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 calls on schools to have masks but no social distancing in class

Michigan calls on schools to have masks but no social distancing in class

June 30, 2020 | Ron French, Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s school reopening plan has one surprising takeaway: Schools can choose whether or not to bring all students back to class at the same time, with no state requirement that forces schools to run classes in shifts.

Gretchen Whitmer, Republicans strike deal to plug $2.2B Michigan budget hole

Gretchen Whitmer, Republicans strike deal to plug $2.2B Michigan budget hole

June 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers announce budget deal for this fiscal year, but plenty of work could remain on an even bigger budget shortfall that is fast approaching because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer wants state ban on police chokeholds, other reforms

Michigan Gov. Whitmer wants state ban on police chokeholds, other reforms

June 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s Democratic governor wants lawmakers to send her bills to ban chokehold use by officers and to classify "false, racially-motivated 911 calls" as hate crimes, she said Monday as protests over police brutality continued nationwide.

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

June 25, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

COVID-19 is flaring up statewide among migrant workers. Experts say close quarters, crops that won’t wait, mistrust are perfect growing conditions for outbreaks.

Big benefits, claims a ‘perfect storm’ for unemployment fraud in Michigan

Big benefits, claims a ‘perfect storm’ for unemployment fraud in Michigan

June 24, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan officials aren’t saying how many cases of unemployment insurance fraud investigators have found so far, but roughly 58,000 residents have self-reported that someone stole their identity to try to claim benefits.

Petition drives target Gretchen Whitmer. And she’s raising money off them.

Petition drives target Gretchen Whitmer. And she’s raising money off them.

June 23, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Republican activists and organizers attempting to recall Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and limit her emergency powers are rushing to put petitions before voters this summer. But one effort has uncorked a law that lifts the limit for campaign donations.

Nearly 12,000 Michigan workers unemployed since May 1 still await benefits

Nearly 12,000 Michigan workers unemployed since May 1 still await benefits

June 23, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

More than 11,800 Michigan workers who filed for jobless benefits between March 15 and May 1 have yet to be paid or denied, but the state unemployment agency said Tuesday it intends to clear that backlog by July 4.

New Michigan auto insurance: savings for most, but Detroit still pays more

New Michigan auto insurance: savings for most, but Detroit still pays more

June 22, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Mike Wilkinson

Insurer filings reviewed by Bridge show most drivers will save money under a reform law set to take effect July 2. But universal savings appear exaggerated and where you live still impacts what you will pay.

Judge: Michigan gyms can reopen Thursday despite Whitmer coronavirus order

Judge: Michigan gyms can reopen Thursday despite Whitmer coronavirus order

June 19, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Gyms and fitness centers across Michigan can reopen June 25, a federal judge ruled Friday, saying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration failed to provide scientific evidence justifying their continued closure despite declining COVID-19 case counts.

Michigan finalizes plan to spend $880 million in federal coronavirus funds

Michigan finalizes plan to spend $880 million in federal coronavirus funds

June 17, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan is poised to create a business grant program, cut child care rates, boost summer school and invest in its unemployment insurance system using federal COVID-19 relief funding.

Whitmer: Michigan students can return to class if coronavirus stays steady

Whitmer: Michigan students can return to class if coronavirus stays steady

June 17, 2020 | Ron French, Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that schools will reopen in September. But what those classrooms will look like will vary greatly among school districts.

‘Dehumanized’ by police at 16, Garlin Gilchrist seeks Michigan reforms

‘Dehumanized’ by police at 16, Garlin Gilchrist seeks Michigan reforms

June 16, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Gilchrist, the state’s first African-American lieutenant governor, is helping lead the charge for police reforms amid mass protests after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Michigan Right to Life abortion ban may fall short on signatures

Michigan Right to Life abortion ban may fall short on signatures

June 15, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Right to Life of Michigan did not collect enough valid voter signatures to advance an initiative proposing to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, according to new estimates from the state Bureau of Elections.

Michigan woman helps win gay, transgender worker rights in Supreme Court

Michigan woman helps win gay, transgender worker rights in Supreme Court

June 15, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of Aimee Stephens of Michigan, who was fired by her funeral home employer after telling the company she intended to “live and work full time as a woman.” That firing was held to violate the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Crises collide: Flood recovery workers carried COVID-19 to Michigan

Crises collide: Flood recovery workers carried COVID-19 to Michigan

June 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

19 workers who came to Michigan to work on flood recovery projects in the Midland region have tested positive for COVID-19 but subsequently left the state. Local health officials believe “one or two” of the workers were symptomatic before they came to Michigan.

Michigan gay rights proposal off fall ballot; ruling opens door for 2022

Michigan gay rights proposal off fall ballot; ruling opens door for 2022

June 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A judge ordered Michigan to give the Fair and Equal Michigan ballot committee 69 additional days to collect signatures, mirroring the duration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order that was lifted June 1.  That means the group will not complete its petition drive to qualify for the 2020 ballot and will aim for the 2022 ballot instead.

Pandemic may mean big profit to Michigan insurers, tiny rebates for drivers

Pandemic may mean big profit to Michigan insurers, tiny rebates for drivers

June 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Travel fell by more than 40 percent amid the pandemic, which experts say could reap insurance companies sizable profits. Ordered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to pay rebates, most are paying 15 percent to 20 percent. That often amounts to about $50 or less.

Inspections show death, despair gripped Michigan nursing homes amid pandemic

Inspections show death, despair gripped Michigan nursing homes amid pandemic

June 8, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

As the coronavirus ravaged Michigan, nursing home staffers called in sick, faced equipment shortages and struggled to comply with infection controls, inspection reports from the hardest-hit facilities show. 

Michigan freezes 340k unemployment accounts amid fraud probe and pandemic

Michigan freezes 340k unemployment accounts amid fraud probe and pandemic

June 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The state of Michigan has frozen 340,000 unemployment accounts, blocking cash assistance for jobless residents while it investigates suspected fraud by imposters seeking to take advantage of enhanced benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Friday.

From coronavirus to unrest, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shaped by crises

From coronavirus to unrest, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shaped by crises

June 2, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Her agenda waylaid by one emergency after another, Gretchen Whitmer now faces civil unrest in Michigan’s biggest cities. Add in a huge deficit and she could spend her term in reaction mode — provided she doesn’t leave for D.C.

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