Author

Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.

Dem introduces bill decriminalizing psychedelics, hopes to reverse some ‘War on Drugs’ impacts

By: - September 13, 2021

Michigan Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced legislation last week that would decriminalize the use of psilocybin and mescaline — two plants and fungi commonly found in psychedelics.  Senate Bill 631, which was co-sponsored by state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), would allow the possession, cultivation and delivery of the two types of psychedelics. Commercial production […]

Unemployment head tells House panel she ‘absolutely’ takes responsibility for agency failures

By: - September 9, 2021

Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), testified before a state House panel Thursday on unemployment system problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Olson’s appearance before the Oversight Committee comes after Republican lawmakers have leveled withering criticism at the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration over its handling of […]

Whitmer calls on GOP Legislature to repeal Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban 

By: - September 8, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged the Michigan Legislature on Tuesday to repeal a 1931 state law criminalizing abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court last week issued an unsigned order allowing a Texas abortion ban law to go into effect. Experts say the recent SCOTUS opinion signals the fall of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case […]

Several colleges have vaccine mandates — but they’re not airtight 

By: - September 6, 2021

As college students return to campuses across Michigan and the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to rage on, several schools have implemented vaccine mandates in order to resume in-person activities. But there are concerns about how easy it is to circumvent the requirements.  Currently, only six of Michigan’s 15 public universities have a university wide-vaccine requirement. […]

Trump still wants a so-called 2020 election ‘audit’ in Michigan, per state GOP co-chair

By: - September 4, 2021

Former President Donald Trump still won’t let go of his 2020 loss in Michigan.  He called Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser about a so-called audit of Michigan’s 2020 election, according to remarks made by Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock. It’s not clear when the call took place.  The call was first reported by the […]

Ingham joins 11 Mich. counties in school mask mandate amid surging Delta variant

By: - September 2, 2021

Updated, 2:40 p.m., 9/2/21,with Berrien County’s mandate Ingham County on Thursday joined 10 other counties mandating students and staff to wear masks in schools and other educational settings, regardless of vaccination status. The county also issued a second mandate setting in place guidelines for quarantine and isolation procedures within schools.  Ingham County Health Officer Linda […]

Federal judge blocks Western Michigan University vaccine requirement on religious grounds

By: - September 1, 2021

District Judge Paul Maloney blocked Western Michigan University on Tuesday from imposing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on four female soccer players who claimed the requirements infringed on their constitutional religious rights.  Maloney, a GOP former President George W. Bush appointee, issued the temporary restraining order on the day the four athletes, Emily Dahl, Hannah Redoute, […]

Meijer introduces bill increasing visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban

By: - September 1, 2021

As the last round of troops left Afghanistan after 20 years this week, U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) introduced a bill alongside Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) increasing the cap for the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to be granted to Afghan interpreters and partners fleeing the now Taliban-controlled country. The Showing American Values […]

Report: Michigan has highest number of armed protests at state capitals across country

By: - August 27, 2021

Michigan has made national news for right-wing armed protests at the state Capitol over COVID-19 health orders, such as the April 30, 2020, demonstration that has been called a “dress rehearsal” for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Now a new study shows the state had 29 armed demonstrations in the last 18 […]

Wentworth calls on Whitmer to fire state unemployment head

By: - August 26, 2021

Updated, 4:49 p.m., with comments from Whitmer’s office As the deadline for workers to claim federal unemployment benefits is set to run out in 10 days on Sept. 4, Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, will testify before a state House panel.  Olson agreed to appear before the Oversight Committee […]

Judge sanctions pro-Trump attorneys for ‘historic and profound abuse of the judicial process’

By: - August 26, 2021

Linda Parker, U.S. District Judge of the Eastern District of Michigan, on Wednesday ordered sanctions for “Kraken” attorneys, including former President Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, for spreading false claims while litigating the results of the 2020 general election.  Michigan attorneys Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom and Stefanie Junttila also were sanctioned. Hagerstrom is a longtime […]

State reports 4,326 new COVID-19 cases, 38 deaths since Monday

By: - August 25, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 937,720 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,161 have died from the virus — an additional 4,326 cases and 38 deaths since Monday. The new numbers combine Tuesday and Wednesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 2,163 […]