Michigan Charter School Advocates Prepare for Anticipated Democratic Cuts

Election of Democratic majorities in the Michigan House and Senate is a warning shot for the state’s public charter schools.

The incoming bicameral majorities and reelected Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have already signaled antipathy toward public charter schools. Drawing much of the Democrats’ ire are for-profit education management organizations operating 42% of public charter schools in Detroit alone as of 2021.

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Incoming Michigan Democratic Leadership Mostly Mum on Line 5

Lansing’s crop of newly elected and reelected officials is mostly mum on the fate of Line 5, or more specifically, the five-mile dual pipeline spanning the lakebed of the Straits of Mackinac.

The 2022 midterm election delivered majorities for Michigan Democrats in the state House and Senate, and the governor’s office – a trifecta for the first time in 40 years. State public policies and litigations could be significantly impacted by both chambers and the reelection of two key Democrats, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel.

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Advocate Warns About Consequences of Repealing Michigan’s Right-to-Work Law

Advocates for the right-to-work law in Michigan warn that repealing the law that has been in effect since 2013 would hurt the state economy.

For the first time since 1984, Democrats hold a trifecta in the Michigan state legislature with control of the House and Senate and the governor’s office. Democrats have talked about repealing the right-to-work law since it was passed in 2012.

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Google Agrees to Nearly $400 Million Settlement with 40 States over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

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New Legislative Majorities Likely Put Target on Back of Right-to-Work

With control of the state legislature and Governor’s office for the first time since 1983, the Democrats will likely try to repeal the state’s right-to-work law, the signature accomplishment of Michigan’s Republican party.

In January 2019, the Michigan House Dems introduced two bills to repeal the right-to-work law. If a current effort is successful, it would only impact union members in the private sector. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 in the Janus decision that public sector unions can’t require non-members to pay agency fees. The Supreme Court ruled the Constitution prohibits it.

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Michigan Among Five States Whose Voters Defended Abortion Measures

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that returned the question of abortion limits back to the states, unofficial election results in five states show voters opted to codify abortion as a constitutional right, defend expanded access to abortion, and deny lifesaving care to infants born alive despite an abortion attempt.

More than 133,000 Vermont voters – about 72 percent – appear to have supported a ballot measure that made the state the first to enshrine abortion in its constitution. Nearly 42,000 voters, or about 22 percent, voted against the measure, while 9,000, or about 5 percent, left the ballot question blank, The Hill reported.

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Republican John James Wins House Seat in Michigan’s Newly Created 10th Congressional District

Republican businessman John James has won the race for Michigan’s newly created 10th Congressional District seat, narrowly defeating Democrat former judge and prosecutor Carl Marlinga in the hotly contested election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, James had 49 percent of the vote to Marlinga’s 48 percent, according to Click on Detroit.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Defeats GOP Challenger Tudor Dixon

Republican challenger Tudor Dixon fell short Tuesday night as Democrat Gretchen Whitmer won a second four-year term as governor.  

With 68% of the vote counted, Whitmer was leading with 51.7% to 46.6% for Dixon, The Associated Press reported. Fox News, among others, called the race for Whitmer.

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Michigan Students’ Scores Fall in Nation’s Report Card

The grades reported on Michigan’s 2022 education report card have fallen considerably since the last time the tests were administered in 2019.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress ranked Michigan’s fourth-grade reading scores at 43rd in the nation, a significant drop from the state’s 32nd ranking in 2019. The state’s eighth graders ranking dropped to 31st in the nation from its 28th berth in 2019.

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Michigan’s Democratic Governor Is Rapidly Losing Ground to Her GOP Opponent: Poll

Republican candidate Tudor Dixon is now polling within one percentage point of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan in the state’s gubernatorial race, per a new poll.

Dixon received 47.9% support while Whitmer received 48.4%, a difference of 0.5%, according to a poll from The Trafalgar Group. The small margin between them is a marked difference from earlier in the year when, in August, Whitmer was ahead by up to 15%, according to RealClearPolitics.

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Michigan Agrees to Spend $20 Million to Settle False Unemployment Fraud Cases

Part of the many woes plaguing Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency since before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic may be resolved but may cost state taxpayers $20 million.

The Michigan attorney general’s office announced Thursday the state has reached a tentative $20 million settlement to resolve a class-action suit against the UIA that claimed the agency falsely accused unemployment recipients of fraud and seized private property without due process.

