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.
Unemployed Michiganders will need to prove they are searching for jobs to continue qualifying for benefits when the state restores a suspended requirement by the end of May, a change employers are clamoring for as they struggle to fill openings.
The federal government this week announced final stimulus funding allocations for state and local governments. State government will get $6.5 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $5.7 billion. Michigan’s 83 counties will receive a collective $1.9 billion, and the state’s 49 largest cities will receive a combined $1.8 billion.
Local officials in hundreds of Michigan communities installed more than 1,100 absentee ballot drop boxes last year, state data shows. Election officials say new regulations proposed by Senate Republicans threaten to limit the popular option in future elections.
State Republicans pushed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for months to set metrics for relaxing pandemic restrictions. The governor did so Thursday, tying the loosening of pandemic rules to state vaccination rates. Republicans don’t like that metric.
Heralded as bipartisan legislation that ensures state officials are held accountable for financial conflicts, the bills keep most officials’ sources of income a secret from the public, unlike in many states. Critics denounce the reform effort as “a farce” that maintains the status quo.
Republicans in Michigan are joining conservative colleagues across the country in a race to pre-emptively ban COVID-19 “vaccine passports,” citing concerns over privacy and personal liberty amid a mass inoculation effort.
Democrat Joe Biden carried Michigan by extending his support into the suburbs to withstand a surge for Republican Donald Trump in rural parts of the state. But precinct-level data shows many exceptions, with one sliver of Detroit going for Trump and more of west Michigan favoring Biden.