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

Michigan prison inmates need job skills, but technology books are banned

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Basic reference books on computers and electronics, starting a business or even driving a truck are prohibited as perceived threats to the “order and security” of prisons. Officials say they are now rethinking this policy.

Michigan Supreme Court hears debate on minimum wage, sick leave laws

July 17, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Does Michigan’s constitution allow the legislature to adopt and amend citizen initiatives in the same two-year term, or does it explicitly prohibit the practice? It’s now up to the state’s highest court to decide.

What to know about the Michigan minimum wage law before the Supreme Court

July 17, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt, Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan’s high court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether Republican efforts to pass the ballot measure, then gut it, violated the constitution. That does not mean the court will decide the matter, at least right now.

Paid sick leave: What to know about the Michigan law before the Supreme Court

July 17, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court is hearing arguments Wednesday on whether Republicans in Lansing acted lawfully in passing a paid sick leave bill last year before neutering it. The court may offer its opinion, or it may not, raising the specter of a formal lawsuit. 

Republican ideas to fund Michigan road repairs taking shape over summer

July 15, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Republicans are under pressure to counter Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 45-cent gas tax proposal to raise $2.5 billion for roads without raising taxes. Among ideas being floated: local gas taxes and pension bonds, both of which carry risks.

From pastor’s son to power broker, Lee Chatfield takes Lansing

July 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The youngest Michigan Speaker in a century, Chatfield says humility gained through reading Scripture has helped him navigate the political minefields of divided government. The biggest test of his leadership skills is still to come.

3 ways Michigan elections remain vulnerable — and what the state can do about it

July 2, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Elections experts say Michigan is now ahead of the curve in making sure state elections are protected against tampering. But some threats still keep security officials up at night.

New Flint water prosecutors face a skeptical hometown crowd

June 29, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

The state's new prosecution team delivered a scathing rebuke of how the investigation was handled by former Attorney General Bill Schuette. But their promises to deliver justice for the people of Flint were greeted by skepticism and even grief.

What the U.S. Supreme Court gerrymandering ruling means for Michigan

June 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court ruled Thursday that federal courts have no role to play in ensuring states avoid drawing political lines that favor one political party over another. The decision kills a lower court decision requiring Michigan Republicans to redraw lines for 2020.

Reaction in Michigan to U.S. Supreme Court gerrymandering decision

June 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court ruled Thursday that federal courts won’t handle cases challenging partisan gerrymandering. In Michigan, Republicans applauded the decision, and Democrats lampooned it.

Pressure builds on Michigan Republicans to share their road funding plan

June 27, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has her own hurdles selling a gas tax hike. But as she notes, Republican leaders have yet to show how they would raise the more than $2 billion needed for roads as the Legislature breaks for summer recess.

Stress builds as Michigan farmers are ‘hit from all directions’

June 25, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Farmers across the state are battling wet fields and uncertainty over tariffs and trade as many struggle to stay in business.

Michigan abortion foes can call procedure ‘dismemberment’ on ballot petitions

June 20, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The Right to Life-backed group is seeking to ban a common second-trimester procedure known medically as “dilation and evacuation.” A second group is seeking a “fetal heartbeat” ban. Both ballot efforts carry no exceptions for rape or incest.  

Faded Grayling eyes revival after a Chilean firm brings factory jobs

June 19, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

A particleboard facility has produced a mini building boom, with affordable housing, condos and maybe even a boutique hotel planned for this northern Michigan town. A local community college, meanwhile, is helping train future workers.

Flint mayor satisfied, but others outraged after water charges dropped

June 13, 2019 | Chastity Pratt

Flint leaders are both hopeful and skeptical that Attorney General Dana Nessel will reboot the criminal cases and prosecute high-ranking officials  

Dana Nessel's office drops charges in Flint water contamination case

June 13, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Charges against the state’s former top doctor and former health director have been dropped but could be refiled, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says.  

Michigan lawmakers’ pet projects get funding, new controls added

June 12, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

New legislation fixes minor errors so road, dam projects can move forward and funds an effort to bring a space program to northern Michigan.  

Gretchen Whitmer on Census: Get counted or lose money, clout for Michigan

June 11, 2019 | Chastity Pratt

Governor signs executive order creating Census committee to better reach undercounted communities

Here are 9 ways to build better roads in Michigan, from old tires to pig poop

June 10, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Researchers in Michigan and elsewhere are studying new ways to increase the lifespan of roads and bridges. Could recycled materials and new methods of mixing asphalt be the future? See our slideshow.

Michigan House GOP plans to replace sales tax on gasoline to fund roads

June 7, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

House Republicans intend to propose replacing Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax on gasoline purchases with an equal amount of gas tax, dedicating the revenue to roads. Some Democrats say they’re concerned about the impact of losing sales tax revenue on schools and local governments.

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