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gretchen whitmer

close up of Gretchen Whitmer
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has toured much of the state this week to build support for using American Rescue Plan funds for affordable housing.

Whitmer’s stops included Detroit, Jackson, and Kalamazoo. She’s hoping to win legislative approval to commit $100 million from the federal government for housing.

She says that could leverage another $380 million dollars in private sector investment.

“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to give thousands of Michiganders a safe place to call home,” she said at the Detroit event.

governor gretchen whitmer chats with a lawmaker after signing a bill
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 27 in Ypsilanti on Monday. The bill appropriates $384.7 million dollars in supplemental money. Most of the money comes from federal COVID-19 relief, but $17 million comes from the state's general fund.

More than $105 million will go to providing childcare to Michiganders, particularly for frontline workers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is trying to reassure tens of thousands of Michiganders who’ve been warned they might have to pay back federal jobless benefits.

This affects nearly 650,000 people who initially qualified for the "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance" program. 

The problem is the state included four ways a person could qualify that ultimately were not approved by the federal government. 

Children in the hallway of a school
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House overwhelmingly approved a $65 billion state spending plan and the release of billions in federal COVID-19 relief aid for K-12 schools, seeking to pressure the Senate to get on board so it could be signed into law soon.

There is an agreement between the Republican-led House and Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but not with the GOP-controlled Senate. The plan that was passed late Thursday would, as the governor recently proposed, eliminate a funding gap among school districts — a milestone 27 years after Michigan overhauled the financing of public education.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Flint man is facing a state terrorism charge after allegedly phoning in a bomb threat two weeks ago at an event attended by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

More than a thousand people attended the event at the Genesee County jail in Flint in hopes of having their criminal records expunged. In addition to the governor, Attorney General Dana Nessel, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, three Michigan Supreme Court Justices, U.S. Representative Dan Kildee and numerous other dignitaries were in attendance during the day-long event. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined plans Monday to use $1.4 billion dollars in federal COVID-19 funds to expand childcare in Michigan.

The governor traveled to a childcare center in Oakland County to present her plan, some of which will require approval from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined economic recovery plans Thursday that include state support for wage hikes and child care.

The plan would use federal dollars to help businesses boost pay rates to $15 an hour for three months to help businesses attract workers. But business owners would have to promise to continue that pay rate for an additional three months.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she wants to use federal COVID relief funds and a surprise increase in state tax revenue to invest more in public education in Michigan.

Whitmer proposes $1.7 billion in one-time funding and over $900 million for ongoing investment. 

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has apologized after apparently violating state-mandated social distancing guidelines at a local restaurant. The Detroit Free Press reports Sunday that a photo circulated on social media shows Whitmer with a large group of unmasked people at an East Lansing bar and grill.

The photo, which shows Whitmer seated with about a dozen people, was posted on social media by one of the attendees, but later deleted.

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Today on Stateside, after more than a year of masking up and physical distancing, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has set an end date to pandemic restrictions. But many businesses say they still need more clarity. Also, an ACLU report says U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extending its reach far beyond the actual border with Canada. Plus, a preview of a new PBS documentary looking at Hamtramck’s evolving political landscape.

MICHIGAN.GOV

A top aide to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says a private round trip to Florida to see her ailing father was paid from a fund that's used for travel not covered by tax dollars.

The cost was $27,521, with Whitmer personally paying $855.

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This week, Michigan passed the first of the COVID-19 vaccination benchmarks set by the Whitmer administration. Now that 55% of eligible Michiganders have had at least one shot, the state will lift in-person workplace restrictions on May 24.

a person holds a vaccine vial
Adobe Stock

Michigan has reached a COVID-19 vaccination benchmark that will soon let people go back to work in the office in person.

55% of the state's eligible population has gotten at least one shot.

The benchmark achieved this week clears the way for a Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration order allowing a return to office work.

MIOSHA could give the go ahead to start by the final week of May.

Gretchen Whitmer wearing black mask in pink coat receives shot from doctor in white coat.
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a plan to tie the lifting of coronavirus restrictions to Michigan's vaccination rate, setting four specific benchmarks that must be reached to return to normal. As more people get shots, she says, the state will allow in-person work for all business sectors, relax indoor capacity limits and ultimately lift them.

person receives COVID vaccine shot
Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer continued to push back Sunday morning against calls for her to re-impose more COVID-19 restrictions in the face of a third surge. That’s as Michigan has led the nation in new cases per population for two weeks.

Michigan still requires masks, distancing and limits on gatherings, but the governor said on NBC’s Meet the Press that her options to do more are limited, partly due to court decisions.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Two brothers accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer will have to keep wearing electronic tethers as they await trial.

