March 2021 on banning water shutoffs and allowing local governments to hold virtual meetings. Senate Bill 241 is a moratorium on water shutoffs through March 31, 2021 to assist Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would also require public water suppliers to strive to determine which households lack water service and make best efforts to restore it. The legislation allowing virtual meetings for local governments followed a similar trajectory, as the governor ordered the suspension of in-person public meetings in March. Senate Bill 748, if signed into law, would mark nearly $4 billion in pandemic-related spending approved by the state.mlive.com
Congress has second COVID-19 stimulus bill ready -- What it means for Michigan residents
After months of back-and-forth, Congress finally has a second COVID-19 stimulus bill. But what does that mean for Michigan residents? With the deal done, the stimulus money will soon make its way to Metro Detroiters. The $900 billion deal will give those making under $75,000 roughly $600, but there is also a payout for dependents. Some people have already received emails, calls and texts saying they need to provide personal information to get the money.
Morning Briefing Dec. 21, 2020: Michigan’s new COVID-19 order now in effect, state approves relief bill, wintry weather expected, ‘Christmas Star’ visible tonight
What to know today 🌅Michigan’s new COVID-19 order now in effectThe updated restrictions allowed many entertainment venues to reopen with limited capacity. Federal virus relief bill: Top Capitol Hill negotiators sealed a deal Sunday on an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package. 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. Michigan’s 7-day average for new COVID cases declined to 4,010 as of Saturday, Dec. 19. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 17.5 million COVID cases have been reported across the country as of Saturday.
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 Senate passes $465 million COVID-19 relief bill
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Senate passed a $465 million COVID-19 relief bill during session Friday night. The Senate voted 35-2 to approve Senate Bill 748. Some of the money distribution includes:$220 million for unemployment$48 million for COVID vaccine distribution and testing$45 million in grants for workers laid off or furloughed in business impacted by restrictions$55 million in small business survival grantsThe bill is set to go to the Michigan House on Monday. UPDATE: Michigan House approves $483 million COVID relief billREAD: Michigan revises COVID-19 order to reopen high schools, some entertainment venuesWatch the report in the video posted above. After her friend Wayne County sheriff Benny Napoleon died from COVID-19, Whitmer said when it comes the vaccine distribution is bottlenecked due to Washington.
Michigan lawmakers issue subpoenas to Detroit, Livonia city clerks for information on 2020 primary, general elections
DETROIT – The Michigan House and Senate Oversight committees subpoenaed Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Livonia City Clerk Susan Nash. Both cities had a number of precincts where the poll books did not match the vote tally and are not explained. Both city clerks have until Jan. 12 to present documents explaining how the election was handled. The Michigan House and Senate are holding hearings on alleged voting irregularities, which have found no proof of fraud at this point and nothing to suggest the vote in Michigan was not secure or accurate. House Oversight Chair Matt Hall, of Marshall, issued the following statement Tuesday after a joint hearing of the House and Senate Oversight committees:
Livonia and Detroit clerks subpoenaed for election information by Michigan lawmakers
DETROIT – On Tuesday, the Michigan House and Senate Oversight Committees voted to issue subpoenas to Livonia City Clerk, Susan Nash, and Detroit City Clerk, Janice Winfrey, for information related to the 2020 general and primary elections. Under the subpoenas both Winfrey and Nash have until 5 p.m. Jan. 5, 2021 to provide information and documents on how they ran the elections. Tuesday’s vote was made only one day after Michigan electors unanimously cast 16 Electoral College votes for Joe Biden for president. House Oversight Chair, Matt Hall, of Marshall issued the following statement after the joint hearing of the House and Senate Oversight Committees. “The House and Senate Oversight Committees have heard testimony and claims about this election.
Rep. removed from Michigan House Oversight Committee amid investigation
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson is under investigation after she posted on social media a response to the many violent, vulgar and racist death threats she’s received. The video, posted Tuesday night, has quickly gone viral and legislative leadership removed her from her House Oversight Committee assignments Wednesday. “My soldiers, they are soldiers for Christ, soldiers against racism, soldiers against domestic violence, soldiers against domestic terrorism,” Johnson said. Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others.
