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

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.

President Trump worries about voter fraud. Here’s the reality in Michigan.

President Trump worries about voter fraud. Here’s the reality in Michigan.

July 31, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

As Trump questions mail-in voting, records show Michigan has 225,000 more registered voters than voting-age residents. That is no proof of fraud, which experts say is rare, but some clerks say Michigan’s rolls need to be cleaned to increase confidence in elections.

Whitmer lets Detroit casinos open but limits northern Michigan indoor bars

Whitmer lets Detroit casinos open but limits northern Michigan indoor bars

July 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Detroit casinos can reopen at limited capacity next week but some northern Michigan bars will have to end indoor service again under an executive order signed late Wednesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Postal delays could cause trouble for Michigan’s primary election

Postal delays could cause trouble for Michigan’s primary election

July 29, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Michigan clerks report complaints about long waits for absentee ballots, as voters rush to vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pro tip: Drop your ballot off now rather than mailing it if you want it to count for Tuesday.

Michigan gym owners: Keeping us closed amid COVID harms public health

Michigan gym owners: Keeping us closed amid COVID harms public health

July 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan was fat to begin with. And gym owners argue continued closures will only exacerbate underlying conditions like obesity that can make COVID-19 more deadly. 

Supreme Court: Flint residents can seek damages from state in lead crisis

Supreme Court: Flint residents can seek damages from state in lead crisis

July 29, 2020 | Kelly House, Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s highest court ruled that residents can proceed with a case seeking financial damages from the state and emergency managers for their role in the Flint water crisis.

A third of Michigan’s COVID deaths are in nursing homes. Who is to blame?

A third of Michigan’s COVID deaths are in nursing homes. Who is to blame?

July 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Republicans claim Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies are partially to blame for 2,000 nursing home deaths. But new data show the state is far from alone in failing to protect its most vulnerable from the virus, as states like Florida once heralded for its policies are seeing dramatic spikes.

Michigan Aug. 4 primary election: What you need to know to vote

Michigan Aug. 4 primary election: What you need to know to vote

July 26, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Anyone can vote absentee for any reason and you can register to vote up to and on Election Day.

Anatomy of a super spreader: Harper’s outbreak a caution for college bars

Anatomy of a super spreader: Harper’s outbreak a caution for college bars

July 23, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

As Michigan State University students return to campus this fall, a popular East Lansing bar hopes to reopen after closing last month in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak linked to 188 infections. But under a new deal, Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub must make a host of changes.

Fact Squad: No, Michigan Gov. Whitmer did not ‘defund the police’

Fact Squad: No, Michigan Gov. Whitmer did not ‘defund the police’

July 23, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Conservative “news” outlets, activists and a Republican super PAC this week falsely accused Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of  “defunding the police” by executive order. Fact Squad sets the record straight.

Michigan closing budget gap with layoffs and cuts to roads, PFAS cleanups

Michigan closing budget gap with layoffs and cuts to roads, PFAS cleanups

July 22, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

The Michigan Senate agreed to cut spending and use up federal dollars to bridge a hefty budget gap caused by the coronavirus. The next budget is due at the end of September.

Coronavirus emptied Michigan’s jails without crime surge. Time for reform?

Coronavirus emptied Michigan’s jails without crime surge. Time for reform?

July 22, 2020 | Riley Beggin

The number of inmates in county jails has fallen by half amid the pandemic and crime hasn’t spiked. Reformers say that’s proof Michigan should stop sending so many people to jail for nonviolent offenses.

Michigan Right to Life scraps abortion ban ballot drive

Michigan Right to Life scraps abortion ban ballot drive

July 21, 2020 | Riley Beggin

The anti-abortion group acknowledges defeat in a failed ballot drive, after facing the highest signature-gathering hurdle in decades.

Michigan’s GOP-led Legislature considers rare veto override against Whitmer

Michigan’s GOP-led Legislature considers rare veto override against Whitmer

July 20, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Republican legislators are pushing for rare veto override votes this week at the Michigan Capitol after Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed bills to strengthen whistleblower protections for state workers and delay summer tax bills for property owners. The proposals previously passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support. 

Michigan unemployment system designed to slow payments working all too well

Michigan unemployment system designed to slow payments working all too well

July 20, 2020 | Sarah Alvarez, Jonathan Oosting

Michigan overhauled its unemployment insurance system nearly a decade ago to save money, root out fraud and make it harder for jobless workers to qualify for benefits. Now, with more than one million workers jobless, the state has flagged 1 in 3 claimants for fraud amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He took down Michigan’s unemployment system. Now, he’s struggling to fix it.

He took down Michigan’s unemployment system. Now, he’s struggling to fix it.

July 20, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Four years before Steve Gray took over the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, he exposed a false fraud scandal that rocked state government and prompted reforms. Now, some lawmakers are calling for his ouster as he tries to fix a system crushed by record jobless claims amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Feds charge Michigan contractor in $2M unemployment fraud scheme

Feds charge Michigan contractor in $2M unemployment fraud scheme

July 17, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

 Authorities say a contract employee used "insider access" to approve hundreds of illegitimate claims beginning in April, during a historic wave of layoffs promoted by the virus and economic shutdown orders. 

 Whitmer tightens Michigan’s mask order but makes it optional when voting

Whitmer tightens Michigan’s mask order but makes it optional when voting

July 17, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tightened her COVID-19 mask mandate on Friday in an attempt to coax compliance by reluctant businesses, saying they cannot “assume” someone without a mask is exempt because of a medical condition. 

Michigan’s eviction ban is ending, prompting fears of mass displacement

Michigan’s eviction ban is ending, prompting fears of mass displacement

July 15, 2020 | Riley Beggin

A moratorium on evictions ended Wednesday night. That has housing advocates on edge, as state officials have warned of up to 75,000 looming evictions.

Whitmer: Michigan school reopening threatened by rising coronavirus cases

Whitmer: Michigan school reopening threatened by rising coronavirus cases

July 9, 2020 | Ron French, Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned Michigan families Thursday: If you want kids back in school in September, wear face masks today. She also hinted at stronger enforcement actions in the coming days.

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