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Poll shows Michigan voters unhappy with factors auto insurers use for determining premiums

Michigan voters polled are none to happy about the factors auto insurance companies use for setting premiums. Lansing-based EPIC-MRA conducted a survey on behalf of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. It wanted to know what voters thought about auto insurers using education level, marital status, employment and credit scores as determining factors. For starters, 81 percent, an overwhelming majority believe they’re paying too much for auto insurance. When it comes to how premiums...

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Straits of Mackinac
Gregory Varnum via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan’s energy chief says damage to the protective coating on an oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac was worse than initially reported.

Valerie Brater directs the Michigan Agency for Energy. She says Enbridge Energy initially reported small sections of Line Five’s protective coating were accidentally worn off down to the metal while underwater safety anchors were being installed.

Brater says the places where metal is showing are much larger than Enbridge said they were, and she says company was too slow to repair the damage.

Michigan won’t limit how much money corporations and unions can spend to influence elections in the state – under legislation that’s cleared the state senate.

In 2010 the US Supreme Court said corporations and unions could spend as much money as they wanted on political campaigns. Seven years later, Michigan lawmakers are putting that standard into state law.

Arlan Meekhof is the Senate Majority Leader. He voted in favor of the bills, “Because everybody should have free speech and the Supreme Court has said that free speech equals money in what you give.”

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Lawmakers in Lansing are gearing up for a showdown over Michigan’s auto no-fault law. A group of Republicans and Democrats in the state House announced changes they plan to introduce.

They said their plan would make car insurance more affordable without limiting coverage.

The bipartisan group plans to introduce legislation that would, among other things, bar insurers from using factors like gender and zip code to set rates.

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is likely to leave the race to instead run for a suburban Detroit House district opening up due to a congressman's retirement. Lena Epstein told The Associated Press in a statement Thursday she is "leaning toward" seeking the 11th Congressional District held by Republican Dave Trott.

A formal announcement is expected in the next few days.

Trott announced this week he will not for re-election.

A Republican businessman who says he turned around factories scheduled for closure is taking a "serious look" at running for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

Sandy Pensler of Grosse Pointe said Wednesday he'll form an exploratory committee for the seat held by third-term Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who's seeking re-election in 2018.

Pensler owns a buyout firm and Korex Companies, which manufactures dishwasher detergent and other products.

The 60-year-old Pensler criticizes Stabenow's vision and says the country's at a "tipping point."

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Once a smoker always a smoker, right? Not quite.

As the number of smokers drops, the remaining smokers actually smoke less and are more likely to quit, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Tobacco Control.

Since entering the race for president, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has been on the rise against Hillary Clinton, staking out a position as a liberal alternative to the Democratic front-runner.

The U.S. House voted 236-138 Thursday to tie a bow on President Obama's package of trade-related legislation — giving him final approval on everything he wanted.

The Senate already had signed off on all of it, granting: 1) enhanced trade negotiation powers to the president, 2) aid for displaced workers and 3) trade incentives for sub-Saharan Africa.

Thursday's vote marked a stunning victory for Obama by clearing his path to completing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal involving the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations.

The Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Obama administration means 6.4 million people won't lose subsidies that helped them afford health insurance.

But the historic ruling in King v. Burwell may be far from the last word on health overhaul.

Bills to advance or cripple the law in statehouses didn't come to a halt in the months that lawmakers awaited the Supreme Court decision. They may well smolder for months or years.

We are reporting today on the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to uphold the nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act. The court's majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by the court's liberal justices, as well as Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The Majority's Rationale

Civil rights groups won a victory Thursday, as the Supreme Court ruled that claims of racial discrimination in housing cases shouldn't be limited by questions of intent.

The court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision in a case in which a nonprofit group, the Inclusive Communities Project, said that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs had contributed to "segregated housing patterns by allocating too many tax credits to housing in predominantly black inner-city areas and too few in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Following the Supreme Court health care ruling to uphold subsidies nationwide, President Obama said Thursday that the Affordable Care Act is "here to stay."

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

President Obama, commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today to uphold a key provision of his signature health care law, said after numerous challenges, the Affordable Care Act has been "woven into the fabric of America" and "is here to stay."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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