Politics + Gov

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 […]

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Immigrant driver license hearing gets canceled at last minute

BY: - September 14, 2021

Updated, 4:31 p.m. 9/14/21 with a list of groups that planned to testify Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) asked to nix a long-awaited hearing Tuesday on legislation expanding access to driver licenses and state IDs for a wide range of Michiganders, including both documented and undocumented immigrants.  The Michigan House Rules and Competitiveness Committee, […]

Billions of dollars in federal rental aid remains stalled in slow-moving states, localities

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Make it simpler to apply for rental assistance money. Allow landlords to apply on behalf of unresponsive tenants. And consolidate two overlapping federal programs aimed at getting financial help to struggling renters. Those were among the proposals that U.S. House members weighed during a hearing Friday on how to better help states and localities […]

COMMENTARY

Column: I’ve worked at McDonald’s for 11 years. We deserve better working conditions.

BY: - September 14, 2021

In Detroit, the average temperature last month was 80 degrees. Now add the heat radiating from a hot stove, humidity, wearing a face mask for safety during the pandemic and physical exertion. It feels like I’m in an oven at the Detroit McDonald’s where I work.  I have worked at as a crew member for […]

Michigan medical marijuana caregivers gear up for fight against efforts to restrict grow rights

BY: - September 14, 2021

Medical marijuana caregiver Ryan Bringold has been involved in Michigan’s grassroots efforts to legalize cannabis for years.  But as larger licensed recreational and medical cannabis grow facilities and provisioning centers crop up across Michigan, caregivers like Bringold who helped legalize marijuana feel they are being pushed out. A small group of corporate activists want to […]

Black business group bikes from Detroit to Mackinaw City, seeking investment

BY: - September 13, 2021

Members of a Detroit-based organization on Sunday launched a 377-mile bike ride from the Motor City to Mackinaw City, making the case that African-American entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits are not getting their fair share of opportunities. “The pandemic has shined the light on an issue that has been here,” said Black Leaders Detroit CEO Dwan […]

Will university vaccine mandates hold up part of Michigan’s state budget?

BY: - September 13, 2021

Updated, 9:45 a.m., 9/14/21, with new comments from Gov. Whitmer’s office With only 18 days left to finalize the rest of the state budget before the new Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 begins, leaders tell the Advance they’re confident there will be a negotiated budget in time to avoid a government shutdown — but there is […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of […]

Great Lakes funding and 3 other big climate items in Congress’ reconciliation bill

BY: - September 13, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. The […]

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 […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: Republicans never had a COVID plan. They just wanted us to accept mass death.

BY: - September 12, 2021

When COVID-19 first paralyzed our nation last winter, many Republican leaders blasted stay-home orders, arguing they would kill businesses and inconvenience folks who had to pause going to the mall or the movies. The soaring death rate oddly seemed to be a far lesser concern. Then they railed against masks, spreading weird conspiracies that a […]