Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. 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.

Shirkey turns to ballot measure before courts to limit Whitmer’s powers

By: - May 4, 2020

In an apparent reversal of course, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) has at least temporarily stepped back from the idea of a lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that the GOP-led Legislature authorized Thursday. Now, it appears that Shirkey is instead placing his bets on a ballot petition to reject one of two Michigan laws […]

National Guard to test 7,500 U.P. prisoners for COVID-19 by Saturday

By: - May 4, 2020

Starting Monday, the Michigan National Guard is stepping in to help the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) test inmates for COVID-10 at all six of the Upper Peninsula’s state prisons in just six days. The U.P. correctional facilities have, so far, seen few tests. As of Sunday evening, just 108 tests had been done between […]

Nessel to probe canceled state contract with Dem firm for COVID-19 contact tracing

By: - May 1, 2020

Attorney General Dana Nessel, in response to Republicans who have sounded the alarm about the state’s since-canceled contract with a Democratic political firm hired to lead Michigan’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, has agreed to open an investigation into how the contract was awarded. State Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) on Tuesday had requested that Nessel’s […]

It’s May 1 and thousands can’t pay their rent. Here’s what some Michiganders are doing.

By: - May 1, 2020

Madeline Smith, a 23-year-old Michigan State University student set to graduate this month, can’t pay her rent for May. She didn’t pay her April rent, either. And she doesn’t plan to pay for June. Smith lost her two on-campus jobs in March when the university shut down due to COVID-19. Suddenly, she was unable to […]

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 […]