The Michigan Senate passed on Tuesday a new $2.3 billion supplemental funding bill for COVID-19 relief that also contains what Democrats referred to as a “political poison pill.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Head Start, adult education and young adult special education classroom teachers are now eligible to receive up to $500 grants under a new expansion of the MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 grant program.
Rick Haglund writes, “Lee Chatfield did more to advance the cause of diversity, inclusion and equity in Michigan workplaces in the past two weeks than he did in six years as a state lawmaker.”
Teacher Justine Galbraith writes, “Who are we to you? If we’re indeed essential, tasked with propping up our entire society: Pay us. Care about our health. Value our LIVES over a few months of your kid’s education. If we’re what we suspect – expendable, disposable – be ready for more of us to walk out the door. Many of us already have one foot out.”
In Michigan, the seven Democrats in the U.S. House voted for and all seven Republicans voted against President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package early Saturday, in a rush to both boost COVID-19 vaccine funding and get legislation to the president’s desk before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. The package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, passed 219-212.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), who has come out in favor of shutting down the Canadian Line 5 oil pipeline in the Mackinac Straits, has been selected to lead the Senate panel responsible for overseeing the pipeline’s federal regulators.
States struggling to provide enough COVID-19 vaccines are likely just a few days away from a pivotal development in the vaccination race: the availability of a shot that requires only one dose.
The governors of Michigan and Maryland, as well as the mayor of Denver, Colo., debated who gets to control who should oversee new federal transportation money — states or city governments — and how it should be used at a mostly cordial hearing Wednesday with members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
“Discrimination based on hairstyles has long served as a thinly-veiled excuse to discriminate based on race,” Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) said. “This form of prejudice is a real problem, one that countless men, women and children are forced to face every day.”
For decades, scientists have studied the effects that livestock farms with large animal concentrations in Iowa and other states have on regional water quality, as increasing amounts of waste flow into rivers and groundwater. Now activists and some lawmakers say emergency measures are needed to stop toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, and threats to drinking water in rural communities. In some states, lawmakers worry about the future of smaller family farms.
White House officials said Monday that thawing temperatures and a weekend of around-the-clock work has begun to clear a backlog of 6 million COVID-19 vaccines that were delayed due to last week’s devastating winter storms.
President Joe Biden and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Friday afternoon for a tour of the pharmaceutical company’s Portage facility — home to the first COVID-19 vaccine doses that were shipped in December.
Julianne Pastula, general counsel for Michigan’s new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC), said during a meeting Thursday that the current timeline for drawing new district lines is “an untenable situation.”
To better support the millions of Michiganders struggling to make ends meet, the state should expand apprenticeship opportunities for inmates while they are incarcerated, end asset tests for food assistance, and increase affordable housing for low-income families and people without housing, among a series of other initiatives, according to a newly released report from the Michigan Poverty Task Force.
A coalition of organizations is calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to increase its COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the 33,000 people incarcerated in state prisons.
The 2020 census had a challenging year with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now a delay in census data from the U.S. Census Bureau will likely throw a wrench in the plans of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC), which needs the data to draw new legislative and congressional districts.
The Kalamazoo City Commission voted unanimously Monday to withdraw from Southwest Michigan First’s “Council of 100” partnership, before City Commissioner Erin Knott passed a motion to also withdraw $10,000 in annual funding to the agency over former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield’s anti-LGBTQ views. Chatfield was recently named CEO of the Kalamazoo-based economic development agency.
General Motors Company, which has been at the forefront of advanced powertrain research, offers just one fully electric vehicle — the Chevy Bolt. No hydrogen-powered vehicles are on the near horizon. Nevertheless, GM pushed the bar higher last month, surprising the auto industry by saying it plans to sell only “zero-emission” light-duty vehicles by 2035. That’s just 14 years, or little more than two new product cycles away.