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Michigan Bill Would Classify Gender Transitions as First-Degree Child Abuse

Michigan legislators are considering a bill that would classify gender transitions for minors as first-degree child abuse.

The bill, introduced Tuesday, would classify knowingly consenting to or assisting in a gender transition procedure for a minor as first-degree child abuse punishable by life in prison. Several Republican-led states have pushed to restrict transgender-related procedures for children, which can include therapy reinforcing a minor’s transgender identity, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries.

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Michigan Governor, Health Department Silent on $50 Million Request, Abortion

A request for $50 million in Michigan taxpayer funding of family planning services is as notable for what it does not say as what it does.

Abortion services were not included by name, and an emailed request for clarification from The Center Square to those making the announcement – Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel – was unsuccessful.

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Michigan Parents of Different Faiths Organize to Protect Children from Radical Left Ideology in Government Schools

More than 800 parents, including Christians, Muslims, and Jews, organized in Dearborn, Michigan, to fight back against the radical left’s sexualization of their children in government schools.

The parents’ goal is “simple,” reported Patty McMurray at 100PERCENTFedUP.com, a conservative site run by moms McMurray and Leisa Audette.

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Motion Filed to Defend Michigan’s 1931 Law Criminalizing Abortion

Motions were filed Monday in the Michigan Court of Appeals to allow abortion opponents to intervene as appellants in the legal battle enforcing the state’s 1931 law outlawing abortion.

The Alliance for Defending Freedom, a Texas-based legal group representing Michigan Right to Life and the Michigan Catholic Conference, asked the court to allow it to defend the 1931 law in the ongoing Planned Parenthood of Michigan v. Attorney General of the State of Michigan.

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Hispanic Interest Growing for Michigan’s Schools of Choice

Hispanic parents nationally are increasingly investigating alternatives to traditional public schools, according to a survey released this week by Conoce tus Opciones Escolares.

COE reported 59% of Hispanic parents surveyed responded they were considering other education options for at least one child from each family, whereas 52% of all parents – Hispanic and otherwise – responded likewise.

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Michigan House OKs Package to Limit Emergency Power Laws

The Michigan House approved more than 20 bills aiming to limit the governor’s emergency powers.

The Center Square reported about the bill package in June, more than two years after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer triggered a 1945 law that she said authorized her to declare a state of emergency for as long as she thought necessary.

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Seven Midwest States Enter Hydrogen Coalition

Seven Midwest states entered a coalition to pursue clean hydrogen development as an alternative to gas and diesel fuel.

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin signed onto the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition. The coalition will accelerate clean hydrogen development, from production and supply chain to distribution in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

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Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Department Issues Order Against Flint Chemical Company

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy with backup authority from the attorney general’s office and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, issued an order Monday against Flint-based Lockhart Chemical Company.

The company must immediately cease use of its wastewater and storm water conveyance systems. Instead, Lockhart must pump the contaminated liquids and ship offsite for disposal.

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Michigan Snags $105 Million to Update I-375 to Boulevard

Michigan won a $105 million federal grant to replace the I-375 freeway in Detroit with an accessible boulevard. Work is expected to start in 2025.

Almost 60 years ago, government officials approved a plan that bulldozed through the mostly minority-populated neighborhoods Black Bottom and Paradise Valley in order to build I-375, displacing more than 130,000 people. The new project will replace it with a boulevard to reconnect the split communities.

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Pending Federal Grant Approval May Determine Whether Michigan Nuclear Plant Reopens

Taxpayers are being asked to fund the reopening of the Palisades nuclear plant in Southwest Michigan through a federal grant.

When it was still in operation, Palisades provided more than 800 megawatts of of carbon-free power and employed 600 people. The plant’s former owner closed the plant on May 20 after the plant’s fuel supply ran out and the power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy expired.

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Michigan Taxpayers Footing $27 Million for Hemlock Semiconductor Expansion

semiconductor

Michigan taxpayers are footing $27 million for a Hemlock Semiconductor Operations project that the company says will create 170 jobs at its Saginaw County headquarters.

The company says it is spending $375 million on a new project to meet the increasing global demand for hyper-pure polysilicon in the semiconductor and solar industries.

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Michigan Can Vote on Whether to Make Abortion a Constitutional Right, Court Rules

The Michigan State Supreme Court Thursday ordered a proposed amendment enshrining abortion as state constitutional right to be certified for voters’ November ballots.

