Cheyna Roth

michigan.gov

Earlier this week, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley made a rallying cry for a part-time legislature. But few lawmakers are on board with the idea.

Lawmakers in Lansing are speaking out against a proposed part-time legislature – including those with nothing to lose.

   Several term limited Senators on both sides of the aisle have come out against the proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is concerned it would increase the governor’s power and weaken the legislature.

    

insuranceassocitesnw.com

Democrats in Lansing are trying once again to expand Michigan’s civil rights protections.

Lawmakers have tried for several years to expand the state’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include legal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Last year the attempt couldn’t get out of a committee in a Republican controlled legislature.

Stephanie White is with Equality Michigan. She says their organization responds to dozens of requests for help a month from people -  

  

Governor Snyder made some powerful appointments today. The governor filled the five seats of the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board.

The board includes a recently retired sergeant for Michigan State Police, a licensed pharmacist and healthcare supervisor for Walgreens, and a former Speaker of the House.

They will use recommendations from the state Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department to distribute licenses to grow, transport, test and sell medical marijuana.

wmufm.org

Right to Life of Michigan is one step closer to getting a new donation program – courtesy of the state legislature. Legislation for the Secretary of State to create and sell “Choose Life” fundraising license plates is on its way to the governor’s desk.

   There have been many attempts to pass similar legislation in the past – but none has gotten to the governor’s desk.

The money from sales of the special license plates would go to the Choose Life Michigan Fund, which was created by Right to Life of Michigan – an anti-abortion group.

  

Dogs may soon be allowed to eat outside with their human on restaurant patios. The State senate passed a bill today to allow restaurants to have dogs on their outdoor patios.

The legislation gives specific requirements restaurants have to meet in order to let Fido on the patio. Local governments can impose stricter requirements or ban the practice all together.

Matt Blakely is with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He says restaurants can already get a waiver to allow dogs on their patios.

 

wikipedia

   A showdown is brewing in Lansing over the fate of teacher retirements. 

Teachers can currently choose between a full 401(k) type plan or a hybrid 401(k) and pension plan. Governor Rick Snyder and other advocates of the current system say the liabilities are on their way to getting paid off and the hybrid plan is better for teacher’s retirements.

   But Republicans in the House and Senate have made closing the pension system to all new hires a top priority this year.

   Republican Representative Thomas Albert says their plan will attract new teachers.

iowaattorneygeneral.gov

A portion of the state Senate budget is getting pushback from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission.

The Senate voted to move crime victim services out of the Department of Health and Human Services – and into the Attorney General’s Office.

   The crime victims commission says that’s a bad idea. It oversees funding and services for crime victims in Michigan.

Cass County Prosecutor, Victor Fitz is the chair of the commission. He says the current structure is doing a good job.

  

thebalance.com

   Some state officials might be getting a raise for the first time in years. That’s if the legislature adopts recommendations made by the State Officers Compensation Commission today.

The commission recommends a ten percent pay increase for state Supreme Court justices. Their salaries have been frozen for over a decade. It also recommends the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state go back to their salaries from before 20-10, when they got a pay cut.

housedems.com

Controversial legislation on state regulatory rules is making its way through the legislature. The House approved a bill today to prevent the state from being tougher on things like environmental and workplace safety than the federal government.

Proponents of the legislation say less regulation is a good thing. Speaker of the House Tom Leonard says this puts decisions in the hands of elected federal officials, instead of bureaucrats

mlive.com

Two Detroit-area doctors are facing federal charges of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation. Now state lawmakers are moving to make the act a state crime is quickly making its way through the legislature.

The legislation would make it a 15-year felony to remove or reconstruct a female minor’s genitalia for non-medical purposes. It’s currently a federal crime punishable by up to five years.

A few fringe religions around the world still practice forms of female genital cutting.

But Republican Senator Rick Jones says there is no reason for the procedure.

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