Michigan Legislature

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan’s Legislature has passed bills to keep intact longer-lasting unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic after the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law that was the basis for now-negated orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The bill was among several approved during a lengthy session that stretched into early Wednesday. The Republican-led House and Senate backed liability protections for businesses that are sued over COVID-19 infections.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II is calling for Republican legislative leaders to enact and enforce a mask requirement inside the House and Senate chambers. 

He said Wednesday he fears for the safety of his family and others when lawmakers do not wear a face covering. The Democrat presides over session in the Senate, which will return Thursday to start passing bills following a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that invalidated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus orders.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Tensions between the Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the GOP-controlled Legislature have ramped up over COVID-19-related emergency orders.

She says the state Department of Health and Human Services will start issuing more COVID-19-related emergency orders -- after the Michigan Supreme Court said she’s stretched the limits of her emergency powers.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's Legislature has given final approval to a bill to lift a new July 1 deadline by which it's supposed to send a budget to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

The legislation, which she plans to sign, would delay the requirement until 2021 due to uncertainty over a revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic.

Michigan’s fiscal year doesn't start until Oct. 1. But lawmakers typically try to finalize the spending plan months in advance.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan lawmakers plan to convene to lengthen Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declaration amid the coronavirus pandemic but are at odds over the extension and whether the session is even necessary.

The Republican-led Legislature is scheduled to meet Tuesday, three weeks after last voting. Since then, one legislator has died from a suspected COVID-19 infection and another has tested positive, causing uneasiness over congregating in Lansing.

LANSING, MI (AP)--  People could pick up prescriptions at Michigan pharmacies that are not staffed by an on-site pharmacist under a bill that has cleared the Legislature and will go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature.

The measure would allow for “remote" pharmacies, which proponents support as a way to expand access to pharmacy services in rural and underserved areas.

Pharmacists at “parent" pharmacies could use real-time audio and video computer equipment to review a prescription before it is dispensed by pharmacy technicians.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has voted to restore more than half of the state funding that was vetoed during a budget impasse.

The move Tuesday largely resolves a monthslong stalemate. Lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could address what to do with more than $370 million in unallocated funds in the new year. The main bill includes a new provision allowing lawmakers to reverse any department fund transfers, if Whitmer makes any related to the legislation.

She calls the spending bills an “important step forward for Michigan.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A controversial bill to allow deer and elk baiting in the state is headed to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. 

Whitmer has promised to veto it.  

The state Natural Resources Commission recently banned bait and feed piles in the Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula. A bill passed by the state Legislature would reverse the ban and allow for baiting under some restrictions – like how big the piles can be and what size bait can be used.

House and Senate move on criminal justice changes

Apr 25, 2019

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Legislature held key votes Wednesday on bills that would make various changes to the state’s criminal justice system.

The state Senate passed a series of bills that some lawmakers say will make the criminal justice system fairer for young people.

The so-called “Raise the Age” legislation would automatically treat 17-year-olds as juveniles for certain crimes. Right now, they’re automatically tried as adults.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The governor’s office and the Legislature could soon be covered by open records rules similar to those that must be followed by state agencies and local governments.

Republicans and Democrats agree these changes are long overdue. But the challenge has been doing it in a way that ensures constituents’ privacy is protected when they seek help with a problem.

Republican state Representative Jason Sheppard says there’s no question that people have a right to know what their elected officials are up to.