Cheyna Roth

Public comment is now open for whether you think the state should clarify language in Michigan’s civil rights act.

Some say the law is vague when it comes to whether sexual orientation and gender identity are protected.

Many LGBT activists want the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to issue guidelines. Those guidelines would state that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected against discrimination under the state’s civil rights law.

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act lists attributes people can’t discriminate for – like race, religion and sex.


Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline continues to face public scrutiny. The line sends oil and natural gas across sections Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas – and through the Mackinac Straits.

This public comment session comes on the heels of the release of a draft report on alternatives to the line. The end goal is to figure out what the state should do with the over 60 year old pipeline.

Several business groups and the owners of the pipeline say it can be run safely.

A state Senator is entering the Republican race for governor.

Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) hopes to succeed term-limited Governor Rick Snyder. He will formally announce his campaign Saturday at noon, at the Yankee Air Museum near Ypsilanti.

Colbeck was a design engineer for Boeing before he became a senator in in 2011.

“I came in with a fresh perspective, a business perspective,” he said. “And with the simple perspective says, ‘What I say I’m gonna do on the campaign trail is exactly what I’m gonna do when I’m serving.’”

State lawmakers have formed a task force to look for ways to improve mental health treatment in Michigan.

It’s called the House CARES task force. CARES stands for Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety.

   The goal is to help Michiganders with mental health challenges become more independent.

   Republican Representative Klint Kesto is on the committee. He says the task force will look for cutting edge initiatives for Michigan.


“We continue to do modest changes that are good, yes, but we should be better than that. We should do great.”


Democrats in the state Legislature have unveiled bills they say would keep jobs and tax dollars in Michigan.

One bill would do things like give preference to Michigan-based businesses that bid on state contracts. Another would let Michigan companies get a second chance if they are underbid by an out-of-state firm.

   Democratic Senator Curtis Hertel is a bill sponsor. He says other states have similar preference laws.

Michigan has a budget. The governor signed the 20-18 spending plan today in Grand Rapids.

The governor and lawmakers had more trouble than usual getting the budget done.

Typically the governor wants the budget signed by July 1st of every year. But things got a little bumpy this time.

The governor was even kicked out of negotiations for a little while. But State Senate Appropriations Chair Dave Hildenbrand, a Republican, says eventually differences got settled.


Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law controversial changes to the state’s public school employee retirement system.

Starting in February of 20-18 new teachers will get a new choice about their retirement savings. They’ll automatically be put into a straight 401-K plan. But they can enroll in a hybrid plan if they want. That hybrid plan includes a pension – but it’s more expensive for the teacher. 

Republican Senator Phil Pavlov is a bill sponsor. He says an attractive, portable plan – like the 401-K – is the way of the future.

Michigan is closer to offering tax incentives for large businesses. The House and Senate OK’d bills today to give allow some big employers to keep the income taxes paid by their workers.

The bills stalled three weeks ago. House Speaker Tom Leonard stopped the vote. He said the governor was making unacceptable deals with Democrats and unions.

After talks with the governor he put them back up.

The bills would let approved companies keep all or part of the state income taxes their employees would pay.

The state House meets tomorrow and Governor Rick Snyder hopes lawmakers will vote on a controversial set of business tax breaks.

A meeting took place today  between the governor and House Speaker Tom Leonard about the bills.

A few weeks ago, the so-called “Good Jobs” bill package collapsed.

It was supposed to get a vote in the House. But House Speaker Tom Leonard abruptly cancelled it. He said the governor was cutting deals with Democrats and unions that go against many Republican interests.

The 20-18 election is still a ways away. But that hasn’t stopped plenty of hopeful candidates from throwing their hats in the ring.

   A Democrat with eyes on Michigan’s 8th Congressional District announced her candidacy today.

Elissa Slotkin chose a downtown Lansing Brew pub to announce her candidacy.

Slotkin hopes to unseat Republican Mike Bishop. Bishop is expected to run for a third term.

Slotkin isn’t intimidated by the district’s history of voting Republican.

She says she’ll focus on solutions and a clear plan.