Legislature

Lawmakers introduce bills to reform school disciplinary process

BY: - September 16, 2021

State Sens. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) and Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) introduced a package of bills this week to transform Michigan’s disciplinary systems in schools and further mitigate the effects of the long-running zero-tolerance policy that was abolished in 2016.  Zero-tolerance policies meant students were required to face penalties such as expulsion or […]

GOP leaders, Whitmer admin. announce FY ‘22 budget deal, details MIA

BY: - September 16, 2021

Updated, 12:15 p.m. 9/16/21 and 3:10 p.m. 9/17/21, with additional comments Budget leaders from Michigan’s executive office, House and Senate announced Wednesday that they have reached a deal on the upcoming state budget for the new Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, but offered little in the way of what that budget will entail. There are 15 […]

Lawmakers introduce package adding marijuana caregiver regulations, as activists protest 

BY: - September 16, 2021

Lawmakers on Tuesday announced proposed bipartisan legislation that would create a new license and add more regulations for marijuana caregivers. On Wednesday, cannabis activists held an already-planned rally in Lansing to protest the bills that leaders told the Advance earlier this week they had heard were in the works. The Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, House […]

What will happen to telemedicine abortion in Michigan if Roe v. Wade is overturned?

BY: - September 15, 2021

Following a U.S. Supreme Court opinion earlier this month allowing a Texas abortion ban to go into effect, many people across the country are considering what their future options may be for safe, legal abortions.  It’s the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S. to go into effect, banning abortions as early as six weeks […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bills axing ‘tampon tax’ sail through House committee 

BY: - September 10, 2021

Two bills aimed at ending taxes on menstrual products on Thursday passed through the House Tax Policy Committee.  House Bill 5267, introduced by Rep. Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Twp.), and House Bill 4270, introduced by state Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods), would exempt menstrual products from the state’s sales tax and use tax, respectively.  Rep. Steve […]

Medical, biz leaders urge vaccinations amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations

BY: - September 9, 2021

Michigan’s medical and business leaders convened Thursday to sound the alarm about the possibility of an incoming fourth wave of COVID-19, stressing that the state is at a “tipping point” in dealing with the virus while urging unvaccinated Michiganders to get the vaccine. “We truly need to get the message across that our best treatment […]

Unemployment head tells House panel she ‘absolutely’ takes responsibility for agency failures

BY: - September 9, 2021

Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), testified before a state House panel Thursday on unemployment system problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Olson’s appearance before the Oversight Committee comes after Republican lawmakers have leveled withering criticism at the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration over its handling of […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Michigan’s K-12 budget is a good first step, but kids deserve more in the future

BY: - September 9, 2021

My son started fifth grade last month, and many more kids around the state are starting school this week. Back to school season is always filled with excitement — learning new subjects and seeing friends — and anxiety.  Last year had a significant learning curve , filled with figuring out what “synchronous” and “asynchronous” meant, […]

Federal pandemic jobless benefits are gone. Experts say state lawmakers must now protect workers.

BY: - September 9, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders saw their COVID-related federal jobless aid end this week, leaving individuals and families to face yet another onslaught of challenges in a pandemic that is far from over — from state unemployment laws that policy experts said are riddled with problems to unaffordable childcare barring people from returning to the […]