Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has asked the Legislature to hit the “pause” button on the requirement that adults on Medicaid must be working, looking for work, or in school to qualify for benefits. 

Lawmakers quickly said “no.”

The governor, who is a Democrat, sent a letter to lawmakers. It says Michigan should wait for federal courts to decide legal challenges filed in other states to work requirements before making them part of the Healthy Michigan program.

Whitmer says Republican-led states have already done this.

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.

Be careful where you click on Cyber Monday

Dec 2, 2019

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   Retailers predict about three quarters of the U.S. public will shop online Monday. 

But as WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter reports, the billions of dollars spent on this so-called “Cyber” Monday also offer a prime opportunity for online criminal activity.

The combination of online holiday deals and shoppers quickly buying lots of items creates a fertile field for cyber criminals to steal personal information.

LANSING, MI--   Michigan has a new state elections chief.

Elections bureau director Jonathan Brater says his top job is ensuring the integrity of, and public confidence in, elections.

Brater says efforts to undermine elections might include fake social media announcements or telephone messages that encourage voters to stay home or show up at the wrong polling sites. He says fighting to keep elections honest is difficult and complicated in the internet age.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Four Michigan residents, on behalf of more than half a million people who would have to work, have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s new Medicaid expansion work requirements. 

Last year, the state submitted a waiver to the federal government. The waiver requested permission to make Healthy Michigan eligibility dependent on certain work requirements. The waiver was granted, and the new rules are scheduled to go into effect after the first of the year in 2020.

Overdose deaths decrease in Michigan

Nov 25, 2019

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   The State of Michigan has reported its first decline in overdose deaths in six years.  

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says overall overdose deaths declined by 3.2 percent in 2018.  Opioid related fatal overdoses also declined.

The decline in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2018 was largely driven by decreases in the number of deaths due to poisoning by heroin and commonly prescribed drugs, including oxycodone and hydrocodone.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A group of former state legislators is asking a federal judge to overturn Michigan’s term limits law. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta says the eight ex-lawmakers include Republicans and Democrats.

The lawmakers claim term limits violate their First and 14th Amendment rights in the US Constitution.

But former state senator Roger Kahn says Michigan’s strictest-in-the nation term limits are also a bad deal for voters.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer is in Israel all week on a trip aimed at 

strengthening Michigan’s business ties with the country. The goal is to help Michigan compete for tech jobs that pay well.

Whitmer will travel between Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem to meet with government, business, and nonprofit leaders.

LANSING, MI (MPRN--   Illegal robocalls are not welcome in Michigan. 

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth says state Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a new initiative Friday to crack down on the annoying intrusion.

Nessel is asking the Legislature to boost the penalties for illegal robocalls. And her office is setting up phone lines that are monitored by law enforcement to catch spam callers.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s signature on a bill would alter how the state pays for a critical anti-pollution program. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta says the bill is supposed to make sure polluters continue to pay the costs of running the program.

Right now, Michigan businesses are charged based on how many tons are discharged into the atmosphere, but the program is a victim of its own success. As emissions are reduced, so is the money for inspections and enforcement.