Author

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).

GOP leaders again grouse about Whitmer’s use of executive power in budget process

By: - October 24, 2019

Over coffee and eggs at an early Thursday morning event, GOP legislators told a politically oriented crowd at Boji Tower in Lansing that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administrative board power should be reined in. Remarks on the budget process, administration board and road funding dominated the conversation at an event hosted by Dome Magazine and Oakland […]

Bills aim to bring solar energy to more Michiganders

By: - October 23, 2019

A group of lawmakers have announced bipartisan legislation geared at making it easier for Michigan residents to invest in solar. The bills, collectively called the “Powering Michigan Forward” package, were introduced at the state Capitol on Tuesday by state Sens. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), and state Reps. Gregory […]

Bills you may have missed: Hate crimes expansion, judicial age limits and medical experiments on dogs

By: - October 23, 2019

With the fast-moving nature of politics and the legislative process, it’s safe to say that many of the lesser-known legislative happenings tend to get overlooked. In an effort to give some recent bills the coverage that they deserve, here is this week’s roundup of recently introduced legislation you might have missed. Expanding Michigan’s hate crimes […]

GOP leaders, anti-gerrymandering group meet on expanding term limits

By: and - October 22, 2019

A group of Republican leaders, business groups and activists that took on gerrymandering in Michigan have held recent talks aimed at tackling term limits and broader government reform. Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) are working with Voters Not Politicians (VNP) and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce to […]

Flint native named Michigan’s clean water chief, says she’ll ‘lift up voices in our community’

By: - October 22, 2019

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has named Ninah Sasy as its first clean water public advocate, the department announced Tuesday morning. “I feel like I’m really going to ensure that we lift up the voices of our community, and that we’re really clear on what we’re doing to improve clean […]

Bills aimed at stopping unexpected medical bills get pushback from doctor groups 

By: - October 17, 2019

A state House committee Thursday morning heard testimony from two state representatives with a bipartisan plan to protect Michigan patients from what they call “surprise medical billing.” Various state physicians’ associations, however, were not pleased and spoke out vigorously against the bill package. House Bills 4459 and 4460, introduced by state Reps. Roger Hauck (R-Mt. […]

‘Raise the Age’ juvenile justice reform headed for governor’s desk

By: - October 16, 2019

Long-awaited “Raise the Age” juvenile justice reform bills were fast-tracked through the Senate Wednesday morning, following bipartisan compromises. The final package would raise the age limit for an offender to be tried as a juvenile from 17 to 18 years old, is expected to be on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk as soon as Thursday. “We […]

House committee still tweaking bipartisan ‘safe drinking water’ bills 

By: - October 15, 2019

The state House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee took up bills on statewide drinking water quality issues Tuesday afternoon, but declined to move forward on them until certain issues raised at the hearing are addressed. The 10-bill “safe drinking water” package, sponsored by an even split of House Democrats and Republicans, proposes updates to […]

Senate panel passes bipartisan compromise on ‘Raise the Age’ legislation

By: - October 10, 2019

Michigan’s “Raise the Age” campaign scored big Thursday morning, as a Senate committee unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that will raise the age limit for an offender to be tried as a juvenile to 18 years old. Michigan is one of just five outlier states — along with Missouri, Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin — which regards […]

Stabenow talks climate crisis impacts on Great Lakes after releasing new report

By: - October 8, 2019

Erratic and extreme lake level fluctuations will be the “new normal” for the Great Lakes, as climate change causes more frequent and more intense storms. This is according to a new report from U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing), who hosted a climate change roundtable with local health and environmental stakeholders Tuesday morning in Lansing. Stabenow […]

House Dems announce bills to lower health care, prescription costs

By: - October 7, 2019

At a press conference Monday morning held at the Care Free Medical clinic in Lansing, a group of House Democrats unveiled a new Health Over Profits for Everyone (HOPE) bill package to address the costs of prescription drugs and doctor visits. Democrats say their 10-part package will reduce the costs of health care and hold […]

Whitmer denounces Trump plan to clamp down on refugees

By: - October 4, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office released a statement Friday condemning the President Trump administration’s recent plan to cut the number of asylum-seeking refugees allowed to resettle in the United States almost in half.  In the statement, Whitmer outlines her strong opposition to the decision and says that Michigan will remain a welcoming state to refugees. “Refugees […]