Associated Press


The Michigan Senate has approved a $5 million state loan to help repair a sinkhole in suburban Detroit and has voted to allot $100 million in federal funding to address Flint's water crisis.
     The mid-year budget bill cleared the Republican-controlled chamber 36-1 Wednesday. The House authorized a $3 million infrastructure grant for Macomb County to make sinkhole repairs. But Senate Republicans instead backed a $5 million interest-free loan, saying it's up to local governments to maintain their infrastructure. Democrats and some Republicans opposed the switch.

Federal authorities intend to search the government-provided storage area of a Michigan lawmaker whose home and office were searched this week as part of an FBI and state police investigation.
     Senate spokeswoman Amber McCann said Wednesday the chamber's lawyer received a letter of intent that law enforcement officials plan to search the storage of Sen. Bert Johnson, a Democrat from Highland Park. Senators each have designated space in a building near the Capitol where they can keep records, boxes and other materials.

Federal scientists have made a potentially important discovery about the invasive sea lamprey, a longtime enemy of Great Lakes fish.
     Experiments show the rate at which lampreys grow from larvae to adults may help determine whether they'll be male or female.
     Scientists say lampreys appear to grow more slowly in waterways with poor food supplies. Lampreys spawned there are more likely to be males than those spawned in environments with plentiful food, where they grow faster.

Michigan senators have voted to more quickly phase in a tax break for people who trade in their car for a new one.

A 2013 law lets buyers subtract some of the value of their trade-in from the purchase price of a new vehicle for tax purposes. The change is being phased in until 2039.

The Republican-controlled Senate unanimously approved legislation Wednesday to accelerate the phase-in of the tax cut 10 years sooner, by 2029.

Supporters say the law helped boost auto sales and buyers deserve a bigger tax break earlier.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young plans to retire and return to his former law firm.

A statement from the court says Young announced his plans Wednesday during a meeting with fellow Michigan Supreme Court justices.

He says his retirement from the court will be effective April 30 or earlier. He's going back to the Dickinson Wright firm.

Young served three years on the Michigan Court of Appeals and 18 years on Michigan's highest court, including six years as chief justice.

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Michigan would provide tax incentives for large-scale business expansions under legislation up for a vote in the Senate.

The state has moved away from such tax breaks under Gov. Rick Snyder's watch in favor of a smaller pot of grants and loans. But the Republican-led Senate plans to approve new incentives Wednesday because economic development officials say Michigan is losing business to states with generous incentives.

The bills would authorize Michigan to let companies keep part of their employees' income tax withholdings.

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A new Michigan law requires doctors or hospitals to report deaths of women during pregnancy or within one year of pregnancy.

The requirement starts April 6. The state has been collecting information on maternal deaths for years, but reporting was voluntary.

The goal is to understand the factors associated with the deaths in an effort to prevent more of them.

The state health department says as many as 100 Michigan women a year die during pregnancy or within a year of pregnancy.

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Two groups established by Gov. Rick Snyder have produced a list of suggestions for stepping up solid waste recycling in Michigan.

The proposals are in reports issued by the Governor's Recycling Council and the Solid Waste and Sustainability Advisory Panel.

Only about 15 percent of Michigan's solid waste is recycled, a rate far below the national average.

The Michigan Public Service Commission has directed DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to file reports on their responses to power outages from a March 8 windstorm.
     Chair Sally Talberg says the commission wants to understand more of the lessons learned by Michigan utilities and their efforts to restore electric service.
     The storm knocked out power to more than 1.1 million homes and businesses. Some customers didn't get their electricity restored until days later.
     The reports are due May 15.

A federal judge has approved a deal to replace water lines at 18,000 homes in Flint, Michigan, marking a long-term fix to overcome the disastrous discovery of high lead levels in the city's water system.
     Under the deal approved Tuesday, Flint will be responsible for replacing lead and galvanized-steel lines that bring water into homes.
     The cost could be as high as $97 million with federal and state governments roughly splitting the bill. Pipes at more than 700 homes have been replaced so far.