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).

Survivors have high hopes for new MSU trustee, but renew call to remove several legacy members

By: - December 4, 2019

As of Wednesday afternoon, Michigan State University’s embattled Board of Trustees once again has eight members. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointment of Trustee Renee Knake in a press release. Knake is a law professor, legal ethics expert and author who has taught at a number of universities, including MSU. Her appointment fills the seat […]

Report: Michigan has 300+ clean energy businesses, regulatory changes could spur more

By: - December 4, 2019

Updated, 2:52 p.m., 12/4/19 with the corrected link to the report The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) released a policy report Wednesday morning praising the progress Michigan has made on renewable energy and identifying areas that still need improvement. Growth in Michigan’s renewable energy sector has been spurred on by a combination of decreasing […]

Yes, there’s still a budget impasse in Michigan

By: - December 3, 2019

Despite occasional remarks that progress is being made on budget negotiations, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) have still not come to an agreement. However, at least the relationship between Whitmer and Shirkey seems less rocky than it was last month. Before the Legislature went […]

Michiganders can now register to vote online, use digital notary services

By: - December 2, 2019

As of Monday, Michiganders can now register to vote, update their voter registration information and have documents notarized from the comfort of their computer, tablet or smartphone. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the new online voter registration portal on Monday, making Michigan one of 38 states to allow voters to register online. “This fast, […]

A tale of two oil pipelines and their place in the presidential race

By: - December 1, 2019

The political debate over how to regulate the fossil fuel industry in the United States is more important — and ideologically divisive — than ever before, as the 2020 election is fully underway.  One of the core arguments is over the need for and the ethics of energy pipelines. With 2.4 million miles of pipeline, […]

‘Oil destroys life’: Winona LaDuke on why she fights Midwest pipeline projects

By: - December 1, 2019

Winona LaDuke is internationally known as a vocal indigenous activist in northern Minnesota, where Canadian oil giant Enbridge Energy has been attempting for years to construct a new Line 3 pipeline through tribal lands and sacred wild rice lakes. She is also an economist, writer, author of seven books and co-author of many more. LaDuke […]

Nessel drops charges in case due to former assistant AG’s actions

By: - November 26, 2019

After two months and 26 interviews, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Monday that her office will dismiss charges against two defendants after its investigation into former Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej’s conduct. In September, Nessel learned that the Michigan State Police was investigating an alleged inappropriate relationship between Kolodziej and one of the victims […]

Peters, Stabenow join calls for Trump aide Stephen Miller to resign

By: - November 25, 2019

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) have joined four other Michigan lawmakers in demanding the resignation of White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, the Advance has confirmed. “While Stephen Miller should have never been in the White House in the first place, his emails revealing his ties to white nationalism disqualify […]

Michiganders sue Trump dept. over Medicaid work requirements

By: - November 22, 2019

Four Michigan residents filed a lawsuit Friday against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), challenging the President Trump administration’s approval for a waiver that conditions Medicaid coverage in Michigan upon work requirements.  The requirements are set to take effect on Jan. 1 and the state has been preparing recipients for the changes. […]

Shirkey calls Whitmer and Michigan Dems ‘batshit crazy,’ gov’s office calls comments ‘sexist and partisan’

By: - November 21, 2019

Updated 8:01 p.m. 11/21/19 with additional comments from Shirkey State Sen. Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) had some colorful things to say about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Democratic state lawmakers to students at a Hillsdale College Republicans event last week. As detailed in an article published Thursday by Hillsdale College’s student newspaper, Shirkey described Whitmer […]

Enviros give DTE Energy failing grade on clean energy

By: - November 19, 2019

If electric utilities received report cards for their investment plans like students do for class assignments, DTE Energy’s 15-year investment plan would get failing grades. This is according to a coalition of pro-clean energy organizations, who released a “report card” on Monday evaluating the Detroit-based DTE Energy’s plan on criteria including equitable access to clean […]

Tlaib, Sanders aim to curb ‘excessive’ CEO pay

By: - November 14, 2019

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) has teamed up with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to reduce income inequality by taking aim at excessively paid CEOs. Their bill introduced Wednesday, called the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, would impose a higher corporate tax rate increase on companies whose CEOs are paid […]