Michigan Senate

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Bills aimed at reforming Michigan’s criminal justice system have passed the state Senate.

The legislation approved Thursday aims to limit unnecessary incarceration and allow law enforcement more discretion when making arrests. One bill focuses on keeping those with minor violations like failure to appear in court out of jail by eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing for certain cases. The other bill looks to maintain the welfare of juveniles.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Senate adopted a bill Tuesday that would allow many local governments to prepare absentee ballots to be opened and processed the evening before Election Day.

Local clerks say that could shave hours off the process of tallying the ballots.

It’s an election where more absentee votes than ever will be cast – and with fewer poll workers to help count them.

Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said that creates a problem. Every vote needs to be counted, but people get suspicious if the counting drags out. 


LANSING, MI (AP)--   A proposed constitutional amendment to consider electronic communication and data as personal property has unanimously passed the Michigan Senate.

If it passes the state House, voters would decide in November whether or not to amend the Michigan Constitution to require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search emails and cellphones seized during an arrest.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A split Michigan Senate has approved changes to the process by which hospitals can do multimillion-dollar construction or renovation projects. 

Senators also voted Wednesday to exempt hospitals from needing state regulatory approval to add psychiatric beds. The Republican-sponsored bills go to the House for consideration next.

International Joint Commission / ijc.org

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A split Michigan Senate has voted to let homeowners and others with property along the Great Lakes temporarily install structures to combat erosion from record-high water levels without needing a state permit.

The legislation cleared the Republican-led chamber on a party-line 22-16 vote Thursday. It was sent to the GOP-controlled House for future consideration.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Senate Thursday took steps toward restoring money to programs vetoed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year. 

The budget bills are supposed to be approved by the House and the Senate and sent to the governor’s desk next week.

The Senate actions are a step toward restoring a working relationship between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s Republican leaders following a contentious budget process. The standoff put money for autism services, charter schools and public safety at risk.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Bills advancing in Michigan's Legislature would create an address confidentiality program to protect victims of domestic violence and stalking. 

The legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday.

Crime victims certified to participate would have a state address and be able to keep their residential addresses secret in publicly available voting, driver's license and other records.

The state Department of Technology, Management and Budget would forward participants' mail to them.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some Republicans in the state Senate have introduced bills that would drastically limit when a woman can get an abortion.

The bills would prevent an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s usually at around six to eight weeks of gestation. There would be an exception where the life of the mother is at stake.

Republican Senator Ed McBroom is a bill sponsor. He says he’s been thinking about tying heartbeats to abortion for a long time.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Republican-led Michigan Senate has passed a $58 billion budget plan that is at odds with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal, primarily over road and education funding.

The legislation approved Wednesday is another step in the process as lawmakers and Whitmer work to enact a spending plan for the next fiscal year.

Senate Republicans and Democrats were in agreement on many bills, but diverged on big sticking points such as spending billions more on roads and how to divvy up funding for K-12 schools.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Senate Tuesday approved a bill to change the rules governing how auto insurance is sold in Michigan. 

The bill would place new caps on medical benefits for people who don’t buy additional coverage.

Critics say the Republican plan would leave drivers who would be hurt the most by high medical bills with the least protection.

Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit agrees, but was still one of only two Democrats to vote for the bill. He says his city has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and it’s past time to do something.