Public Sector

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

Michigan Attorney General: GOP limits on petition drives are unconstitutional

May 22, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said the controversial election law passed by lame-duck Republicans “creates an obstacle for voters without any support in the (state) Constitution itself.”

Lansing inches toward no-fault deal, as Whitmer remarks add to optimism

May 21, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Personal injury protection coverage choices and medical fee caps are two remaining issues on the table for Michigan no-fault insurance reform. GOP hoping for agreement this week. 

New ballot initiative would ban abortions in Michigan after fetal heartbeat

May 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed a petition that would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion after around six weeks. Currently, abortion is legal until around 24 weeks.

Five months in, the precarious state of bipartisanship in Lansing

May 21, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Michigan’s new Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders promised bipartisan collaboration this year as divided government replaced eight years of Republican rule. Despite skirmishes, the two sides are still talking.

Michigan lawmaker denies bribery: ‘Do you think I would stoop that low?’

May 16, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Larry Inman acknowledges writing texts that appear to show him soliciting donations from a union before a key vote. The feds accuse him of bribery and extortion. He says there’s an “explanation” for his texts. The explanation? He won’t say.

Michigan Republicans and Whitmer move closer to no-fault auto insurance deal

May 16, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, says she draws line on GOP option for drivers to opt out of buying personal injury protection in car insurance. But she appears willing to reach a no-fault deal without tying it to an agreement on road funding.

Right to Life of Michigan launches ballot drive to ban abortion procedure

May 15, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

One day after Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will veto bills to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, the anti-abortion group said it has filed paperwork to put the issue to voters in 2020.

Michigan state rep sought bribe for vote through text messages, feds allege

May 15, 2019 | Riley Beggin

State Rep. Larry Inman, a Republican from Grand Traverse County, faces calls to resign following his indictment on charges of seeking campaign donations from a union in exchange for his vote.

Gov. Whitmer, Republicans see path to deal on Michigan auto insurance reform

May 14, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said she and Republicans are no closer to a deal on auto no-fault reform than they were when both chambers passed bills last week. But talks are ongoing, which both sides said was promising. 

Abortion limits pass Michigan House and Senate. What you need to know.

May 14, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republican bills would make it a felony for health care providers to perform dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common second-trimester procedure. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vows a veto as Michigan joins other states in abortion battles.  

Roads get spotlight, but 447 Michigan bridges in serious condition or worse

May 13, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

With not enough money in the state budget, and projections that these aging structures will only worsen, state transportation officials are seeking $1 billion to fix the most deteriorated bridges by 2025

Find troubled Michigan bridges in your community

May 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Use this interactive map to find bridges listed in serious or critical condition around Michigan

Lessons for Michigan on quickly replacing old bridges, from a state that’s done it

May 13, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Pennsylvania this year expects to finish a five-year, $1.8 billion project to replace 558 structurally deficient bridges. The contractor will then maintain the bridges for 25 years. What can Pennsylvania teach Michigan?

Michigan governor and Republicans at impasse on auto insurance reform bills

May 9, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan Republicans say the plans will save “buckets” of money for drivers. Democrats say the plans don’t guarantee rate roll-backs nor the elimination of non-driving factors in setting insurance rates. Is there an opportunity for a grand bargain that includes road funding? 

House Republicans pass Michigan no-fault reform with tweaks from Democrats

May 9, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The House bill, passed 2 a.m. Thursday, includes guaranteed personal injury rate savings, which Gov. Whitmer complained was missing from a Senate measure. The two bills, if reconciled, would then go to Whitmer.

Michigan Republicans say car insurance reforms would slash premiums

May 7, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate approves bills that would allow drivers to opt out of unlimited medical benefits. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is promising to veto the measure if it makes it to her desk.

What to expect in Michigan’s first election since voting rights amendment

May 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 Tuesday, May 7 will be the first election where Michigan voters will exercise a variety of rights enacted by a sweeping amendment approved in November. 

Jocelyn Benson says she’s committed to increasing Michigan voter turnout

May 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The newly elected Michigan Democratic Secretary of State says she’s hosting town hall forums and working with local clerks to enhance voter rights and boost turnout in elections.

Senate GOP proposes shrinking jail funds to Michigan ‘sanctuary cities’

May 1, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Department of Corrections opposes the language of a bill that would withhold state payments to local jails that house felons if the communities aren’t fully cooperating with federal immigration officials. The move would increase costs for an understaffed state prison system, but Senate Republicans argue law enforcement should work collaboratively.

Michigan Republicans appeal gerrymandering ruling. What you need to know.

April 30, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle

Five questions and answers following Tuesday’s appeal of a bombshell federal court ruling ordering special elections in Michigan.

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