Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan has encouraged students to seek four-year college degrees at the expense of encouraging careers in skilled trades. 

The Whitmer administration says that’s cost the state’s economy, employers, and workers.

The governor toured a Detroit community college to make her point. She says less than half of high school graduates in Michigan seek advanced schooling. And she says that means many lost opportunities, even during good economic times.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer is urging the Legislature to return to Lansing to vote on the state budget and revenue to fix the roads. GOP leaders say they won’t be pushed. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta was with the governor during a stop at a community college in Detroit.

Whitmer says the Legislature’s Republican leaders need to move faster to adopt a new state budget. She says local governments and school districts are already into their budget years, which are on a different calendar than the state’s fiscal year.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court says the Legislature should look into a state statute that may conflict with the legal age of sexual consent.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth says the conflict involves the age of consent. The overarching criminal statute says the age of consent in Michigan is 16, but a separate statute criminalizing child sexually abusive activity and child sexually abusive material prohibits certain sexual acts involving a minor. It defines minor as a person under 18 years old.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A request to expand a legal challenge against Michigan State University has the potential to reverse many findings against students accused of sexual assault. 

The motion was first reported by The Detroit Free Press. The initial lawsuit claims MSU’s disciplinary system denied due process to the man accused of assault. That’s because there was no chance for direct, in-person questioning of the woman who made the accusation.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan schools will finalize their budgets Monday – but without knowing how much money they’ll have to work with.

It’s the start of the new fiscal year for school districts, and that means that schools in Michigan need to know now how much money they are going to use throughout the year, but lawmakers in Lansing have yet to give them a clear picture of what they can expect their budgets to be.

Republican Representative Aaron Miller is chair of a subcommittee focused on education spending. He says this situation has happened in the past.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants a court to shut down an oil and natural gas liquids pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. Nessel says the line is a potential hazard to the Great Lakes.

There had been talks between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Enbridge about a plan designed by the previous administration. That plan would build a new section of Line 5 and put it in a multi-use tunnel under the bedrock of the Straits.

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   State officials in Michigan are blasting the US Supreme Court decision to reject cases involving partisan gerrymandering.

Michigan’s Secretary of State fears the ruling will have a chilling effect on challenges to government over-reach.

The High Court ruled it had no business deciding whether political boundaries were unfairly drawn because federal courts should not decide political questions. That likely includes a lower court decision that Michigan’s legislative map was gerrymandered.

Poe lock turns 50

Jun 27, 2019

SAULT STE. MARIE (MPRN)--   Sault Ste. Marie is celebrating the Poe lock’s birthday. Officials say Michigan's largest lock turns 50 this year.

The lock was originally built in 1896, but the one visitors see today was built in 1969. Officials say the lock was rebuilt to be larger and deeper to move modern freighters through the Great Lakes.

Currently, the Poe transports 89 percent of boats that pass through the Soo locks. Officials say the lock also transports nearly all the iron ore used in the country.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Right to Life of Michigan is kicking off its canvassing efforts Wednesday. 

The group will start collecting signatures for ballot initiative. It would ban an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, or D&E. The procedure is most commonly used in the second trimester. The measure would make it a crime for doctors to perform the procedure, unless the life of the mother was at risk.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s angry with the Republican-led state Legislature. 

That’s because it won’t be holding a session for the next two weeks – and it hasn’t finalized the budget.

“No one in Michigan, no one in any other field is allowed to go on a vacation until they get their work done. They’re expected to work and stay at the job until they’ve gotten their work done. That’s exactly what we need to demand of our leaders in Lansing as well,” she says.