Category Archives: State Government

A new bill would allow for real-time access to insurance for law enforcement

A bill being considered in Lansing may make it easier for motorists to show proof of auto insurance to police. And easier for police to get up-to-date information

Legislation in the State Senate would allow law enforcement to access real-time auto insurance information.

Currently, police may receive information that is weeks old as insurance companies send data every two weeks to the Secretary of State office. That information is then distributed to law enforcement data systems.

The new bill would allow drivers to show proof of insurance on their cellphones.

Susan Hiltz is with Triple A Michigan.

“It’s really about sharing of knowledge and it’s really more of a computer based sharing of knowledge and information. And it’s really just to validate insurance on folks,” Hiltz said.

Lori Conarton with Insurance Institute of Michigan said Michigan is ranked sixth highest in the nation for uninsured drivers.

She said part of the high uninsured rate is because Michigan has some of the most expensive insurance nationwide. However, she said, it’s necessary to insure motorists safety.

The bill has been passed by the state house and referred to the Senate Committee on Insurance.

Insurance panel OKs auto no-fault overhaul with rate rollback

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A state House committee has approved some big changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law. It would set new limits on what hospitals could charge insurance companies. It would also guarantee a two-year rate rollback of at least 100 dollars per vehicle. Continue reading

MI Senate committee OKs faith-based exceptions for adoption agencies

Capital_Building_LansingA state Senate panel has OK’d bills that would allow faith-based private adoption agencies that take public funds to turn away same-sex couples.

The bills come as the US Supreme Court is about to hear arguments on whether Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution. A decision is expected this summer.
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The balancing act: College and politics

Central-Michigan-University-seal.svgAs potential presidential candidates start to gear up for the 2016 election, both parties have made it clear they want to target young voters.

A population that can be challenging to reach. Continue reading

Another million for Michigan waters

The Michigan DNR has awarded one-and-a-quarter million dollars to 7 projects through its Aquatic Habitat Grant Program.

Friends of the Shiawassee received the single largest donation, $365-thousand, for their dam removal project.

Gary Burk is the Board Director for the Friends, he says the project is important for a number of reasons.

“We were actually approached by the State as to whether we could be a local agency to help direct grant dollars and project management for the removal of that dam. There’s a number of reasons for the removal. It’s a deteriorated structure, and we’d like to restore connectivity to the river. Plus, there have been some drownings at the dam.”

For a full list of the projects that were awarded grant money from the DNR visit their website here.

Governor Snyder says he’s glad to see action on no-fault

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Governor Rick Snyder says he’s glad the state Senate debated and voted on legislation to make some changes to Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law. But he’s not ready to endorse what the Senate did this week. Continue reading

Senate adopts no-fault overhaul

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The Michigan Senate has taken a first step toward overhauling the state’s auto no-fault system. The measures are aimed at making rates more affordable – especially in urban areas — by containing costs for insurance companies.
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Young conservatives push for change in GOP platform on marriage

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A group of young conservatives is in Michigan to meet with state Republican leaders. Its goal is to get the party to adopt a change in its platform at the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016. It wants the GOP to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage. Continue reading

Lawmakers take aim at antiquated, duplicative reporting requirements for schools

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State lawmakers could rethink how much and what kind of information schools are required to report to the state.

Schools must report financial, academic, and other information. But school groups often complain the number of mandated reports diverts too much time and too many resources away from classroom instruction.

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MI’s defense of same-sex marriage ban delivered to Supreme Court

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Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office has delivered the state’s defense of its same-sex marriage ban to the US Supreme Court.

The state’s 59-page brief focuses largely on states’ rights. The attorney general argues the case is not specifically about marriage, but who gets to decide the question.

From the brief’s summation:

“This case is not about the best definition of marriage or any stereotypes about families. Families
come in all types, and parents of all types—married or single, gay or straight—love their children. This case is about whether the Fourteenth Amendment imposes a single marriage view on all states such that the people have no right to decide. It does not.”

The brief says the US Constitution is silent on the issue, so the decision on defining who can get married is left to states or their voters. The brief says Michigan voters made a reasonable choice when they approved the ban in 2004, and only they should be allowed to reverse it.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are the lesbian couple challenging the ban. They say it violates their equal protection rights and the equal protections rights of the children they are raising together, but cannot jointly adopt.

Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will also defend marriage bans when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case next month.