Rick Pluta

Senate adopts bills to enact voter restrictions

Jun 17, 2021

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate adopted bills Wednesday to expand ID requirements to vote in-person or to get an absentee ballot.

The bills were adopted on party-line votes over the objection of Democrats and the promise of a veto from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Republican Senator Ruth Johnson is a former Secretary of State. She says showing a photo ID is a reasonable expectation.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There appears to be a deal between Democrats and Republicans in Lansing on plans to make early childhood programs more available and more affordable to more families.

The deal includes using federal COVID-19 funds to make childcare more affordable and regulatory changes to encourage more providers to enter or remain in the field.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer stood alongside a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the state Capitol to make the announcement.

She said this would help meet a pressing need that predates the health crisis.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined plans Monday to use $1.4 billion dollars in federal COVID-19 funds to expand childcare in Michigan.

The governor traveled to a childcare center in Oakland County to present her plan, some of which will require approval from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Whitmer said employers need workers as the COVID crisis lifts --- and parents who want to work need someplace for their kids to go. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A task force will look for more ways to change the state’s juvenile justice system to help young offenders avoid jail time and criminal records. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order creating the task force Wednesday.

“We need to start focusing on uplifting our young Michiganders, and treat them with dignity and respect and, first and foremost, recognize that they are children,” Whitmer said. “We cannot allow an early mistake to define the rest of a child’s life, especially if it’s a non-violent offense.”

LANSING, MI--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called for a dramatic expansion of the Great Start Readiness preschool program.

She rolled out a proposal Tuesday to use $405 million in state and federal funds to make the program available to every eligible four-year-old in Michigan.


LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A bipartisan effort to create standards for law enforcement training and conduct – particularly on the use of force – continues Tuesday with the goal of having legislation sent to the Michigan Senate next week.

The bills under discussion include stricter limits on the use of “no-knock” search warrants, creating a duty for officers to report police misconduct, training in recognizing implicit bias, and requiring every law enforcement department to adopt use-of-force policies.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out her plans last week on a COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

This week, she goes to work selling those ideas to skeptical Republicans who control the Legislature. The governor is expected to share more details on her plans as she bargains with legislators on their plans. Republicans have said they’re not interested in using one-time windfalls from Washington to pay for ongoing commitments.

One of the governor’s proposals is an incentive to boost employee pay to $15 an hour for six months.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined economic recovery plans Thursday that include state support for wage hikes and child care.

The plan would use federal dollars to help businesses boost pay rates to $15 an hour for three months to help businesses attract workers. But they would have to promise to continue that pay rate for an additional three months.

She says that would make it easier for low-income people to seek and accept jobs.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state Senate committee held a hearing Tuesday on a measure that would require transgender high school athletes to only play on teams that match their birth sex.

The meeting of the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee was abruptly adjourned as angry exchanges and people talking over one another reflected the passionate differences surrounding the question.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Whitmer and Michigan lawmakers have $26 billion to work with to draw up the next state budget. That number is $2 billion dollars more than initially anticipated as the state dealt with the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

“I’m delighted to say we’re in a much better place today than we were a year ago,” said Michigan Treasurer Rachel Eubanks.

Eubanks said the economy is rebounding as more people get vaccinated, people are spending money, and the state budget’s getting a boost from federal COVID-19 recovery funds.