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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb County urgently needs a new jail and voters should get to decide the matter, County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham told county commissioners on Wednesday.

He’s urging commissioners to approve ballot language that would put a 20-year millage proposal for a new, $371 million jail project on the November 2019 ballot.

Wickersham said the current jail is old, prone to overcrowding, and not set up to meet the needs of the current inmate population, many of whom have substance abuse problems or mental health issues.

woman getting ultrasound of stomach
sharshonm / Adobe Stock

Groups with ballot measures to restrict abortions in Michigan could be gathering signatures soon. A state board approved the 100-word summaries and forms of their petitions on Wednesday. Now the groups just need to get a final stamp of approval before they can start asking Michigan voters for their support.

Website of Tom Barrett for State Representative

State lawmakers introduced a pair of bills on Wednesday to prevent local municipalities from creating policies that protect undocumented immigrants.

The bill package sponsored by Republican Senators Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) and Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) proposes a ban on the local policies that establish sanctuary cities in Michigan.

Hosts Rima Fadlallah and Yasmeen Kadouh sit at microphones
David Guralnick

 

 

Today on Stateside, we talk to Democratic congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, from Michigan's 8th congressional district, about the current tensions with Iran and the debate in the Democratic party over impeachment. Plus, two young women from Dearborn talk about the inspiration for their new podcast, which highlights the stories of Arab and Muslim women in the city. 

Michigan's Hall of Justice.
Eridony / flickr

The future of a judge accused of misconduct is now waiting on a decision from the Michigan Supreme Court. The case includes allegations of an improper romance with a police detective, and lying to protect her career.

headshot of brenda lawrence in red blazer
Office of Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence

 

 

Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. For many years, Detroit Congressman John Conyers used the occasion to introduce a proposal for reparations for slavery. 

 

Democratic Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, who represents Michigan's 14th congressional district, is carrying on that tradition.

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.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters are back at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Offices in Detroit, trying to stop the potential deportation of more Iraqi nationals.

The U.S. has deported a small number of people back to Iraq after winning a court case on appeal late last year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has decided to ignore mistakes made by some of the four Flint mayoral candidates and allow all of them to appear on the August primary ballot.

The candidates filed legal briefs last week defending each of their positions to be on the ballot, while also raising questions about their opponents. The conflicting legal claims opened the possibility that one or all four candidates would be dropped from the ballot, forcing them to run write-in campaigns.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday morning, a circuit court judge will hear a case that could force all the candidates running for Flint mayor off the August primary ballot.

It appears all four candidates who qualified for a spot on the primary ballot made mistakes in their paperwork filed with the city clerk. One of the candidates even checked “no” on the question asking whether candidates met the qualifications to be a candidate for mayor. 

The judge may decide if the mistakes disqualify one or all the candidates.

Trump supporters holding signs at a "Squash Amash" rally
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Dozens of President Donald Trump supporters gathered for what they called a “Squash Amash” rally Friday. Republican U.S. Rep. Justin Amash has been under fire from his own party. 

Sign that says Flint vehicle city
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

 

Today on Stateside, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel comments on the recent dismissal of charges against state officials and others for actions related to the Flint water crisis. Plus, an interview with the writer of an "Afrofuturistic techno choreo-poem" set in 3071 Detroit. 

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.   

comedy_nose / flickr

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says President Trump’s proposed citizenship question on the upcoming U.S. Census form will discourage participation. She says that would cost Michigan political power in Washington as well as federal money for schools, health care, and roads.

“I think with a lot of the rhetoric that’s happening in this country right now to add this question will create fear and will keep us from getting a complete count here in the state of Michigan,” she said.

In an unexpected move, prosecutors are dismissing all charges against eight people charged in connection to the Flint water crisis, and starting over on the investigation. MLive reporter Ron Fonger joins Stateside to explain what this means for the former defendants, and whether or not more charges are likely to be filed in the near future.

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

 

Today on Stateside, prosecutors say they are dismissing all charges against eight people charged in connection to the Flint water crisis and starting the investigation from scratch. Plus, how autonomous "smart ships" could be part of the future of commerce and research on the Great Lakes. 

 

The latest rendering of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

A state House budget proposal would stop the Michigan Department of Transportation from using taxpayer money on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

That's even though Canada is reimbursing Michigan for its expenses.

Anna Heaton is a spokesperson for Business Leaders for Michigan, which is pro-bridge. She says Michigan stands to gain thousands of jobs from the new crossing, not just construction jobs.

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

 


woman at laptop holding an iphone
William Iven / Unsplash

Michigan voters could decide whether to include an electronic privacy guarantee in the state constitution. A state lawmaker formally proposed the amendment Wednesday.

State capitol in Lansing Michigan
Henryk Sadura / Adobe Stock

Some Michigan lawmakers are trying – once again – to pass legislation that would require elected officials to file financial disclosures. It’s an issue that lawmakers have been trying to get past the finish line for decades.

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.

Justin Amash official portrait
House.gov

The lone Republican in Congress calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment has quit an influential caucus of House conservatives.

A spokeswoman for Michigan Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township) confirmed on Tuesday that he had resigned from the Freedom Caucus. Amash is one of the group's founders, but it is now controlled by Trump's allies.

U.S. Capitol building surrounded by green trees
Liam James Doyle / NPR

The House of Representatives is debating a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state elections board is going to work on new rules to govern petition drives that want to get issues before the Legislature or on a ballot.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers faces a complicated situation. Last year, Republicans in the Legislature adopted a law to make it harder for petition drives to succeed. Earlier this year, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a formal opinion. It strikes down much of what Republicans enacted. Republicans are now challenging that opinion in court.

striped safety cones on a road
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, how the state is carrying out infrastructure projects it can't afford to maintain. Plus, an Interlochen Public Radio investigation into the Grand Traverse County Correctional Facility after multiple former female inmates claimed that some officers were ignoring their requests for basic personal hygiene products. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Ronna McDaniel
Detroit Economic Club

Ronna McDaniel sat down for a conversation Monday with the Detroit Economic Club.

She's the chair of the Republican National Committee, and the previous chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

She says she ran for that seat in Michigan because she saw Michigan as a "fly over state."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Another Democratic presidential candidate spent a few hours this weekend shaking hands with voters in Michigan.

Julian Castro is one of nearly two dozen Democrats running to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. Castro was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama. He is also the former mayor of San Antonio.

In Flint on Saturday, he toured the city’s farmers’ market and met with residents still struggling with the lingering effects of the city’s water crisis.

Cracked and broken roads
nirbhao / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Republican lawmakers are trying to find ways to raise more money for the roads. But they want to avoid Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent fuel tax increase.

A new idea to raise money to fix the state’s roads involves selling state assets to pay for the infrastructure.

Dan Austin

Crews are at work replacing defective streetlights across Detroit.

About one-third—roughly 25,000—of the city’s new LED streetlights are prematurely burning out. Crews have replaced about 1,000 so far, according to the Detroit Public Lighting Authority.

Kevin Cronin

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says that Benton Harbor Area Schools have until June 14 to submit a plan to keep their high school open. If not, the state could choose to dissolve the entire district. Plus, Northern Michigan University is working to provide affordable Internet access to students in need. 

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