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.


Plans for visitor center at Michigan Capitol downsized after Whitmer veto

October 14, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

A visitor center next to the state Capitol will be smaller after the first-term governor nixes an additional $15 million for the project.

Dana Nessel adopts Trump defense in heated LGBT Michigan adoption case

October 11, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Attorney General Nessel is asking the judge to ignore her heated rhetoric as a private citizen and suspend his recent ruling allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse service to gay or transgender parents. 

Michigan Republicans want to rein in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget power

October 10, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

Republicans explore taking power away from Whitmer, as her Democratic allies submit bills to restore some unpopular budget cuts, including $1 million for an autism program and $34 million for rural hospitals.

Senate panel passes bills to try 17-year-olds as juveniles in crimes

October 10, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The ‘Raise the Age’ package would treat 17-year-olds as juveniles in the eyes of the law, allowing them access to education and rehab unavailable to adult prisoners.

Michigan Republicans jockeying to override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget vetoes

October 8, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

Ahead of a Thursday meeting with the first-term governor, GOP lawmakers are drafting bills to restore funding for popular programs Whitmer cut including an autism hotline.

Michigan has $1B left over from budget. What happens to all that money?

October 7, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Now that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has gone on a line-item veto spree, some $947 million in taxpayer money is unspent. Time is running out, but Whitmer says ‘all is not lost’ and there’s still an opportunity to salvage programs.

Rural Michigan sheriffs fear layoffs after Whitmer vetoes road patrol

October 3, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Law enforcement raises alarms after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer axed $13 million for a state grant program that has helped county sheriffs hire road patrol deputies since 1978.

Here are the winners and the losers in Michigan’s new budget

October 2, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer line-item vetoed nearly $1 billion of the budget and shifted $625 million. Michiganders are left with a budget that advocates say will help make drinking water safer and preschool more reliable but college tuition higher.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 5 big asks for new Michigan budget talks

October 2, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants Republicans to fund five “key” priorities for a potential supplemental spending bill after vetoing $947 million from GOP budgets. Don’t count on it, GOP leader says.

Bill Schuette opts against Michigan Supreme Court run

October 2, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Bill Schuette, the former congressman and attorney general who ran for governor last year, was considered a top Republican recruit for the Michigan Supreme Court.   

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets rural Michigan in bid to sway GOP on budgets

October 1, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used her line-item veto power to cut several GOP budget priorities in hopes of restarting negotiations. Rural Michigan is among the hardest hit.

What Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's budget cuts and shifts mean to Michigan residents

October 1, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

 No money for Pure Michigan and less for rural hospitals. More money for Medicaid work rules and water testing. How Gretchen Whitmer’s nearly $1 billion in changes could have a big impact on everyday residents.

Preparing Michigan cities, health systems for more ransomware attacks

October 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Cyberattacks on public bodies and hospitals in Michigan can cost millions if they don’t take steps to train workers and protect computer systems. “It’s just going to get worse,” one expert told Bridge Magazine.

Gretchen Whitmer uses line-item veto – 147 times – on GOP’s Michigan budget

September 30, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

Government shutdown avoided, as Whitmer cuts nearly $1 billion in the $59.9 billion budget through line-item vetoes. But a bigger battle could be looming, as she plans to invoke a rarely used power to change the Republican-approved budget.

What’s next for Michigan budget: Gretchen Whitmer plans more shifts to GOP plan

September 30, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

An unprecedented budget fight will continue Tuesday morning at a meeting that could see Gov. Gretchen Whitmer exercise a rare power reserved  for governors. Whitmer also trimmed nearly $1 billion from the Republican-led Legislature’s $59.9 billion budget.

Michigan government won’t shut down, state tells workers

September 27, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

The state is telling government employees to plan on reporting to work as usual on Tuesday morning as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepares to decide the fate of budgets Monday.

Michigan law limiting ballot drives unconstitutional, court rules

September 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 The law places a 15 percent cap per congressional district on signature gathering for ballot initiatives. The court said that unfairly hampers the public’s rights.

Judge slams Dana Nessel in gay adoption case for ‘targeted attack’ on religion

September 26, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker says Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel put St. Vincent Catholic Charities “in the position of either giving up its belief or giving up its contract with the state.”

Michigan GOP budget contains 7 big surprises for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

September 26, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin, Ron French

Tucked inside the $59.9 billion budget, Michigan legislators have proposed big cuts to the Department of Education unless it creates A-F school grades, shifts money for redistricting and requires the construction of a controversial psychiatric facility in Caro.

Hate Michigan roads? Your neighbors’ may be way better. (with database)

September 26, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Yes, Michigan has bad roads, but their quality varies widely throughout the state, according to 2018 rankings of road conditions, which may inform lawmakers’ debate about whether to raise taxes for upgrades.