Jonathan Oosting

Jonathan Oosting is an award-winning Michigan political reporter covering the Capitol beat for Bridge. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University and has previously worked for The Detroit News and MLive Media Group. He is from Grand Rapids and lives in Lansing. You can reach him at joosting@bridgemi.com, 517-862-1079 or on Twitter @jonathanoosting.

Articles

Michigan seeks $300 per week in extra benefits for unemployed

Michigan seeks $300 per week in extra benefits for unemployed

August 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Paula Gardner

President Trump is making extra unemployment benefits available because of the pandemic that has left more than 2.4 million Michigan residents jobless. The state could have pursued an extra $100 per week in benefits, but opted against it because of declining tax revenue.

With Gretchen Whitmer on national stage, Michigan Dems plot to dump Trump

With Gretchen Whitmer on national stage, Michigan Dems plot to dump Trump

August 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Democrats say Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s prominent role in the national convention points to her rising profile within the party and the electoral importance of the state, which Trump narrowly won in 2016.

What school restart deal means for Michigan parents, students and educators

What school restart deal means for Michigan parents, students and educators

August 15, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A compromise schools plan approved by the Michigan Senate, and backed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, requires weekly check-ins between teachers and students, monthly board meetings to reaffirm instruction plans and offers some funding safeguards. Unions backed the deal, but some educators are upset it was rushed just before the start of school.

 

Whitmer, GOP reach Michigan school restart deal over protests from educators

Whitmer, GOP reach Michigan school restart deal over protests from educators

August 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan schools can restart this fall with online-only instruction but will be required to revisit that decision monthly and allow for parental feedback in public meetings under a new deal between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders.

 GOP leader on Michigan budget woes: ‘We just need to suffer through it’

GOP leader on Michigan budget woes: ‘We just need to suffer through it’

August 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan may not get any more help from the federal government as it seeks to balance a projected multibillion budget deficit by October, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to the most powerful Republican in the state Legislature.

Gov. Whitmer, GOP near deal on Michigan school reopenings amid pandemic

Gov. Whitmer, GOP near deal on Michigan school reopenings amid pandemic

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan school districts would have the ability to choose in-person, remote or hybrid instruction this fall under a plan being negotiated by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-led Legislature.

Fact Squad: Peters ad accurately touts work for farmers, omits lack of success

Fact Squad: Peters ad accurately touts work for farmers, omits lack of success

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A new campaign ad from Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters highlights his work alongside Michigan cherry farmers fighting a flood of cheap Turkish imports. The ad is factual but glosses over that the fight hasn’t been successful.

Michigan senator who got COVID didn’t wear a mask at anti-Whitmer event

Michigan senator who got COVID didn’t wear a mask at anti-Whitmer event

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Sen. Tom Barrett says he took “reasonable precautions” before he contracted the coronavirus, but less than two weeks before he was diagnosed, he didn’t wear a mask at a petition drive event that drew hundreds.  Public health officials say there’s no indication that it caused an outbreak.

Michigan health director: Blame me for COVID contract with political firm

Michigan health director: Blame me for COVID contract with political firm

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon on Thursday apologized and took responsibility for initially contracting with a political firm to conduct contact tracing at the height of the state’s COVID-19 crisis.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer isn’t Biden’s VP pick but will speak at convention

Michigan Gov. Whitmer isn’t Biden’s VP pick but will speak at convention

August 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Joe Biden on Tuesday named Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate to help take on Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, ending speculation he could pick Whitmer or other candidates who had been vetted for the role.

Fact Squad: John James skips details in ad claiming Peters ‘downplayed’ COVID

Fact Squad: John James skips details in ad claiming Peters ‘downplayed’ COVID

August 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

An attack ad from Republican challenger John James uses a 2-second clip and old attendance records to argue Sen. Gary Peters should have done a better job safeguarding against the coronavirus. In making the case, the ad omits some key facts.

If Biden taps Gretchen Whitmer as VP, what happens to Michigan government?

If Biden taps Gretchen Whitmer as VP, what happens to Michigan government?

August 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

 Vice presidential nominees almost never resign unless or until they win election, so Gretchen Whitmer likely would remain Michigan governor even if she is tapped by Joe Biden as his running mate. But would she curtail her duties to campaign amid a deadly pandemic?

Poll: Slim majority opposes drive to limit Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s power

Poll: Slim majority opposes drive to limit Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s power

August 6, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Fifty-two percent of Michigan voters oppose a petition drive that would repeal a 1945 law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used to continue an emergency declaration during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new statewide poll. But that may not stop the GOP-led Legislature from enacting the initiative anyway.

GOP’s advantage wanes in last year of Michigan ‘historical’ gerrymander

GOP’s advantage wanes in last year of Michigan ‘historical’ gerrymander

August 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s political districts are some of the nation’s most notorious gerrymanders. But the maps drawn to give the GOP an advantage are facing their final election, complicating the party’s effort to reclaim a majority in Congress and maintain its edge in the state Legislature.

Absentee ballots favor Democrats in Michigan, causing worry among GOP

Absentee ballots favor Democrats in Michigan, causing worry among GOP

August 5, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Jonathan Oosting

In an election with record numbers of absentee votes, Democrats were far likelier to remotely cast ballots than Republicans, who say they need to change or face trouble come November.

Michigan primary results: Rashida Tlaib cruises, Peter Meijer wins big

Michigan primary results: Rashida Tlaib cruises, Peter Meijer wins big

August 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

An absentee ballot surge that broke records during the coronavirus pandemic delayed some counting, but Michigan’s congressional delegation was taking shape by Wednesday afternoon.

Whitmer governs by ‘fiat,’ GOP argues in suit over Michigan pandemic powers

Whitmer governs by ‘fiat,’ GOP argues in suit over Michigan pandemic powers

August 4, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The Michigan Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a high-stakes case challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency authority amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican-led Legislature sued the governor and is expected to take the fight to the Michigan Supreme Court if necessary.

With ‘school policy in chaos,’ coronavirus delays debate in Michigan Senate

With ‘school policy in chaos,’ coronavirus delays debate in Michigan Senate

August 3, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A Michigan senator’s positive test for COVID-19 has shut down debate this week for school reopening measures. Republicans want to require all districts to offer in-person classes.

Whitmer lets Detroit casinos open but limits northern Michigan indoor bars

Whitmer lets Detroit casinos open but limits northern Michigan indoor bars

July 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Detroit casinos can reopen at limited capacity next week but some northern Michigan bars will have to end indoor service again under an executive order signed late Wednesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan gym owners: Keeping us closed amid COVID harms public health

Michigan gym owners: Keeping us closed amid COVID harms public health

July 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan was fat to begin with. And gym owners argue continued closures will only exacerbate underlying conditions like obesity that can make COVID-19 more deadly. 

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