With a 5-2 majority, the court said a petition to place the proposed amendment on ballots had undisputedly received enough signatures, deciding that the amendment’s words were spaced properly for certification. In July, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan (PPAM) said over 753,000 signatures were collected by Reproductive Freedom for All campaign supporters, MLive reported.

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Gov. Whitmer Frees Up Gas Supply in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken measures to mitigate the temporary shutdown of BP’s Whiting, Indiana, oil refinery due to a fire that is expected to impact Michigan. 

According to a news release from the governor’s office, Whitmer is hoping to secure fuel supplies for motorists by suspending guidelines on motor vehicle hours-of-service rules. 

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Christian Group Sues Michigan Attorney General over Civil Rights Interpretation

A Christian health care group says that Michigan’s recently reinterpreted civil rights law relating to sexual orientation and gender identity violates its constitutional right to religion.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Christian Healthcare Centers, a Michigan faith-based medical nonprofit, sued Attorney General Dana Nessel, who’s responsible for enforcing Michigan’s civil rights law. In June, state courts reinterpreted state law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Says Skilled Workers Are ‘Powering Our Economic Growth’

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will award over $2.8 million to the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) in hopes of honing skills of prospective employees.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) made the announcement Aug. 19, according to a press release from her office.

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Michigan’s K-12 Education Enrollment Fell 25 Percent Between 2002 and 2020

Michigan’s K-12 education spending, per pupil and adjusted for inflation, increased by 10% between 2002 and 2020 because the state lost 25% of enrolled students, according to a new report.

The nonprofit Reason Foundation’s 2022 K-12 Education Spending Spotlight includes real and nominal U.S. Census Bureau data for all 50 states dating from 2002 through fiscal year 2020, the most recent available.

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Michigan Voters to Decide on Longer Term Limits for Lawmakers

Michigan voters in November will decide whether state legislators will have a shot at longer terms in office.

Proposal One, the Michigan Legislative Term Limits and Financial Disclosure Amendment, was approved by the Michigan legislature for inclusion on the Nov. 8 ballot. If voters approve, term limits for state legislators would expand to 12 combined years in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

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Poll: Whitmer Leads Dixon 51 Percent to 46 Percent Among Likely Voters

A new poll shows the Michigan governor’s race is close between incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon less than three months before the 2022 election.

AARP Michigan released a 2022 election survey that shows Whitmer leading Dixon 51% to 46% among all likely voters, with a similar split (50/46) among voters ages 50+.

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Michigan Schools, Colleges Have Only Spent 44 Percent of Federal COVID Aid

More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michigan K-12 schools and higher education institutions have only spent 44% of $7.92 billion of federal relief to combat learning loss.

The United States Department of Education says Michigan schools and colleges have spent $3.49 billion from the Education Stability Fund to combat learning loss for some of the 1.4 million students enrolled in local education agencies and more than 691,000 students in Higher Education.

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Commentary: The Real Job Crisis in Michigan

The real crisis in the U.S. labor market is not, as we keep hearing, that there are not enough people who can work. The real crisis is all the working-age people on the sidelines, not even looking for a job. Yes, the unemployment rate is low, but that statistic covers only those who have looked for a job in the last four weeks. The labor-force participation rate, which measures the share of working-age people working or at least looking for work, shows a long-term decline, especially for men without a college degree, and practically in states like Michigan. When able-bodied men are not even looking for work, a host of social problems ensue — from crime, to drug addiction, to family breakdown. 

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Michigan School Choice Initiative Clears Signature Hurdle for November Ballot

Let MI Kids Learn filed more than 520,000 signatures with the Michigan Bureau of Elections to put an education choice initiative on this November’s general election ballot.

If the ballot initiative is approved by voters, the Michigan legislature can approve the initiative immediately. Previously, both the state House and Senate passed the bill similar to what 21 states have as law, but Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declined to sign it.

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After Record Funding, Michigan Schools Seek More Money

Despite boasts of record state school spending amid declining school populations, many of Michigan’s local ballots next week will feature school sinking funds, millage renewals, or millage increases.

Michigan’s more than 850 school districts received about $6 billion of federal COVID funds, but in many cases, it’s unclear how the districts spent or plan to spend the money.

