Michigan House Passes Bipartisan Budget, Including Historic Increases in Education Spending

Jason Wentworth

Although she thinks it’s only a “start,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer applauded the bipartisan budget passed Thursday night by the Michigan House of Representatives.

The House voted to pass the budget before the July 1 deadline, and includes the governor’s proposal to implement the largest increase in K-12 public school spending in the state’s history. Whitmer’s office claims the $16.7 billion in school expenditures will “close the gap between the lowest- and highest-funded school districts for the first time since the goal was introduced in 1994.”

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Michigan House Unanimously Expands FOIA to Include Governor and Legislature

The Michigan House unanimously passed a flurry of bipartisan bills seeking to reform the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by including the governor and legislature under the new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).

The House passed the package during “Sunshine Week,” which celebrates government transparency, and after reporters used FOIA to expose Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration gifting $253,000 in secret, taxpayer-funded  severance packages.

The bill package is virtually identical to bills introduced in the 2015-16, 2017-8, and the 2019-20 legislative session other than technical changes and effective dates.

Those packages all failed.

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Michigan House Approves over $4 Billion of COVID-19 Recovery, Sends to Gov. Whitmer

On Wednesday, the Michigan House passed over $4 billion of COVID-19 recovery spending that ties over $1 billion of the funding to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer relinquishing the pandemic powers she’s held for nearly a year.

Federal funding comprises about $3.4 billion of the funds.

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Legislative Oversight Committees Assume Subpoena Authority in Election Investigations

The Michigan House and Senate Oversight Committees are assuming authority to issue subpoenas, administer oaths and examine books and records related to the 2020 election.

The committees immediately proceeded to issue subpoenas to election clerks in Detroit and Livonia. Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey and Livonia Clerk Susan Nash have until the end of business on Jan. 12 to turn over documents pertaining to their respective elections.

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Senate Republicans Block ‘Gun-Grabber’ from Leading Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission

The Michigan Senate voted to reject Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointment of former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell to lead the Natural Resources Commission last week.

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Michigan Dems Want to Amend Sex Ed Curricula to Be ‘Inclusive of Same-Sex Relationships’ and ‘Gender Expression’

Michigan House Democrats have introduced a slate of bills to provide what they describe as “much-needed updates to the sexual education curriculum” taught in the state’s public schools.

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Michigan Bill Responds to Student Facing Up to 20 Years in Prison for Posting Picture of Gun Online

A bill making its way through the Michigan House seeks to tighten the state’s definition of terrorism after a Lake Superior State University student was charged for posting a picture of his AR-15 on Snapchat.

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Michigan Democrat Accuses Republican Colleague of Sexual Harassment

A Michigan Democrat filed a sexual harassment complaint Tuesday against State Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) just a week after he was accused of making “sexist” and “belittling” comments towards a female reporter.

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Michigan Bill to Make Public All Executive Branch Salaries Clears First Hurdle

  A Michigan bill that would require every executive branch department and division to post the salary and benefit information of their employees unanimously cleared its first hurdle Thursday. House Bill 5015 easily cleared the House Oversight Committee and is now on its way to the House Ways and Means…

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Effort to Recall Larry Inman Officially Over After Coming Up Short on Signatures

The Michigan Bureau of Elections announced Friday that a group seeking to recall Rep. Larry Inman (R-Grand Traverse County) from office did not submit enough valid signatures, officially ending the months-long effort.

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Michigan Bureau of Elections Rejected Inman Recall Petition Because of Typo, Group Plans Appeal

A group seeking to recall Michigan Rep. Larry Inman (R-Grand Traverse County) plans to take its case to the Michigan Court of Appeals after the state’s Bureau of Elections rejected the group’s recall petition because it contained a typo.

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Michigan Lawmaker Calls on National Park Service to Establish Moose Hunt on Isle Royale

Michigan State Rep. Steve Johnson (R-72) recently introduced a resolution calling on the National Park Service to establish a moose tag lottery hunt on Isle Royale National Park in an effort to help control the island’s exploding moose population.

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New Texts Describing Sale of Votes in Michigan House Back Up Bribery Claims in Inman Case

New texts have been revealed in the case of Michigan State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City), who was indicted earlier in May on charges of extortion, bribery and lying to a federal agent. The texts back up claims that Inman had attempted to sell his vote.

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