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).

Opponents say ‘fake’ emotional support animal crackdown bills could violate federal housing law

By: - November 2, 2019

Is it time to crack down on tenants who misrepresent their pets as emotional support animals? A state Senate panel heard testimony this week that was split on this question. The Senate Committee on Local Government met Thursday to consider Senate Bills 608-610, all introduced by Committee Chair Dale Zorn (R-Ida). During the meeting, Zorn […]

Judge rules for Enbridge over state in Line 5 tunnel suit

By: - October 31, 2019

Enbridge Energy, the Canadian oil company at odds with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over its Line 5 oil pipeline and a proposed underwater tunnel to house the aging pipes, has won a Court of Claims lawsuit against the state. The decision from Judge Michael Kelly was announced Thursday afternoon. In the ruling, Kelly states that the […]

Whitmer signs bipartisan ‘Raise the Age’ juvenile justice bills into law

By: - October 31, 2019

In a big step for criminal justice reform in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed into law legislation that will change the definition of “adult” in the criminal justice system from age 17 to 18.  The new laws will also establish funding to ensure that age-appropriate rehabilitation services are accessible to 17-year-olds, and prohibit […]

Bills you may have missed: Wrongful imprisonment, disability accommodations and taxes for mosquito spraying

By: - October 29, 2019

Here’s this week’s Michigan Advance roundup of noteworthy recent legislation that has mostly gone under the radar. Wrongful imprisonment claims Bipartisan legislation to resolve conflicting timelines for filing wrongful imprisonment claims was introduced earlier this month by state Reps. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield) and Julie Calley (R-Portland). House Bills 5117 and 5118 are reintroductions of Senate […]

Former MSU president headed to trial, university trustee resigns over transparency concerns

By: - October 28, 2019

The Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal continues to roil Michigan State University. Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon was ordered Monday to stand trial and Board of Trustees Member Nancy Schlichting resigned over the “lack of transparency” among the panel. Eaton County District Court Judge Julie Reinke ordered that Simon will head to trial for […]

DHHS announces vaping test results from lung-injury patients

By: - October 28, 2019

While the exact cause of vaping-related lung injuries is still unknown, preliminary test results collected from Michigan patients by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are starting to look into possible answers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Friday that it had received test results from the FDA analyzing e-cigarette […]

Nessel joins group of AGs against ‘unlawful’ Trump EPA regulatory changes

By: - October 25, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 22 other state attorneys general in opposing a proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which the AGs say would unlawfully hinder states’ abilities to protect water quality. In the comment letter filed this week, the attorneys general cite “grave concerns” that the President Trump administration […]

Whitmer asks Supreme Court to lift vape ban order

By: - October 25, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has followed through on her plans to file with the state Supreme Court over her vaping ban, her office announced Friday. The emergency application seeks to lift the Oct. 15 court order blocking the enforcement of Whitmer’s flavored nicotine vape ban, in which a Court of Claims judge questioned the legitimacy of […]

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 […]