Sylvia Santana

Senate passes small COVID relief plan, Dem calls it ‘callous cruelty fueled by elitism and racism’ 

BY: - February 25, 2021

After fierce partisan debate on the floor, the GOP-led Michigan Senate voted along party lines Thursday to adopt a $727 million supplemental funding bill packed with controversial Republican amendments. Those amendments to Senate Bill 114 include a measure to prohibit Michigan from acknowledging race and socio-economic factors while distributing COVID-19 vaccines, and a Right to […]

After threats and armed protests, BIPOC lawmakers still struggle to get GOP leaders to address racial justice

BY: and - February 4, 2021

State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) grew up during the 1980s and 1990s and remembers watching in astonishment the awarding-winning PBS documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement.” The African American lawmaker was raised in a Capital City community where whites and people of color interacted, for the most part, without incident. “What […]

Whitmer signs dozens of criminal justice and jail reform bills

BY: - January 5, 2021

To start the year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a number of bipartisan criminal justice and jail reform bills into law Monday. “Despite the challenges 2020 presented, I am proud of the incredible work we have done as a state to reform our criminal justice system,” said Whitmer. “After establishing the bipartisan Michigan Joint Task Force […]

Senate passes $465M COVID-19 relief bill in long Friday session

BY: - December 19, 2020

In a session nearing twelve and a half hours in length Friday, the Michigan Senate wrapped up its last Lame Duck session of substance by tying up loose ends and eventually passing a $465.07 million supplemental funding bill for statewide COVID-19 relief. The House will return Monday to concur in the bill. Both chambers will […]

As Barr finds no widespread election fraud, Mich. GOP leaders lift up conspiracy theories at 7-hour hearing

BY: - December 1, 2020

A full seven hours of testimony from GOP activists before the Senate Oversight Committee Tuesday led to no real action or votes, but did give a public platform to an assortment of false, misleading and conspiratorial theories about the Michigan election that Republican lawmakers have yet to disavow. The meeting, which convened at 10:15 a.m.,  […]

Black lawmakers warned of extremism and white supremacism at the Capitol for months. Leaders didn’t take action.

BY: - October 20, 2020

The news that members of the Boogaloo Bois and a self-described militia group had plans to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her COVID-19 emergency actions shook Michiganders in the last weeks.  But for months, several lawmakers, particularly African Americans, have been sounding the alarm and calling on Republicans who run the Legislature to […]

Whitmer, Legislature mark Juneteenth, tensions flare in Senate

BY: - June 19, 2020

On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring Friday as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan to commemorate the day in 1865 when slavery was abolished in the United States. Whitmer noted the recent deaths of several African Americans that have sparked anti-police brutality protests in more than 2,000 cities across the country. “Juneteenth is […]

Dems: Systemic racism is ‘government oppression’

BY: - June 3, 2020

State Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) took to the Senate floor Wednesday to speak out about government oppression, following the killing of George Floyd, a 45-year-old African American from Minneapolis after a police officer pinned a knee on his neck. “America has changed. The murder of an unarmed Black man at the hands of four police […]


Susan J. Demas: Women keep having to fight the same battles in Lansing

BY: - June 3, 2020

More than eight years ago, a backbencher state senator called the female head of the most powerful public relations firm in Lansing a “hooker.” Kelly Rossman-McKinney, then CEO of Truscott Rossman, had been asked by MIRS to play pundit and name the biggest political losers of the year. One of her choices was then-state Sen. […]

GOP senator calls female colleagues ‘shrill,’ accuses them of ‘feigned’ outrage during COVID-19 crisis

BY: - May 28, 2020

Tensions boiled over in the state Senate chamber during session Thursday, with one Democratic state lawmaker saying she walked out of session after hearing a Republican senator describe her female colleagues in dismissive and sexist terms. “The ability to simply generalize who is and who isn’t in support of your district or your people … […]

Panel punts on Capitol gun ban, another right-wing protest planned for Thursday

BY: - May 11, 2020

Updated, 5:36 p.m. 5/11/20, with remarks from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer The hotly debated issue of whether to prohibit firearms at the Michigan Capitol found itself Monday in the hands of a commission usually focused on building restoration and grounds maintenance. That panel, the Michigan State Capitol Commission (MSCC), chose not to make an immediate decision. […]

Nessel tells commission it can ban guns in state Capitol

BY: - May 8, 2020

Updated, 6:21 a.m. 5/9/20 Guns can be prohibited from Capitol grounds, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Following the armed protest in the Capitol last week, Nessel wrote a letter to the Michigan State Capitol Commission, alerting them to its authority to prohibit firearms in the state Capitol. “The Capitol is a place for […]