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.

GOP Legislature moves toward suing Whitmer, as armed protestors watched from Senate gallery

By: and - April 30, 2020

Updated, 10:12 a.m., 5/1/20 As Senate members sat in session on Thursday, about 20 protesters, some of whom were armed with long guns, stood above in the gallery, while roughly 600 more protested on the Capitol lawn and outside the House and Senate chambers.   “Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of […]

Dems call for Zorn to be censured for Confederate flag mask in long, slow session day

By: - April 29, 2020

Days after state Sen. Dale Zorn (R-Ida) came under fire for wearing a Confederate flag-patterned face mask to session, two Democratic lawmakers took to the Senate floor to call on Zorn to be formally censured. State Sens. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) and Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) also proposed a resolution that would ban Confederate flag imagery from […]

Whitmer: ‘This is not a political problem. This is a public health crisis.’

By: - April 29, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday declared she won’t engage in political fights over public health, after talks with GOP leaders to extend her emergency declaration over COVID-19 went south and led to sharp words from the Republican Senate majority leader. Whitmer was asked by reporters about her talks with GOP leaders at Wednesday’s COVID-19 update. […]

Lawmaker inboxes spammed with anti-’quarantine’ emails from group

By: - April 28, 2020

At least 1,000 Michiganders spent their Tuesday jamming up legislator inboxes with copies of a draft resolution that would reject another extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency and disaster declarations over the COVID-19 pandemic that’s killed more than 3,500 Michiganders.  Whitmer has asked the Legislature to extend the emergency declaration, which expires Thursday. President Donald […]

Michigan reports more than 39K COVID-19 cases, 3,500 deaths

By: - April 28, 2020

There are now 39,262 positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, although state officials believe the actual number of cases is much higher. This is an additional 1,052 cases since Monday. The state also reports 160 more Michiganders have died of the disease, bringing the total death toll to 3,567. The […]

Nessel, AGs call on EPA to strengthen PFAS rules

By: - April 28, 2020

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 17 other attorneys general in urging a federal agency to strengthen rules pertaining to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), her office announced Tuesday. The comment letter addressed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls on the agency to strengthen and expand a proposed rule about the review […]

ACLU sues ICE to release medically frail detainees in Calhoun Co. jail

By: - April 27, 2020

Updated, 1:07 p.m. 4/27/20 The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) has leveled its third federal lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this month seeking the immediate release of immigrant detainees at high risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19. With the backing of a firm of more than 1,000 lawyers, […]

In heated Friday session, GOP leaders create Republican-heavy oversight committee on Whitmer

By: - April 24, 2020

While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the details of her new “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order extension at a press conference Friday, state lawmakers met in Lansing to spar over and eventually pass controversial GOP-led legislation aimed at limiting her powers. The unusual Friday session was called Thursday morning by Republican leadership. On the docket for […]

GOP calls rare Friday session to strike down Whitmer’s emergency powers — which she can veto

By: - April 23, 2020

In an effort to preemptively block the stay-home extension Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce soon, the GOP-led state Legislature will meet for session Friday to check her powers — or at least try to. State House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) announced the session in a tweet Thursday morning, writing that the special […]

Enbridge says it doesn’t need state panel’s sign off on Line 5

By: - April 23, 2020

Updated, 8:42 a.m., 4/23/20 with comments from the AG’s office With a unanimous vote Wednesday afternoon, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) resolved to move forward on clarifying a legal issue that could impact which regulatory body has the authority to move the controversial Line 5 tunnel project along. Electronic comments on Enbridge’s request may […]

AG joins 13 states, NYC in suing Trump admin over energy rules

By: - April 22, 2020

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 13 other attorneys general and New York City in a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s administration over revisions to its energy emissions rules, Nessel’s office announced Wednesday. The April 14 lawsuit argues that parts of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent revisions to its process rule, a 24-year-old […]

Whitmer to FEMA: Waive all cost-share requirements during COVID-19

By: - April 21, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, citing the strain on state resources resulting from Michigan’s COVID-19 outbreak, has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) waive all cost-share requirements for federal assistance in Michigan be waived. Since President Donald Trump granted a major disaster declaration in late March, state, tribal and local recovery efforts have been supplemented […]