Rick Pluta

Managing Editor, Michigan Public Radio Network
Child Reading
Pixabay / pixabay.com

A state panel will be named soon to look into improving Michigan’s dismal literacy rate.  Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive order Wednesday creating the new PreK-12 Literacy Commission. 


Straight ticket voting
John Bollwitt / flickr.com

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has taken the first step to appeal a court decision that lifted the state’s ban on voters using the straight-ticket option to vote for an entire party’s slate of candidates on the November ballot. 


Voting Booths
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Voters in Michigan will be allowed to use the straight-ticket voting option on the November ballot. 


David Leyton
Courtesy Photo / Genesee County

The Genesee County prosecutor is asking judges to make sure two dozen felons sentenced as juveniles to life without parole don’t have a chance at freedom.  That’s despite two US Supreme Court decisions that struck down juvenile lifer laws like Michigan’s.

Unemployment
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan’s monthly job rate has dropped slightly.  But it’s not because more people are working.  


Recycling
Pixabay / pixabay.com

Plans are getting underway to send less trash to landfills in Michigan and find more ways to reuse it.  A state Department of Environmental Quality task force plans a hearing today in Lansing to gather ideas from the public.  

Police Car
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A Republican state lawmaker says police officers who are guilty of misconduct should not be allowed to resign and hide their records from future employers. 


Michigan Supreme Court
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to tell him whether a part of the new state budget complies with the state constitution.


6th Circuit Court of Appeals
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says booking photos in federal cases are not automatically available to the public.  


Rick Jones
Courtesy Photo / senatorrickjones.com

Legislation to make attacks on LGBT people a hate crime in Michigan was rolled out Wednesday with the support of at least two Republican state lawmakers. 


Wayne County
Courtesy Photo / Wayne County

Michigan’s largest county has formed a special unit focused on solving and prosecuting crimes against LGBT people. 


MI Legalize
Courtesy Photo / MI Legalize

The state has asked a court to dismiss a legal challenge filed by the campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan.


Vaccine
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A legal challenge has been filed against a state rule that requires counseling for parents who have a religious objection to vaccinating their children.  


Gender neutral restroom
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined a lawsuit filed by 10 states challenging a federal rule that says schools must respect the self-declared gender identity of students.  That includes allowing transgender students to choose which restrooms and locker rooms they will use.   


Soo Locks
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder wants Congress to go to work now on finding money to upgrade the Soo Locks – even though no one knows yet how much it’s going to cost. 


Pandora
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Michigan Supreme Court says the music streaming service Pandora does not violate the state’s privacy law by collecting and sharing information about user preferences. 

Bill Schuette
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is the state’s top attorney, but says he won’t be Governor Rick Snyder’s lawyer if he pursues a particular appeal.   


Julie Plawecki
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Today is the deadline for potential candidates to submit their names to be the replacement nominee for Democratic state lawmaker Julie Plawecki, who died last month. 


Pure Michigan
J. Stephen Conn / flickr.com

A federal lawsuit is challenging the right of regional tourism bureaus to charge room fees for travel campaigns, such as Pure Michigan.  


Oil Pipeline
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A federal appeals court says an Enbridge oil pipeline that runs through a northern Michigan national forest does not need a new permit to continue operating.


Bill Schuette
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says lawyers hired by Governor Rick Snyder at public expense are delaying progress in the criminal investigation of the Flint water crisis


Brian Banks
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Legal troubles are piling for a Detroit-area state lawmaker.  Representative Brian Banks faces new felony charges that he submitted fake paycheck records to get a loan. 


Classroom
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder traveled to a middle school in Oakland County to sign a $16 billion education budget for the coming fiscal year.  He approved it despite questions over a provision that sends money to private and religious schools. 


LGBT Pride
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Celebrations yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. 


Bill Schuette
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

The state has filed a lawsuit seeking to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from two water engineering firms that did work in Flint.  


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