Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).

The march to reverse Roe v. Wade: Michigan anti-abortion group, 5 GOP congressmen file briefs

By: - January 10, 2020

Right to Life of Michigan, the state’s foremost anti-abortion organization, has filed to a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. On the same day, several Michigan GOP lawmakers signed a similar brief in support of a court case that could bring the country closer to that […]


New Michigan anti-LGBTQ discrimination ballot measure includes religious beliefs protections

By: - January 8, 2020

Updated, 3:02 p.m., 1/9/19 A new ballot initiative filed Tuesday could make civil rights protections for LGBTQ Michiganders a reality, after attempts to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in the state Legislature have languished for years. And, perhaps in an effort to finally get state GOP leaders on board, the petition also includes language […]

Enbridge retrieves ½ of mechanical debris on Line 5 pipeline — but plans to leave the remainder in lakebed

By: - January 7, 2020

Updated, 2:19 p.m. 1/15/20 with EGLE’s statement Last month, Canadian oil pipeline company Enbridge released a statement announcing its successful retrieval of a 45-foot steel borehole rod segment that had been lost to the Straits of Mackinac in September. Left unsaid was the detail that the recovered segment was only about half of the original […]

Whitmer signs supplemental package after rocky first budget year with GOP leaders

By: - December 20, 2019

After months of discord between the governor and Michigan’s GOP leaders, the state’s budget fiasco has finally come to an end. On Friday morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed every bill in the Fiscal Year 2020 supplemental budget package. The package, which was passed by the GOP-led Legislature earlier this month before they left for the […]

New: Little-noticed Whitmer admin change restores child support for some low-income families

By: - December 20, 2019

Come January, qualifying Michigan low-income families who receive both child support and cash assistance will begin seeing additional funds – up to either $100 or $200 – each month. The new Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration policy will be a significant change for the families enrolled in Michigan’s Family Independence Program (FIP), which provides temporary cash assistance benefits […]

Whitmer kills Nugent-backed deer baiting bill

By: - December 19, 2019

The deer baiting bill that Michigan Republicans – and rocker Ted Nugent – have argued so fervently for has been shot down with a stroke of the governor’s pen. As expected, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed enrolled House Bill 4687 Thursday morning. The bill would have allowed hunters to engage in deer or elk baiting in the […]

AG Barr announces federal crackdown on Detroit crime, MDOC wasn’t given notice

By: - December 18, 2019

A new President Trump administration initiative will soon bulk up the presence of federal law enforcement in Detroit and set the scene for more “tough on crime” policing tactics in the city. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr traveled to Detroit to announce the launch of a major federal program called “Operation Relentless Pursuit.” […]

New: How Elissa Slotkin decided to vote to impeach Trump

By: - December 16, 2019

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin surrounded herself with books and historical documents at her family farm in Holly on Sunday, attempting to make up her mind on which way to vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment. When she reached that decision, she felt a sense of peace, because she “didn’t have to pretend.” At a loud […]

Slotkin to vote yes on impeachment: ‘This is bigger than politics’

By: - December 16, 2019

On Monday morning, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) stood before a crowd of 450 constituents at Oakland University to announce that she will be voting “yes” on impeaching President Donald Trump. Her remarks were often punctuated with loud cheers, and even louder boos from a small but vocal group of Trump-supporting constituents in the back […]

Bills you may have missed: Whistleblower protections, juvenile justice reform and expanded bottle deposit law

By: - December 16, 2019

With post-budget supplemental negotiations finally hammered out in the Legislature, state lawmakers are wrapping up 2019 and will soon enjoy a holiday break from the Capitol. But there will be no shortage of recently-introduced bills for them to take up when they come back next month. Here is this week’s Michigan Advance roundup of noteworthy […]

Benson: 30-min. guarantee for Secretary of State branches is fulfilled — as long as you have an appt.

By: - December 12, 2019

As the new head of a department infamously plagued with customer service challenges, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she has followed through on her campaign promise to cut visits at SOS offices to 30 minutes or less. But, she concedes, that guarantee only applies for those with scheduled appointments. Benson gave members of the […]

EPA, DOJ announce $245M settlement to clean up Kalamazoo Superfund site

By: - December 11, 2019

Updated, 6:03 p.m. 12/11/19 with comments from Rep. Upton After decades of contamination from a paper mill that is a designated Superfund site, efforts to clean up and restore the Kalamazoo River watershed will soon be accelerated to the tune of $245 million. A press release Wednesday announced that the Michigan Department of Environment, Great […]