A judge made the decision Wednesday. 

William and Michael Null are facing numerous charges in Antrim County, including providing material support for terrorist acts.

Gretchen Whitmer wearing black mask in pink coat receives shot from doctor in white coat.
State of Michigan

Michigan is facing some of the nation’s worst COVID-19 numbers. Governor Gretchen Whitmer acknowledges it’s becoming harder to get a restriction-weary public to follow health orders.

So, instead, she’s trying to persuade vaccine skeptics to get their shots.

testing swab
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High school basketball finals are happening this week in Michigan.

That’s despite the fact that the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has recommended that Michigan, among other states, restrict indoor youth sports.

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Three more men will face trial over the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Paul Bellar, Joseph Morrison, and Pete Musico face charges of providing support to a terrorist act, being part of a gang, and of having a firearm while committing a felony.

“I would contend that all of these people are not necessarily crazy, but perhaps erratic,” said Judge Michael Klaeren, of the 12th District Court in Jackson County. “Which makes them the most dangerous of criminals, because you can’t predict them.”

gavel
Bill Oxford / UnSplash

Three men accused of being part of a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer are due to be back in a Jackson County courtroom Monday.

A judge is scheduled to hear final arguments in the men’s pre-trial hearing and is expected to decide whether to bind them over for trial.

Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to discuss the case. 

Doug Tribou: Who are the three defendents?

File photo. State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday resubmitted 17 appointments to state boards and commissions that were rejected earlier by the state Senate.

The Michigan State Capitol.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This is the last week before the Legislature is expected to take its spring break.

The Legislature’s Democratic leaders said that recess should not begin without a vote on appropriating another round of federal COVID-19 response funds.

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) said that money could help schools pay for COVID safety measures as they’re being asked to offer at least 20 hours a week of in-person learning.

"This money is what public schools need now, that they should have received by today for a safe return to in-person learning," she said. "Not tomorrow, or a week from now. Today."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A man who joined a group of secretive Michigan militia men testified Friday about how they talked about kidnapping Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The man, identified only as "Dan," became a confidential informant for the FBI not long after he joined the Wolverine Watchmen.

Dan is a U.S. Army veteran. He says he learned about the Watchmen from Facebook. Dan says he joined the militia group because he was interested in military style training.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

An FBI agent is scheduled to return to the witness stand Thursday for a pre-trial hearing for three men accused of being part of an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor.

The pre-trial hearing for defendants Pete Musico, Joseph Morrison and Paul Bellar began Wednesday.  They are facing numerous charges, including providing material support for terrorist acts. 

governor gretchen whitmer standing at a podium
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that more COVID-19 restrictions can be relaxed.

Restaurants will be allowed to accept twice as many indoor diners, retail shops may allow more customers, and more people will be allowed to attend private indoor gatherings starting Friday.

Whitmer said restaurants will also be allowed to stay open an hour later – until 11 p.m.

Robert Gordon wearing face mask
State of Michigan

Updated Tuesday, March 2 at 5:03 p.m.:

Republicans in the state Legislature say they will hold hearings on severance payments to former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon and a top deputy.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that she cannot go into specifics on a personnel matter, including payments that will total more than $155,000 to Gordon.

Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made an online pitch Friday to Upper Peninsula civic leaders to support her 2021 agenda, including clean energy and workforce training plans. And she asked them to hold to account politicians who fail to condemn hate and violence in public life.

The governor met with business and education leaders online instead of her usual in-person U.P. swing following the State of the State address and budget rollout.

Republican state lawmakers are raising questions about the Democratic governor’s policies concerning COVID-19 and Michigan’s long-term care and nursing homes.

Since the outbreak began a year ago, about a third of Michigan's 15,453 coronavirus-related deaths were people in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration wants to give an extra $70 million to cities in Michigan hurting from a decline in income tax revenues.

A total of 24 cities in the state collect local income taxes. They face the potential of a significant revenue decline in the coming year because of pandemic-related job losses.

Cities face additional shortfalls because more people have been working from home. Some cities collect much of their income tax revenue from non-residents who come into the city for work. 

$100 bills
Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her $67.1 billion proposed budget Thursday and began the job of selling her plan to the Legislature’s Republican leaders.

The relationship between the Democratic governor and GOP leaders has hovered between frosty and hostile, with fights over the state’s COVID-19 response often at the center.

The governor said settling disagreements on return-to-school plans, helping businesses, and vaccine distribution is critical as the response moves from crisis management to recovery.

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