Michigan News

Governor Rick Snyder declared victory over the state’s economic hardships last night, in his eighth and final State of the State address. The governor says choices made over the last seven years leave room now for more investment in schools and infrastructure.

But it’s not clear that he can win support for his plans in the Legislature.

Snyder spent most of the hour long speech reviewing his years as governor, and compared Michigan today to the days of the Great Recession, when the unemployment rate was double what it is now.

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees held a closed door meeting Friday (Jan. 19). They looked at the school’s response to the Larry Nassar case.

Some Michigan lawmakers have been calling for the resignation of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. This was a developing story. We added updates as they came in.

Some DTE Energy customers say the utility is bullying them for refusing smart meters, and they want the state Legislature to do something about it.

A state House committee heard testimony Tuesday about complaints that DTE wrongly shut off their power. Most of them say it’s because they didn’t want to use a smart meter.

Jamie Chimner of Cheboygan said her power was recently cut off by DTE. She said it was because she didn’t want a smart meter on her house.

The state got an idea Thursday of how much money it could have for the next couple years.

Economists gathered for the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Thursday. Michigan won’t see a big economic rebound in the upcoming years. Economists told lawmakers it’s more like a slow crawl.

Gabriel Ehrlich is an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan. He predicts – barring any unforeseen national problems – Michigan’s economy will continue to steadily improve. That includes a rise in incomes.

The 2018 U.S. Senate race got a shake-up Wednesday, but not because someone was entering the race. Instead, the shake-up came from Republican Bob Young's decision to step down as a candidate. 

Returning money to taxpayers was the talk as the Legislature opened its 2018 session today. One of the first orders of business is dealing with an issue created by the federal tax overhaul, which zeroed out the personal exemption. That could result in Michiganders paying $840 million more in 2018 state taxes than they would otherwise.

Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich says the question is how to deal with it.  

Legislation prompted by potential payouts related to former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar is scheduled to be introduced next month. Lawmakers in Lansing want to prevent schools and colleges from using tax dollars to pay for legal settlements in sexual misconduct cases.

“The dollars that we as taxpayers pay should be used to better institutions, to better higher education, not to pay out for lawsuits and settlements," said state Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Twp., who is drafting the legislation.

Bills aimed at reducing the availability of opioids were signed into law today.

The new laws, among other things, require doctors to check an opioid registry before prescribing certain opioids. This is aimed at preventing people from so-called “doctor shopping."

Doctors had originally expressed reservations about having to use the registry so frequently. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says lawmakers waited until the system was faster and more up to date before requiring its use.

Internet gambling would be regulated under bills recently voted out of a state House committee.

The legislation would let casinos and tribal casinos get licenses from a state agency for online gaming. The casinos could then use approved software that does things like determine user age and look for addictive behaviors.

The state is appealing a federal court order that says it cannot suspend the driver’s licenses of people who don’t pay traffic fines.

The Michigan Secretary of State says it’s not possible to comply with the decision.

The Michigan League of Women voters is taking on the state. It says Michigan's legislative districts as currently drawn are unfair. It accuses the state and Republican controlled Legislature of drawing the district lines in secret back in 2011, then rushing the electoral map through the legislative process.

The lawsuit asks a court to declare the current electoral map unconstitutional. It also asks the court to require the state to redraw the lines fairly.

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has apologized to survivors of sex assaults by sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Simon made the apology during a Michigan State Board of Trustees meeting Friday. The university faces complaints and lawsuits that claim they ignored warnings that Nassar was abusing girls and women who were his patients. Nassar has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault.

The state accepts the first applications for people who want to get into the medical marijuana business starting tomorrow. The licenses will allow businesses to legally grow, process, transport, or sell marijuana to patients who have medical marijuana cards. 

David Harnz works for the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board.  He says it will take three or four months to process the applications.

A medical school dean who supervised a Michigan State University sports doctor convicted of sexually abusing patients is stepping down.

A new veterans’ home may not go in Detroit as originally planned.

State lawmakers OK’d a bill Wednesday that says the new home can go in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. If the state still can’t find a place within 45 days, then it can look in the greater southeast Michigan area. The measure was part of a larger funding bill that included funding to address a chemical that has cropped up in groundwater around the state.

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