Rick Pluta

michigan.gov

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   An international trade war could reduce how much money Michigan has to spend on roads, schools, and health care.

That’s the word from economists who testified Friday before a state budget panel.

The panel’s job is to determine how much revenue is available as the governor and the Legislature put together the state budget. The picture is stable at the moment as the economy hums and employment is high. 

But the panel has warned a trade war between the US and China could disrupt the economy.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Legislature’s GOP leaders say they will delay sending bills to Governor Gretchen Whitmer to change Michigan’s auto insurance system.

Whitmer says she’d veto the plans.

Republicans were poised to send the bills to Whitmer’s desk despite her vow to reject them, but GOP leaders say they’re still hopeful a deal can be reached that’s acceptable to all sides.

Whitmer says she’s willing to bargain with Republicans on a plan to reduce auto insurance premiums. But she says reducing coverage is not the answer.

Jan-Michael Stump / Traverse City Record-Eagle/AP

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State Representative Larry Inman says he will not resign his seat as he faces federal charges of soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for votes by fellow lawmakers.

Inman is a Republican from Willamsburg just outside Traverse City.

He is accused of soliciting campaign donations in a failed effort to get money for Republicans who agreed to vote against repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage laws. Inman is also accused of lying to the FBI.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the state Legislature have set the stage for a showdown with Governor Gretchen Whitmer over bills to outlaw an abortion procedure. 

Republican called votes in the House and the Senate on bills to ban the dilation-and-evacuation procedure.

Democrats, including state Representative Mari Manoogian, voted “no.”

“Decisions about women’s health care should be made by women and their physicians, not politicians.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new law that says police departments cannot keep assets seized as part of an investigation unless the owner is convicted of a crime. 

Prosecutors have used civil actions to seize assets as part of a strategy to combat drug dealing. But critics says the seizures violate due process rights.

Governor Whitmer is a former county prosecutor who says it was a solution that became a problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she would veto both versions of Republican plans to overhaul the state’s auto insurance system. 

She says House and Senate plans adopted this week don’t do enough to ensure that people are charged rates based on their driving history, and not where they live.

“I’ve been very clear I’m not going to sign a bill that preserves a corrupt system where insurance companies are allowed to unfairly discriminate in setting rates.”

Whitmer says the bills also don’t guarantee permanent and immediate rate rollbacks.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Senate Tuesday approved a bill to change the rules governing how auto insurance is sold in Michigan. 

The bill would place new caps on medical benefits for people who don’t buy additional coverage.

Critics say the Republican plan would leave drivers who would be hurt the most by high medical bills with the least protection.

Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit agrees, but was still one of only two Democrats to vote for the bill. He says his city has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and it’s past time to do something.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the Legislature will challenge a federal court decision that struck down Michigan’s congressional and legislative district lines. 

The court says Republicans went too far in drawing districts to the benefit of Republican candidates.

The decision says the Legislature has until August to come up with new, fairer district lines.

The lines were approved by a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican governor. GOP leaders say, yes, they were in control, but they followed the rules.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. 

A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure. Similar bills are up for a hearing Thursday before a state Senate committee.

Republicans say this would be allowed under the Roe-versus-Wade US Supreme Court decision, although similar laws have been blocked by federal courts in other states.

Opponents say the bills would violate medical best practices and intrude into the doctor-patient relationship.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says a new unit in her office will focus on businesses that illegally classify their workers as independent contractors to reduce their costs. 

The Democratic attorney general says it’s a growing trend around the country – employers who classify their workers as independent contractors. Nessel says that’s used to avoid paying workers the minimum wage as well as health and unemployment benefits they’re entitled to.  And she says it cheats other employers who play by the rules and shoulder those costs.

Pages