Category Archives: State Government

SNAP benefits cannot be automatically taken away from people with felony warrants

b27a0a61ebcfc9395dc218d841ec1657The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is going to have to change how it handles some of its food assistance claims. Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, benefits can be revoked from anyone who committed a felony and is fleeing authorities.
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American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan says Michigan State Police policy could lead to descrimination

Traffic Stop 1Traffic stop requirements for Michigan State Troopers could lead to racial discrimination. This according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

The organization sent a letter this week to the Michigan State Police asking for an end to the practice.

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Lawmakers advocate for healthy food access at the Farmers Market at the Capitol

FarmerMarket1Lawmakers and regular folks strolled past more than 70 venders at the Farmers Market at the Capitol Thursday. But while goers ogled the plethora of fruits and vegetables, State Representative Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs) was there to bring attention to the lack of healthy food access in Michigan.
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MI Supreme Court next stop for marijuana campaign

potThe campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan is taking its case to the state Supreme Court. That’s after a Michigan Court of Claims judge rejected its bid to get on the November ballot. The M-I Legalize campaign wants state elections officials to count petition signatures gathered outside a 180-day window. The judge says the elections officials were following the rules when they rejected the signatures as too old.
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Overhaul in the works for Michigan’s opioid tracking system

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Opioid tracking in Michigan is getting an overhaul in the future. A state task force has been working on using millions of dollars to put a dent in Michigan’s opioid drug problem. A big portion of the money and resources will go toward a new opioid tracking system.
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Schuette asks for full appeals court review of voting decision

billlschuetteState Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking every judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a voting rights decision. It says Michigan voters will be allowed to use a single mark on the ballot to support a political party’s entire slate of candidates.
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New product could help fight invasive mussels

DSC_0697Zebra and Quagga mussels have wreaked havoc on the Great Lakes ecosystem by almost completely removing the tiniest plants and animals that are essential to the food chain.

Now researchers will test a new product that could hold the key to taking the ecosystem back.

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Grants awarded to help prepare children for school

e8475de0344e92d68bc6745bc5ea0d46 (1)The grants are called home visitation grants. They were awarded to 15 intermediate school districts.

Bill DiSessa is the spokesperson for the Michigan department of Education.

He said the grants will help young children get extra attention to prepare them for school.

“ We’re talking about young children before they get into the K-12 system. To get them an early head start if you will on learning. And with research showing the positive result that can come at that- at such an early start. “

DiSessa said grants have been awarded in districts including Saginaw and Ingham county.

The funding is expected to help 600 families prepare kids for school.

Physician assistant suicide bill introduced by Michigan legislature

file8321273697614A new bill would make physician-assisted suicide legal in Michigan The bill is modeled after Oregon’s law, and requires two doctors to agree that the patient will likely die within six months. The patient would also have to be over 18 years-old, and meet certain criteria before getting medicine from a doctor that will end their life. Continue reading

New DEQ chief says oil industry background won’t effort her job

deschutes RiverThe new director of the state Department of Environmental Quality says her background as an oil industry lobbyist won’t interfere with how she does her job.

Heidi Grether says her top priorities are restoring employee morale and public confidence in the DEQ after the Flint water crisis.

Grether says she’s not surprised by criticism of her appointment because she worked as an oil industry lobbyist. She says that experience gives her some perspective.

“But that doesn’t mean I necessarily think a certain way.”

Her work for BP included helping with the response to the Gulf oil spill.

Grether is still undecided on whether an Enbridge energy pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac needs to be shut down. She says her oil industry background won’t bias her on the question.

A statewide public threat alert system will go into effect this fall

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The state is working to develop criteria for a new public threat alert system.

Governor Snyder signed legislation last month to put the public alert system into effect.

The alert system will work much like Amber Alerts. Continue reading