Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state of Michigan has officially notified 48,000 public employees they could be soon be laid off. 

That’s if there’s no budget deal between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature within two weeks.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports Whitmer and GOP leaders are at an impasse over road funding, and that’s holding up adoption of the new state budget. The Michigan Constitution says the state cannot legally spend money unless the Legislature adopts a budget.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican leaders say they’re confident they can reach a budget deal without risking a shutdown. 

Whitmer, a Democrat, backed down on a demand for a fuel tax increase to raise new revenue for roads. That’s after she accused Republicans of steering the state toward a government shutdown without a budget deal. 

Senator Jim Stamas is the Republican budget chair. He says that threat stalled negotiations, but the Legislature’s GOP majorities were ready to send budget bills to Whitmer with or without a deal.

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LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered a temporary ban on flavored e-cigarettes in Michigan.  

Michigan appears to be the only state to have this sort of rule. The order forbids retail and online sales of e-cigarettes with candy flavors in Michigan, and marketing vaping devices as a safe alternative to smoking.

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun is Michigan’s Public Health Executive. She says the availability of flavored vaping products is a public health emergency.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The school year is about to begin in Michigan without contracts between many districts and teachers. 

That’s because the state Legislature has not adopted a K-12 schools budget to let school boards and teachers unions know how much money they’ll have to work with.

David Crim with the Michigan Education Assocation says more than 130 districts represented by the teachers’ union don’t have contracts.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are asking a federal judge to toss a challenge the state’s new redistricting law. 

The amendment to create a new redistricting commission was adopted last year by voters. The amendment says former elected officials, party activists, and their relatives are not eligible to serve.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The embattled director of the Michigan Civil Rights Department has taken a leave of absence. 

That’s after Agustin Arbulu resisted calls for him to resign amid findings of misconduct and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission refused to fire him.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is among those who’ve said it’s time for Arbulu to step down. But Whitmer can’t fire the civil rights chief. Under the state constitution, only the Michigan Civil Rights Commission can hire or fire the director.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants answers regarding a controversy at the state Department of Civil Rights.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta says that’s after department director Agustin Arbulu was disciplined for misconduct.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s official monthly jobless rate was unchanged last month (June) at 4.2 percent.

The numbers come from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. And those numbers show the number of unemployed people went up last month. But that was largely offset by how many people joined or rejoined the workforce with the hope of finding a job.

Employment in the manufacturing sector bumped up slightly as factory workers were recalled from layoffs. The leisure-and-hospitality sector showed the biggest jobs gains from this time last year.

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LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker says people with misdemeanor marijuana convictions should have their records cleared automatically now that Michigan has legalized it. 

Voters last year legalized marijuana for recreational use in Michigan.

State Senator Jeff Irwin is a Democrat from Ann Arbor. He says 235,000 people in Michigan have been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court says prosecutors in criminal cases cannot rely on experts to testify on how often children typically lie or tell the truth about sex abuse. 

The court says juries were swayed by opinions, not the facts, in two individual cases. It ruled that sexual abuse trials are not credibility contests where juries determine who is most likely telling the truth.

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