Michigan education cuts put greater strain on schools with substitute shortage

BY: - September 11, 2019

There’s no doubt that teachers are an essential part of the Michigan public school system, but as the shortage of substitute teachers worsens, having experienced teachers in the classroom is becoming even more vital.  Jeffrey Thoenes, superintendent of Comstock Public Schools near Kalamazoo, says finding enough substitutes to fill classrooms can be an everyday struggle.  […]

Medicaid work requirements tweak clear House

BY: - September 10, 2019

Legislation aimed at loosening Michigan’s new work requirements for Medicaid is one step closer to hitting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.  The state House of Representatives on Tuesday passed on a 105-4 vote Senate Bill 362, sponsored by state Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing), which has myriad bipartisan cosponsors.  As the Advance has previously reported, the […]

On open carry day at the Capitol, Democrat sponsors bill to end sign ban

BY: - September 10, 2019

Dozens of people gathered outside the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday for the annual pro-gun rally. Many open carried in the halls afterward, as has become a Lansing tradition, although their pro-Second Amendment and pro-President Donald Trump signs had to be left behind. State Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) took the opportunity to point out that although […]


Kara Hope: There’s no excuse for Michigan Republicans failing to act on common-sense gun reform

BY: - September 10, 2019

Many people are frustrated with the U.S. Senate for its failure to act on the expanded background checks legislation passed by the House. I share that frustration.  But if you are frustrated by inaction in Washington, you will find no comfort in what is going on in the Republican-led Michigan Legislature. My Democratic colleagues and […]

Study: Low-income, students of color squeezed in Michigan’s college affordability crisis

BY: - September 7, 2019

A new study shows that Michigan’s public universities and community colleges are facing an affordability crisis, which has especially hit low-income families hard.  The study from the New York-based progressive think tank the Century Foundation shows how rising tuitions and cuts in state funding create barriers for students to receive higher education.  “The report shows […]

House Republicans pan Whitmer’s flavored vape ban

BY: - September 5, 2019

Republicans in the state Senate may be generally supportive of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed ban on flavored vaping products, but their counterparts in the lower chamber appear to feel differently.  Whitmer on Wednesday positioned Michigan to be the first state to declare a public health emergency as teenage vaping use has spiked. Whitmer is […]

House passes bill naming part of highway for former Rep. Plawecki

BY: - September 5, 2019

A portion of a Wayne County highway will be named to honor former state Rep. Julie Plawecki, who died suddenly in 2016.  The House voted Thursday 102-7 on House Bill 4261, which names a stretch of Telegraph Road “Julie Plawecki Memorial Highway” in Dearborn Heights, where Plawecki lived with her family.  Plawecki died in July […]

Michigan's Capitol

Report: Michigan lobbyist spending up 6% in 2019 to $23M

BY: - September 5, 2019

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association tops the list of interest groups and Governmental Consultant Services Inc. (GCSI) leads multi-client lobbying firms in spending this year, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN). Total reported lobbyist spending was $23.2 million during the most recent Secretary of State reporting period […]

Democrat debuts bill expanding EITC to younger workers

BY: - September 5, 2019

State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) this week introduced a bill extending a low-income tax credit to childless workers between ages 18 to 24. House Bill 4919 expand’s the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is currently only available to qualifying residents without children between the ages of 25 to 64. The 2019 Kids Count […]

Public official financial disclosure bills clear Michigan House panel

BY: - September 4, 2019

A state House panel on Wednesday advanced legislation that would bring about more sunshine in Michigan’s notoriously secretive state government. The bipartisan eight-bill package would require lawmakers and other public officials to disclose pertinent financial investments and potential conflicts of interest, as the Advance has previously reported.  Bipartisan group pushes conflict of interest bills for […]

Potholes in Brighton

Study: Local tax changes could help fix Michigan’s roads

BY: - September 4, 2019

Local taxation may be the answer to “fixing the damn roads,” according to a new paper from the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council (CRC) of Michigan. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the GOP-led Legislature have debated solutions at the state level, with the governor proposing in her Fiscal Year 2020 budget a 45-cent gas tax hike […]

Whitmer signs 1st vaping ban in nation, industry group calls it ‘illegal’

BY: - September 4, 2019

Updated, 2:37 9/4/2019 with comment from Shirkey’s office and to reflect that U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone is a congressman, not a senator Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday morning made Michigan the first state in the country to attempt a ban on flavored nicotine vaping products.  Essentially, Whitmer is declaring a public health emergency based on […]