Michigan News

A grassroots group that wants to get an anti-gerrymandering proposal on the 2018 ballot is looking to make progress this week.

Voters Not Politicians is the non-partisan group in charge of the effort. It wants to change how the state draws its district lines.

The Board of State Canvassers will meet Thursday to approve or reject the form of the petition. It will look at things like font size and which portions of the constitution are referenced. This is meant to prevent lawsuits for improper format down the road.

As violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, some of Michigan's lawmakers took to social media.  

Michigan’s Medicaid expansion is good for hospitals' bottom line and for the people using it, according to a study released earlier this week.

The Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT) found that between 2013 and 2015, hospitals decreased uncompensated care costs by 56%. Uncompensated care is the amount of care a hospital provides but never gets fully reimbursed for.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan says it has reversed 70% of unemployment benefit fraud cases and is refunding $20.8 million after people were wrongly accused of collecting excessive benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency announced the results of a review Friday. It reviewed more than 62,000 cases for people who were assessed a fraud penalty and did not seek an appeal. About 44,000 cases were reversed.

Michigan has been under fire for a computer system that wrongly churned out cases of fraud. Last month, it dropped criminal charges against 186 people.

Michigan needs more asbestos inspectors but doesn’t have the funding to pay for them, according to the Legislature’s auditor general.

The audit released today says the asbestos program has fallen behind in inspections and follow-up reports on projects that require asbestos removal, as well as whether the cancer-causing fire retardant is properly disposed of in landfills. In some cases, the reports were cursory.

A judge says the state cannot reimburse private and parochial schools for any expenses, even if they’re the result of state mandates.

A provision in the state budget allows private and parochial schools to be reimbursed for state-required health and safety requirements. A legal challenge says that runs afoul of the state constitution, which bans direct or indirect public funding for private or parochial schools. 

  

The judge’s opinion says the ban is not religious discrimination.

  

Governor Rick Snyder has signed bills to create new business incentives in hopes of luring some very large employers to Michigan.

Snyder signed the three-bill package just hours before Foxconn, a major objective of Michigan economic development officials, announced its first U.S. plant would locate in Wisconsin. But state officials say Foxconn is not the only big company scouting for new U.S. locations.

The multi-million dollar Pure Michigan campaign is getting an evaluation. The state auditor general started a review this week.

Representatives Steven Johnson, R-Wayland and Martin Howrylak, R-Troy, asked for the audit. Johnson said he wants to make sure the campaign is a good deal for taxpayers.

“I like the ads, too. I think they’re, you know, they’re nice to see on TV. They make me feel good about Michigan,” he said. “But it’s millions of dollars that we’re spending and that money doesn’t come from nowhere. That comes from the hardworking taxpayers of Michigan.”

President Donald Trump announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that the government “will not accept or allow” transgender individuals to serve in United States military.

LGBT activists say the state’s civil rights law is too vague when it comes to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

A state senator is entering the Republican race for governor.

Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, hopes to succeed term-limited Governor Rick Snyder. He will formally announce his campaign Saturday at noon, at the Yankee Air Museum near Ypsilanti.

Colbeck was a design engineer for Boeing before he became a senator in in 2011.

“I came in with a fresh perspective, a business perspective,” he said. “And with the simple perspective says, ‘What I say I’m gonna do on the campaign trail is exactly what I’m gonna do when I’m serving.’”

The state of Michigan is dropping charges and arrest warrants against nearly 200 people accused of illegally collecting unemployment benefits.

The warrants were issued against people who never showed up for court hearings after they were accused of defrauding the unemployment system. In many cases, the accused never knew they were charged with a crime.

The Michigan Talent Investment Agency asked for the arrest warrants to be dismissed because there’s a good chance the people accused actually didn’t do anything wrong.

Michigan’s lobbyists have given $3.7 million to politicians at the state level since 2012.

That’s the total calculated by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Craig Mauger is its executive director. He says most of the money was given after an elected official took office, not during the campaign. And the highest amounts went to the people in the most powerful positions.

"These lobbyists are representing interests," Mauger says. "They are, in some cases, employees of a business. And they want to see it succeed just like the CEO wants to see it succeed.

Michigan businessman and military veteran John James announced today he is running for the U.S. Senate.

The Republican Iraq war veteran released a campaign video that lists conservative stances on gun rights and abortion as some of his priorities.

James is the CEO of a supply chain and logistics company in Detroit, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Revenue has more than tripled and 100 jobs have been created under my leadership as President of our supply-chain logistics company,” James said in the release.

State lawmakers have formed a task force to look for ways to improve mental health treatment in Michigan.

It’s called the House C.A.R.E.S task force. C.A.R.E.S stands for Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety.

The committee was formed by House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-Dewitt. Late last year, Leonard said a mental health overhaul was one of his top priorities.

Now he has appointed over a dozen state lawmakers to serve on the bipartisan task force.

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