Category Archives: Federal Government

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

Supreme court

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.

Tittabawassee river cleanup update

Tuesday night the EPA will give an update on cleanup work along the Tittabawassee River. It’s part of the at the bi-monthly Community Advisory Group meeting’s.

The current portion of the cleanup is focused on the floodplain of the river. It requires certain areas of soil to be removed and replaced.

The public is invited to the meeting and the local community group is looking to recruit new members.

The meeting is scheduled for the Tittabawassee Township Memorial Park Building in Freeland and begins at 6 PM.

Earlier this year the EPA estimated the entire cleanup would be completed in 2018.

Revived senate bill would help protect the Great Lakes from invasives

In Washington DC, a bill that would help protect the Great Lakes from invasive species has been revived by the Senate, and sent to the House for a vote.

The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, or VIDA, would set a national precedent for controlling boat ballast water that enters the U.S.

The bill was revived when Senator Gary Peters of Michigan added an amendment that would require all ships that enter the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway to dump their ballast water prior to entry.
great_lakes
Ballast water is considered to be one of the biggest doorways for aquatic invasive species to enter our waterways.

Debate and controversy surround proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron shore in Ontario

Kincardine

Controversy surrounding a proposed nuclear waste dump that would be built near the Lake Huron Shoreline in Ontario is heating up.

The main issue surrounding Ontario Power Generation’s, or OPG’s, proposed nuclear dump can be boiled down to three things.
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Debate and controversy surround proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron shore in Ontario

Kincardine
Ontario Power Generation, or OPG, has talked themselves hoarse defending their proposal for a nuclear waste storage facility near Lake Huron.
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Federal funding boost for Great Lakes basin

great_lakesThe USDA is set to provide 1.2 billion dollars over five years to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program in order to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in the Great Lakes basin.
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Kildee reflects on State of the Union, efforts to free Amir

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address. In the first minute of the speech, he summed up his theme for the evening: “Tonight, we turn a page.”

Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee was in the House chamber during last night’s speech, and he joined us to speak about it. Continue reading

Latest developments in college campus sexual assault claims

white houseThe issue of sexual assaults on college campuses isn’t new.

It garnered national attention last year after a list was released revealing a federal investigation of dozens of colleges for their handling of sexual abuse claims. Continue reading

Benishek discusses new congress, priorities for next 2 years

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls)

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls)

Lawmakers returned to Washington this week for the start of the 114th Congress. We’ve been checking in with some Michigan lawmakers, to hear their priorities for the new term, and to hear their advice for the five new members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. Continue reading

Kildee reflects on new congress, lays out priorities for next 2 years

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

The 114th Congress got underway this week as lawmakers from around the country returned to Washington. We’ve been checking in with some Michigan lawmakers, to learn about their priorities for the new term, and to hear their advice for the five new members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. Continue reading

Congress to consider new legislation aimed at improving health care for Veterans

veterans 11-13-13Veteran’s Day will be fresh in the minds of congress as they return to work this week and consider legislation that aims to improve the health care system for the growing number of vets.

With veterans returning home in unprecedented numbers, veteran care officials say health care issues for veterans need to be addressed. Continue reading

Clean Water Act marks anniversary on Saturday

October 18 is the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, but National Wildlife Federation officials say the bill’s current ambiguity puts miles of streams and wetlands at risk of losing protection.

The questionable language was found as the result of two recent Supreme Court challenges to the act.
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