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gretchen whitmer

Over one thousand protesters gathered on the Capitol lawn Tuesday.
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan’s education advocates need to put pressure on state lawmakers. That’s in order to make sure schools are properly funded.

Whitmer joined more than one thousand education advocates that were protesting on the Capitol lawn Tuesday. The state school aid budget is still being worked out by lawmakers in the state Legislature. But protesters at the Capitol want to make sure that the final product has enough money for K-12 schools.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Caro residents tried to make the case to keep their local state psychiatric center open at a town hall meeting Thursday.

Earlier this year, the Whitmer administration halted work on a new $115 million facility in Caro.   

Stephanie Zarb in the interior of a plane
Courtesy of Stephanie Zarb

 


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she's open to renew talks with Enbridge Energy about the future of its oil pipeline through the Mackinac Straits.

Last week, Enbridge – which is a Michigan Radio sponsor – asked the state Court of Claims to consider the legality of agreements it reached with former Governor Rick Snyder to build an oil pipeline tunnel.

Michigan’s attorney general has until June 27 to respond to Enbridge’s lawsuit.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Chanting “Save our school,” Benton Harbor parents, students and elected leaders brought their campaign to keep the city’s high school open to the governor’s office Tuesday.

The state is proposing shutting down Benton Harbor’s high school as part of plan to eliminate the district’s multi-million dollar debt.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Members of the school board for Benton Harbor Area Schools say they plan to submit a plan to Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday to try to save the city’s high school.

The governor’s office says the district is $18.4 million in debt. She says closing the high school will save money and keep the entire district from dissolving. 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says leaders at Benton Harbor Area Schools will get an extra week to come up with a plan to keep the district’s high school open. Whitmer took two hours of comments and questions during a town hall with residents in Benton Harbor on Wednesday.

two cars in a rear ending accident
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The new auto insurance law signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer is leaving many questions about what will happen to the cost of insurance.

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved an amendment to the law on Tuesday to fix what they say would’ve caused a temporary spike in insurance costs.

 

Eric Lupher is the president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. He says the Legislature moved so quickly on the changes to the law that insurance companies are still trying to understand the ramifications.

 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Governor Whitmer is expected in Benton Harbor this afternoon for a town hall meeting about the city’s school district. Whitmer’s administration says Benton Harbor High School must shut down to keep the district out of financial insolvency.

Hundreds gathered in the city last night to oppose that plan.

Some drove in from around the state where schools have closed in the past.

solar panels
David Goehring / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gary McDowell, announced on Monday that land enrolled in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program can be used for commercial solar arrays.

The policy change includes a provision to make sure the land is returned to a state that allows for agriculture production after the panels and other equipment are removed.

whitmer speaking at podium
Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

At the Mackinac Policy Conference, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that changes Michigan’s auto insurance law. And state Attorney General Dana Nessel set a deadline for Gov. Whitmer and Enbridge Energy to take action on the Line 5 oil and gas pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. 

Dana Nessel, wearing blue, speaks into a microphone.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Attorney General Dana Nessel is planning to file a brief "advocating for a fundamental right to an adequate education" in support of Detroit students in a lawsuit filed in 2016 against the state of Michigan.

The lawsuit alleges that students in Detroit were denied access to literacy because of the state's negligence of Detroit schools. Nessel’s communications director, Kelly Rossman-McKinney, says Nessel is keeping her options open.

"She's retaining her options but did not choose to continue to have her name affiliated with it," says Rossman-McKinney. "So the attorney general's office itself continues to represent the state, the Michigan Department of Education and a majority of the Board of Education."

 

a gas pump
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

Today on Stateside, we talk to Governor Gretchen Whitmer about how the challenges her plan to "fix the damn roads" faces in the Legislature. Plus, we learn about Aldo Leopold, a father of wildlife ecology, and his connection to Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron.

Michigan governor's office

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is currently attending the Mackinac Policy Conference, an annual meeting of business people, politicians, and activists where one of the topics of discussion is how exactly to address Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure. 

Stateside caught up with the governor to talk about how the push to “fix the damn roads" is going.

striped safety cones on a road
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

 

Today on Stateside, the new director of the Michigan Department of Transportation says repairing Michigan's roads and bridges is going to require raising additional revenue, whether that's from a controversial proposed gas tax or another source. Plus, the story of how Michigan archivists helped solve the mystery of a Civil War veteran's missing gravestone.

