Local Government

Anti-vax, anti-mask school bills clear GOP-led Senate committee

BY: - September 14, 2021

Republican Senate committee members spent part of their Tuesday afternoon hearing from parents and lawmakers who support a bill package to essentially let students at public schools flout local mask mandates, be exempt from COVID-19 testing requirements and not require vaccinations. The Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee hearing was paused at one point by […]

Dem introduces bill decriminalizing psychedelics, hopes to reverse some ‘War on Drugs’ impacts

BY: - September 13, 2021

Michigan Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced legislation last week that would decriminalize the use of psilocybin and mescaline — two plants and fungi commonly found in psychedelics.  Senate Bill 631, which was co-sponsored by state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), would allow the possession, cultivation and delivery of the two types of psychedelics. Commercial production […]

Michigan school board members struggle with anger, threats over COVID-19 rules, culture war issues

BY: - September 10, 2021

School board members in Michigan — volunteers who are typically parents or former educators — are facing unprecedented pressure and scrutiny as a third school year dawns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike last year, Michigan does not have a statewide mask mandate, leaving the decision in the hands of county health departments and local school […]

Survey shows sharp political, racial divides on school mask mandates

BY: - September 7, 2021

Michigan parents are split on whether or not students should be required to get vaccinated or wear a mask this school year, according to a study done by the K-12 Alliance of Michigan, a Lansing-based advocacy group.  The study, conducted by the Glengariff group between Aug. 24 to 26, surveyed 600 parents in the state.  […]

It comes down to trust: Study shows progress on vaccine hesitancy in Detroit 

BY: - September 7, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its 18th month, Detroit still lags behind the state average for COVID-19 vaccinations. The city’s vaccination rate is 43.1% for those aged 12 and older, significantly lower than the state percentage of 60.6%. It’s also far lower than 70.7% for Oakland County, which borders the Motor City.  But a University […]

Heeding Steve Bannon’s call, election deniers organize to seize control of the GOP

BY: - September 5, 2021

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. One of the loudest voices urging Donald Trump’s supporters to push for overturning the presidential election results was Steve Bannon. “We’re on the point of attack,” Bannon, a former Trump adviser and […]

Ingham joins 11 Mich. counties in school mask mandate amid surging Delta variant

BY: - September 2, 2021

Updated, 2:40 p.m., 9/2/21,with Berrien County’s mandate Ingham County on Thursday joined 10 other counties mandating students and staff to wear masks in schools and other educational settings, regardless of vaccination status. The county also issued a second mandate setting in place guidelines for quarantine and isolation procedures within schools.  Ingham County Health Officer Linda […]

Educators feel ‘less supported’ by state going into another COVID-19 school year

BY: - August 27, 2021

As school districts enter into their third school year impacted by the pandemic, teachers and education leaders tell the Advance they’re feeling less supported by the state to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) updated its guidance for the new school year, which […]

Unlock Michigan launches 2nd petition to limit state, local health powers 

BY: - August 24, 2021

A right-wing group’s second petition to quash health orders is underway, this time aimed at eliminating the ability of state and local health officials to implement mandates, as they’ve done during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Last month, the GOP-led Legislature voted to approve the Unlock Michigan petition to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor […]

Lasinski: GOP voting bills passing the House are ‘attempt to stoke fear and paranoia’

BY: - August 17, 2021

The GOP-controlled Michigan House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass three bills regarding voting record retention periods, qualified voter files and a ban on voting machines connecting to the internet.  The three bills are parts of a larger bill package restricting voting rights unveiled by Republicans in Michigan following the 2020 general election that former […]

Detroit, state leaders promote 3rd COVID-19 shot for the immunocompromised

BY: - August 16, 2021

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Monday announced the city will reopen TCF Center as a COVID-19 vaccination site for people who have compromised immune systems. The city, Duggan said, is armed with 30,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday approved […]

Whitmer calls bipartisan federal infrastructure deal a ‘game-changer’ for Michigan 

BY: and - August 11, 2021

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will help to restore the nation’s bridges and roads, expand broadband initiatives, and fund projects to help battle against climate change. Roughly $20 billion of the funding will go to Michigan, with about $8 billion for roads and bridges.   Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during […]