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A state senator from the Upper Peninsula wants to change state law to require more “geographic diversity” on the state Board of Education.

Senator Ed McBroom’s bill would require political parties to nominate candidates for the board from different regions of the state.  The candidates would still run in a statewide election.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State senators are debating how much money needs to be spent on Michigan’s dams.

At a committee hearing on Tuesday, legislators heard how state regulators prioritize grant applications for repairing or removing aging dams.

State Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) has concerns that the needs of aquatic life play too big a role in deciding which projects receive grants.

“I’m appalled at the fact that safety concerns have to go through fisheries and get vetted by biology, rather than by public safety interests,” says McBroom.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The dispute between Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders over revamping the state’s environmental regulatory department is set to begin another round.

Republican lawmakers have already thwarted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first attempt to use an executive order to overhaul the Department of Environmental Quality. GOP lawmakers were critical of Whitmer’s decision to eliminate panels created by state lawmakers to oversee the agency’s decisions.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This morning, state lawmakers will resume their hearings into Flint’s water crisis.

State Senator Jim Stamas, R-Midland, chairs the special joint committee looking into what happened to Flint’s water.

He toured Flint’s water plant Monday and met with city residents.

Sen. Stamas says improving communication between state and local governments, as well as Flint residents, is much needed.

“We continue to hear different individuals having different stories. We’re hearing different things from the community,” says Stamas.