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.


Part of bribery case against GOP Rep. Larry Inman proceeds

August 9, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A federal judge declines to dismiss one felony charge against GOP state Rep. Larry Inman, put two others on hold

After week of mass shootings, can ‘red-flag’ law gain traction in Michigan?

August 5, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Democratic lawmakers say shootings in California, Texas and Ohio show the need for legal tools to seize weapons from people who pose an urgent danger. State Republicans have yet to sign on, with due process rights a sticking point. 

Michigan board approves recall petition for indicted Rep. Larry Inman

August 1, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Voters in Grand Traverse County want to recall Inman after his indictment on federal charges for alleged bribery, extortion and lying to FBI agents while in office. His attorney says he will consider an appeal on the recall petition’s approval.

Court: Michigan shortchanged cities for years. But windfall isn’t certain.

July 31, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleges that the state violated the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan constitution in how it calculates state spending to local governments. Depending on how the case ultimately is resolved, experts say the lawsuit could have significant impacts on both state and local government funding.

Michigan Republicans sue to stop redistricting commission before it starts

July 30, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

Republican plaintiffs argue the independent, voter-approved commission violates their First and 14th-Amendment rights by forbidding some people with political ties from serving. They want a federal judge to stop the state state officials from seating the commission.

Hey, CNN: Ask Democratic candidates these 6 Michigan policy questions

July 30, 2019 | Joel Kurth

From stagnant population to Great Lakes threats and lousy sewers, Michigan has extraordinary problems that require specific solutions. This is what we want the Democratic presidential hopefuls to address.

Michigan jails fill as crime sinks and nobody seems to know why

July 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

As a bipartisan task force looks into Michigan’s county data, researchers at the Pew Charitable Trusts are trying to make sense of a patchwork of jail records. It’s going to be a heavy lift, with only months to get the job done.

With city in limbo, Benton Harbor prepares new pitch to save its high school

July 19, 2019 | Ron French

As veteran teachers flee the troubled district, Benton Harbor officials will try to sell Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on giving them at least four years to fix their struggling high school.

Will this application help Michigan select a fair redistricting commission?

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Secretary of State has released a proposed application to serve on the new redistricting commission. The public can offer comment through Aug. 9.

New rules to give residents of poor cities piece of Michigan pot industry

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The state’s marijuana regulatory industry announced rules to give license discounts for qualified residents in cities that were most heavily targeted for pot crimes. An industry official said the rules are well-meaning, but she doubts their impact.

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.