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

Larry Inman trial highlights blurred lines and boozy underbelly of Michigan politics

Larry Inman trial highlights blurred lines and boozy underbelly of Michigan politics

December 5, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Testimony in state Rep. Larry Inman’s criminal trial for alleged extortion and bribery has showed unsavory side of Michigan’s political system. And Thursday, the case forced one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers to take the stand.  

Appeals court: Michigan workers can seek damages for false fraud claims

Appeals court: Michigan workers can seek damages for false fraud claims

December 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The Court of Appeals rules on a lawsuit on behalf of workers falsely accused of unemployment fraud by a state agency computer system.

Michigan budget breakthrough in works as Gretchen Whitmer, GOP near deal

Michigan budget breakthrough in works as Gretchen Whitmer, GOP near deal

December 4, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan lawmakers passed bills Wednesday that reflect an agreement to return $573.5 million to the state budget. A deal would restore funding to popular GOP programs, including money for charter schools, autism programming and rural hospitals.

GOP leaders: We won’t halt Michigan Medicaid work requirements

GOP leaders: We won’t halt Michigan Medicaid work requirements

December 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Gretchen Whitmer asked Republican leaders to stop the implementation of controversial work requirements for subsidized healthcare. They quickly shut down her request.

Feds: Union solicited by state Rep. Larry Inman worked to recall him

Feds: Union solicited by state Rep. Larry Inman worked to recall him

December 3, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

The trial began Tuesday for Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) on charges of allegedly soliciting a bribe, extortion and lying to the FBI.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer: ‘Bat-sh*t crazy’ jab doesn’t help resolve budget

Michigan Gov. Whitmer: ‘Bat-sh*t crazy’ jab doesn’t help resolve budget

December 2, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Gretchen Whitmer responds to criticism from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and says both sides are no closer to finding a compromise on a weeks-long budget stalemate over $1 billion in cuts and transfers. Shirkey apologized again Monday afternoon.

Quid pro quo? Larry Inman trial to test limits of campaign cash solicitations

Quid pro quo? Larry Inman trial to test limits of campaign cash solicitations

December 2, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

State Rep. Larry Inman is far from the only lawmaker who has solicited campaign contributions from special interest groups. But federal prosecutors allege he offered to sell his vote in exchange for donations.

Michigan House Speaker ordered to testify in Rep. Inman’s corruption trial

Michigan House Speaker ordered to testify in Rep. Inman’s corruption trial

November 26, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

A federal judge on Tuesday denied an attempt by House Speaker Lee Chatfield to quash a subpoena ordering him to testify next week in embattled state Rep. Larry Inman's corruption trial.

Judge rejects GOP bid to delay Michigan redistricting commission

Judge rejects GOP bid to delay Michigan redistricting commission

November 25, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

In a blow to Republicans, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff said delaying implementation of a voter-approved redistricting commission law would be a “drastic action” not warranted by lawsuit claims.

Dana Nessel to review Michigan DNR handling of wolf kill records

Dana Nessel to review Michigan DNR handling of wolf kill records

November 25, 2019 | John Barnes

In response to a Bridge Magazine investigation, Nessel said her office will look into whether the state agency mishandled public records on the 2016 killings of protected gray wolves in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

Pontiac thought it could handle marijuana. It’s caused confusion and delays.

Pontiac thought it could handle marijuana. It’s caused confusion and delays.

November 25, 2019 | Darren A. Nichols

More than a year after Pontiac voters approved medical marijuana businesses, investors are still waiting as politicians squabble. The delays could be a cautionary tale as retail recreational pot becomes legal in Michigan on Dec. 1.

Why easy access to recreational marijuana is taking so long in Michigan

Why easy access to recreational marijuana is taking so long in Michigan

November 25, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Recreational marijuana sales are set to begin on Dec. 1, but shortages and few licensed shops mean options will be limited.

Cellphones are everywhere. Except Michigan courts. Is that an injustice?

Cellphones are everywhere. Except Michigan courts. Is that an injustice?

November 20, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Michigan Supreme Court considers a rule to allow cellphones in all courts. One justice says cell bans are “callous” and “incredibly insensitive,” but others say allowing devices in courts would create security problems.

Michigan term limits face court challenge from former lawmakers

Michigan term limits face court challenge from former lawmakers

November 20, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Ron French

A group is arguing in a new lawsuit that Michigan’s strictest-in-the-nation legislative term limits are unconstitutional.

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

November 19, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Tax requests increasingly are popping up in elections with low turnouts, such as March’s heavily Democratic presidential primary. Governments say it saves money. Foes say it’s anti-democratic.

Liberal super PAC sues Michigan over voting restrictions

Liberal super PAC sues Michigan over voting restrictions

November 13, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Priorities USA argues in two lawsuits that state laws prohibiting certain voter services unconstitutionally restrict the right to vote. A state Republican leader said the restrictions are important to discourage voter fraud.

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.

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