Public Sector

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

Dana Nessel shakes up Flint prosecutions; civil settlement talks underway

February 21, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

Saying “the people of Flint deserve nothing short of justice,” Michigan’s attorney general is moving quickly to resolve dozens of civil lawsuits filed in the wake of the Flint lead poisoning crisis.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel turns up heat with Catholic Church over sex abuse

February 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Catholic dioceses in Michigan are having alleged sex abuse victims sign non-disclosure agreements, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday. She encouraged victims to report their abuse to authorities even if they’ve signed agreements not to talk.

Dana Nessel to MSU: ‘Do the right thing’ and cooperate more with Nassar investigation

February 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

At a news conference Thursday, Michigan’s attorney general said she’s frustrated with Michigan State University’s level of cooperation in the investigation surrounding Larry Nassar.

Michigan GOP asks high court to rule on sick leave, minimum wage changes

February 20, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Bad blood still remains after the GOP-controlled Legislature adopted citizen initiatives only to gut them later. Now, they want the Supreme Court to rule on whether lawmakers have that power.  

GOP lawmakers want Michigan Supreme Court to rule on minimum wage, sick leave

February 19, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

A request from the Republican-majority Legislature would sidestep the traditional litigation process, and do an end-run around Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Medicaid work rules another test for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republicans

February 18, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is trying to avoid a repeat of Arkansas, where thousands of poor people lost medical coverage because of complex work rules. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says she has little to worry about with his legislation. 

Michigan senator seeks to end ‘revolving door’ of lawmakers turned lobbyists

February 18, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan state Sen. Jim Runestad, a Republican from Oakland County, is trying again to force lawmakers to wait at least two years before going to work as lobbyists.

Michigan Republicans kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s environmental overhaul plan

February 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Republican-controlled Legislature killed Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to reorganize Michigan’s environmental agency. It’s the first time since 1977 that lawmakers reversed a governor's executive order.

Lansing, we have a problem: Whitmer kills $2.5M rocket plan pushed by Snyder

February 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The grant, approved in lame duck, was intended to boost prospects for a commercial space program in Michigan. But the venture lacked detail and was derided by an expert as a “back of the napkin” plan.

Attorney General Dana Nessel may review Michigan minimum wage, sick leave laws

February 13, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said she may review Michigan lame-duck laws that gutted citizen proposals to raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave. Her stance could produce a high-impact legal showdown with Republicans. 

Republicans to Whitmer: Where’s the cash? Doubts on climate plan.

February 13, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republican leaders say they agree with the Democratic governor that roads need fixing, but aren’t ready to raise taxes or fees to do it. They also signaled opposition to raising the state’s college-going rate and Whitmer’s PFAS and climate change plans.

Analysis: Eight ways Gretchen Whitmer vows to improve Michigan

February 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The new Democratic governor outlined her policy priorities during her first State of the State address Tuesday. Bridge offers context behind the proposals and what Republicans and other skeptics had to say in response.

Whitmer changes course, blocks $10M grant that helps former GOP chair

February 12, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has put on ice a grant that would help bring water and sewer lines to a swath of land owned by a company with ties to former GOP chair Bobby Schostak. She wants to determine if the money could be spent elsewhere.

The real state of no-fault auto insurance: Reform within reach for Michigan

February 11, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Lawmakers and advocates say they see hope that a Republican legislature and Democratic governor can finally reform Michigan’s sky high insurance rates.

The real state of Michigan roads: Poor and getting worse without more cash

February 11, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The Michigan Department of Transportation cites studies showing as much as $2 billion more a year is needed to maintain the state’s roads. Republicans say new funding should come from existing revenue. Something has to give.

Pro-Whitmer group broke Michigan campaign finance laws, Benson finds

February 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Build a Better Michigan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign committee engaged in express advocacy, Democratic Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday, and must pay pay a $37,500 fine.

Meet the ex-drug cop who now helps regulate Michigan marijuana

February 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board member Don Bailey, a retired cop, has drawn the ire of industry advocates who accuse him of unfairly opposing licensing requests. He says he’s just watching out for public safety.

Redistricting guru: Michigan’s maps are legal, even if process was political

February 7, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan’s gerrymandering trial wraps up with testimony from the architect of the state’s political maps. He says he was besieged with requests but kept the process ‘bipartisan.’

Ex-Democratic chief says Michigan gerrymandering scared off candidates

February 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Brandon Dillon, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, testified at federal trial that Republican maps also made it difficult to raise campaign cash and find volunteers, claims disputed by the GOP.

Expert testifies gerrymandering in Michigan is worse than almost anywhere

February 5, 2019 | Joel Kurth

An unusual federal trial that could redraw Michigan’s political boundaries before 2020 began Tuesday in Detroit. Republicans defend the maps, saying demographics are to blame, not partisan tricks.

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