Michigan News

UPDATE 4:52 PM Rick Pluta is reporting that no decision was reached in today's hearing.  The trial is likely to go to the Supreme Court which is not likely to decide another same-sex marriage case before its next session. Attorneys seeking to overturn Michigan’s ban say holding up recognition of same-sex marriages hurts families with children. 

ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) -- The term "yooper" is getting recognition in the dictionary.

Residents of Michigan's Upper Peninsula call themselves "yoopers." The Daily Press of Escanaba and MLive.com report officials announced Monday that the term will appear in the 2014 edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, which goes on sale next month.

This is it. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year is March 31. With time running out, the questions about how the health law and the exchanges work keep pouring in. Here are a few more to check out while the clock ticks down.

My son will be 19 in May. I claim him as a dependent on my taxes. If I don't provide for his medical coverage and he is unemployed and makes no income, how is he supposed to pay his penalty? Or are they going to take his penalty out of my tax return because he is a dependent on my return?

Wikipedia Media Commons

  The state Senate could vote this week on a bill to bolster a controversial state-run authority meant to turn around failing schools. 

Paul Sancya/AP / NPR.org

  Governor Rick Snyder says he is eager to get a decision from the federal government on his plan to boost immigration in Detroit.

Wikipedia Media Commons

  US Attorney General Eric Holder has been asked to declare that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages performed in Michigan over the weekend, even if the state won’t. 

The University of Michigan
University of Michigan

       ANN ARBOR  - Anti-Israel protesters are in the second week of a sit-in at the offices of the University of Michigan student government to protest its failure to vote on a resolution calling for a boycott over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

Stress Busters
Apple App Store

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has released a free phone app designed to promote student wellness and campus health events. 

The Ann Arbor News reports that the app also includes news alerts and inspirational messages. It has a one-touch dial button that links students with a responder if there is an emergency.

en.wikipedia

Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Michigan Democrats next month.  The Michigan Democratic Party announced Sunday that Clinton will speak at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, which is scheduled for April 26 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

  The Michigan governor's office says state agencies won't immediately recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages that were performed in the hours before an appeals court put on hold a judge's ruling that tossed out a state ban on gay marriage.  

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking a federal appeals court to immediately freeze a judge's decision striking down the state's ban on gay marriage while he appeals.

Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

Mar 21, 2014
michiganmarriagechallenge.com

  A judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday, two weeks after a trial. Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately.

Scholars testifying for Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer said there were no differences between children raised by same-sex couples and those raised by a man and a woman.

    

By a single-vote majority, the state House has approved a measure that allows Michigan to put some of the worst-performing schools into an alternative system. It expands a bill approved a year ago that created the Education Achievement Authority, which currently runs 15 schools in Detroit.

State's January unadjusted joblessness 8.1 percent   LANSING, Mich. (AP) - At five-percent, the rate of joblessness in the Ann Arbor labor market qualifies as lowest in the state. The Highest rate of unemployment is in the northeastern lower peninsula at 13.2 percent. 

Wikipedia

The Republican-controlled Michigan House is asking Congress to convene a constitutional convention requiring that the federal budget be balanced.  

A resolution approved 77-32 Thursday would join Michigan with around 20 other states that have called for a balanced budget convention. Thirty-four states are needed to convene the convention, and 38 would have to ratify the convention's proposal to go into effect.

Wikipedia

MONROE, Mich. (AP) - Rain, melting snow and ice jams are causing flooding along the River Raisin in Monroe. Some street flooding was reported in Monroe Thursday morning, surrounding homes and vehicles. The Monroe News reports that the Coast Guard cutter Neah Bay helped help break up the ice to let the river flow on into Lake Erie. 

www.michigan.gov

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says April 1 is when hundreds of thousands of low-income adults can begin enrolling for health insurance under Michigan's expansion of Medicaid.  The Republican governor says he's comfortable with the launch date after his administration tested computer systems and developed a plan to get the word out to the public. Coverage will be retroactive to the first day of the month in which people apply.

Wikimedia Commons

Snyder: Treat e-cigarettes like tobacco

Governor Rick Snyder says he wants electronic cigarettes to be regulated in Michigan as tobacco products. E-cigarettes deliver a dose of nicotine to users in a mist. There is a bill in the Legislature to ban e-cigarette sales to minors, but would not tax them like cigarettes or subject them to other tobacco-related regulations.

The governor says it makes more sense to simply treat them as a tobacco product.

Laurie Avocado
Wikimedia Commons

PTSD patients now able to get medical marijuana card in Michigan
By Jake Neher

Michiganders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can now get a card to use medical marijuana.

The state's Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Steve Arwood, gave final approval to add PTSD to the state's medical marijuana program about a week after it was recommended by a state review panel.

commons.wikimedia.org

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's planned fundraising swing through Michigan is drawing criticism from Democrats.  Christie is raising money as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and is scheduled to attend association fundraisers in Michigan Wednesday.

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Alfred T. Palmer
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Lawmakers revive talks over scrap metal theft
By Jake Neher

There's a new push in Lansing to pass legislation meant to fight scrap metal theft in Michigan. Votes in the House and Senate could come as soon as this week.

Supporters of House Bills 4593 and 4595 say the state must require there to be a paper trail whenever someone sells commonly-stolen items to a scrap yard.
    
State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, says there has been disagreement over how best to do that. But she says she is confident lawmakers will reach a deal soon.

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 DETROIT (AP) - General Motors is recalling nearly 1.2 million SUVs for defective side air bags. 

roselawgroupreporter.com

Hearings open this week at the state Capitol on a proposal to lift Michigan's cap on electricity companies competing for customers. A 2008 law says no more than 10 percent of the state's electricity can be directly provided to consumers by an alternative to a region's major utility.  

Michigan State Police / Wikipedia

Law enforcement boosting drunken driving patrols  Local, county and state law enforcement officials say they're stepping up patrols to catch drunken drivers during a period that includes St. Patrick's Day, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments and spring break.

courtesy photo / Michigan.gov

Policing will increase this spring at the Michigan Capitol, but officials say they have no plans to add metal detectors.  

 State police will bring more personnel to the Capitol area and will enhance its technology as well.     That includes making better use of video camera monitoring and introducing thermal imaging to spot intruders in parking lots and outside the Capitol after dark.

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