Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a video statement Sunday in response to demonstrations across Michigan over the weekend against police brutality.

Whitmer was joined on the video by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. They both said anger over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is justified, but they asked people to find non-violent ways to express their frustration.

Whitmer also blamed most of the violence, vandalism, and arson in Detroit and Grand Rapids on people who don’t live in those cities. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia Wednesday in filing an environmental protection lawsuit.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to preserve fuel economy standards set during the Obama administration.

Michigan’s auto companies are split on whether to support the new rules that roll back emissions standards for cars and trucks. The new federal rules set less-ambitious goals to boost fuel economy.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A Michigan Court of Claims judge has ruled Governor Gretchen Whitmer has the power to declare consecutive states of emergency without waiting for the Legislature's approval.

The challenge was filed by the Legislature’s Republican leaders. They argued the Democratic governor exceeded her authority and that she must get the Legislature’s approval after 28 days.

Court hearing focuses on GOP lawsuit against Whitmer

May 18, 2020

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A Michigan Court of Claims judge is considering whether to strike down Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s extension of a state of emergency.

The governor used that extension to continue stay-at-home policies until at least the end of the month, arguing the COVID-19 virus is still a major threat to public health.

Republican leaders in the legislature sued Whitmer, alleging state lawmakers must approve continuing a state of emergency.

bloomberg.com

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan State Capitol Commission will hold a meeting remotely Monday.

One of the agenda items is a discussion on whether to ban firearms in the Capitol. It will be the commission’s first meeting since a protest that saw many demonstrators carry guns into the building at the same time the Legislature was meeting to make decisions on the state’s coronavirus response. Many Democrats say they felt threatened and called for a ban on the open carry of firearms in the building.

John Truscott is a Republican on the commission.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Legislature’s Republican leaders are suing Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

They say she’s exceeded her emergency authority to deal with the COVID-19 health crisis and violated the state constitution. The GOP leaders want the Michigan Court of Claims to strike down the governor’s new emergency declaration. Her most recent declaration expired April 30th..

House Speaker Lee Chatfield says any new emergency declarations must be approved by the Legislature.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The drug maker Pfizer says it’s producing a test version of a possible COVID-19 vaccine at its Kalamazoo facility. It will be used in clinical trials that are underway. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says that’s good news for Michigan.

Pfizer is one of several drug manufacturers testing a vaccine. Governor Whitmer said on NBC’s “Today” show that it’s still too soon to lift many social distancing precautions, but this is a promising development.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   After easing restrictions for industries like landscaping and construction over the past two weeks Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state will need to have a waiting period before making decisions about other industries going back to work. 

Governor Whitmer announced last week construction could begin again on May 7th. She says now the state will study if cases of COVID-19 begin to increase again when some sectors of the economy return to work.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Forty-one inmates in the state prison system have now died of COVID-19. 

Now, the Michigan Department of Corrections faces a class action lawsuit, alleging it has failed to protect inmates from the deadly virus.

The lawsuit says MDOC is failing to meet the CDC's coronavirus guidance for prisons.  It says social distancing isn't being enforced, infected inmates aren't always being isolated, and soap is rationed.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in Michigan through May 28th.

That’s despite the threat of a lawsuit from the Legislature’s Republican leaders.

Lawmakers let a Thursday deadline to renew an earlier emergency declaration lapse, and with it many emergency powers. So Governor Whitmer issued a new order that lasts another four weeks. On a town hall broadcast, she said the number of deaths and confirmed infections are proof dramatic actions are still required.

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