Cheyna Roth

Another tax incentive for Michigan businesses passed the state Senate today  and is on its way to the House.

   Tax cuts, be they for businesses or individuals, have been a hot topic in Lansing all session. The latest would let big businesses keep a portion of their employees’ income tax. So, some of the tax you would normally pay to the government would instead go to your employer.

Republican Senator Jim Stamas  is a bill sponsor. He says the legislation will provide more jobs and help Michigan citizens.

Michigan State University’s football coach is defending his program in the wake of sexual assault allegations. Today is the first time coach Mark Dantonio  spoke publicly about the alleged assault.

Three unidentified players were suspended in early February after a sexual assault investigation came to light.

Dantonio would not comment about the investigation itself. He also didn’t want to talk football.

A Michigan state Senator is involved in a police investigation.

The FBI and Michigan State Police executed search warrants on the Lansing office and Highland Park home of Democratic Senator Bert Johnson.

Investigators did not give any details about the nature of the investigation. An unidentified man who was with the team of investigators leaving the Senate building said -

“We had investigative activity here in the Senate, but that’s all I’m going to say.”

Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed administrative rule change to lead and copper regulations in the state is getting some pushback from Republican leaders.

Governor Snyder wants to lower the limit of lead and copper allowed in Michigan drinking water from 15 parts per billion to 10.

Senate and House leaders have expressed concerns with the rule changes. They think it might have a negative impact on local governments and that changing standards won’t actually help the state.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Lansing are trying to increase transparency in police hiring. A bill cleared the Senate today dealing with personnel records.

Right now human resource units in police departments are reluctant to tell other departments anything about a former officer besides their name and when they worked for them out of fear of litigation if the officer doesn’t get the job.

Senator Jones says the legislation is meant to prevent bad officers from hopping from department to department.

Hundreds of nurses rallied at the state Capitol today. They wanted to urge lawmakers to pass legislation they say would fix understaffing at hospitals.

The nurses are making their presence known before legislation is even introduced.

   Democrats Senator Rebekah Warren and Representative Jon Hoadley  are currently working on a Safe Patient Care Act – though a similar version failed to pass last session.

Alicia Flores has been a nurse for 9 years. She says this type of regulation increases patient care.


A controversial item in the current budget is the focus of a lawsuit filed today (Tues).

When the budget was approved last October, the state allocated 2.5 million dollars to reimburse private schools for state requirements like fire drills, background checks, and keeping inhalers in the buildings.

The lawsuit – filed by numerous public school advocates against the state and Governor Rick Snyder - says that is unconstitutional and asks for a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from giving out any funds until the court completes a full review of the case.


Doctors, parents and public health experts gathered in Lansing with one simple message – vaccinate your children.

Monday marked the launch of the “I Vaccinate” campaign. It’s a multi-media advertising and educational campaign aimed at raising the state’s immunization rate.

Michigan is currently ranked 43rd in the nation for immunization rates among children 19 to 35 months.


Transparency in state government was up for a vote Thursday in Lansing.

The state House approved a package of bills that would open up the governor’s office and the legislature to freedom of information requests.

Democratic Representative Jeremy Moss has been working on FOIA reform since last year. Moss says the vote shows their citizens want more transparency – and the Senate should approve them.

House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation they say will make Michigan a model for transparency and accountability – instead of at the bottom where it currently ranks in those areas. 

It’s Sunshine Week – a time of year when issues of transparency and open government are put front and center.

Legislation in Lansing would, among other things, require elected state officials to disclose their personal finances and require presidential candidates to release their most recent tax returns to get on the state ballot.

Representative David LaGrand is a bill sponsor.