Michigan State Senators Introduce Bill to Create Exemptions to College Vaccine Mandates

State Senators Kim LaSata (R-MI-Coloma) and Jim Runestad (R-MI-White Lake) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would allow students in Michigan’s colleges and universities the right to opt out of vaccine mandates imposed by those institutions.

The bill would create a range of medical and non-medical exceptions to requirements for students at any higher-education institution in Michigan to get any kind of vaccine.

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Michigan Senate Approves Petition to Revoke Whitmer’s Pandemic Powers

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

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.

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Michigan Senate Report Concludes Mailing of Unsolicited Ballot Applications Poses Risk of Fraud

Republican lawmakers in Michigan released a report Wednesday concluding there was no widespread fraud in the state’s November election, debunking many speculations, but they pointedly warned that the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications creates “a clear vulnerability for fraud that may be undetected.”

“The serious, potential outcomes of these vulnerabilities versus the minor effort to request an application make a strong and compelling necessity to not provide such applications without a request from a voter – as was standard practice until this past year,” the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee concluded. “Therefore, the committee recommends the Michigan secretary of state discontinue the practice of mailing out unsolicited applications.”

The committee also recommended that the state strengthen voter ID requirements, not weaken them like Democrats in Congress have proposed, as the practice of absentee or not-in-person voting grows.

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Michigan Senate Passes $4.38 Billion Federally Funded School Aid Fund Bill

The Michigan State Senate passed a School Aid Funding supplemental appropriations bill.

The entire $4.38 billion sum approved by the Senate on Tuesday afternoon is derived from federal funding, which includes $700 million of COVID-19 relief money approved last year during the administration of Donald Trump and another $3.66 billion from the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in March.

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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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Michigan Senate Passes Bill Aiming to Limit Epidemic Orders to 28 Days Without Additional Approval

The Michigan Senate on Thursday night approved a bill 22-16 along party lines that aims to limit the state health department’s epidemic order power.

SB 1253, if signed into law, would amend the Public Health Code so Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon’s epidemic orders would be only valid for up to 28 days unless both houses of the Legislature approves Gordon’ extension request.

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Michigan Senate Approves Tax Breaks in the Face of a Looming Budget Deficit

The GOP-led Michigan Senate passed bills that, if passed, will reduce government revenue in a year when the state will soon be strapped for cash.

Currently, the state is facing a projected deficit between $170 million and $1.17 billion for fiscal year 2022.

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Senate Approves Measure to Protect Electronic Data from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

 The Michigan Senate unanimously approved a measure that aims to require a warrant for search and seizure of electronic documents.

The federal and state Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure of people’s “houses, papers, and effects” without a warrant, but Senate Joint Resolution G clarifies that electronic data and communication fall under those protected items.

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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 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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Senate Majority Leader Says Gov. Whitmer Is ‘On the Bat S–t Crazy Spectrum’

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) recently told a group of College Republicans that his Democratic colleagues are “on the bat s–t crazy spectrum.”

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Michigan Democrats Introduce Bills to Provide Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

Michigan Democrats called a press conference Thursday to introduce their Drive SAFE legislation, a pair of bills that would provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in the state.

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Michigan Democrats Introduce Bills to Provide Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

Michigan Democrats called a press conference Thursday to introduce their Drive SAFE legislation, a pair of bills that would provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in the state.

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‘Raise the Age’ Bill Passes Michigan Senate Committee

A bill that would place 17-year-olds in the juvenile justice system instead of the adult criminal court system, barring heinous crimes, passed the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on Thursday. The Raise the Age bill is sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

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