Michigan House Oversight Committee members receive death threats, racist voicemails
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson, the Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee is receiving death threats due to the election. She posted several of the threats to social media. After both Democratic and Republican representatives have received threats of violence over the election, Michigan Assistant Minority Floor Leader Laurie Pohutsky posted on Twitter about the SNL sketch. The SNL skit was amusing, I guess, but last night my caucus was trying to figure out how to keep those on that committee safe from the deluge of death threats they’re receiving. I’m sorry to be a bummer and I’m glad people enjoyed the skit, but the reality of it is heinous.
WATCH: ‘SNL’ spoofs Giuliani’s Michigan election hearing in cold open
“Saturday Night Live” took aim at Rudy Giuliani and a witness that went viral during a hearing before the Michigan House earlier this week on the 2020 election. “Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon) tries to make an argument to prove widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election,” the cold open is captioned. Laurie Pohutsky, a Democratic state representative for Michigan’s 19th House District reacted to the SNL skit on Twitter. I’m sorry to be a bummer and I’m glad people enjoyed the skit, but the reality of it is heinous. — Laurie Pohutsky (@lpohutsky19) December 6, 2020More: Giuliani to Michigan Republicans: Pressure Legislature on Biden winWatch the “SNL” cold open below:
Bipartisan Michigan lawmakers endorse Robert Saleh as next Lions coach
In an open letter to the Detroit Lions, a group of Michigan lawmakers are endorsing Dearborn native and 49ers defensive coach Robert Saleh as the team’s next head coach. For many in our state, and across the globe, the Detroit Lions hold a special place in our lives. We look forward to future success through transitioning to a new manager and head coach.”“Speaking of head coach, we have one name in mind — Robert Saleh,” the letter continues. Ultimately, it’ll be up to the new general manager to hire a new head coach. More: 4 candidates for next Detroit Lions head coach
Rudy Giuliani pushes Michigan election fraud claims in Lansing
LANSING, Mich. – While supporters of President Donald Trump stood outside the Michigan House office building, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani testified before Michigan House on Wednesday, claiming massive voter fraud in Detroit. Giuliani brought with him witnesses, who signed affidavits that have already been presented in court in Trump campaign lawsuits and have been dismissed or pulled by the campaign. READ: Giuliani to Republicans: Pressure Legislature on Biden winThe Michigan Senate held a similar hearing on Tuesday. Michigan House Republications made it clear that Wednesday’s hearing was not about overturning election results in Michigan, but about listening to people who claimed they saw irregularities at the TCF Center in Detroit. Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.
President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani testifies before Michigan House in Lansing
LANSING, Mich. – The Donald Trump campaign sent attorney Rudy Giuliani to Michigan’s capitol on Wednesday to testify before the Michigan House. He is raising questions about the election process, even though the state’s results have already been certified. UPDATE: Giuliani to Republicans: Pressure Legislature on Biden winMichigan is one of the battleground states that the Trump campaign has been targeting. The campaign is also asking Wisconsin’s Supreme Court to disqualify more than 220,000 votes in heavily-Democratic counties. READ: Michigan Legislature to hear from Rudy Giuliani Wednesday evening on 2020 electionSo far, the Trump campaign has not had any success with the legal challenge it has filed.
Rudy Giuliani to testify on allegations of voter fraud before Michigan Legislature
LANSING, Mich. – President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, will appear before the Michigan House Oversight Committee Wednesday evening. He will discuss the allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 General Election. As of Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, no judge has seen any evidence on which to rule. The Michigan Legislature has two committees listening to claims about election irregularities. A Michigan Senate hearing, where those who identified themselves as GOD poll watchers made claims about the vote-counting process at the TCF Center, lasted seven hours.
Michigan Legislature to hear from Rudy Giuliani Wednesday evening on 2020 election
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House Oversight Committee will be hearing from Rudy Giuliani Wednesday evening on allegations of election fraud in Michigan. Giuliani has made a series of allegations about the 2020 election that have not been backed by evidence or data. The legislature has two committees listening to claims about election irregularities. The Michigan House committee will hold a similar hearing Wednesday. Streaming video of Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing can be seen here.
