Cheyna Roth

Another governor has found his place on the walls of the Michigan State Capitol.

Governor Charles Croswell held the office for only a few years from 1877 to 1880. But he was a lawmaker for many years before that.

   Now his portrait will finally grace the walls of the state Capitol.

Joshua Risner  painted the portrait and made the frame. Risner says he only had a black and white drawing for reference. So he spoke to relatives of Croswell to figure out things like eye color and skin tone.

“It take a lot of – I feel like it takes years off my life sometimes.”

handgun
Ken Lunde via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Concealed pistol permit holders would be able to carry guns in more places. That’s under legislation that cleared a Senate committee Tuesday. Right now guns are banned in places like schools and hospitals. This legislation would change that.

Opponents say there’s no need to open up the gun laws like this – that it makes those areas less safe. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is a bill sponsor. He says a majority of mass shootings take place in gun free zones.

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The saga of a former Olympics doctor accused of sexually assaulting multiple young girls continued today.

Both sides got some things they wanted before trial starts in December.

   The judge decided that the trial date should start on time. And the case will stay in Ingham County. The defense had sought a delay and a venue change.

But the judge also dealt a blow to the prosecution.

   Judge Rosemarie Aquilina says the fact that Nassar pleaded guilty to child porn possession cannot be brought up at trial.

mi.gov

The state has put resources toward fighting a hepatitis A outbreak.

   The Lieutenant Governor has activated emergency centers.

The outbreak has been mainly in southeast Michigan. But health officials say cases are popping up in other areas like Ingham County.

The centers will work with local health officials to help them prevent and investigate cases of hepatitis A.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says the problem isn’t limited to Michigan.

Some state lawmakers want more skilled trade and technical education in Michigan schools.

   But schools aren’t on board yet.

School administrators are overall positive about bringing more skilled trades education into their classrooms. They like the variety it gives students.

   Peter Spadafore is with the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

“This, I see, as an opportunity to have a thoughtful policy discussion and actually craft some legislation that could really change some lives.”

Democrats in Lansing want to make sure employees get to keep all of their earnings.

Leaders in the state House and Senate announced legislation to combat what they call wage theft today.

Wage theft is what happens when an employer finds way to keep money you earned on the job. Like not giving you all your tips or making you work off the clock.

The legislation would do several things – including increase the penalty for employers who retaliate against whistleblowers.

lmitchelllaw.com

Michigan’s point-zero-eight percent blood-alcohol level is set to expire next year. But a bill is on its way to the governor’s desk to prevent that.

Once in a while the state’s BAC level essentially expires. The law has a built in sunset that requires the Legislature to look at the level and consider changing it.

   The last time the limit was examined by the Legislature was in 20-13.

Republican Representative Klint Kesto is a bill sponsor. He says the current standard is good for the state.

The governor has made a decision on disciplinary action for the head of the Michigan State Police.

Governor Rick Snyder has ordered Michigan State Police Colonel Kriste  Etue to give up five days of pay while she reports to work.

   A few weeks ago the colonel shared a controversial Facebook post. It called NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem "degenerates".

   She took down the post and apologized.

   In a statement the governor said he has – quote – “full faith in Colonel Etue’s leadership as the commander of the Michigan State Police.”

mi.gov

The state House, Senate and the governor might be headed for a showdown. Each entity has a different idea for how to handle outstanding Driver Responsibility Fees.

The state House and Senate originally both had plans to get rid of the fee, and forgive all drivers of that debt.

   But the governor’s administration isn’t on board. The fee generates tens of millions of dollars for the budget.

   Now the Senate has a new plan – it would forgive outstanding fees that are six years old or older. The rest would then eventually be phased out.

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Some high school graduates in Michigan might get to go to college for free. A bill that’s on its way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk would create new “Promise Zones” in the state.

Five new promise zones would be added to the ten zones the state already has. Promise Zones are communities that pay for high school graduates to go to college or university.

The community covers the tuition for the first two years. After that it gets some help in the form of a portion of the state’s education property tax.          

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