Cheyna Roth

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The Legislature officially returns next week, and a top priority in Lansing will likely be the state’s tax code.

The new federal tax law caused a stir in Michigan. That’s because it could mean residents will lose some state exemptions and have to pay higher state taxes.

Governor Snyder wants to make sure the federal law doesn’t hurt the wallets of Michiganders.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has been working on the issue. He says it doesn’t require a major fix, but it will have to be approved by the Legislature.

The 2018 US Senate race got a shake up Wednesday, but not because of someone entering the race.

Republican Bob Young decided to step down from the race. Young is the former Chief Justice for the Michigan Supreme Court. He was running for his party’s nomination to take on long-time incumbent Democrat, Debbie Stabenow.

Young made the announcement on radio station WJR. Young said the Republicans need to gather around a candidate as soon as possible – so he’s reducing the competition.

Michigan State University is facing lawsuits from multiple women. That’s after former university doctor, Larry Nassar, pleaded guilty to multiple instances of sexual abuse of patients.

   Representative Klint Kesto says tax payers shouldn’t foot the bill for any settlements from these types of cases.

“Young women that were victimized, they need to be made whole by the university, they need to be made whole through a different fund. Through a different pot of money.”

Courthouse
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The Michigan Supreme Court says a judge was wrong to increase the sentence of man convicted of armed robbery. That’s because the judge made an assumption at sentencing instead of using actual proof.

Anthony White robbed a gas station. During the robbery he held a gun to a victim’s head and the victim later said she heard the trigger being pulled.

The Michigan League of Women voters is taking on the state. The league filed a lawsuit over gerrymandering.

   The league says the currently drawn districts are unfair. It accuses the state and Republican controlled Legislature of drawing the district lines in secret back in 2011. Then rushing the electoral map through the legislative process.

   The lawsuit asks a court to declare the current electoral map unconstitutional. It also asks the court to require the state to redraw the lines fairly.

Judy Karandjeff is with the League.

Governor Rick Snyder signed a stack of bills this week

While the lawmakers are away, the governor will…sign? Before heading out on their holiday break, lawmakers sent a flurry of bills to the governor’s desk.

   One big package the governor signed includes a plan to help make sure municipalities have the money they need for employee retirement.

   Anna Heaton is a spokesperson for Governor Snyder. She says this legislation was a priority for the governor.

Protestors gathered at the state Capitol today. They once again called for a controversial pipeline to be shut down. The participants included a seasonal cast of characters.

Santa: HO-HO-HO

   Santa Clause and Clifford the horse were among those rallying against Enbridge’s Line 5. The pipeline carries crude oil and natural gas liquid under the Straits of Mackinac.

   Environmentalists have been calling for the line to be shut down for years. They’re concerned a leak in the ageing line would be catastrophic for the Great Lakes.

Applications for medical marijuana licenses became available today. The process got off to a slower start than some expected.

The state was ready for anything.

Outside the state office were multiple signs directing people where to go. There were police officers for crowd control and a maze of velvet ropes for an expected line – kind of like you’d see to get on a ride at Disney World.

But it was all for naught. About two hours into the morning, the first applicants arrived in person. A few more trickled in, but there was no need for crowd control.

The state might change its mind about putting a new veterans’ home in Detroit.

   The Legislature passed a bill yesterday  lets the state put the home in a different location.

The measure lets the state look at Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties for the new home. If it still can’t find a place within 45 days, it can broaden its search to the entire southeast Michigan.

Supporters say the state needs the flexibility to find the best location and facility.

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Legislation aimed at curbing the state’s opioid crisis is on its way to the governor.

The goal of the legislation is to stop doctor shopping and pill mills. The bills put new limits and requirements on people trying to get certain prescriptions. One bill would require patients show a relationship with the physician who prescribes their opiates.

   Democratic Senator Steve Bieda is a bill sponsor. He says requiring a relationship will help prevent “doctor shopping.”

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