Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state elections board began working Monday on new rules for how petition signatures are collected for citizen initiatives and ballot questions. 

That’s a response to a formal opinion from state Attorney General Dana Nessel. She says a law adopted last year that makes it more difficult for petition drives to succeed is unconstitutional. Republicans have filed a legal challenge to the opinion.

Democrat Jeannette Bradshaw chairs the Michigan Board of State Canvassers. She says the board has to keep working while waiting to see what the courts decide.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The National Transportation Safety Board blames human error and equipment failures for an anchor strike that dented the Line 5 pipelines. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel says the report is evidence the twin pipelines needs to be removed from the Great Lakes.

The NTSB report says the vessel was short-staffed during the Easter weekend as a technical malfunction allowed an anchor to drag on the lakebed. It struck Line 5 and the pipelines were dented.

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a law Thursday that aims to reduce auto insurance rates. 

It caps Michigan’s previously unlimited personal injury protections that pay for medical care.

Democrats and Republicans have been divided for decades on the best way to bring down Michigan’s high auto insurance costs. Whitmer signed the bill to the delight of business people and legislators on hand for the event. Whitmer said the new law is victory for bipartisan problem-solving.

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer helped roll out an incentive program to get Michigan businesses to experiment with the next generation of transportation systems. 

She made the announcement Wednesday at a conference on Mackinac Island.

The governor says the program is essentially a contest that seeks ideas on how to create new transportation options.

“You’ll see some wonderful ideas come out of this is as result, and wonderful solutions that have been vexing us as a country in terms of moving people,” she says.

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans and Democrats in Michigan’s Congressional delegation say they are working to put money into the federal budget to deal with two critical environmental issues. 

Both deal with water and the Great Lakes.

Michigan’s House members and two US Senators delivered their report on the porch of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel – with the sun-speckled Straits of Mackinac as a backdrop.

The congressional delegation said they have identified money to pay for PFAS cleanup, and to combat the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’s ready to go to court to force Enbridge to shut down a pipeline that moves oil and gas on a route that runs through the Great Lakes. That’s if the energy company and the state don’t reach a deal by the end of June.

Enbidge’s Line 5 runs through the Straits of Mackinac. The waterway connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and runs beneath the Mackinac Bridge.  The bridge is a landmark visible from Mackinac Island, and that’s where the attorney general made her plans known at a business conference.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A legal opinion from state Attorney General Dana Nessel throws into doubt the future of a law adopted last year. 

The law makes it harder for petition campaigns to put political questions directly to voters. It was adopted by Republicans in the Legislature before it was signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder.

The opinion from Nessel – a Democrat – says the law violates free speech rights and sets conditions on ballot campaigns that are not allowed by the state constitution.


LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Court of Appeals says a commitment ceremony does not equal a marriage.

An ex-husband sued to end an expensive spousal support order after his ex-wife invited family and friends to a commitment ceremony with her new partner. He said that is effectively a marriage, and he should be allowed to stop making support payments.

The ex-husband won in a lower court. But the appeals court reversed the decision, and said a marriage in Michigan requires a ceremony, witnesses, and a certificate filed with a county clerk.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State Representative Larry Inman has been booted from closed-door planning sessions with fellow House Republicans. That’s following his indictment on charges of soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI.

The indictment says Inman tried to squeeze a prospective donor for campaign contributions in exchange for his vote on a contentious labor issue. Republican House members disowned Inman in a closed-door meeting.

Republican Lee Chatfield is the also the House Speaker.

“He has lost the faith and trust of the Republican caucus,” he says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the entire state of Michigan notched a win with Fiat-Chrysler’s decision to build the first new auto plant in Detroit in almost three decades.

A state board approved a generous incentive package for the project.

The deal hinged on a generous incentive package that was approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

Governor Whitmer says the project shows Michigan is still a major player in the auto business.

“It is fitting the state that put the world on wheels, it is where we will build the cars of the future.”