The state of Michigan’s most recent budget includes robust protections for college students seeking exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine.
House Bill 4400 — signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) on September 29 — requires that all universities receiving a state appropriation must ensure that students can receive religious and medical exemptions from the vaccine, provided that they obtain a letter from a physician or draft a statement articulating their religious beliefs.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on the Legislature to provide more taxpayer money to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to attract businesses, but an economic development analyst and GOP leader disagree.
Citing Ford Motor Company choosing Kentucky and Tennessee to build electric vehicle battery plants instead of its home state, Whitmer called on legislative leaders to give the MEDC “more resources and more advanced procedural and legal tools” to pursue projects.
Despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s claim that Michigan is the future of electric vehicles (EVs), Ford Motor Company and battery maker SK Innovation announced plans to build three new plants in Kentucky and Tennessee.
The new plants, which will host production of electric vehicles and advanced lithium-ion batteries by 2025, will cost roughly $11.4 billion to build and create a projected 11,000 jobs.
A key FBI informant for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wouldn’t see prison time under a plea deal despite pleading guilty to a 10-year gun crime during the plot.
The plea agreement for Wisconsin resident Stephen Robeson says that on Sept. 26, 2020, Robeson bought an Armalite .50 caliber rifle from a man he met at church. Months later, Robeson sold the gun to someone he met on Facebook Messenger. A federal judge must approve the plea deal.
Michigan’s $70 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 increases government spending by 11.5% from last year’s $62.8 billion budget. The increased spending includes one-time funds from federal stimulus packages, raising concerns Michigan can’t sustain current spending without hiking taxes or slashing services.
Once government federal stimulus money runs dry, the government must either raise taxes or reduce services to continue paying for programs that were once considered not essential.
The Michigan GOP and Chair Ron Weiser are suing Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, challenging $3.4 million of campaign donations to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that they say is illegal.
A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan aims to force Benson to apply Michigan election law, compliant with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, to equally enforce contribution limits on all candidates. Whitmer raised funds over Michigan’s $7,150 contribution limit under the loophole of the recall exception, despite no apparent active recall efforts.
The GOP-led Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer struck a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown before the next fiscal year.
Budget officials welcomed the deal.
“The last year and a half has been hard on all of our families and communities. Addressing their needs – from jobs to education to government accountability – is at the center of today’s budget deal,” Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said in a statement. “By working together our divided Michigan government has shown what can be accomplished when Michigan families are put first. Michigan families are counting on us to invest in them. This budget does that by laying the groundwork for a healthy economy for Michigan’s future. I thank House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert, Budget Director David Massaron, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their collaboration.”
According to non-profit Samaritas, a Michigan refugee resettlement group that has been providing homes for displaced migrants since 1934, it will be resettling at least 350 Afghan refugees in Michigan.
“What I can tell you is that Samaritas is committed to serving at least 350 refugees from Afghanistan,” Kelli Dobner, an executive with the organization, told 9&10 News. “Men, women and children.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, lawmakers, and some school administrators are clashing over back-to-school COVID-19 policies.
Ken Gutman, who serves on the K-12 Alliance of Michigan’s Board of Directors and is superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, called on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop a COVID-19 delta variant plan for schools and for the department or local health departments to enact a mitigation strategy that includes a possible mask mandate inside school buildings.
Amid the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan which led to a swift takeover by the Taliban, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says it is Michigan’s “duty and honor” to welcome Afghan refugees with open arms.
In a lengthy statement, Whitmer announced that the state will be resettling refugees in the near future.
When the Michigan government announced the foiling of a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October of 2020, many applauded the law enforcement agency working the case.
Attorneys for the alleged members of the kidnapping plot, however, are claiming Federal Bureau of Investigation deceit and entrapment of innocent people.
Mlive reported Michael Hills, an attorney for Brandon Caserta, one of six men indicted, claimed an FBI special agent told a paid confidential informant identified as “Dan” to lie, delete messages between them, and implicate an innocent third party.
In a new campaign ad for her reelection, Attorney General Dana Nessel says “democracy is on the ballot.”
“AG Dana Nessel’s Republican opponents support ‘The Big Lie’ and violent extremists. Whether it’s elections or domestic terrorism-what happens in Michigan doesn’t stay in Michigan. It impacts all of America. Let’s make sure Dana is re-elected. Our democracy depends upon it,” Nessel said in a Tweet, attaching her ad.
State legislatures in six states limited their governors’ emergency powers wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing executives have overextended their authority.
As of June 2021, lawmakers in 46 states have introduced legislation stripping governors of certain emergency powers, according to USA Today. Legislatures justified their actions as necessary to restore a balance between the branches of state government, pointing to examples of executive overreach and the centralization of power in the hands of governors.
