Rick Pluta

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LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker says people with misdemeanor marijuana convictions should have their records cleared automatically now that Michigan has legalized it. 

Voters last year legalized marijuana for recreational use in Michigan.

State Senator Jeff Irwin is a Democrat from Ann Arbor. He says 235,000 people in Michigan have been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court says prosecutors in criminal cases cannot rely on experts to testify on how often children typically lie or tell the truth about sex abuse. 

The court says juries were swayed by opinions, not the facts, in two individual cases. It ruled that sexual abuse trials are not credibility contests where juries determine who is most likely telling the truth.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan has encouraged students to seek four-year college degrees at the expense of encouraging careers in skilled trades. 

The Whitmer administration says that’s cost the state’s economy, employers, and workers.

The governor toured a Detroit community college to make her point. She says less than half of high school graduates in Michigan seek advanced schooling. And she says that means many lost opportunities, even during good economic times.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer is urging the Legislature to return to Lansing to vote on the state budget and revenue to fix the roads. GOP leaders say they won’t be pushed. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta was with the governor during a stop at a community college in Detroit.

Whitmer says the Legislature’s Republican leaders need to move faster to adopt a new state budget. She says local governments and school districts are already into their budget years, which are on a different calendar than the state’s fiscal year.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A request to expand a legal challenge against Michigan State University has the potential to reverse many findings against students accused of sexual assault. 

The motion was first reported by The Detroit Free Press. The initial lawsuit claims MSU’s disciplinary system denied due process to the man accused of assault. That’s because there was no chance for direct, in-person questioning of the woman who made the accusation.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether to take a case to determine whether it’s ever appropriate for state money to go to private and parochial schools.

Michigan public school groups and the ACLU are challenging budget bills that were approved by Republican legislatures and then-Governor Rick Snyder. They allow a small amount of money to reimburse private schools for some expenses.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A technology upgrade that’s supposed to help consumers threatens to shut down the system for keeping track of felons and sex offenders who’ve been released from prison.

Electronic tethers that keep track of offenders could go dark at the end of the year.

The state Corrections Department keeps track of 4,600 offenders using electronic tethers.

Chris Gautz is with the department. He says the tethers are attached to Verizon’s 3-G network that’s supposed to go dark at the end of the year, to be replaced by the 4-G network.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced more than $1 million will go to hospitals to help create better systems for treating people with opioid addiction.

The governor says reducing opioid abuse is a top priority of her administration.

Whitmer says opioid addiction is a large and growing problem. She says one reason is people end up at emergency rooms after they overdose, but they are often released without a follow-up plan.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says money and political clout are at stake in the upcoming US Census. She says Michigan stands to lose a great deal if everyone doesn’t participate.

Michigan’s lost five congressional seats since the 1980s due to fewer people counted by the Census bureau. That’s meant less political influence in Washington. The census also helps determine federal funding for health care, schools and roads.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker wants to amend the Michigan Constitution to ensure there is a right to keep electronically stored information private.

State Senator Jim Runestad says laws have not kept pace with the ways personal information can be taken from computers, cell phones, tablets and web sites. He says law enforcement should not be allowed to go searching through a person’s electronically stored information without a court’s permission.

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