State Government

Some Mich. school districts are also dropping mask mandates in confusion over state budget

BY: - October 28, 2021

When Republicans inserted boilerplate language into the Fiscal Year 2022 budget last month threatening to cut funding for local health departments that issue COVID-19 mask or quarantine policies, some school districts started to wonder whether to follow county mandates or state law on masking students.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the budget bill, Senate Bill 82, […]

Dems, Republicans slam redistricting panel over closed session on Voting Rights Act

BY: - October 28, 2021

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is facing some backlash after hosting a closed meeting Wednesday to discuss the Voting Rights Act (VRA).  The MICRC postponed Wednesday’s meeting in East Lansing for over two hours after receiving a death threat through email. MICRC spokesperson Edward Woods said the threat was not directed at any specific […]

Michigan reports 7,867 new COVID-19 cases, 142 deaths since Monday

BY: - October 27, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 1,120,357 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 22,060 have died from the virus — an additional 7,867 cases and 142 deaths since Monday. The new numbers combine Tuesday and Wednesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 3,933 […]

Redistricting commission postpones meeting due to death threat

BY: - October 27, 2021

Updated, 4:59 p.m., 10/27/21 with comment from Michigan State Police, Michigan State University A Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) meeting Wednesday was postponed after the commission received a death threat, according to spokesperson Edward Woods.  “At 1:06 p.m. today, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission received notification of a death threat received through email. […]

Controversial GOP Senate bill banning ‘critical race theory’ passes in committee

BY: - October 27, 2021

Democratic lawmakers and educators are sounding the alarm about Senate Bill 460, the second GOP bill banning “critical race theory” that will head for a full chamber vote this fall in the Michigan Legislature. The legislation was reported out of committee Tuesday, and is similar to bills introduced by Republicans in several other states that […]

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

BY: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised strong objections […]

Meet the volunteers who have been passing out bottled water in Benton Harbor since 2018

BY: - October 27, 2021

By the time Carolina Gray began directing traffic at the bottled water distribution in Benton Harbor earlier this month, the line of cars stretched before her was long. Wearing a blue shirt emblazoned with the words “Clean water is a human right,” Gray ushered those waiting into the parking lot outside God’s Household of Faith […]

‘Filter first’ school water bills get warm bipartisan reception at Senate hearing 

BY: - October 26, 2021

A set of bipartisan bills to ensure clean drinking water in schools and child care centers heard favorable testimony Tuesday before a Michigan Senate committee, where the legislation is expected to undergo further changes before being voted on. Senate Bills 184 and 185 were first introduced in late February by state Sens. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) […]

Legislation tightening rules for medical marijuana caregivers passes committee, heads to House

BY: - October 26, 2021

Several bills that change the state’s 2008 voter-approved Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and caregiver program moved out of committee Tuesday and are headed to the House floor. House Bills 5300-5302, known as the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, tighten rules for caregivers related to plant allowances, product testing and where they can grow medical marijuana. The […]

Senate passes vaccine mandate ban for students, Dem calls bills ‘patently pointless’

BY: - October 26, 2021

The Michigan Senate passed Tuesday a number of bills that aim to limit vaccination and mask mandates for students as the fight over COVID-19 measures during the pandemic continues.  Senate Bills 600–603 would prohibit schools from requiring students to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA) vaccination to participate in school-related activities and would require schools […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Why do Canadians seem to care so little about protecting the Great Lakes from Line 5?

BY: - October 26, 2021

As a Canadian living in Michigan, I’ve never seen a state or province that identifies with the Great Lakes the way Michigan does: their silhouette adorns T-shirts, water bottles, and bumper stickers everywhere.  At the same time, I would say that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system is woven into the nationalisms and founding mythologies of […]

Nessel files brief with state Supreme Court to expand LGBTQ+ rights

BY: - October 26, 2021

Attorney General Dana Nessel, on behalf of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), is challenging a ruling from the Court of Claims that decided the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.  “All Michiganders are entitled to the same civil rights—the right to be free from actionable discrimination […]