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Today on Stateside, state Senator Ed McBroom defends a controversial package of election bills making their way through the state legislature. Plus, Black farmers who are teaching their communities about growing their own food. And, an ER doctor about the potential new surge and its impact on hospitals.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Secretary of State is at odds with State Senate Republicans over appearing before a committee to testify on election security.

The state Senate Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet April 20.

State Director of Elections Jonathan Brater is scheduled to appear.  But Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has declined.

LITTLE TRAVERSE BAY BANDS OF ODAWA INDIANS

A state senate committee Wednesday approved a resolution to push state wildlife officials to authorize a wolf hunting season this year.   

The resolution by State Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) calls on the Natural Resources Commission to authorize and the Department of Natural Resources to organize wolf hunting and trapping as part of this year’s wolf management efforts.

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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.