Michigan News

A Michigan congressman has decided against running for governor in 2018 and instead will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township made the announcement Tuesday in an email to supporters. His decision leaves former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer as the highest-profile candidate in the Democratic field.

Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of Detroit's health department, has been aggressively seeking to raise his profile with Democrats. Three other lesser-known candidates also are running.

The state is stepping in to help struggling schools instead of closing them.

 

UPDATED @ 8:48 on 5/9/17

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen has been chosen by President Trump to serve on the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Trump once put Larsen on his list of judges and lawyers he would consider naming to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There’s a face off between Governor Rick Snyder and Republican leaders over an issue that’s not even at the top of anyone’s to-do list.

The state Legislature is working away on the state budget and Republicans have been cutting Snyder’s budget proposal. They’re squirreling away money but they haven’t decided what to do with it yet.

A petition campaign wants to allow marijuana retailers in Michigan communities that will permit it, and for people to grow their own at home. The campaign has submitted its petition for approval by a state elections board.

Jeff Irwin is the campaign’s political director. He says the proposal would regulate recreational marijuana using a system similar to the one for selling beer, wine, and alcohol. He says outlawing pot has been a failure.

Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel was in Lansing Friday. Her visit comes on the heels of a controversial health care vote.

Democrats fought the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They say the Republican plan that would replace it has worse coverage and would cost millions their healthcare coverage. 

Romney McDaniel says the new plan will save American lives.

The state of Michigan is being sued in a bid to restore the driver's licenses of people who say they can't afford to pay traffic fines.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court says the secretary of state is running a "wealth-based" scheme in which people too poor to pay fines are having their licenses suspended. The lawsuit says a traffic violation can cause a "downward spiral" of lost opportunities for jobs and education.

Michigan’s agriculture industry leaders will get the chance to have their say about what should be in the next federal farm bill Saturday.

U.S. Senate Agriculture committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) are holding the public hearing in Frankenmuth.

"Listening to producer perspectives from across the country is a critical step in writing the next Farm Bill,” says Roberts

The proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont has cleared another regulatory hurdle.

Brazilian officials are the latest to give their blessing to the $130 billion merger of the chemical industry giants. The recommendation by Brazilian regulators still must be approved by an administrative tribunal, which is largely a formality.

"Making Ends Meet" is a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy that reveals the average cost of living throughout Michigan.

In its seventh annual report, the policy organization analyzed housing data, child care costs, food expenses, health care costs, and other necessities to calculate a “basic needs income level.”

Law enforcement and pharmacists are working together to curb methamphetamine production in the state.

It’s called the “Anti-Smurfing Campaign.”

Smurfing is the practice of buying cold and allergy medicine – like  Sudafed – that contain meth ingredients, for meth cooks.

Some of Michigan’s top law enforcement members met Thursday to announce the launch. It’s a partnership with pharmacies to display posters discouraging the practice.

In a close vote of 217 to 213, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new health care insurance plan this afternoon.

For weeks, Republicans have struggled to gain enough votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats in Lansing have renewed their mission for a Voter Bill of Rights.

Democrats in the state House attempted to pass a resolution to amend the Michigan Constitution last year. This time, State Representative Jon Hoadley is spearheading the effort.

Hoadley said a Voter Bill of Rights would empower people and let them know their voices are heard.

“The entire process from registering to vote in Michigan to dropping your ballot in the ballot box hasn’t improved in 20 years while other states, Red and Blue, have left us in the dust,” he said.

Ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the state park system, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has drafted a strategic plan for the state parks and recreation system.

The draft plan will replace the current strategic plan, which was set to last until 2019. The draft identifies new issues and recent changes within the system. Key issues include the environment, economic impact, and balancing recreation and protection.

There’s been an uptick in money being seized by U.S. Customs officials in Michigan.

U.S. Customs agents at Michigan’s international airports and border crossings have seized $4.4 million since last October. That’s an 8% increase over the same period a year ago.

Budget talks in the House and Senate may close Michigan's pension program for new teachers.

Supporters say this would help ease Michigan's growing debt. But others say pension cuts would hurt a profession that's already struggling.

