Cheyna Roth

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Leaders of the state Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer will hold their first “quadrants meeting” Wednesday. 

Whitmer announced when she won the November election she would like to hold regular meetings of the Speaker of the House, House Democratic Leader, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Democratic Leader. All members agreed.

The idea is to talk about issues and find ways to come to an agreement before bills hit Whitmer’s desk.

Senator Jim Ananich is the leader of the Senate Democrats.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There’s a new attorney in charge of the criminal cases surrounding the Flint water crisis. 

Fadwa Hammoud was just appointed as Michigan’s new Solicitor General. Within hours of that announcement, the Attorney General’s office said Hammoud would also be taking on the role of lead attorney in the Flint water crisis criminal cases.

The investigation into the administration of former Governor Rick Snyder was started by former Attorney General Bill Schuette. He had appointed Todd Flood as a “special prosecutor.” He’ll stay on and report to Hammoud.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican lawmakers in the state House and Senate say lowering the cost of auto insurance across the state is a top priority for the 100th Legislature. 

How to change Michigan’s auto no fault insurance law is an issue lawmakers have been trying to crack for years.

In the House, Republican Representative Jason Wentworth will chair a special committee devoted to the issue. He said this will give lawmakers a broad, collaborative way of tackling the problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan can expect to see some economic growth over the next few years, but for the most part the state’s economy is expected to stay flat. 

The Michigan Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference was held Friday. State money experts gathered with economists to figure out how much money will be in Michigan’s purse for the next budget.

The amount of money in the state’s general fund budget is expected to grow, but not by a lot. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive directive she says will help secure equal pay for equal work among state employees. 

The directive prohibits state agencies and departments from asking about a potential employee's current or previous salaries until they give the applicant a conditional offer of employment that includes proposed compensation.

Judy Welch is the executive director for the West Michigan branch of Michigan Women Forward. She says this could help women who have historically been paid less.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--  There are six new rules for state employees this week.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed more executive directives on Thursday. She says it’s part of an effort to increase transparency and ethics in state government.

The new rules include a ban on using private emails for state business, a prohibition on  any campaign activities during work hours or with taxpayer dollars, and include a mandate that state employees report “irregularities” they see with public resources. 

Tiffany Brown is a spokeswoman for Whitmer.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MPRN)--   There are now a record number of women in Congress, and several of them are from Michigan.   

Democrat Elissa Slotkin now represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. She’s one of dozens of new women – including women of color – starting their terms. Slotkin says they’re changing the look of Congress.

“I mean I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been walking down the hall and someone thinks that I’m a staffer to a member of Congress,” she says.

Whitmer signs first executive directive

Jan 3, 2019

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued her first executive directive as Michigan’s governor. 

It requires state department employees to report threats to public health, safety or welfare up the chain of command, and it requires those threats to be investigated.

Governor Whitmer signed the directive while flanked by employees of the Department of Environmental Quality. That’s a department that has faced reports of low morale and that came under the microscope in the wake of the Flint water crisis.

Whitmer says it isn’t about just one department.

Whitmer, others, take their oaths of office

Jan 2, 2019
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan officially has a new governor.

Gretchen Whitmer was sworn in Tuesday on the Capitol steps.

The 49th governor was sworn in by Michigan Supreme Court Justice, Beth Clement—a governor Rick Snyder appointee.

Throughout her speech, Whitmer called for unity and building bridges instead of walls. She’s a Democrat that will have to work with a Republican led Legislature.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some Michigan companies that employ out-of-state workers may soon get a state tax incentive for them. 

A bill to do that is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

In a former version of the bill, only businesses in border counties received the benefit – but that provision was removed before final votes. 

Democratic Representative Donna Lasinski: