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Gay couple trying to force state to recognize their marriage, "for our 13 kids"

The ACLU of Michigan is suing the state to force it to recognize the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples who got married last month.

Clint McCormack and Bryan Reamer are one of eight couples named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed Monday.

Scrap Metal Theft Bill Becomes Law

Apr 10, 2014
Michigan Public Radio Network

Bill to fight scrap metal theft signed into law

Michigan now has tougher laws on the books meant to crack down on scrap metal theft.

Under a bill signed by Gov. Rick Snyder Thursday, people can no longer get instant cash when they sell commonly-stolen items for $25 or more.

Supporters say mailing payments for those items will help law enforcement by creating a paper trail. They say communities all over the state have been literally ripped apart by illegal scrapping.

Immigration Center Approved For Michigan

Apr 9, 2014
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Feds approve center to encourage immigrant investment in Michigan

Michigan will be only the second state in the country to run a statewide center meant to encourage investment from immigrants.

The center will provide visas for people who invest at least $1 million in the state and create at least ten jobs. The required investment goes down to $500,000 if it is made in a rural community or one with high unemployment.

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Democratic Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum says she won't run for Michigan's 8th District U.S. House seat to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers. The clerk announced her decision on Tuesday after meeting with political groups in Washington, D.C., last week.

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General Motors says it's investing $449 million in two Detroit-area factories to build the next generation Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car. 

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Members of Congress from the Great Lakes region are lobbying colleagues to continue funding a cleanup program for the inland seas. 

State Schools Superintendent Defends Teachers

Apr 8, 2014
www.michigan.gov

Flanagan defends teachers after report says Michigan schools falling behind

The state's top education official says people should not blame teachers for a new report that shows Michigan schools are falling behind.

The Education Trust-Midwest presented its study to the state Board of Education Tuesday. It shows student growth improving in other states while Michigan students lag behind, especially minority and low-income students.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the report is troubling. But he says it's important to provide some context.

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Rosalynn Carter is scheduled to visit Grand Rapids to honor the 96th anniversary of the birth of fellow former first lady Betty Ford. The wife of the late President Gerald Ford died in 2011. The Ford Presidential Foundation says Carter is to participate in a luncheon discussion about friendship among America's first ladies.

Andrew Cluley

Some prominent Democrats skeptical about proposal to fix roads

A state House Republican plan to fix Michigan's crumbling infrastructure is drawing criticism from some prominent Democrats.

The proposal seeks to boost road funding by about $500 million a year. That's well short of the $1-2 billion most estimates say is needed to adequately address the problem.

Some Democrats say the plan could make passing a more comprehensive solution unlikely any time soon.

Kevin Martini

Construction of the final 50 miles of an Enbridge oil pipeline replacement project in Michigan resumes in May. 

Courtesy Image / Society of Automotive Engineers

Michigan is planning to boost efforts to attract and retain automotive industry jobs in engineering and design, software and coding, systems integration and skilled trades.  

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Governor Rick Snyder tells The Associated Press a proposal by Republican House leaders to spend $500 million annually on roads is a good first step toward much-needed changes, but says it's less than half of his spending target.

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Governor Rick Snyder is getting up early to talk about Detroit. 

 Snyder is speaking this morning at Pancakes and Politics. It's a regular event featuring elected leaders from the state Capitol or southeastern Michigan. It's being held at the Detroit Athletic Club near Comerica Park.

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Local government and business groups have begun a campaign to convince voters to adopt a complicated question on the August ballot.

Kurt Lowenstein
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Schuette asks for fast action marriage case

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has asked a federal appeals court to put the legal challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage on a fast track. Schuette is defending Michigan’s ban.

Schuette’s filed a motion with the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to skip a hearing before a three judge panel and go directly to the entire 15-judge court. That could shave months, maybe as much as a year, off the appeals process. Schuette says the question needs to settled regardless of who wins in the end. 

Schauer Announces Running Mate

Apr 3, 2014
Michigan Public Radio Network

Lisa Brown announced as Schauer's running mate in governor's race

Mark Schauer has made it official. He has chosen Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown to be his running mate in this year's race for governor.

Schauer, a former congressman from Battle Creek, is the likely Democratic challenger to Governor Rick Snyder in November.

       ST. JOHNS - Two teenagers have waived their right to probable cause hearings in the robbery-slaying of a Michigan State University student, and both have been bargaining with prosecutors about plea deals.

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       LANSING - Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed legislation designed to ensure local government budgets aren't hurt if manufacturers and small businesses get planned tax cuts.

T. Lawrence, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
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Michigan replies to Army corps invasive species report

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed the state's response to the US Army Corps of Engineers invasive species report. Schuette says his biggest complaint is the report fails to outline an aggressive plan to stop Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

The report came out in January, and it outlines possibilities without making specific recommendations on what should happen next.

That was a disappointment, says Joy Yearout, Schuette's communications director.

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Michigan's expanded Medicaid program starts today
By Jake Neher

Michigan's Medicaid expansion is officially up and running. That means hundreds of thousands of low-income Michiganders are now eligible for government-sponsored health care.

People making 133% of the federal poverty level or less are now eligible for the program, which is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. That's about $15,000 dollars or less a year for an individual and about $32,000 or less for a family of four.

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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Michigan petition circulator law
By Rick Pluta

A bill to let out-of-state residents gather petitions signatures is awaiting Governor Rick Snyder's signature. Because of the bill, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the state.

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       DETROIT - A once-secret fund that allowed an anonymous donor to give $17 million since 2005 to help poor people in the Detroit area is ending this month.

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The US Department of Veterans Affairs says Michigan vets will not lose their federal benefits if they legally use medical marijuana. The VA's statement is a response to the state's decision to add post-traumatic stress disorder to its medical marijuana program.

Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Director Steve Arwood approved the change a couple weeks ago. But he urged veterans to consult with a VA representative first. He said it was unclear whether using medical marijuana would put their federal benefits at risk.

enrollmichigan.com

       LANSING - Michigan is launching its expanded Medicaid plan to provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands of low-income adults.

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