Three members of Congress from Michigan are asking the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a formal inquiry as to why the department dropped its investigation of nursing home deaths in the state.
The DOJ announced July 22 it would cease an investigation into Michigan nursing home deaths from COVID-19 and whether those deaths were a result of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies. The investigation was begun during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans to spend $100 million of federal stimulus money on affordable housing.
According to the governor’s claims, the proposal would assist 6,000 Michiganders, produce 2,000 rental housing units, and leverage an additional $380 million in private funding while creating 1,600 jobs.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Senate Bill 27 to appropriate $384.7 million in supplemental pandemic relief funding.
Signed by the governor on Monday afternoon, the bill also provides $10 million of financial support for Southeast Michigan families and businesses that endured massive flooding in June.
SB 27 was introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, in January. The bill combines $367.7 million of federal COVID relief funding authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and $17 million from the state’s general fund.
Just after escaping headlines for a drunk driving arrest wherein he attempted to use Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s name to threaten police, state Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) is back in the news.
“A Michigan lawmaker reported spending $221 of his campaign money at a strip club in Dearborn for a March 8 ‘constituent meeting’ to discuss ‘potential economic projects,’ according to a disclosure filed Sunday,” The Detroit News reported.
The lead investigator in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case against more than a dozen men who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has legal troubles of his own, as reported by The Detroit News.
“An FBI agent at the center of the investigation into the plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is accused of smashing his wife’s head against a nightstand and choking her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party, according to court records,” that news outlet reported this week.
Militiamen arrested for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the government set them up.
Court documents obtained by Buzzfeed show government informants played a crucial role in the kidnapping plot. One informant posed as a demolition expert who advised members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia where to plant explosives and even offered to get them as much as they needed. The informant was vouched for by another informant, leaving unclear how many confidential informants existed compared to actual extremists.
Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began in Michigan, the GOP-led Legislature has revoked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic powers.
The House of Representatives sealed the end of her powers Wednesday with a vote of 60-48. The Senate approved the petition on July 15 on a 20-15 vote.
Democratic Rep. Sam Steckloff said petitions are meant to go on the ballot to voters instead of enacted through the Legislature and contended petition gatherers “lied” to those who signed the petition.
James Craig, who served as chief of Police in Detroit, MI, since 2013 and retired this spring, is running for governor of the Great Lake State, he announced to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Wednesday night.
Craig has formed a gubernatorial exploratory committee to begin his run against Democratic incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The GOP-led Michigan Legislature failed to override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of $155 million to help struggling youngsters recover from COVID-19 learning loss.
The vote was 54-54. A two-thirds majority vote is required to override a Whitmer’s line-item veto of a designation in House Bill 4411 that would have disbursed $155 million to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) to start a grant program for students who have fallen behind.
The FBI agent credited with stopping a kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been arrest for ” intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder following a domestic incident with his wife Sunday,” the Detroit News reports.
FBI Special Agent Richard Trask, 39, of Kalamazoo was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond following arraignment.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded a $10 million federal grant to support the state’s registered apprenticeship expansion efforts.
“As we put Michigan back to work, Registered Apprenticeship programs offer on-ramps to high-demand, high-skill careers, and in Michigan we have committed to expanding these educational opportunities to ensure more Michiganders can get good-paying jobs,” Whitmer said in a statement.
“Increasing access to education and training opportunities will help us achieve our 60 by 30 goal to have 60% of Michigan’s adult with post-secondary education or skills training by 2030, improve the quality of life and help Michiganders secure good-paying jobs, and ensure businesses have the workforce they need to succeed and grow our economy.”
The GOP-led Michigan Senate approved the Unlock Michigan campaign on a 20-15 vote, likely ending the 1945 law employed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to exercise pandemic powers for the past 16 months.
Democrats and Republicans exchanged heated remarks over COVID-19 policy.
“This petition will hamstring our leaders of both parties — from preventing or slowing the spread of a deadly disease. This is about our ability to react to other pandemics and disasters in the future,” Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, said pre-vote.
For the second time, the Michigan Supreme Court has ordered the State Board of Canvassers certify the Unlock Michigan petition that will likely revoke Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 1945 emergency powers.
On June 11, the top court ordered the State Board of Canvassers to certify the petition after the board deadlocked 2-2 on multiple motions. But Keep Michigan Safe (KMS) lawyer Mark Brewer filed a motion asking the top court to reconsider the order.
The top court answered, again ordering the petition to be certified.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced grants totaling more than $15.6 million to help get Michigan back to work.
The government awarded Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP) grants to 10 groups who will help support individuals who are dislocated, underemployed, essential workers, living in distressed rural and urban communities, or economically disadvantaged.
