Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state agency has issued its first official advice to help businesses that want to get into the marijuana business. That’s after voters legalized marijuana in Michigan last November. 

The first bulletin from the Michigan Bureau of Marijuana Regulation deals largely with cannabis oils and lotions that have little to no THC. The bureau says it’s not going to adopt rules on marijuana products that have miniscule amounts of the compound. 

Josh Hovey with the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association says there are still a lot of details to be dealt with. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Proposed new standards for teaching history and social studies in Michigan would include references to abortion, climate change, and gay rights.

The new standards have been at the center of political battles at the elected state Board of Education.

The effort to update the standards stalled last year because of a partisan deadlock on the Board of Education. Democrats won a majority on the Board in statewide elections last November.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan will move on its own to establish state drinking water standards for PFAS chemicals.

That order came Tuesday from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer has ordered the state Department of Environmental Quality to come up with rules due to foot-dragging at the EPA.

Scott Dean is with the state Department of Environmental Quality.

“This is still quite a new area for a number of states,” he says. “In fact, most states don’t have any type of drinking water standards, nor does EPA, when it comes to PFAS.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel plans to roll out a task force Monday to develop a strategy to deal with the problem of elder abuse. 

Kelly Rossman-McKinney is the Attorney General’s communications director. She says an estimated 73,000 older people in Michigan are victims of some type of elder abuse. She says that number is probably on the low side because the scope of the problem isn’t known yet. And she says it takes many forms.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The head of Michigan’s marijuana program says he intends to watch and learn as the state figures out the rules for future sales of recreational marijuana.

Andrew Brisbo testified before a legislative committee on the future of marijuana in Michigan. That’s after voters approved recreational marijuana use last fall.

Michigan is first state in the Midwest to allow the recreational use of marijuana. Brisbo says that could lead to more people visiting Michigan to buy and use marijuana.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Whitmer is asking the Legislature to act quickly and decisively to raise the state’s gas tax by 45 cents a gallon. 

She’s touring the state to get voters to support the plan.

The Democratic governor told a business group in Ann Arbor no one wants to call for tax hikes. But she says businesses and commuters are already paying more due to damage caused by poor roads. She says the solution is complicated by the fact that the state’s made road repairs appear less expensive by siphoning money from other parts of the budget.  

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s new secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, has released details of her personal finances. 

But she says this sort of disclosure should be required of all state elected officials.

Benson, a Democrat, says Michigan suffers from low trust of public officials, and it will be up to public officials to help restore people’s confidence in state government.

“There’s a reason why 48 other states and the federal government require this of their elected officials,” she says.

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   A federal judge says a computer program that’s supposed to help ensure Michigan kids in foster are safe is a failure. Governor Whitmer says it will be fixed or replaced.

This problem has bedeviled two governors who preceded Whitmer – Democrat Jennifer Granholm and Republican Rick Snyder. They both struggled to ensure the state knows where foster kids are living and that they’re not being abused.

The report says the system drastically undercounted children who were abused while they were supposed to be under state protection.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The governor’s office and the Legislature could soon be covered by open records rules similar to those that must be followed by state agencies and local governments.

Republicans and Democrats agree these changes are long overdue. But the challenge has been doing it in a way that ensures constituents’ privacy is protected when they seek help with a problem.

Republican state Representative Jason Sheppard says there’s no question that people have a right to know what their elected officials are up to.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some Michigan prison inmates who are serving sentences of life without parole could be released to nursing homes under bills approved Tuesday by the state House. 

Lawmakers were told care for elderly and very sick inmates is expensive for taxpayers, yet these are prisoners who no longer pose a risk.

Chris Gautz is with the Michigan Department of Corrections. He says there are currently 20 to 40 inmates who are old or sick enough to potentially qualify for medical parole.

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