David Crim is with the Michigan Education Association.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning announced today that traffic fatalities rose 10% in 2016, from 963 in 2015 to 1,064 last year. 

This was the second year in a row traffic deaths rose by 10%. Officials say the last time fatalities were over 1,000 was in 2007.

In addition to the rise in traffic fatalities, crashes were up 5%, injuries up 8%, and serious injuries were up 16%. Bicyclist and motorcyclist fatalities were both up from 2015, as well as drug-involved fatalities.

Michigan State University is asking a court to decide whether it has to release police and arrest records related to a highly publicized investigation. The records are related to the criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault that may involve members of the Spartan football team.

The sports network ESPN filed a request for the records under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. But the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office says releasing the records could interfere with the criminal investigation.

Since Rachael Denhollander went public with her accusations against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar in September, more than 80 women and girls have come forward with similar complaints.

Seven of the women and girls who say they were sexually abused by a former sports doctor will begin testifying against him next week.

Tony Paris says that in ten years as an attorney filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board, he has never had a case sent to Washington until now.

Apparently, it's because in the current political climate, immigration is a sensitive issue. 

“They have to go up through to Washington D.C. and the national office of the NLRB for what they call 'advice',” Paris said. “I was instructed that’s because of the high sensitivity of this issue.”

A state Senate committee holds a hearing Tuesday on bills to outlaw female genital mutilation in Michigan.

It’s already a federal crime with a penalty of up to five years in prison. The bill’s sponsors say that’s not tough enough.

But a lot of experts say a tougher law may not be enough to deter an entrenched cultural and religious practice.

Republican Senator Margaret O’Brien says she was surprised to learn that Michigan didn’t already ban the practice of female genital mutilation.

Marijuana legalization advocates will rally at the state capitol Monday, as they plan to try and get a legalization question on the state's 2018 ballot.   

State lawmakers are back at the Capitol following their spring break. One job facing them is ending a standoff over money to help Macomb County deal with a giant sinkhole.

The sinkhole is as big as a football field and displaced two dozen families after an underground pipe collapsed on Christmas Eve in Fraser. Now, the disaster threatens to rupture sewer lines that could send a giant mess into Lake Saint Clair, which is part of the Great Lakes system.

The state House approved a $3 million dollar grant before the spring break. But the Senate wants the money to be a loan.

Fake news has become ubiquitous, and it's more sophisticated and thus harder to spot, say communications experts at the University of Michigan.

In response, they'll offer a free online course on Friday, "Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts" on the edX website, which universities use to offer free classes to the public.

Brian Weeks teaches communication studies.  He says it's good news that Google and Facebook are launching new tools to help people try to determine if something is true.  But he thinks the best strategy is citizen education.

Past and present public policies have a major impact on the disparities in child well-being in Michigan. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Four more former patients, including a 14-year-old dancer, are suing former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse.

They join more than 80 other women and girls who claim Nassar abused them under the guise of treatment.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, one woman says Nassar abused her around 1992 to 1993, when he was still in medical school at MSU. A spokesman for MSU confirmed Nassar graduated in 1993.

A Republican state lawmaker says Michigan should protect people’s internet privacy if the federal government won’t.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, has asked for bills that would restore privacy protections for people in Michigan. That’s after Congress voted to block a rule that would have required internet service providers to get customers’ permission before selling their data.    

“So now, if you go on an internet service provider, or if you go on a search engine, anything you look at can be retained and it can be sold,” Jones said.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the influenza-related deaths of two Michigan children.

Officials did not release any other additional information related to the deaths, other than one was a child in northern Michigan and the other child was in western Michigan.

In a statement, the department reiterated the importance of flu vaccinations for anyone older than six months of age.

The state House and Senate are playing volleyball with money to fix a sinkhole in Macomb County.

A House bill originally gave the city a three million dollar grant. It also approved millions of dollars for Flint.

The Senate changed Fraser’s $3 million grant to a $5 million dollar loan.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) said they did this in part to encourage other communities to maintain their infrastructure – instead of waiting for a crisis to get a handout from the state. 

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