Rick Pluta

The state is trying to find ways to help medical marijuana businesses that are having trouble finding a bank or a credit union.

The state is in the process of licensing growers, transporters and retailers that want to join the medical marijuana business.

   Rick Johnson chairs the state medical marijuana licensing board. He says most financial institutions won’t work with marijuana-related businesses because the drug remains illegal under federal law.

“It’s the banks. I’m not picking on banks. Most financial institutes today don’t want to deal with it.”



Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is the fourth Republican running for governor to file petition signatures to appear on the primary ballot.

He wants to succeed. Governor Rick Snyder.

Snyder cannot run again due to term limits.

Calley says he wants to continue the work started by Snyder over the past seven years. He says Snyder administration policies helped fuel Michigan’s recovery from the Great Recession, resulting in low unemployment and higher wages.

“We need to keep this comeback going.”

Former state Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer filed petition signatures today to get her name on the primary ballot as a candidate for governor.

Supporters cheered as they handed over to state elections officials boxes containing petitions to put Whitmer’s name on the ballot.


Governor Rick Snyder has signed a budget bill that accelerates spending on road repairs in time to help with the spring and summer construction season.

The bill shifts $175 million from next year’s construction season to use this coming spring and summer to fix roads.

“You’re going to see a lot of (orange) barrels in every corner of Michigan,” he said.

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

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a case that pits school districts against advocates who say people should be allowed to carry firearms in schools.

Gun rights groups are suing the Ann Arbor and Clio school districts. They say state law preempts the districts’ right to ban guns on school property. The law says local governments cannot adopt their own firearms ordinances.

State schools superintendent Brian Whiston is stepping down so he can focus on fighting cancer.

   Whiston made the announcement today at a meeting of the Michigan State Board of Education.

Whiston set a goal of making Michigan one of the nation’s top 10 states when it comes to the quality of schools.  He says plans that have been put in place to turn around struggling schools make that possible.

“They’re just now in progress, and it’s just very sad to me that I won’t be part of seeing whether they all worked or not.”


Bills to address campus sexual misconduct have stalled in the state Senate.

   Lawmakers have questions about details of the legislation.

Some Republicans have questions about whether it’s constitutional to extend the time period for filing sexual misconduct lawsuits, and the effects of making it harder for schools and universities to use governmental immunity to fend off lawsuits.

   Senate Republican press secretary Amber McCann says lawmakers are immersing themselves in complex legal issues. 


The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether it’s legal for judges to order defendants to pay fees and court costs.

A defendant says that violates the state constitution.

Shawn Cameron Junior was ordered to pay more than 16 hundred dollars in court costs after he was convicted of assault. But he says that amounts to a tax, and only the Legislature can enact taxes. He says courts can also be arbitrary in how they set the charges.

The Michigan Supreme Court has said “no” to a new trial for a man convicted of manslaughter for shooting a woman through a screen door early in the morning.

The man says he thought he was defending himself.

Theodore Wafer wanted a new trial where the jury would be instructed on his rights under Michigan’s “stand-your-ground” law. It allows people to shoot intruders with no duty to retreat if that’s possible.


Governor Rick Snyder’s budget chief says the administration will roll out a plan to improve school safety.

   It’s part of the state’s response to the Florida school shootings.

Budget Director John Walsh appeared on the Michigan Public Television show “Off The Record.”  He says the governor told him to be ready to re-prioritize spending plans if he can come up with a workable school safety proposal.

“He is directly involved in these discussions. Legislators are involved. I don’t have a ballpark yet.”