Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is spending a couple of days in Lansing for closed-door meetings with state officials. He's primary mission is to convince reluctant state lawmakers to support the Detroit bailout package.
The state's share, which would have to be approved by the Legislature, is $350 million dollars. That would help mitigate cuts to pension benefits as part of the city's bankruptcy, and ensure the assets of the Detroit Institute of Arts are safe from the auction block.
More than 200 gun owners descended on the state Capitol in Lasing Tuesday - many of them openly carrying firearms. Several pro-gun groups from across the country participated in the annual 2nd Amendment Day demonstration.
They say the rally is an important way to remind state policymakers to protect residents' gun rights.
Minimum wage and equal pay advocates join forces at state Capitol
Women's rights advocates say boosting the state's minimum wage would be a big step toward equal pay in the workplace. Groups backing both causes joined forces Tuesday during an equal pay rally at the state Capitol.
"Women are disproportionately represented in low-wage work. So, when we raise the minimum wage we are raising them a little bit more out of poverty," said Danielle Atkinson with Raise Michigan, a coalition working to put a minimum wage increase on the November ballot.
Bill would define e-cigarettes as tobacco products in Michigan
Efforts to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of minors continue this week in Lansing. A state House panel will hold a hearing Tuesday morning on legislation that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.
The smokeless devices produce a nicotine-laced vapor, but do not contain any actual tobacco. The bipartisan bill would define e-cigarettes as tobacco products. But it would also exempt them from the state's tobacco tax.
The current conservative Supreme Court majority has a well-earned reputation for protecting the First Amendment right to free speech, whether in the form of campaign spending or protests at military funerals.
But in one area — the First Amendment rights of public employees — the conservative majority has been far less protective of the right to speak out. Now the court is revisiting the issue, and the result could have far-reaching consequences for public corruption investigations.
Lawmakers could set limit on number of inmates in Michigan prisons
One Michigan legislator wants to put a limit on the number of inmates in state-run prisons.
State Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, says legislation he introduced this week could save the state tens of millions of dollars. It would require the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to keep the number of inmates in its prisons under 38,000. Right now, that number is about 44,000.
Gov. Snyder and Senate leader not embracing Bolger's union demands
Republican leaders in Lansing are not joining House Speaker Jase Bolger's calls for unions to contribute to Detroit's bankruptcy settlement.
Gov. Rick Snyder and several foundations have signed off on a complicated deal to protect retiree pensions and artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The state's contribution to the so-called "grand bargain" would be about $350 million, and state lawmakers would have to approve that money.
Ruth Johnson announces reelection bid for Secretary of State
Ruth Johnson will seek another term as Michigan's Secretary of State.
Johnson made the announcement Monday and kicked off a four-stop campaign tour across the state. She says the Secretary of State's office has become more efficient under her direction, largely because of technological improvements.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is offering $250,000 in grants to help communities develop recycling programs. Governor Rick Snyder announced a plan this week to boost the state's residential recycling rate. Among the proposals is producing more information about local recycling options. The funding from the Community Pollution Prevention Grant Program will help local leaders do that.
Michigan could receive nearly $2 million in federal block grants for specialty crops as a result of the U.S. farm bill.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says $66 million is available nationwide to state departments of agriculture for specialty crops. Michigan's allocation increased in the 2014 budget year from $1.26 million in 2013.
Governor Rick Snyder has filed 26 thousand petition signatures to put his name on the Republican primary ballot in August, and - if all goes as planned - make him a candidate for reelection in November.
The governor was joined by Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, and a couple dozen supporters to cart boxes of petitions into the state Bureau of Elections.
Snyder says he intends to run on his record and the state's improving economy.