Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state Senate committee has approved legislation that would allow health care providers and insurance companies to deny patients contraception and other medical services if they have a moral objection. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta tells us the measure only allows exceptions in cases of medical emergencies:

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--  The Michigan Senate began its two-week spring break Thursday without voting on whether to accept federal funds to develop a jointly run Internet site for people to shop for insurance.

As Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports, that was Governor Rick Snyder’s deadline for the Senate to act: 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There’s a hearing this week in Lansing on legislation that would stop the state from setting aside hundreds of acres strictly for the purpose of nurturing native plants and animals.

We have more from Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta:

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has asked the federal government to order schools to stop using American Indian nicknames and mascots or risk losing education funds.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports the complaint was filed Friday with the U.S. Department of Education: 

The complaint cites research that finds the use of American Indian mascots and nicknames affects student performance. Leslee Fritz is with the state Department of Civil Rights.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder’s budget proposal includes some big spending increases for road repairs and early childhood learning.  He revealed his spending plans for the coming fiscal year Thursday. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

Higher fuel taxes and vehicle fees would raise money for road repairs.  Governor Snyder called for a big increase for early childhood programs, and a boost for the lowest-spending schools.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder made his pitch for higher taxes and fees to pay for roads in his third State of the State address. He says Michigan needs at least a billion additional dollars in the coming year to pay for badly needed repairs to the state’s ailing infrastructure. He may also need a plan to repair his strained relationships with Democrats to get what he wants. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports.

(WKAR’s Joe Linstroth helped with this report.)

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed a tax overhaul that he says will encourage more mining in Northern Michigan.  We have more from Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta:

The new tax will be based on how much iron, nickel, copper and other metals are pulled from the ground and will replace a complicated hodgepodge of local taxes. Humboldt Township Supervisor Joseph Derosha says his region will benefit from a mining tax that’s simple and easy to understand. 

“This tax will create new jobs across the Upper Peninsula and the state of Michigan," he says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that will phase out the tax on industrial and business equipment. The next step is for voters to approve a way to replace the money local governments would otherwise lose.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

The question will appear on the 2014 statewide ballot. It would guarantee no cuts to schools or emergency services. Also, that local governments would get most, but not necessarily all, of the money for other services replaced.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Now that the Legislature’s lame duck session is over, Governor Rick Snyder has to make decisions on controversial legislation dealing with abortion and where people may carry concealed guns.  Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--  Democrats at the state Capitol have vowed to fiercely fight a right-to-work bill if and when one is taken up in the Legislature’s lame duck session. The prospect of the measure coming up has increased tensions in Lansing.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta has more:

Demonstrators opposed to Michigan becoming the 24th right-to-work state filled the Capitol.  Their shouts could be heard inside the legislative chambers as lawmakers debated other issues while preparing for the possibility of a right-to-work fight.