 

car crash
W. Robert Howell / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Legislature is holding a rare Friday session as negotiators make progress on a deal for changes to the state's auto insurance laws.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders have been trying to cut a deal in closed door talks.   

A Republican Senate caucus spokeswoman says progress is “progressing."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan needs to spend billions of dollars during the next decade to make significant improvements to the state’s county roads and bridges.

The report, entitled the County Road Investment Plan, comes from the County Road Association of Michigan. The association is made up of county road officials who oversee about 75% of Michigan’s roads. 

Car accident
PhotoSpirt / Adobe Stock

The state Legislature’s Republican leaders say they will delay sending bills to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to change Michigan’s auto insurance system.

Republicans were poised to send the bills to Whitmer’s desk despite her vow to veto them, but Republican leaders say they’re still hopeful a deal can be reached that’s acceptable to all sides.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is concerned that escalating tariffs on Chinese goods may end up hurting Michigan’s economy.

Whitmer worries that Michigan’s exporting industries could be affected.

“Our international trade policy needs to be thoughtful… Not capricious and punitive,” says Whitmer. “I’m very concerned about what it’s going to mean for Michiganders and our ability to strengthen our economy.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is defending her decision to line-item veto legislation removing $10 million to compensate people wrongfully convicted. The money is needed to replenish the nearly depleted compensation fund.

The money was in legislation to improve transparency and reporting for the compensation fund.

close up of crashed car
ABS Free Pic

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will veto either of the plans Republicans in the Legislature have rolled out to deal with the high cost of auto insurance in Michigan.

Whitmer says she will only accept a plan that rolls back rates immediately, and relies on driving records to set rates, not where people live.

The Democratic governor also says the Republican bills should make the rollbacks permanent.

cars in traffic
Nabeel Syed / Unsplash

The state's insurance regulator will review how auto insurers use non-driving factors to set rates.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to determine whether it's legal for car insurance companies to use education, credit scores and other non-driving factors when setting rates.

Whitmer also directed the department to look at how auto insurers price policies when medical coverage is coordinated with drivers' health insurance.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s governor says it’s going to take time to win back the trust of Flint residents, who were lied to during the city’s water crisis. 

Five years after the ill-fated switch of Flint’s drinking water source, the city’s residents remain wary of the water flowing from their taps and politicians who claim it’s safe to drink.

prison bars
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new task force will explore who is in Michigan’s jails and why they’re there. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday.

The order creates a bipartisan team to review the jail and court data collected from Michigan counties. Then the task force will use the information to look for improvements to the system and make recommendations to the Legislature.

work being done during an external inspection of Line 5 in the Straits in 2016.
Enbridge

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is in talks with Enbridge about a proposed tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for its Line 5 pipeline. That's according to the Detroit News.

pothole
Peter Atkins / Adobe Stock

The state House Transportation Committee meets on Tuesday to continue hearings on fixing roads.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called for phasing in fuel tax increases totaling 45 cents per gallon. Republicans control the Legislature – and say they will propose their own plan.

State Representative Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) chairs the House Transportation Committee, and says he will hold an accelerated schedule of hearings.

“What we’re going to do with roads is being talked about and decided now,” he says.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says a law passed last year to build an oil pipeline tunnel beneath the Mackinac Straits is unconstitutional.

One of the first things Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did when she took office in January was to ask for an attorney general’s opinion on the law, which former Gov. Rick Snyder pushed through in the waning days of the legislature.

Michigan governor's office

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her first bill into law on Thursday. The new law will keep a judge’s seat in a court in the Upper Peninsula.

Representative Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) represents part of the Upper Peninsula, including Menominee County, where the judge will be. He sponsored a similar bill in the state House.

“We want to make sure that judges don’t have to drive 250 miles to ensure the due process rights of everybody,” he said. “Doesn’t matter if you’re in Monroe or Menominee. You have a right to due process and that means you've got to have a judge close by.”

The current judge plans to retire at the end of the month. Under state law, his retirement would have eliminated the district judge position due to attrition.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The clock is ticking on dozens of unlicensed medical marijuana provisioning centers in Michigan.

Starting April 1, the state will direct those dispensaries to shut their doors.

Advocates are concerned that could mean medical marijuana patients will have trouble getting their medicine.

“We’re going to see a reduced access for medical marijuana patients because of the shuttering of some of those provisioning centers that are in the process of the licensing,” says Rick Thompson, with the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared an emergency in Newaygo County.

The county was hard hit by flooding since last week from the combination of heavy rain and snowmelt.

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