Michigan Capitol

Nessel: Civil asset forfeiture system ‘inherently unfair’

BY: - February 20, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said at a House committee hearing on Tuesday that civil asset forfeiture reform is necessary because the current system is “inherently unfair.” The House Judiciary Committee is considering HB 4001, sponsored by Rep. Jason Wentworth (R-Clare), and HB 4002, sponsored by Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids). Last week, the Senate […]

House Republicans offer ‘guiding principles’ for term

BY: - February 20, 2019

Republican members of the Michigan House on Tuesday unveiled their action plan for the 2019-20 legislative term, hitting on issues they’ve stressed before. During the 12-minute, broad-strokes presentation, the 58-member majority caucus talked about: Improving infrastructure, including roads, public water systems and broadband. Protecting constitutional rights and religious freedoms. Addressing mental illness and victims of […]

How to build a better Michigan House map

BY: - February 20, 2019

Michigan voters can, at least in theory, have more competitive state House districts than what we have now. That’s according to a hypothetical state House map drawn for the Advance by Steve Mintline, a Democratic data expert and organizer in Southeast Michigan. The Advance asked Mintline to craft a map with as many competitive seats […]

On this day in 1922: Michigan’s first Black Supreme Court justice is born

BY: - February 20, 2019

Otis M. Smith, the first African-American to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court, was born on this day in Memphis, Tenn., in 1922. Smith attended Fisk University and Syracuse University. In 1950, he earned a degree from Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C. In January 1951, he began to practice law in Flint. Five […]

A gun show

GOP lawmaker appears to compare poll taxes to gun license fees

BY: - February 19, 2019

It was a fairly routine Michigan House committee hearing until a GOP lawmaker unexpectedly raised the idea of a poll tax, which hasn’t been legal in more than a half-century. On Tuesday, Attorney General Dana Nessel was invited to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. The Democrat talked about the organization of her office and […]

GOP legislators want to bypass AG on minimum wage, sick time initiatives

BY: - February 19, 2019

Updated, 7:50 p.m. with comments from Rep. Darrin Camilleri: GOP legislative leaders hope to go around the attorney general over questions on two ballot initiatives and instead go straight to the Michigan Supreme Court. State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) last week asked Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, to review the GOP-controlled Legislature’s decision last […]

AG: Trump’s national emergency ‘violates’ separation of powers

BY: - February 19, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Tuesday told reporters that President Donald Trump has run afoul of the Constitution with his declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. On Monday, Nessel joined attorneys general in 15 other states who filed an injunction against the action, as the […]

Voting station

Is ranked-choice voting the next election reform for Michigan?

BY: - February 19, 2019

Another big change could be coming for elections in Michigan — if the measure can get on the ballot. In 2018, Michigan voters approved sweeping reforms to Michigan’s elections with two ballot questions. Proposal 2 created an independent redistricting commission and Proposal 3 reinstated straight-ticket voting, implemented same-day voter registration and added no-reason absentee voting. […]

Demonstrators in Flint, MI in 2016

Kildee: What Whitmer gets about Flint that Snyder didn’t

BY: - February 19, 2019

The Flint water crisis exploded as a national story more than three years ago. But while much of the nation has moved on, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, who represents the city, says he isn’t just fighting to bring Flint back to where it was before the health and environmental catastrophe. “We can’t just get Flint […]

Michigan joins states fighting Trump’s emergency declaration for wall

BY: - February 19, 2019

Michigan’s attorney general had some harsh words about President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to gain funding for a border wall. Dana Nessel called it “a manufactured crisis,” and announced on Monday that Michigan has joined 15 other states to seek an injunction against the president’s measure. “This fake emergency is a publicity stunt that will raid our federal […]

Immigrant detention company could buy private land since Whitmer nixed plan

BY: - February 19, 2019

A Virginia-based company that planned to build a private immigrant detention center in Michigan may now consider buying private property after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer halted its state land sale bid, the company’s legal counsel said. Whitmer, a Democrat, reversed a state land bank decision under GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder that would have sold the […]

Health chief will follow Medicaid work rules, won’t pursue single-payer

BY: - February 18, 2019

Robert Gordon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pick to head the sprawling Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is concerned that tens or hundreds of thousands of people could lose coverage under a new Medicaid work requirement law. That’s something that Whitmer raised in her State of the State address last week. Despite those concerns, however, […]