Michigan Government

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.

Articles

Think your house is hard to unload? Try selling a prison.

Think your house is hard to unload? Try selling a prison.

November 12, 2019 | Anna Clark

Prison closings can decimate towns that depend on the jobs. With 24 Michigan prisons and camps shuttered in the past 15 years, state and local officials are trying to think smarter about what’s next. 

No deal: Senate GOP rejects possible budget compromise

No deal: Senate GOP rejects possible budget compromise

November 7, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

County sheriffs, small schools, local governments and other groups grappling with state funding cuts may have to wait several more weeks for Michigan leaders to resolve an ongoing budget dispute.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

November 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

An Oakland County man lost his property to foreclosure over an $8.41 tax debt. Oakland then sold the property for $24,500 and kept the profit. His lawyers want the high court to end this practice in Michigan. 

Locals to Lansing: Get a budget deal, because cuts are getting real

Locals to Lansing: Get a budget deal, because cuts are getting real

November 6, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

While Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP leaders squabble, budget vetoes are forcing cuts or other tough decisions for local governments, nonprofits and service entities that have already lost state funding — or will soon if state leaders do not resolve the dispute.

Attorney General Dana Nessel takes hard line in juvenile inmate rape cases

Attorney General Dana Nessel takes hard line in juvenile inmate rape cases

November 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Like her predecessor Bill Schuette, Nessel is contesting every claim by juveniles who said they were raped by adult prisoners — including whether the teens, some as young as 14, can be called children at trial.

Juvenile rape accuser: ‘Regardless of what I did, I was still a child’

Juvenile rape accuser: ‘Regardless of what I did, I was still a child’

November 4, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Two former juvenile inmates describe being raped by adults in a Michigan prison. Attorney General Dana Nessel contests the claims as the case heads to trial. (WARNING: Video contains graphic and explicit language and content)

Michigan eyes reform to costly, confusing system of expunging criminal records

Michigan eyes reform to costly, confusing system of expunging criminal records

November 4, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republicans and Democrats seem to be on the same page — it’s time to give former offenders a second chance with new reform.

A year after pot became legal, Michigan still months away from retail sales

A year after pot became legal, Michigan still months away from retail sales

November 4, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

A supply shortage and regulatory hurdles means recreational pot sales aren’t likely until February or March. And two-thirds of all Michigan municipalities have already passed rules saying ‘not in our town.’

 Michigan lawmakers want to expand tax break before it’s created a single job

Michigan lawmakers want to expand tax break before it’s created a single job

November 1, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

A bipartisan effort is underway in Lansing to expand a program that so far has paid $20,000 per every job businesses have promised to create. The move comes despite growing skepticism that incentives work.

Residents in these Michigan cities said yes to pot. Their leaders said no.

Residents in these Michigan cities said yes to pot. Their leaders said no.

October 31, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Fourteen towns heavily burdened by marijuana convictions voted to legalize recreational pot last year. But city officials put the brakes on opening a marijuana business, at least for now.

Critics fear Michigan is promising the moon to land cloud data storage firms

Critics fear Michigan is promising the moon to land cloud data storage firms

October 31, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan lawmakers want to attract massive cloud storage data centers that technology giants like Facebook and Google are opening in other states, but critics fear the tax breaks will siphon money needed to fix struggling schools.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer to GOP: I’ll make a budget deal, but won’t cede powers

Michigan Gov. Whitmer to GOP: I’ll make a budget deal, but won’t cede powers

October 29, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday offered Republican legislative leaders a series of bargaining concessions in an attempt to break an ongoing budget stalemate but made clear she will not sign away gubernatorial power.

Beyond term limits: 5 ‘good government’ ideas eyed by Michigan reformers

Beyond term limits: 5 ‘good government’ ideas eyed by Michigan reformers

October 28, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

An unlikely alliance of Voters Not Politicians and GOP leaders are discussing opening public records access laws, lobbying reforms, personal financial disclosures, ethics oversight and limitations on aggressive legislating during the state’s so-called lame-duck session.

John Conyers Jr., champion of Detroit and civil rights, dies at 90

John Conyers Jr., champion of Detroit and civil rights, dies at 90

October 27, 2019 | Joel Kurth

John Conyers Jr. served 53 years in Congress as a representative from Detroit, pursuing progressive causes long before they became popular. He died at his home.

Applications open for new Michigan redistricting commission. What to know.

Applications open for new Michigan redistricting commission. What to know.

October 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Registered state voters can apply to serve on the commission until next June. Here’s what you need to do.

Michigan Republicans say ‘the budget is done.’ Here’s what they really mean.

Michigan Republicans say ‘the budget is done.’ Here’s what they really mean.

October 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

For weeks, GOP leaders have said the state budget is in place, even though $1 billion of their priorities were cut and negotiations continue with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. At the core of the standoff is broken trust and the GOP’s insistence on capping how much money the governor can shift from department budgets.

Michigan’s roads have turned to crap. So has a strike among road builders.

Michigan’s roads have turned to crap. So has a strike among road builders.

October 24, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

A months-long union worker strike at one of Michigan’s largest road building firms has delayed some pavement projects and shows no signs of letting up as the summer construction season nears an end.

Anti-gerrymandering group may team with GOP to tackle term limits

Anti-gerrymandering group may team with GOP to tackle term limits

October 22, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

Interest in changing Michigan’s strict legislative term limits may produce an unlikely alliance: Voters Not Politicians, the GOP and Michigan Chamber.

Pure Michigan gets reprieve, but its future is cloudy amid budget showdown

Pure Michigan gets reprieve, but its future is cloudy amid budget showdown

October 22, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Work on Pure Michigan tourism ads will continue through at least the end of the year after approval to use $740K to pay firms. Its long-term status remains shaky after a $37.5 million budget veto.

U.S. high court kills Michigan gerrymandering case ordering new districts

U.S. high court kills Michigan gerrymandering case ordering new districts

October 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The decision makes it official: A federal district court order to redraw gerrymandered lines and stage new elections is moot.

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