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

 GOP leader on Michigan budget woes: ‘We just need to suffer through it’

GOP leader on Michigan budget woes: ‘We just need to suffer through it’

August 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan may not get any more help from the federal government as it seeks to balance a projected multibillion budget deficit by October, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to the most powerful Republican in the state Legislature.

Audit slams Michigan oversight of remote learning as districts embrace it

Audit slams Michigan oversight of remote learning as districts embrace it

August 13, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

A new audit faults Michigan for failing to ensure the effectiveness of schools’ online-only learning plans. It’s gained some significance because numerous districts are opting for remote learning-only amid the pandemic.

Fact Squad: Peters ad accurately touts work for farmers, omits lack of success

Fact Squad: Peters ad accurately touts work for farmers, omits lack of success

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A new campaign ad from Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters highlights his work alongside Michigan cherry farmers fighting a flood of cheap Turkish imports. The ad is factual but glosses over that the fight hasn’t been successful.

Michigan senator who got COVID didn’t wear a mask at anti-Whitmer event

Michigan senator who got COVID didn’t wear a mask at anti-Whitmer event

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Sen. Tom Barrett says he took “reasonable precautions” before he contracted the coronavirus, but less than two weeks before he was diagnosed, he didn’t wear a mask at a petition drive event that drew hundreds.  Public health officials say there’s no indication that it caused an outbreak.

Michigan health director: Blame me for COVID contract with political firm

Michigan health director: Blame me for COVID contract with political firm

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon on Thursday apologized and took responsibility for initially contracting with a political firm to conduct contact tracing at the height of the state’s COVID-19 crisis.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer isn’t Biden’s VP pick but will speak at convention

Michigan Gov. Whitmer isn’t Biden’s VP pick but will speak at convention

August 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Joe Biden on Tuesday named Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate to help take on Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, ending speculation he could pick Whitmer or other candidates who had been vetted for the role.

Fact Squad: John James skips details in ad claiming Peters ‘downplayed’ COVID

Fact Squad: John James skips details in ad claiming Peters ‘downplayed’ COVID

August 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

An attack ad from Republican challenger John James uses a 2-second clip and old attendance records to argue Sen. Gary Peters should have done a better job safeguarding against the coronavirus. In making the case, the ad omits some key facts.

If Biden taps Gretchen Whitmer as VP, what happens to Michigan government?

If Biden taps Gretchen Whitmer as VP, what happens to Michigan government?

August 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

 Vice presidential nominees almost never resign unless or until they win election, so Gretchen Whitmer likely would remain Michigan governor even if she is tapped by Joe Biden as his running mate. But would she curtail her duties to campaign amid a deadly pandemic?

Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan COVID-19 state of emergency through Sept. 4

Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan COVID-19 state of emergency through Sept. 4

August 7, 2020 | Riley Beggin

The extended state of emergency allows the governor to continue issuing executive orders such as the mask-wearing requirement and stay-at-home order.

Map: Trump counties less likely to vote absentee in Michigan primary

Map: Trump counties less likely to vote absentee in Michigan primary

August 7, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson

Heavily Republican counties were less likely to embrace mail-in voting than their Democratic counterparts. Counties with more coronavirus cases also were more likely to cast absentee ballots.

Poll: Slim majority opposes drive to limit Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s power

Poll: Slim majority opposes drive to limit Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s power

August 6, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Fifty-two percent of Michigan voters oppose a petition drive that would repeal a 1945 law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used to continue an emergency declaration during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new statewide poll. But that may not stop the GOP-led Legislature from enacting the initiative anyway.

Michigan passes absentee ballot voting test. November could be another story.

Michigan passes absentee ballot voting test. November could be another story.

August 5, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Despite fears of multiple-day waits and long lines, Michigan’s primary Tuesday experienced few major issues. Even more absentee voting is expected this fall and clerks say there’s no guarantee of smooth sailing without new laws.

GOP’s advantage wanes in last year of Michigan ‘historical’ gerrymander

GOP’s advantage wanes in last year of Michigan ‘historical’ gerrymander

August 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s political districts are some of the nation’s most notorious gerrymanders. But the maps drawn to give the GOP an advantage are facing their final election, complicating the party’s effort to reclaim a majority in Congress and maintain its edge in the state Legislature.

Absentee ballots favor Democrats in Michigan, causing worry among GOP

Absentee ballots favor Democrats in Michigan, causing worry among GOP

August 5, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Jonathan Oosting

In an election with record numbers of absentee votes, Democrats were far likelier to remotely cast ballots than Republicans, who say they need to change or face trouble come November.

Detroiters who left for the burbs during pandemic are hardest for Census to count

Detroiters who left for the burbs during pandemic are hardest for Census to count

August 5, 2020 | Bisma Parvez

Downtown, Midtown and Corktown neighborhoods — filled with residents who have homes, parents or friends in the suburbs — have the lowest Census responses in Detroit.

Michigan primary results: Rashida Tlaib cruises, Peter Meijer wins big

Michigan primary results: Rashida Tlaib cruises, Peter Meijer wins big

August 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

An absentee ballot surge that broke records during the coronavirus pandemic delayed some counting, but Michigan’s congressional delegation was taking shape by Wednesday afternoon.

Whitmer governs by ‘fiat,’ GOP argues in suit over Michigan pandemic powers

Whitmer governs by ‘fiat,’ GOP argues in suit over Michigan pandemic powers

August 4, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The Michigan Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a high-stakes case challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency authority amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican-led Legislature sued the governor and is expected to take the fight to the Michigan Supreme Court if necessary.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer orders state police to enforce COVID executive orders

Michigan Gov. Whitmer orders state police to enforce COVID executive orders

August 4, 2020 | Riley Beggin

As coronavirus cases rise in Michigan — and enforcement of social distancing rules is spotty statewide — the governor orders state police to enforce her executive orders like any other law and requires state agencies to consider pulling licenses of violators.

With ‘school policy in chaos,’ coronavirus delays debate in Michigan Senate

With ‘school policy in chaos,’ coronavirus delays debate in Michigan Senate

August 3, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A Michigan senator’s positive test for COVID-19 has shut down debate this week for school reopening measures. Republicans want to require all districts to offer in-person classes.

Masks, sanitizer and absentee ballots: What to know about Michigan’s primary

Masks, sanitizer and absentee ballots: What to know about Michigan’s primary

August 3, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Absentee voters are likely to make a big difference in an election marked by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Masks aren’t required but are encouraged, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer at polling places. Here’s what else to expect.

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