Michigan News

A plan to grant amnesty to people who owe sometimes thousands of dollars in unpaid driver responsibility fees is in the works.  A bipartisan group of state lawmakers rolled out the proposal today (Thu.).

The bills would not only accelerate the phaseout of the fees, they would forgive $630 million dollars in unpaid fees.

House Speaker Tom Leonard says it’s unlikely most of that money would ever be collected, but he says hundreds of thousands of people are saddled with the hardship of being unable to legally drive.

A group of state House Democrats linked arms today during the Pledge of Allegiance on lieu of putting their hands over their hearts. They said it was to show support for the right of NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem. And to protest a Facebook post by Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Etue that called the players “degenerates.”

Another Democrat entered the ring for Michigan’s Attorney General Thursday.

Pat Miles is a former U.S. Attorney for Michigan’s Western District. He was appointed to the U.S. Attorney post by President Barack Obama. He voluntarily resigned when President Donald Trump took office.

Trump’s election was a driving force behind Miles’s decision to run, he said.

“We need somebody who will be an independent watchdog and who doesn’t answer to a president, a governor, or to corporate special interests, but only answers to the people,” Miles said.

VP Mike Pence stumps in Michigan for Republican tax plan

Sep 29, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence was in suburban Detroit today to sell the Trump administration's tax overhaul proposal.

Pence addressed an audience of about 250 people at American Axle & Manufacturing, a company in Auburn Hills.

According to Pence, the Republican tax plan seeks the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, and it will benefit working families and boost the economy. 

The Palisades nuclear power plant will stay open until 2022 after all.

Late last year Entergy, the company that owns the plant, announced that Palisades would shut down early, in the fall of 2018.

Palisades spokesman Val Gent says they told employees Thursday morning, when executives unfurled a big banner that read “2022.”

Lawmakers in Lansing say they want a seamless transition as marijuana dispensaries start to get licensed.

Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation today. A few Republicans have voiced support of the bills. The legislation would let dispensaries keep their doors open while they wait for a license.

Survivors of last year’s deadly bike crash near Kalamazoo testified today before a state Senate committee in support of safety legislation.

Paul Gobble was one of four people injured when a pickup truck plowed into a group of bike riders. Five people were killed. The driver was charged with second-degree murder.

Gobble told lawmakers a “culture change” is needed between drivers and bicyclists sharing the roads.

“There’s a lot of animosity toward cyclists,” he said. “The drivers, there’s a great deal of them that are just angry out there.”

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would ban medical marijuana advertising on billboards in Michigan. State law already bans advertising tobacco products on billboards.

"The intention of the bill is to match the ban on tobacco advertising, so we're not advertising marijuana to  our youth," said Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing.

Governor Rick Snyder says there is no reason to fire State Police Colonel Kriste Etue over a controversial Facebook post.

Etue has apologized for sharing a meme on her page that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem unpatriotic and “degenerates.”

Snyder says the post was “inappropriate,” but he considers the matter settled.

“She came out and apologized, and she’s done great service for the state,” Snyder said. “The way I view it is people make mistakes, she recognizes that, and let’s keep moving forward.”

The director of the Michigan State Police has apologized for sharing a post on her Facebook page that called NFL players protesting during the national anthem "degenerates."

The message shared by Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue on her Facebook page Sunday calls the players "millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans." The post also calls the protesters "rich, entitled, ungrateful." The posting was signed, "We the People."

Vice President Mike Pence will try to rally support in Michigan tomorrow for the new Republican tax reform plan. He’ll speak Thursday afternoon at American Axle Manufacturing in Auburn Hills.

The plan unveiled this week almost doubles the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly to $24,000. Individual filers will see their standard deduction increase to $12,000.

A bipartisan group in Michigan rolled out a new auto no-fault insurance overhaul plan today.

Republican Speaker of the House, Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, and Detroit’s mayor, Mike Duggan, have been working together for months on the plan.

Lawmakers from both parties have tried for years to pass changes to Michigan’s auto insurance laws. Duggan said the legislation isn’t perfect for Democrats or Republicans. But he thinks he can get bipartisan support.  

One in five teenagers responding to a survey have been diagnosed with a concussion at least once, according to a study published today by University of Michigan researchers.

Surveyors asked more than 13,000 teenagers from around the United States if they had ever been diagnosed with a concussion. Assistant research professor Philip Veliz says the prevalence of concussions among adolescents isn’t a topic that’s been researched much at all.

Judges are required to suspend your driver's license if you're unable to pay court debts in Michigan, one of just five states to do that, according to a new report. 

The Legal Aid Justice Center's nationwide report says the practice unfairly punishes poor people by taking away their ability to drive legally. Some states are beginning to rethink this practice.

According to the report, about 100,000 people in Michigan currently have their licenses suspended for inability to pay court fees.

A University of Michigan graduate student who says he began kneeling at the university’s diag as a sign of protest at 7 a.m. Monday says he plans to continue for 24 hours.

As of 8:30p Monday evening, Dana Greene Jr. was still kneeling at the diag.

UPDATE: In a phone interview, Greene says he got up from his protest around 3:30am because he was physically exhausted. He says UM President Mark Schlissel called him during the day, and Greene plans to meet with Schlissel on Wednesday.

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