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.


Roads get spotlight, but 447 Michigan bridges in serious condition or worse

May 13, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

With not enough money in the state budget, and projections that these aging structures will only worsen, state transportation officials are seeking $1 billion to fix the most deteriorated bridges by 2025

Find troubled Michigan bridges in your community

May 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Use this interactive map to find bridges listed in serious or critical condition around Michigan

Lessons for Michigan on quickly replacing old bridges, from a state that’s done it

May 13, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Pennsylvania this year expects to finish a five-year, $1.8 billion project to replace 558 structurally deficient bridges. The contractor will then maintain the bridges for 25 years. What can Pennsylvania teach Michigan?

Michigan governor and Republicans at impasse on auto insurance reform bills

May 9, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan Republicans say the plans will save “buckets” of money for drivers. Democrats say the plans don’t guarantee rate roll-backs nor the elimination of non-driving factors in setting insurance rates. Is there an opportunity for a grand bargain that includes road funding? 

House Republicans pass Michigan no-fault reform with tweaks from Democrats

May 9, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The House bill, passed 2 a.m. Thursday, includes guaranteed personal injury rate savings, which Gov. Whitmer complained was missing from a Senate measure. The two bills, if reconciled, would then go to Whitmer.

Michigan Republicans say car insurance reforms would slash premiums

May 7, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate approves bills that would allow drivers to opt out of unlimited medical benefits. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is promising to veto the measure if it makes it to her desk.

What to expect in Michigan’s first election since voting rights amendment

May 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 Tuesday, May 7 will be the first election where Michigan voters will exercise a variety of rights enacted by a sweeping amendment approved in November. 

Jocelyn Benson says she’s committed to increasing Michigan voter turnout

May 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The newly elected Michigan Democratic Secretary of State says she’s hosting town hall forums and working with local clerks to enhance voter rights and boost turnout in elections.

Senate GOP proposes shrinking jail funds to Michigan ‘sanctuary cities’

May 1, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Department of Corrections opposes the language of a bill that would withhold state payments to local jails that house felons if the communities aren’t fully cooperating with federal immigration officials. The move would increase costs for an understaffed state prison system, but Senate Republicans argue law enforcement should work collaboratively.

Michigan Republicans appeal gerrymandering ruling. What you need to know.

April 30, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle

Five questions and answers following Tuesday’s appeal of a bombshell federal court ruling ordering special elections in Michigan.

Unlicensed Michigan medical marijuana shops to stay open under court ruling

April 30, 2019 | Riley Beggin

After months of changing rules over when unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries must gain licensure or close, a court order Tuesday sides with the business owners and offers withering criticism of the state agency regulating marijuana.

Michigan eyes renewal of tax break that has cost $40K for every new job

April 30, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Some Republicans want to extend a tax incentive awarded to companies that create hundreds or thousands of good-paying jobs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hasn’t publicly said whether she’d keep it, but generally supports tax breaks.

To fix maps, Michigan Republicans must please Whitmer and three irked judges

April 28, 2019 | Riley Beggin

After working in secret in 2011, Republican lawmakers must now redraw state political boundaries that can win over a Democratic governor and the federal judges who dismantled earlier maps.

If Whitmer’s road funding pitch fails, where is Michigan’s Plan B?

April 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A Grand Rapids roads summit provided no clear answers on how Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican-led Legislature might reach a deal that still raises the more than $2 billion need annually for a roads fix.

Sea change for Michigan marijuana comes amidst industry chaos

April 25, 2019 | Riley Beggin

A controversial licensing board ends, making way for a new agency overseeing a market with more questions than answers.

Michigan civil asset forfeiture bills headed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

April 25, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Police would no longer be able to take assets from people they arrest unless there’s a criminal conviction, under a bill going to the governor’s desk. It’s an early area of bipartisan agreement in the Michigan legislature.

Michigan’s political districts illegally gerrymandered, court rules

April 25, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

A three-judge panel finds that 34 districts were drawn in 2011 to benefit Republicans and orders special elections in 2020.  

Nessel pushes ruling on Michigan minimum wage, sick leave laws to high court

April 25, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will not write an opinion on last-minute GOP changes to wage and sick leave laws passed in December. Instead, she deferred to the state Supreme Court on whether the changes were constitutional.  

All systems go once again for Michigan’s $2.5M rocket plan

April 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A controversial grant to fund Michigan’s foray into the space race is revived after being grounded by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan Senate panel rejects Whitmer gas tax, as budget dance continues

April 23, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Senate Republicans adopted a state transportation budget without any new long-term funding for roads. That proposal will come this summer, Republicans said.