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mike shirkey

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In a surprising move, Amber McCann, a long time senior staff member for state Senate Republicans, has accepted a new position with Michigan's Department of Attorney General.

McCann is currently deputy chief of staff and press secretary for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. She was spokesperson for the previous two Senate Republican leaders, Arlan Meekhof and Randy Richardville.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) met with Hillsdale County Republican Party members at a restaurant on February 3, the discussion covered a number of topics, including Shirkey’s opposition to Governor Gretchen Whitmer. But his language wasn’t the sort that political leaders traditionally use in public.

black and white archive photo of two nurses wearing masks.
National Archives

Today, on Stateside, a new state budget paves the way into another uncertain year. Also, a discussion about how undocumented immigrants have been shut out of federal aid during the pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey
senatormikeshirkey.com

Post Updated at 5:03 p.m, February 10, 2021:

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) again stoked controversy on Wednesday when he refused to back off from suggesting the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot was a "hoax."

Ben Frederick

Last night, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her third State of the State speech. Instead of speaking before a full room at the Capitol, Whitmer gave a virtual address from her formal office. The governor’s message last night may have been one of unity and bipartisanship, but her relationship with Republicans in the state Legislature — especially during the pandemic  — has been fraught.

senatormikeshirkey.com

  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her State of the State address Wednesday. She called on her fellow Democrats and the state's Republican legislators to work together to address the COVID-19 crisis and safely reopen businesses and schools.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) joined Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou on Morning Edition to share his reactions to the speech.

senatormikeshirkey.com

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders headed to the White House to talk to President Trump about his desire to reverse the will of Michigan voters. Also, the founders of Michigan’s first black-owned brewery talk about carving out their place in the craft beer scene and starting a business during a pandemic.

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

County board of canvassers meetings are usually the dullest events imaginable. The boards, comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats, meet to review the results of a post-election canvass. That canvass is meant to catch any major irregularities, down to the precinct level, make sure every vote is accounted for, and then certify the unofficial results.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state Senate returns Thursday after the Michigan Supreme Court declared many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 executive orders unconstitutional.

First the Senate and then the House will meet on consecutive days to adopt their own plans and send them to Whitmer to sign or veto.

green sign saying "no mask, no service" hanging on door to store
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A group of Michigan doctors is calling on Republican state lawmakers to support a mask mandate and other COVID-19 precautions.

Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion that could restrict Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s authority to issue emergency orders.

The Committee to Protect Medicare is a liberal advocacy group. It has been advocating for mandating face coverings and other restrictions in the face of the pandemic.

absentee ballot
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Legislature’s Republican leaders are challenging a court decision that says mailed-in votes that are postmarked by November 2 must be counted. That’s even if they arrive after Election Day.

That decision came last month from a Michigan Court of Claims judge. She said ballots that arrive within two weeks of Election Day must be included in the total. That’s due in part to the surge in absentee voting this year due to COVID-19.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Republican leaders in the Legislature are making their final push to reverse a court ruling that absentee ballots that arrive at clerks’ offices after Election Day must be counted.

The first step is for House and Senate GOP leaders to ask to become direct parties to the case. A motion filed Tuesday asked for standing to challenge a Court of Claims decision.

Michigan Capitol Building
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Legislative Republicans announced Wednesday morning they have filed a lawsuit in the Court of Claims over Governor Gretchen Whitmer's decision to extend her emergency declaration despite the request being rejected by the Legislature last week.

Calling her unilateral actions unprecedented and unconstitutional, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) said they had no choice to ensure the Legislature has a say in the response to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recent battle between Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders over who has the authority to guide the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak is likely at a point of no return. 

This week, Republican lawmakers refused to agree to the governor’s call to extend the state of emergency. Legislative leaders say they plan on taking the governor to court over her authority to issue new executive orders to combat COVID-19.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey
senatormikeshirkey.com

Republican leaders have called for the Legislature to return to the state Capitol Tuesday. There’s nothing official on the House or Senate calendars. But lawmakers could vote this week on extending Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) told a conference call Monday with business people he’d like to move faster to re-open businesses.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey
senatormikeshirkey.com

Weeks after comparing abortion to slavery, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson) has made another controversial comment.

Speaking to Republican students at Hillsdale College last week, Shirkey said Governor Whitmer was "on the batshit crazy spectrum." Democratic lawmakers say it's just the latest in a string of sexist remarks about the Governor by Republican politicians.

michigan senate majority leader mike shirkey
michigan.gov

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).

During a recent appearance on Radio Free Hillsdale, Shirkey said allowing abortion is comparable to “the scourge we endured when we still had slavery in this country.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) says term limits have created more problems than they solved. For one thing, he says lawmakers quickly start eyeing post-political careers as lobbyists. He’s hoping the Voters Not Politicians campaign will get on board to help fix that by supporting his goal of extending or eliminating Michigan's current term limits.

In a turn-around from earlier this week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s ready to veto budget bills that don’t raise new money for roads. Republicans in the Legislature have teed up budgets to be adopted and sent to Whitmer’s desk as soon as next week.

That’s after talks between the Democratic governor and GOP leaders broke down this week. The rhetoric tossed between the Democratic governor and Republican leaders has grown increasingly tense.

Whitmer says, “They gotta do what they gotta do. Then I’m gonna do what I gotta do.”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey
senatormikeshirkey.com

The leader of the state Senate says he wants to enact changes to Michigan’s term limits amendment.

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.

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.

an old advertisement for a King designed car
Courtesy of Automotive Hall of Fame

 


Today on Stateside, we talk to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel about criticisms of how her office is handling civil lawsuits involving the Flint water crisis. Plus, we dive into the life of one of Henry Ford's mentors, who beat him to Michigan's first drive in a car by about three months. 

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

The Republican leader in the state Senate may be an obstacle to a push to make the governor and legislature more transparent.

Michigan’s state government routinely gets low marks for transparency. Michigan is one of just two states that doesn't apply Freedom of Information Act rules to all of its elected officials.

DJ Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are once again considering changes to Michigan’s auto insurance laws.

But it’s a battle they’ve been losing for years.

When asked Thursday to identify his top legislative goal, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said reforming Michigan no-fault auto insurance law.

But he’s quick to admit overcoming the medical and legal lobbies will be difficult.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The governor’s desk is the next stop for a bill to protect the identities of non-profit donors, including to political advocacy groups.

It would be a misdemeanor for a public official to require non-profits to disclose their donor list for government review under the legislation the state House approved today. 

State Senator Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) defends his bill against charges it’s intended to shield big name political donors trying to influence Michigan politics.

michigan.gov

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he and a key lawmaker have conceptually agreed on a plan to impose work or training requirements for Medicaid recipients, but some details are still being worked out.

The Republican governor told The Associated Press Thursday there's been a "meeting of the minds" and "we're in a pretty good place."

He confirms previous comments from Sen. Mike Shirkey - the bill sponsor - that a proposed 29-hour work requirement would instead be 20 hours.

After scathing criticism of a proposed Medicaid work requirement many saw as racist, the lawmaker behind the plan is backing off.

Under the plan, people who live in Michigan counties with more than 8.5 percent unemployment would've been exempt from the work rule.  Those are rural, mostly white counties. 

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