With only 18 days left to finalize the rest of the state budget before the new Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 begins, leaders tell the Advance they’re confident there will be a negotiated budget in time to avoid a government shutdown — but there is some concern about higher education funding due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
A new study shows the State of Michigan had 29 armed demonstrations in the last 18 months, ranking fifth in the nation. The report was released Tuesday by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). According to Roudabeh Kishi, ACLED’s director of research and innovation, over 3% of Michigan’s protests are armed, 1% above the national average, which is 2%.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Tuesday for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties to address the impacts of severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds on August 11 and 12.
As the Taliban continues to gain control of Afghanistan after the U.S.-supported Afghanistan government and military crumbled, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday that the state is prepared to welcome Afghan citizens fleeing their home.
In just over 17 months COVID-19 has infected 922,687 Michiganders in total. The state hit the grim milestone of 20,000 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, with the state reporting Monday that 20,030 total residents have now died.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 916,006 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19,982 have died from the virus — an additional 2,786 cases and 24 deaths since Monday.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that more than $2 million in grants have been awarded as part of the MI Clean Water plan for 15 Michigan cities, villages, and townships across the state, including the City of Three Rivers.
David Hecker writes, “Under (the School Aid budget bill), foundation allowance funding for public schools across the state will be equal, meaning nearly every district will receive the same dollar amount per student. This is a positive change that will benefit students and educators — but, as (Gov. Gretchen) Whitmer herself acknowledges, it’s not enough.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans in Detroit on Tuesday to make a significant investment in affordable housing that addresses the health, safety and well-being of Michigan residents. 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.
Rick Haglund writes, “[…] At a time when most new jobs paying a living wage require a certificate or degree beyond high school, Michigan is falling far short of needed support for higher education. The result is a state economy that lacks enough skilled and highly educated workers needed to attract technology and other knowledge-based employers.”
Michigan is now one of many states experiencing a rise in COVID-19 rates, according to the New York Times tracker. Over the past 14 days, all but two states (South Dakota and Iowa) have experienced some percentage increase in new cases. Forty-one of those — including Michigan, with a 33% increase — are seeing an increase of 30% or higher.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on Tuesday for the expansion of the Futures for Frontliners The program is inspired by the federal G.I. Bill that provided college degrees to those serving their country in World War II. Launched in 2020, it offers eligible Michigan adults without college degrees or high school diplomas who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers.
The Michigan House passed a bill Thursday that would eliminate the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits for Michigan residents.
Through a unanimous vote Tuesday, the state Senate passed more than $4 billion in federal COVID-19 relief aid to Michigan’s K-12 schools.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Monday requiring the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to take action to prohibit the use of state and federal dollars for the practice of conversion therapy on minors.
Speaking from the Straits State Park in St. Ignace on Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her plan to put $250 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars toward “critical investments” in Michigan’s state parks and trails to increase recreation and tourism.
Police would be required to intervene if they see that excessive force is about to be used and schools would be prohibited from including the “1619 Project” in their curriculum under bills recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature. Those are just two of the bills members of the House and Senate introduced in May on topics ranging from police reforms to schools to guns.
Dozens of bills aimed at boosting ethics, transparency and financial disclosure laws have been introduced in the Legislature this year from both parties, with lawmakers making the case that their respective bills would give Michiganders the most access to state government.