Whitmer, GOP leaders ditch transparency on budget for secret COVID deal

September 22, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

State lawmakers could vote as soon as Wednesday on a roughly $60 billion budget bill that few have seen. It’s the latest development involving Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who campaigned on a pledge of transparency but has been slow to release information during the pandemic.

Grand Valley State students ordered to stay home to tamp down COVID-19 upswing

September 16, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French in Michigan Health Watch

COVID is spreading at Grand Valley through off-campus gatherings and students who become infected aren’t saying who they’ve been hanging out with, health officials said.

In tense hearing, Whitmer official defends MI COVID nursing home strategy

September 16, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Health Watch

Republican legislators accused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s  administration of failing to adequately prepare for the pandemic. “20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing,” countered state health director Robert Gordon.

Fact Squad: Gary Peters ad highlights attendance, hits back at John James

September 16, 2020 | Mansur Shaheen in Michigan Government

Gary Peters points to near-perfect attendance on votes and record of passing bills to rebut arguments from John James that he skips work. The claims are true but fail to mention most senators have sterling attendance records.

Trump demonizes refugees. Biden wants more. Whose plan will Michigan back?

September 15, 2020 | Ted Roelofs in Quality of Life

President Trump has cut refugees and curtailed foreign guest workers. Joe Biden wants to restore higher admissions for people seeking to escape persecution in other countries. Michigan has a stake in which candidate prevails.

Smoke over Michigan skies as western wildfires burn

September 15, 2020 | Kelly House in Michigan Environment Watch

So far, the wildfire smoke hovering over Michigan has not impacted regional air quality. But climate experts say it should serve as a sobering reminder that the Great Lakes State is not immune to worsening natural disasters caused by climate change.

Michigan Senate votes to let clerks open absentee ballot envelopes day early

September 15, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Michigan law now allows clerks to process absentee ballots only on Election Day. Municipal clerks say that would be a “recipe for disaster” this year given an expected surge and would delay results reporting in a closely watched presidential election.

Bridge Magazine becomes Bridge Michigan to reflect mission, ambitions

September 15, 2020 | Amber DeLind, Kathryn Dugal in The Center for Michigan

It’s time for Bridge’s name and logo to reflect our newsroom’s statewide mission and commitment to the place we call home.

Coronavirus outbreaks force mandatory quarantine at 23 MSU frats, sororities

September 14, 2020 | Ron French, Robin Erb in Talent & Education

Saying an upswing in COVID cases is “quickly becoming a crisis,” Ingham County health officer orders lockdown on 30 frats, sororities and other big homes. The mandatory order comes after the health department recommended voluntary quarantines for some 38K students.

Schools, local governments spared from cuts under Michigan budget deal

September 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration and Republican legislative leaders said Monday they've agreed to a framework for the 2021 budget that will protect funding for K-12 schools and local governments despite revenue declines amid COVID-19.

How a few coronavirus cases ended classes at a rural Michigan school

September 14, 2020 | Ron French in Talent & Education

For every student that tested positive, there were dozens of friends or classmates found to be in close contact with them, sidelining them from the classroom as well.

State identifies Michigan K-12 schools and colleges with COVID outbreaks

September 14, 2020 | Ron French, Mike Wilkinson in Talent & Education

The public can now see what K-12 schools and colleges in the state have coronavirus outbreaks, thanks to new state reporting championed by Bridge Michigan and other media outlets. There are now more than 1,300 college cases.

Fact Squad: Trump slams Biden son for buying Michigan auto firm with Chinese

September 14, 2020 | Mansur Shaheen in Michigan Government

One day after Joe Biden touted his Made in America plan, President Trump notes that the Democrat’s son teamed with a Chinese defense contractor to buy a Michigan firm that created jobs overseas.

Coronavirus banner with gloved hands and the Michigan flag

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