Local leaders press Michigan lawmakers for COVID financial relief measures
LANSING, Mich. – A day ahead of Michigan lawmakers returning to work in Lansing, mayors and business leaders on Monday called on the federal and state governments for coronavirus pandemic relief as Gov. “I think 2021 and 2022 are going to be some of the toughest times facing municipal governments certainly since the Great Recession, perhaps even worse,” said Michigan State University professor Eric Scorsone during a Monday press conference. Scorsone has done work with Michigan municipalities like Lansing, Flint and Detroit. READ: Michigan governor, state legislature far apart on COVID-19 responseAlso on the table for discussion is the state’s election. There has been no evidence of fraud in Michigan’s election and the Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the 2020 election results last week.
Gov. Whitmer asks Michigan Legislature for $100M stimulus package, more public health measures
LANSING, Mich. – In a letter addressed to Michigan legislative leaders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for three pieces of major legislation -- a $100 million state-based stimulus package, permanent extension to unemployment benefits and more public health measures. The letter is the first public attempt to appeal to legislative leaders directly with concrete measures. Small Business Saturday is here and the stakes are higher than ever for local businesses in the pandemic. The state has launched a new “Support Local” campaign to help Michigan Businesses make it through the winter.
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.
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’s chief medical executive testifies before committee overseeing state’s COVID-19 response
LANSING, Mich. – On Monday morning, Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun appeared remotely before a joint House and Senate committee that is overseeing the state’s COVID-19 response. Lawmakers questioned her on a range of topics, often with the seeming intent to identify the data used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her Executive Orders. The COVID-19 is a medical and public health event. Khaldun said Michigan did submit an interim COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to the CDC on Friday.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs 25 bills into law, vetoes 3 others -- view details here
House Bill 5334 amends the Michigan Memorial Highway Act to designate the portion of US-10 in Warren Township in Midland County in honor of Corporal Casey P. Zylman. Senate Bill 132 amends the Michigan Memorial Highway Act to designate the portion of US-12 in Lenawee County in honor of Michigan State Trooper Rodger M. Adams. Senate Bill 432 amends the Michigan Strategic Fund Act to revise an exemption of certain property from taxes collected under the General Property Tax Act. Senate Bill 1066 amends the Michigan Strategic Fund Act to transfer and deposit $37.1 million from the Michigan Film Promotion Fund to the state’s general fund for fiscal year (FY) 2019-20. The bills would have amended the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to make it easier and cheaper for for-profit property finders to get access to Michigander’s private data.
Michigan lawmakers approve COVID-19 response plan
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan lawmakers approved a COVID-19 response plan early Wednesday morning. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus-related executive orders. Senate bill 1094 is aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes by implementing recommendations of the Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force. House bill 6159 would provide liability protections for health care providers for services related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk for approval.
Anti-government groups shift focus from Washington to states
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer campaigns with Dan O'Neil, a Democratic candidate for the Michigan House in Traverse City, Mich., Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Whitmer visited the area the day after police announced a foiled plot to kidnap the governor. (AP Photo/John Flesher)
Whitmer signs Michigan return-to-learn COVID-19 school bills package
The Michigan governor has signed a bipartisan Return to Learn package of bills outlining instructional requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. These bills will help schools implement their comprehensive safety plans going into the 2020-21 school year. I am proud of this bipartisan package and will continue working with everyone who wants to ensure our schools are safe during COVID-19. Many districts, facing pressure from teachers and mixed reaction among parents, are starting with remote-only instruction due to COVID-19. COVID-19 learning plans must be submitted to its ISD or authorizing body by October 1, 2020.
Michigan selects 13 commissioners to redraw voting lines
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is comprised of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents who were selected at random from a pool of more than 9,000 applicants. The commission is made up of people from most parts of the state, but most come from eastern Michigan and none live in the Upper Peninsula. Three of the 13 are not white, which is roughly in line with the percentage of non-white residents in the state. The commission will begin meeting in the fall and use census data to redraw lines by Nov. 1, 2021. The commission was formed after voters passed a state constitutional amendment in 2018 to allow an independent group of Michigan residents, instead of partisan legislators, to redraw the states electoral boundaries.
Tim Kelly wins Republican nomination for U.S. House in Michigans 5th congressional district
Tim Kelly has won the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Michigans 5th congressional district. Kelly defeated Early Lackie for the nomination. He will go up against incumbent Rep. Dan Kildee in November. Related: Latest Election newsMore: Election resultsMichigan Primary Election Results 2020Primary Election Results by county: