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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

Rep. Slagh missed 62 votes last year due to previously undisclosed COVID diagnosis

By: and - January 5, 2022

State Rep. Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland) announced Tuesday that his absence from 62 votes at the end of 2021 can be attributed to contracting COVID-19. The announcement comes after the Missed Votes Report released by the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganVotes.org highlighted those missed votes.  The report showed that Slagh missed all votes that […]

First gentleman has COVID-19, Whitmer tests negative but is isolating

By: and - January 5, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is isolating herself after first gentleman Marc Mallory tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and is experiencing symptoms. Whitmer tested negative in a rapid test, but is awaiting results of a subsequent PCR test. “Like so many families around the country, the governor and her husband took extra precautions to limit contact […]

Would Whitmer have run for governor in 2018 if she knew COVID and an assassination plot lay ahead?

By: - January 3, 2022

As the last two tumultuous years of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s term came to a close, she talked with the Advance about bipartisan business incentives, the future of Roe v. Wade, the 2022 election and more. But first, the Advance asked the Democratic governor if she knew what she knows now about a global pandemic, the […]

Whitmer backs Oakland University’s January virtual learning plan amid omicron

By: - December 22, 2021

After schools fought to have in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland University this week joined colleges like Harvard and Stanford in announcing that classes will begin virtually next month due to the fast-spreading omicron variant. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Michigan Advance in a phone interview Wednesday that […]

New: Whitmer backs Supreme Court decision against redistricting commission

By: - December 22, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Advance in a phone interview Wednesday morning that she believes the Michigan Supreme Court ruled correctly this week on a case brought by media organizations against the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). After a 4-3 decision Monday — with three GOP-nominated justices and one Democratic-nominated justice in the majority […]

Whitmer signs $1.5B business incentive plan alongside GOP leaders

By: and - December 20, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a bipartisan set of bills creating new business incentives aimed at attracting jobs from companies like General Motors that flew through the Legislature in its final days of the year. The signing for the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) package was held at Wayne County Community College District’s […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: Hospitals are overrun by the unvaccinated. What happens to the rest of us?

By: - December 20, 2021

I never fully transitioned back into a post-COVID world after getting vaxxed and even boosted, because I understood that reality didn’t exist for millions of immunocompromised people, seniors and young kids who still can’t get the shot. Wearing high-quality masks indoors, continuing to work from home much of the time and limiting travel — one […]

Updated: MSU, U of M and WSU will require COVID booster shots for spring semester

By: - December 17, 2021

Updated, 4:51 p.m., 12/17/21, 7:38 a.m., 12/18/21, with U of M and Wayne State announcements Michigan’s largest state university announced Friday that all students, faculty and staff are to receive a COVID-19 booster, beginning with the spring 2022 semester. In an email Friday morning, Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley said this will “allow for […]

Legislature sends $842M spending bill for COVID testing, airports and more to Whitmer

By: and - December 15, 2021

A long-delayed $842.6 million spending bill using federal stimulus money for COVID-19 testing — as well as wide-ranging items like mental health programs, airport projects and snowmobile trail and maintenance — is heading to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk after a marathon Tuesday session. On what was expected to be the last day of action in […]

Updated: Legislature passes sweeping business incentive bills, some lawmakers sign NDAs

By: and - December 9, 2021

Updated, 2:15 p.m., 7:22 p.m., 12/9/21, with Senate votes and Whitmer comments The Michigan House of Representatives passed a package of three bills on Wednesday that would establish incentives for businesses to move to and stay in Michigan, with the Senate passing its own bills Thursday. The bills come after Ford Motor Co.’s decision alongside […]

GOP-led Senate panel considers expanding EITC after Snyder’s cuts 

By: and - December 9, 2021

The GOP-led Michigan Senate Finance Committee heard testimony Wednesday from numerous individuals backing a bill that would increase the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 6% to 10% by 2024.  The EITC aims to help low-wage earners get out of poverty and impacts families across Michigan.  Senate Bill 417, introduced by state Sen. Wayne […]

Whitmer: State of Michigan has ‘concerns’ over federal COVID vax mandate, awaiting court action

By: - December 7, 2021

Updated, 1:17 pm., 12/7/21, with comments from Whitmer’s office In a meeting with business owners in Howard City Monday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer criticized President Joe Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which the 5th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court has blocked for now. Howard City is located north of Grand Rapids in Montcalm County, which went […]