Politics + Gov

Engler’s 1991 tax cut: ‘Robin Hood in reverse’

BY: - January 29, 2019

When Gov. John Engler offered his first tax cut proposal to the Michigan Legislature on this day in 1991 — which chopped $4.2 billion over three years — one prominent House Democrat called out the conservative Republican.   State Rep. Perry Bullard (D-Ann Arbor) said at the time: “It is a Robin Hood in reverse […]

Chief justice says Supreme Court needs to be more ‘nonpartisan’

BY: - January 29, 2019

For the first time in a decade, a Democrat is leading the Michigan Supreme Court with Bridget McCormack. That’s even more remarkable since the court still has a 4-3 GOP majority. The new chief justice told the Michigan Advance in an in-depth interview on Friday that she believes the court ultimately “needs to be more […]

‘Snow emergency’ shutters Michigan state offices

BY: - January 28, 2019

As heavy snowfall pounds much of Michigan, the governor, Legislature and some cities and counties are sending civil servants home early. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed state offices at 10 a.m. on Monday, while the state House and other county and city offices in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula called a snow day. “This is about keeping all […]


Susan J. Demas: Gretchen Whitmer will be a national star, whether you like it or not

BY: - January 28, 2019

Newly inaugurated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she has no plans to land on the 2020 ticket. In fact, she was pretty emphatic that she didn’t want to run for president or vice president when I interviewed her in December before she took office. But voters might have other ideas. Something is definitely happening here in […]

Lee Chatfield (left) and Donald Trump (right)

After Trump invite, Chatfield stresses nonpartisan agenda this term

BY: - January 27, 2019

House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) had a busy week. The leader of the state’s House of Representatives — and at 30 years old, one of the youngest legislative leaders in state history — spoke with the Advance in his Capitol office on Tuesday morning. Shortly thereafter, he took a call from President Donald Trump, who […]

Michigan in national news: Biden buoyed Upton in 2018

BY: - January 27, 2019

With 10 million people, a full-time Legislature and our status as a 2020 swing state, Michigan is frequently in the glare of the national spotlight. Here’s a roundup of some national coverage of the Mitten State that you may have missed over the last week: There’s been a flurry of stories former Vice President Joe […]

Whitmer tells D.C. leaders to strike permanent deal post-shutdown

BY: - January 26, 2019

The partial federal government shutdown may have come to a close on Friday — for at least three weeks — but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging leaders in Washington, D.C., to strike a permanent deal. “I’m glad to see that they’ve got a reprieve, but they’ve got to get [a deal] done,” Whitmer told reporters […]

Kildee: Trump took a ‘defeat lap’ on shutdown

BY: - January 26, 2019

Before President Trump even signed the bill reopening the government — without any money for his border wall — Michigan officials took to Twitter on Friday. This was the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. As the Advance has noted, this impacted people in Michigan and across the country in many ways, including cinching […]

Food safety worries linger even as government shutdown ends

BY: - January 26, 2019

Updated, 8:15 p.m. The longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history finally ended on Friday, but some impacts, like food safety, could linger. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration dramatically scaled back food inspections due to the partial government shutdown that’s lasted 35 days. President Trump announced a deal to reopen the government Friday afternoon. […]

Benson reaches gerrymandering settlement to GOP’s ire

BY: - January 25, 2019

Updated: 10:10 a.m. 1/27/19 Eleven state House districts will be redrawn under a settlement reached in a gerrymandering lawsuit with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office, but Republicans are already calling foul on the agreement and say a court battle looms. Benson, a Democrat, agreed with plaintiffs, including the League of Women Voters of Michigan, […]

GOP ballot limits sponsor slams AG, SOS efforts to challenge law

BY: - January 25, 2019

The Republican who sponsored legislation making it harder to get citizen-backed questions onto the ballot is slamming efforts from Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to challenge the new law. State Rep. James Lower (R-Cedar Lake) sponsored legislation during the final weeks last year in which the GOP had control of […]

House speaker’s fine cut after bringing loaded gun to airport

BY: - January 24, 2019

Updated, 6:40 p.m. Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield only had to pay half the fine he was originally slapped with after bringing a loaded, unregistered handgun to an airport last summer, The Detroit News reported. The Levering Republican paid $1,960 to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after he brought the weapon to the Pellston Regional […]