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Feds Approve Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Plan to Suspend Another 400,000 Overpayment Collections

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency was granted U.S. Department of Labor approval to halt 391,769 state tax return intercepts and new wage garnishments for ineligible unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Shrugs Off Additional $55.6 Million in Unemployment Overpayments

Unemployment line

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency announced on Thursday it will forgive an additional $55.6 million in overpayments.

This round of waivers pertains to nearly 7,300 jobless claims the agency erroneously issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as $2.4 million of refunds for claimants paying back benefits or applied toward overpayments.

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‘Vindictive’: Michigan GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Launches Unconventional Line of Attack to Unseat Gov. Whitmer

Michigan GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Tudor Dixon attacked Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as “vindictive” and unresponsive during an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Dixon, who leads the pack of Republicans running for governor, is a conservative media personality, manufacturing businesswoman and mother. Dixon told the DCNF that Whitmer has not listened to the needs of the people.

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Michigan Fish Hatcheries Get New Ship, $34 Million for Repairs

Michigan fish hatcheries will receive $34 million in the 2023 budget for infrastructure repairs and replacement of a 54-year-old survey vessel.

“Michigan’s fish and aquatic habitats are among our state’s greatest natural, recreational and economic assets, and we must continue working together to protect them for future generations,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Together with the historic, $450 million investments in our parks and public lands under the Building Michigan Together Plan I signed earlier this year, our bipartisan budget represents a once-in-a-generation investment that will help us continue safeguarding our most precious natural resources.”

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Line 5 Expected to Emerge as Major Michigan Campaign Issue

Republican gubernatorial candidates support Line 5 as it exists and champion the proposed $500 million tunnel to house the pipeline 100-feet beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Their Democrat opponent, incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, has been attempting to shut down the pipeline as well as prevent construction of the five-mile conduit, which would be buried beneath the lakebed of the Straits.

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Michigan AG Nessel Among 20 State Attorneys General Supporting National Gun Control Rule

A coalition of 20 state attorneys general, all Democrats, are backing a federal gun rule in court.

The Final Rule, as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives named it, would enable law enforcement officials to trace any homemade guns used in crimes. In addition, the rule limits trafficking the weaponry.

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Confusion Clouds Michigan Abortion Legality as County Prosecutors Clash

Whether a Michigander woman can get an abortion without being criminally charged under a 1931 law might depend on the county prosecutor.

Confusion now abounds, which is why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer again urged the Michigan Supreme Court to hear her lawsuit to strike the 1931 law triggered by the United States Supreme Court overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

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Nearly 38,000 Michigan Child Care Professionals Receive $500, $1,000 Bonuses

Nearly 38,000 Michigan child care professionals will receive a $500 or a $1,000 bonus as part of a bipartisan budget plan.

About $368 million in grants will fund more than 5,500 childcare programs through the second round of the Child Care Stabilization Grant for business, providing $1,000 bonuses for full-time staff and $500 to part-time staff.

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Michigan to Get $14.5 Million for Pharmaceutical Settlement

Michigan will receive $14.45 million from a federal pharmaceutical fraud settlement.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 49 other states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the federal government to settle a lawsuit for $233.7 million, plus interest, to be paid over seven years by Mallinckrodt ARD, LLC.

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Michigan Paying Two Private Companies $298,000 for Business Expansion

The state of Michigan will spend nearly $300,000 subsidizing two private companies in Cadillac and Fenton, claiming the subsidies will create a $7.3 million investment and create 68 jobs.

“Today’s investments by American Recreational Products and Rexair will create a combined 68 good-paying jobs for Michiganders as we continue growing Michigan’s economy and investing in every region of the state,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. 

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Report: Michigan Might Spend $135 Million on Ford Subsidy

The state of Michigan could invest up to $135 million in new auto and electric vehicle (EV) plants for Ford Motor Company.

The news follows Stellantis NV choosing Kokomo, Ind., as the site for a $2.5 billion EV battery manufacturing plant that could employ 1,400 people, passing over locations around the Motor City.

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Governor Announces Another $9.1 Million Round of Grants for Michigan Businesses

Approximately $9.1 million in taxpayer-funded grants for business projects in Michigan expected to create 420 jobs are in three business expansions and a new semiconductor apprenticeship program.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced the economic development, saying it would “build on our leadership in key industries, and support vibrant communities across Michigan.”

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