Michigan House of Representatives

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A divided Michigan House has voted to shield health providers and businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits filed by patients, employees or customers, advancing bills that majority Republicans say would give businesses more comfort to reopen and block frivolous complaints.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Drivers under age 18 would be prohibited from using cellphones except for emergencies under a bill advancing in Michigan's Legislature.

The state now bars drivers with a learner's or intermediate permit from using a phone while operating a motor vehicle. The legislation cleared the House on Wednesday. The measure would also eliminate an exception that lets those with the graduated level one and two licenses use a voice-activated phone system in the car.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A Michigan lawmaker has returned to session for the first time in months after being charged with trading votes for campaign money. 

Rep. Larry Inman, a Republican from Williamsburg near Traverse City, was back on the House floor Tuesday, days after his colleagues formally voted to call for his resignation. He says he recently completed 11 weeks of treatment for an addiction to painkillers stemming from having five surgeries over a two-year period, and now "my brain is clear."

housedems.com

LANSING, MI--   A bill to create a Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future has passed the state House.

The legislation is sponsored by Representative Sara Cambensy. She says it would make advisory and legislative policy recommendations to strengthen and develop sustainable mining practices while protecting the environment.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. 

A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure. Similar bills are up for a hearing Thursday before a state Senate committee.

Republicans say this would be allowed under the Roe-versus-Wade US Supreme Court decision, although similar laws have been blocked by federal courts in other states.

Opponents say the bills would violate medical best practices and intrude into the doctor-patient relationship.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Legislation to create a permanent statewide mental health hotline is advancing in Michigan. 

The state House approved the bill 99-8 Tuesday and sent it to the Senate for further consideration.

The telephone referral system would be available 24 hours a day, seven days of week and would refer people experiencing a mental health crisis to service providers.

A spending law approved late last year includes $3 million to develop, operate and maintain a hotline pilot program. The new legislation is intended as a way to expand that program statewide.

LANSING, MI--   109th State House District Representative Sara Cambensy has been named assistant House Democratic floor leader for the current legislative term.

Cambensy will be working directly with Democratic floor leader Yousef Rahbi of Ann Arbor to direct Democrats’ legislative priorities during session. She says she’ll be involved in weekly meetings to discuss potential bills coming to the floor. Cambensy says it’s an opportunity for her to advocate for rural areas and residents.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan could start grading its schools with an A-through-F letter grade.

The State House passed a bill early Thursday morning. It would have a five-member, temporary panel to evaluate if the A-through-F system is working. But the Michigan Department of Education would create the system and assign grades.

The bill narrowly passed.

Democratic Representative Kristy Pagan opposed the bill. She says changing how the state evaluates its students happens too often and doesn’t help.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s Secretary of State could soon lose a major oversight role.

A bill to give the oversight of campaign finance matters to a commission passed out of the state House Thursday.

Democrats cried foul at the move. They say it’s an attempt to take power away from an incoming Democrat. Jocelyn Benson won the office of Secretary of State during the November midterm.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich says, “Pretty dramatic language but I think it’s true. It’s the equivalent of a legislative coup of the will of the voters.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state House has approved a hotly contested bill that would limit the power of incoming Attorney General Dana Nessel. 

The bill would allow the Legislature to intervene in any court proceeding. During a committee hearing Tuesday four protesters interrupted the hearing to oppose it.

Michigan House Representative Rob VerHeulen is the bill’s sponsor.

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