Having a Michigan medical marijuana card does not provide sweeping immunity from drug charges, according to a ruling from the state Supreme Court. But, at the same time, the unanimous opinion says prosecutors can’t argue a single misstep proves a cardholding-caretaker under the law is a drug dealer. Continue reading →
The former Velsicol plant site is surrounded by several community blocks where people still live.
Originally the EPA thought the contamination from the plant could be contained within the borders of the site. However, years after the initial cleanup, EPA officials determined this wasn’t the case. Continue reading →
A union-led petition drive is trying to increase the state’s Corporate Income Tax rate from 6 percent to 11 percent. The revenue would be used to fix roads.
Increasing the rate by 5 percentage points would generate about $900 million a year toward Governor Rick Snyder’s goal of $1.2 billion in new revenue for road repairs. It would also be a major change to the 2011 business tax overhaul engineered by Snyder and Republicans in the Legislature. Continue reading →
Governor Rick Snyder has made a decision that pushes Michigan’s most-populated county closer to state oversight.
Governor Snyder ratified the findings of a state board that found Wayne County faces a financial crisis that could reach 171 million dollars by the end of the decade if it goes unchecked. Continue reading →
The state would have to take measures meant to increase access to birth control under new proposals in the state Legislature.
Democrats unveiled the forthcoming bills on Wednesday. They would require businesses to inform workers and job applicants of reproductive health care coverage and require the state to distribute information about emergency contraception. Continue reading →
The state House is scheduled to meet one day this week to try and reach a compromise on road funding.
If a deal doesn’t get done on Tuesday, talks may have to wait until the fall. The House is scheduled to begin a month-long break on Wednesday.
State officials say the longer the talks drag on, the more expensive it gets to fix the state’s crumbling roads.
Portrait, Director Kirk Steudle
“The longer we wait, the more it’s going to cost us,” said Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Kirk Steudle.
“We could pay now or pay more later. And, frankly, we’re getting to the point where it’s about to be pay more later.”
For almost four years, Steudle and Gov. Rick Snyder have said lawmakers must boost road funding by at least $1.2 billion a year to keep the roads from getting worse. Groups representing construction workers say the number is closer to $2 billion.
Steudle points out lawmakers have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars in one-time money into the roads this year.
“But on a larger scale, the whole system is still continuing to decline,” he said.
State House Republicans appear to be divided on raising taxes to boost road funding. The state Senate approved a plan that would raise the state’s gas tax by 15 cents a gallon over three years. That proposal would eventually boost road funding by about $1.5 billion a year.
The new chair of the Michigan Democratic Party says he’d like to see a proposal to overhaul the redistricting process on the ballot next year.
Democrats have called for an independent commission to take the Legislature out of drawing district lines.
Democratic Chair Brandon Dillon says Democrats would like to see a process that’s less controlled by Republicans. But he says don’t look to his party to take the lead.
“I do think this is an issue that if it’s going to be on the ballot, it’s going to have to be driven by independent, good-government people who just understand across the political spectrum that the system doesn’t work well.”
Dillon was on the Michigan Public Television show “Off the Record.”
Dillon says he’d also like to see a question on the ballot next year to add LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law.
Dillon is also a state representative from Grand Rapids, but has tendered his resignation.
Governor Rick Snyder says he hasn’t given up on getting a deal for more than a $1 billion dollars in new road revenue through the Legislature. Lawmakers adjourned this week without voting on a roads package.
But, at an event in Detroit, the governor said he’s still confident a deal can come together in 2015. Continue reading →
Michigan’s monthly jobless rate is unchanged at 5.5 percent.
That’s well below the 7.1 percent rate from this time a year ago. Over the past 12 months, the biggest job gains were in construction, but there were also healthy increases in business services and manufacturing. Continue reading →
Democrats in the Legislature are calling for changes to how legislative districts are drawn.
The effort is built off a recent US Supreme Court decision. The decision says voters can take the power to draw district lines away from the Legislature and hand it to an independent commission. Continue reading →
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the days of an energy pipeline running beneath the Straits of Mackinac are numbered. But, a task force led by Schuette does not recommend that day should come anytime soon. Continue reading →
The state House briefly returns from its summer break this week to take up the debate over road funding. It will consider a state Senate plan that differs widely from the plan the House approved last month.
A key difference is that the Senate plan raises the gas tax by 15 cents over three years. The House plan relies mostly on existing revenues. Continue reading →