Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking the Michigan Supreme Court to reinstate her emergency ban on the sale of flavored vaping products in Michigan.  

A motion asks the state Supreme Court to bypass lower courts and immediately consider the case. The Whitmer administration’s filing says the matter is urgent because of the risk to public health – it says candy- and popcorn-flavored vaping products are attractive to young consumers who could easily become hooked on nicotine.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Senate Republican leader is in discussions with the ballot campaign that succeeded in passing an amendment that changed how legislative and congressional districts are drawn in Michigan. 

His target is the state’s term limits for legislators.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says term limits have created more problems than they  solved. For one thing, he says lawmakers quickly start eyeing post-political careers as lobbyists. He’s hoping the Voters Not Politicians campaign will get on board to help fix that.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MPRN)--   Michigan voters will cast ballots in their current legislative and congressional districts next year. 

That’s due to a decision Monday by the US Supreme Court.

The decision was no surprise since it’s in line with earlier rulings by the court on district maps in two other states. But it only delays the redrawing of district maps under a voter-approved amendment that creates an independent commission. It will draw new lines in time for the 2022 election.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker says Michigan’s hate crime law is overdue for an update. 

State Senator Adam Hollier says it’s time to add violence or threats based on sexual orientation or gender identification as a deterrent to hate crimes.

Michigan’s hate crime law currently covers violence or threats based on race, color, religion, or gender. Hollier says the threats against LGBT people are real, and range from threats and assault to murder.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Licensed mental health counselors in the state will be allowed to continue diagnosing and treating patients under a bill adopted Thursday by the state Senate. The bill is now in its way to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her to sign or veto.

Lawmakers have been flooded with messages on social media and voicemail as well as visits to their offices. Licensed counselors say new rules being enacted by the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs would put them out of business.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican leaders return to bargaining this week. 

They’re looking for a compromise that would restore some line items the governor vetoed in the current budget.

Money for rural road patrols, bus stop safety, and labor and delivery care for mothers and infants are among the funds that could be lost unless the governor and GOP leaders can reach a deal. The line-item vetoes struck the funds from the budget that’s been in effect for two weeks. 

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ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   The University of Michigan will host one of three presidential debates next year. 

The schedule was announced by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates. The debate between the Republican and Democratic nominees is supposed to take place on October 15th of next year.

Notre Dame in neighboring Indiana will host one of the other debates. The third and final debate will take place at Belmont University in Nashville.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to meet Thursday with the Legislature’s Republican and Democratic leaders. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports Republicans set the stage for a showdown over 147 line-item budget vetoes.

Republicans have drafted new budget bills to restore many of those vetoes.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state House has adopted a bill to settle a controversy on what licensed mental health counselors are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta says cheers erupted from a packed gallery to celebrate the House action. The bill would circumvent proposed rule changes. Licensed counselors say the proposed changes would put thousands of them out of business. And they say it would rupture a mental health system that relies on them, in part because there’s a shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer continues to defend line item vetoes in budgets she otherwise approved last week. 

She also says it’s not too late to restore some of the spending.

Cuts to human services as well as the Pure Michigan tourism promotion program are unpopular with Republicans and Democrats alike. The governor says her calls were tough, but necessary. She also says she’d prefer a more bipartisan approach.

“I think this is an unprecedented time. It’s unfortunate. It’s not good for anyone, to be honest.”

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