“My administration is committed to uplifting Michiganders whose economic security has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By providing grants to help people make the move from education or training programs to good-paying, high-skill jobs, we can ensure all Michiganders thrive as we continue our economic jumpstart. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and their Regional Consortia partners will help people get back on their feet and take the next step on their path to financial security.”
Two days after touting her administrations support of Michigan’s small businesses, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed bipartisan bills that would have exempted certain business purchases of personal protection equipment (PPE) from the 6% state sales tax.
The bills would have offered businesses exemptions and refunds for sales or use tax paid on PPE retroactive to March 10, 2020, through 2021.
After 14 months of fighting over COVID-19 policy, GOP leaders and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reached an agreement Thursday to negotiate the state budget and stimulus money in return for setting a date to end COVID-19 restrictions.
In return, Whitmer has agreed to withdraw the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) proposed permanent rules and discuss legislative input on epidemic orders.
“Throughout the pandemic, we saw Michiganders all over the state step up and come together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Whitmer said in s statement. “Now, Michigan’s task is to unleash the potential of our people, to drive innovation and investment, and create tens of thousands of jobs and economic prosperity for all. Together, we can stay laser-focused on growing the economy and getting Michiganders back to work. Let’s hit the gas.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is once again under fire for a Florida trip she took months ago.
The trip was partially paid for by a 501(c)4 group, which critics say presents legal questions.
Whitmer used funds from an inauguration-related nonprofit to pay for a $27,521 trip to Florida to visit her ailing father in March, MIRS News reported. “She continued to carry out her duties as governor while she assisted her father [in Florida] with household duties like cooking and cleaning,” JoAnne Huls, the governor’s chief of staff, wrote in a memo. “The governor’s flight was not a gift, not paid for at taxpayer expense, and was done in compliance with the law.”
Ohio lawmakers continue to pressure Michigan’s governor to keep open a pipeline that affects more than 20,000 Ohio jobs and nearly $14 billion in state economic activity.
Rep. Brian Baldridge, R-Winchester, who testified before the Ohio Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier this week, said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to make poor decisions at a time when energy security remains in question after a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline that continues to leave the Southeast with gasoline shortages and higher prices.
Baldridge also testified recently before Michigan’s Senate Energy Committee and met with the state’s Senate leadership in response to Ohio Resolution 13, which urges Michigan to keep the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline operating.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday announced the state health department will align its policy with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance on face coverings starting Saturday at 9 a.m.
“For more than a year, we’ve been following the best data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The vast majority of us have trusted the scientists and experts to keep us safe during the pandemic, and it has worked. With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal. The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today’s news makes all of that work worthwhile.”
On Thursday, the CDC released updated guidance recommending “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed House Bill 4469 which appropriates $37.8 million in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants for 76 recreation projects and land purchases throughout Michigan.
“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund supports quality outdoor recreation, giving Michiganders the ability to safely enjoy the outdoors and boosting local economies,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding is crucial to helping communities utilize their natural resources and make Michigan’s public spaces more accessible and attractive to residents and visitors. I am proud to sign this piece of bipartisan legislation into law and support Michigan’s recreational resources and economy.”
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource conservation and outdoor recreation.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a reopening plan that ties lifting COVID-19 restrictions to Michigan’s vaccination rate.
The “MI Vacc to Normal” plan will use four vaccination-based milestones for Michiganders 16 years or older who have received a first COVID-19 vaccine to dictate reopening. The state aims to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 years or older.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state will increase state-owned facility renewable energy by 85% by 2025, up from the current 15%, but didn’t explain how.
The governor announced the goal on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day.
Whitmer cited a partnership between the state and energy providers DTE, Consumers Energy, and Lansing Board of Water and Light. Energy purchased from the utilities will expand those companies’ renewable energy portfolio in Michigan.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) appeared Sunday on NBC’s’ “Meet the Press” to make excuses about why cases of COVID-19 in Michigan are soaring while they decline across most of the rest of the country.
“We’re now in a much different position,” Whitmer said. “On top of that, in the waning months, I have been sued by my Legislature. I have lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court. And I don’t have all of the exact same tools.”
The Michigan state government this week directed state residents as young as two years old to begin wearing masks in the hopes that doing so will help bring down the state’s coronavirus numbers.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release on Friday that the state will expand its COVID-19 response — what the state DHHS calls “the strongest public health order in the Midwest” — to apply its masking requirement “to children ages 2 to 4” in order to “further protect the state’s residents.”
As Michigan enters its sixth straight week of rising COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expanded the use of monoclonal antibody therapy to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for high-risk patients.
“We are using every mitigation strategy, every medication, and every treatment option to fight the virus here in Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These antibody treatments could keep you out of the hospital and save your life, and my administration and I will continue working with the federal government to make sure we are using all the tools in our toolbox to keep you and your family safe and get back to normal sooner.”