Bill making it easier for companies to end landline service headed to Gov. Snyder It could soon be easier for phone companies to end traditional landline service in Michigan. The state Senate gave final legislative approval to the measure Thursday. Senate Bill 636, which was championed by AT&T, now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk. AARP and other critics say it could leave people in some areas of the state without reliable and affordable service.
The campaign to stop wolf hunts in Michigan says it has more than enough petition signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot. This would be the second ballot challenge to a wolf hunt because the state's first wolf hunting law was blocked by a petition challenge that will also go before voters in November.
The Legislature got around that by passing a new law that's the target of this ballot drive.
Governor meets with legislative leaders to hammer out road fix, Medicaid deal
State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year's budget first.
One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state's Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.
Dakota Serna served in the Marines during the Iraq War. He says memories of seeing friends and children killed left him suicidal after he came home. Serna says the only thing that has helped him get his life back on track is using marijuana.
Lawmakers in the state House have approved a $2 million program to encourage schools to go year-round. Schools in mostly low-income areas could get money from the state to add air-conditioning and other things allowing them to operate in the summer.
Congress has given final approval to a bill designating 32,000 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness. With U.S. House passage of the bill, it now heads to President Barack Obama for signature. The U.S. Senate passed it in June 2013. The lakeshore is headquartered in Empire in the northwestern Lower Peninsula. Hunting and fishing would be permitted in the wilderness areas. More than 1.4 million people visited Sleeping Bear Dunes in 2011, pumping about $120 million into the local economy. Democratic Michigan U.S.
Legislation to repeal and replace a tax on business equipment has cleared the state Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bills seek to make sure local governments are not hit hard by a repeal of Michigan's Personal Property Tax (PPT).
The state's defense of Michigan's same-sex marriage ban got off to a rocky start Monday.
Federal Judge Bernard Friedman tossed out the state's first witness in the case. He said Yale law student Sherif Girgis did not qualify as an expert witness. The plaintiffs' attorneys pointed to the fact that Girgis is still a student, and said he would only be expressing his opinion on gay marriage - not actual evidence.
State lawmakers look to patch Medicaid shortfall, say long-term solution criticalBy Jake Neher Michigan's Medicaid program faces a budget shortfall this year of more than $100 million dollars. That's because a new tax on health insurance claims is not producing as much revenue as state officials expected. This week, the state Senate passed a mid-year budget bill that would patch that hole in the Medicaid budget.
At the state Capitol, House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) says he still hopes to get an overhaul of Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law through the Legislature this year. He rolled out a new plan to end Michigan's unlimited lifetime medical benefits coupled with the promise of a rate reduction.
Milliken joins effort to win parole hearings for juvenile lifersBy Rick Pluta Former Michigan Governor William Milliken says more than 350 prison inmates sentenced to life without parole as juveniles deserve a chance at freedom. Milliken - along with more than 100 law school deans and retired judges and prosecutors -- filed a brief today with the state Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme Court holds oral arguments in the case next month. The court will decide whether a US Supreme Court decision that struck down automatic life without parole for juveniles applies retroactively - or only to current and future cases. The Milliken brief says justice demands that the decision should apply regardless of when a juvenile was sentenced. It says juveniles sentenced before the decision have the same protections against cruel and unusual punishment as teens sentenced today. It also says Michigan's indigent defense system is particularly unfair to juveniles. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says families of murder victims deserve to know the rules will not be changed in their cases. Michigan's adult-time-for-adult-crimes law was signed 18 years ago by Governor John Engler. William Milliken served as governor from 1969 to 1983.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Senate has voted to spend more for winter road maintenance and to adjust the budget to account for a delay in the expansion of Medicaid. The legislation includes $100 million to fix potholes and help governments with higher-than-usual salting and snow plowing bills. Expanding Medicaid to more low-income adults was supposed to occur in January before senators delayed it until April.
State ends contract with the Education Achievement AuthorityBy Jake Neher This time next year, the Education Achievement Authority will no longer be the only entity that can take over failing schools in Michigan. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has notified the EAA that the state is ending its exclusive contract with the authority.