Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan State Medical Society says it’s time for people to return to masking up indoors, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. The reason is the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The recommendation from the doctors’ organization comes amid fights over whether schools should be allowed to adopt COVID-related requirements and restrictions.

From the MSMS statement:

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State employees are being told they once again have to mask up at the office as a COVID-19 health precaution.

The policy applies to 47,000 state employees who work in an office or other indoor setting.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Businesses could not require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and also could not require unvaccinated people to wear protective masks under a bill that was up for a hearing Thursday before a state House committee.  

Republican Representative Sue Allor said businesses should not be allowed to compel employees or “What they’re taking away is the right of the individual to opt out of the vaccine,” she said during the hearing before the House Workforce, Trade and Talent Committee.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A group of 28 US House Democrats say the $1 trillion, bipartisan US Senate infrastructure deal falls short in funding a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is one of the top signatories of the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

She says more funding for charging stations in the infrastructure bill would reassure consumers that buying an EV car or truck is a practical and economical choice.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   More than 700 thousand Michigan households will continue to receive an additional food assistance payment this month.

The money will appear this week in Bridge card accounts.

The additional federal benefit has been extended every month since it was first approved in April of last year to help address food insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis. It helps meet the nutritional needs of two out of every ten Michigan children. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Court of Appeals says the state law that punishes intimidation based on gender protects transgender people from threatening behavior.

The case centers on a victim who is a transgender woman. She was threatened, taunted, and shot in the shoulder during an altercation at a gas station.     

The Wayne County Prosecutor challenged the decision to quash the intimidation charge. The case made it up to the Michigan Supreme Court before it was returned to the appeals court.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A Democrat in the state Legislature is asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to issue a formal opinion on whether electronic signatures can be counted on petitions to amend state laws.

The same question is already before the Michigan Court of Appeals. That’s after a lower court tossed electronic signatures gathered by the Fair and Equal Michigan campaign, which is trying to add LGBTQ protections to the state’s civil rights law.

State Representative David LaGrand says electronic signatures are already used to sign contracts and other legal agreements.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The campaign to add LGBTQ protections to Michigan’s civil rights law has appealed a court decision that stalled the petition drive. 

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign filed its paperwork Monday with the state Court of Appeals.

LGBT rights initiative pushing for certification

Jul 26, 2021

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state board will meet Monday to determine whether an initiative to expand Michigan’s civil rights law to include LGBTQ protections will move ahead.

The Michigan Bureau of Elections says the petition drive failed to get enough signatures. The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign says the bureau is excluding signatures that should be counted.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The US Department of Justice won’t open a formal investigation into Michigan’s nursing home policies during the COVID-19 crisis.

That word came Thursday in a letter from the department’s civil rights division.

The department’s examination focused on whether the polices ran afoul of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).

The letter was sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s legal counsel and was signed by Steven Rosenbaum, chief of the department’s Special Litigation Section.

From the letter: