Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan has joined four other states and Washington DC to challenge how the US Department of Education is allocating money for schools.

The funds come from the CARES Act to assist schools with their COVID-19 responses. But Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the department and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have put their own spin on the law.

Challenge to redistricting commission dismissed

22 hours ago

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A federal judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Michigan’s new independent redistricting commission.

The commission’s job will be to draw new congressional and legislative districts once the results of the 2020 census are finalized.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to take the case last April. That cleared the way for Monday’s orders from U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff.

Elizabeth Battiste is with the Voters Not Politicians campaign.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A judge has ordered Enbridge Energy to shut down a set of twin pipelines that run through the Straits of Mackinac.

That’s in response to a request filed by state Attorney General Dana Nessel. The attorney general asked for the temporary shutdown of the twin pipelines that carry oil and natural gas liquids after Enbridge reported damage to an anchor support.

Ryan Jarvi with the attorney general’s office says that leaves many unanswered questions about the safety of Line 5 and whether it should even be in the Great Lakes.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Allowing witnesses in criminal trials to testify remotely violates the Michigan and US constitutions – unless the defense agrees. 

That decision came Monday from the Michigan Supreme Court.

It was a 6-0 decision. The court said remote testimony can violate a defendant’s right to confront witnesses. 

Marquette County Prosecutor Matthew Wiese is the president-elect of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. He says the decision creates problems for courts. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s courts will likely face a surge in eviction cases if a moratorium is lifted at the end of the month; however, the state Supreme Court is planning ways to help avert people being turned out of their homes for failure to pay rent. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the eviction moratorium in mid-March as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Before then, courts processed about 17,000 eviction cases every month.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a video statement Sunday in response to demonstrations across Michigan over the weekend against police brutality.

Whitmer was joined on the video by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. They both said anger over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is justified, but they asked people to find non-violent ways to express their frustration.

Whitmer also blamed most of the violence, vandalism, and arson in Detroit and Grand Rapids on people who don’t live in those cities. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia Wednesday in filing an environmental protection lawsuit.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to preserve fuel economy standards set during the Obama administration.

Michigan’s auto companies are split on whether to support the new rules that roll back emissions standards for cars and trucks. The new federal rules set less-ambitious goals to boost fuel economy.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A Michigan Court of Claims judge has ruled Governor Gretchen Whitmer has the power to declare consecutive states of emergency without waiting for the Legislature's approval.

The challenge was filed by the Legislature’s Republican leaders. They argued the Democratic governor exceeded her authority and that she must get the Legislature’s approval after 28 days.

bloomberg.com

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan State Capitol Commission will hold a meeting remotely Monday.

One of the agenda items is a discussion on whether to ban firearms in the Capitol. It will be the commission’s first meeting since a protest that saw many demonstrators carry guns into the building at the same time the Legislature was meeting to make decisions on the state’s coronavirus response. Many Democrats say they felt threatened and called for a ban on the open carry of firearms in the building.

John Truscott is a Republican on the commission.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Legislature’s Republican leaders are suing Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

They say she’s exceeded her emergency authority to deal with the COVID-19 health crisis and violated the state constitution. The GOP leaders want the Michigan Court of Claims to strike down the governor’s new emergency declaration. Her most recent declaration expired April 30th..

House Speaker Lee Chatfield says any new emergency declarations must be approved by the Legislature.

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