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State of Michigan

Michigan Road Fixes May Be Coming Soon

Mar 31, 2014
senatorarlanmeekhof.com/

    A top Republican in the state Senate thinks a long-term fix for Michigan’s roads could be coming sooner than expected. 

Labor Courses could cost MSU

Mar 27, 2014
en.wikipedia.org

MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses

Michigan State University could risk losing half-a-million dollars if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.

A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It's a reaction to MSU's recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.

Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.

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Congressional Democrats ask Holder to recognize MI gay marriages
Rick Pluta

Some congressional Democrats are putting pressure on Michigan to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend. They sent a letter today asking US Attorney General Eric Holder to grant federal recognition of the marriages.

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Michigan lawmakers urge Congress to require a balanced federal budget
By Jake Neher

Michigan is joining at least 17 other states in calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

On Wednesday, the state Senate gave final approval to a resolution formally asking Congress to call a constitutional convention to consider the amendment. It would take 34 total states to compel Congress to call a constitutional convention.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan won't recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend.

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Snyder: Treat e-cigarettes like tobacco

Governor Rick Snyder says he wants electronic cigarettes to be regulated in Michigan as tobacco products. E-cigarettes deliver a dose of nicotine to users in a mist. There is a bill in the Legislature to ban e-cigarette sales to minors, but would not tax them like cigarettes or subject them to other tobacco-related regulations.

The governor says it makes more sense to simply treat them as a tobacco product.

Andrew Cluley

The Washtenaw County Road Commission is warning that area roads will continue to be in rough shape for a while, as long as the weather continues to freeze and thaw.

Jim Harmon is the road commission's Director of Operations.

"We're experiencing rough road conditions s county-wide at this time," Harmon said, "both on our paved roads and un-paved roads, and our crews are working each day to try and patch and hold these roads together until things completely thaw out and stabalize."

Medical Marijuana Approved for PTSD in Michigan

Mar 18, 2014
Laurie Avocado
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PTSD patients now able to get medical marijuana card in Michigan
By Jake Neher

Michiganders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can now get a card to use medical marijuana.

The state's Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Steve Arwood, gave final approval to add PTSD to the state's medical marijuana program about a week after it was recommended by a state review panel.

Michigan Lawmakers Discuss Scrap Metal Theft

Mar 17, 2014
Alfred T. Palmer
Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers revive talks over scrap metal theft
By Jake Neher

There's a new push in Lansing to pass legislation meant to fight scrap metal theft in Michigan. Votes in the House and Senate could come as soon as this week.

Supporters of House Bills 4593 and 4595 say the state must require there to be a paper trail whenever someone sells commonly-stolen items to a scrap yard.
    
State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, says there has been disagreement over how best to do that. But she says she is confident lawmakers will reach a deal soon.

en-tek.org

  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is awarding $357,450 in grants for scrap tire cleanup projects.

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Michiganders buying insurance on their own cannot get abortion coverage

keepwolvesprotected.com

Wolf hunt referendum petitions filed
By Rick Pluta

The campaign to repeal Michigan's new wolf hunting law filed petitions Thursday to put their challenge on the November ballot.

The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Campaign says it has 225,000 signatures. That's well over the 161,305 needed to qualify for the November ballot.

State could soon pop the cap off microbreweries - or at least lift it By Jake Neher  Michigan craft breweries are cheering the state Legislature for passing bills to ease some state regulations.  The state House sent the bill package to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk Thursday. One bill would double the amount of beer Michigan microbreweries can produce every year. "We know that immediately this is going to result in some businesses being expanded and some additional employees being hired," said state Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt.

PublicDomainPictures
Pixabay

Bill making it easier for companies to end landline service headed to Gov. Snyder It could soon be easier for phone companies to end traditional landline service in Michigan. The state Senate gave final legislative approval to the measure Thursday. Senate Bill 636, which was championed by AT&T, now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk. AARP and other critics say it could leave people in some areas of the state without reliable and affordable service.

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Campaign to stop wolf hunt to turn in petitions

The campaign to stop wolf hunts in Michigan says it has more than enough petition signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot. This would be the second ballot challenge to a wolf hunt because the state's first wolf hunting law was blocked by a petition challenge that will also go before voters in November.

The Legislature got around that by passing a new law that's the target of this ballot drive.

Bob Eccles

When you think about crime in Michigan, human trafficking may not leap to mind.  But three high-ranking officers in the state Attorney General's office say it probably should.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Isaacs was among those who participated in a discussion on human trafficking at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center Tuesday. 

She says human trafficking - both sexual and labor trafficking - is prevalent in Michigan.

"We think it is under-reported," Isaacs said. "Mis-labeled, un-reported and hidden in plain sight."

State Lawmakers, Governor Wrangle Mid-Year Budget

Mar 10, 2014
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Governor meets with legislative leaders to hammer out road fix, Medicaid deal

State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year's budget first.

One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state's Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.

Brian Calley
Wikipedia Media Commons

        Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed legislation designed to offer more treatment options in Michigan for people with mental illness, including those who are jailed or at risk of being imprisoned.

Dakota Serna served in the Marines during the Iraq War. He says memories of seeing friends and children killed left him suicidal after he came home. Serna says the only thing that has helped him get his life back on track is using marijuana. 


e-cig
TheNorlo/Wikimedia Commons

State Senate votes to ban e-cigarette sales to minors

It could soon be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to children in Michigan. The state Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday meant to keep the smokeless devices out of the hands of minors. 

So-called "e-cigarettes" deliver a nicotine-laced vapor, but don't contain tobacco. That means the state cannot currently regulate them along with regular cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Michigan Edging Toward Year-Round School

Mar 5, 2014
Flick user john.murden

Lawmakers in the state House have approved a $2 million program to encourage schools to go year-round. Schools in mostly low-income areas could get money from the state to add air-conditioning and other things allowing them to operate in the summer.

Flickr user marsmet531

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan hopes to renew state lawmakers’ interest in curbing scrap metal theft across the state. Duggan met with Democrats and Republicans in the state House on Wednesday.     

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The state House and Senate have not been able to agree on a mid-year budget bill. 

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The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether more than 350 inmates sent to prison for murder as juveniles for life without parole will get a chance someday at freedom.

Texting While Driving On the Rise In Michigan

Mar 5, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

 A poll reports a doubling in the percentage of Michigan drivers who acknowledge they text or use email while behind the wheel since the previous survey two years earlier.

NASA Goddard Photo and Video

 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Great Lakes water levels rebounded sharply last year after a prolonged low period dating from the late 1990s.

Flickr user jason nahrung

       Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law changing sentencing rules for juvenile defendants convicted of murder and other serious crimes.

Flickr user mstephens7

       Congress has given final approval to a bill designating 32,000 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness.      With U.S. House passage of the bill, it now heads to President Barack Obama for signature. The U.S. Senate passed it in June 2013.      The lakeshore is headquartered in Empire in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.      Hunting and fishing would be permitted in the wilderness areas.      More than 1.4 million people visited Sleeping Bear Dunes in 2011, pumping about $120 million into the local economy.      Democratic Michigan U.S.

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There is an effort afoot in Lansing to regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes - and ban their sale to minors. But there is a difference of opinion on how to go about it. 

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Legislation to repeal and replace a tax on business equipment has cleared the state Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bills seek to make sure local governments are not hit hard by a repeal of Michigan's Personal Property Tax (PPT). 

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