Cheyna Roth

Police officials say taking away the penalty for refusing a roadside breath test could increase instances of operating while intoxicated.

But a bill in a state House committee would do just that.

Bill sponsor Representative Peter Lucido says the portable breath test – or PBT – is unreliable and shouldn’t be used.

But police officers say it is one of the tools they need to determine if someone has been drinking and driving. They use the PBT along with other tests to see if someone is not able to drive.

accallergy.com

The first pediatric deaths of the flu season were confirmed today.

Two children died of influenza, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

   DHHS and many doctors agree – the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.

Doctor Teresa Holtrop  is the President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She says some parents are afraid of the vaccine, but this is where education is necessary.

 

senatorarleenmeekhof

The state House and Senate are battling it out over the Fraser sinkhole.  After the Governor declared a state of emergency, a House bill to give the city a grant was passed.  It was then changed by the Senate.

The Senate turned the 3 million dollar grant into a five million dollar loan.  Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says he wants to encourage other communities to maintain their infrastructure, instead of waiting for a crisis to get a handout from the state.

jimstamas.com

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.

 

annarbor.com

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.

twitter.com

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.”

nyc.gov

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.

missionpolice.org

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.

huffingtonpost.com

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.

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