Rick Pluta

A court fight will decide whether a group of Republican lawmakers and Catholic school parents can challenge Michigan’s ban on public money for private schools.

The group wants to become part of a legal fight over reimbursing private schools for state mandates related to health and safety. School officials and the ACLU say that violates the state constitution’s ban on any taxpayer money going to private or religious schools.

ACLU attorney Dan Korobkin.

wiki commons

Governor Rick Snyder says he will roll out a plan this coming fall to boost recycling in the state.

Michigan’s statewide residential recycling rate of 15 percent is among the lowest in the country. Snyder says getting more people to recycle will be a top priority that will include unilateral actions he can take as governor and asking the Legislature to adopt new laws. 

The governor says too many Michigan communities don’t have curbside recycling, and it’s still too cheap and easy to send recyclable solid waste to landfills.

livescience.com

The petition drive to make recreational marijuana legal in Michigan was given the go-ahead today to start collecting signatures.

A state elections panel OK’d the petition forms. 

       The proposal would create a system for regulating marijuana much like the one for beer, wine, and liquor. It would also allow marijuana cafes and for people to grow their own plants without fear of prosecution by state authorities.

       Campaign spokesman Josh Hovey says signature gathering will begin right away.

       “We got the petitions printed. We’re ready to go.”

britannica.com

The Mackinac Bridge will be largely closed to vehicle traffic the morning of Labor Day. It’s an additional security measure adopted to help ensure the safety of people attending the annual bridge walk.

   The bridge walk typically attracts many thousands of people including the governor and other political leaders. State and federal officials say no specific threat has been identified, but terrorist groups have been targeting large, open-air gatherings around the world.

mlive

The 1998 Democratic nominee for governor of Michigan says he may try again next year. Well-known trial attorney Geoffrey Fieger  said so on statewide TV.

Fieger appeared on Michigan Public Television’s “Off The Record” program. Fieger gained fame as the firebrand lawyer for assisted suicide Doctor Jack Kevorkian. He came out on top of a crowded field to win the 1998 nomination for governor, but lost to Republican incumbent John Engler.

   Fieger says he thinks the public is more receptive to his message now.

familyfirsthealth.com

There was a big rally at the state Capitol today to support improved mental health services and to oppose Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to overhaul how those services are paid for.

There were speeches and people with signs marching around the perimeter of the Capitol. The Snyder administration and publicly funded mental health agencies have been at odds over an overhaul plan. It would allow private insurance companies to manage two and a half  billion Medicaid dollars earmarked for mental health.

   Nicole Lawson is an Oakland County mental health services administrator.

michigan.gov

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen has been chosen by President Trump to serve on the Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals.

Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer made the announcement at the White House, naming Larsen as one of 10 new judges appointed by the president.

“These 10 individuals the president has chosen were chosen for their deep knowledge of the    law, and their commitment to upholding constitutional principles.”  

dailyleafdeal.com

A petition campaign will launch soon to put a measure on the ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Michigan.

The campaign submitted its petition form to state officials for approval. A spring and summer signature-gathering effort would then try to put the question on the 2018 ballot.

   Former state lawmaker Jeff Irwin is the campaign’s political director. He says banning marijuana has been a waste of time and money, just like the nation’s experiment with Prohibition in the 1920s.

  

kpu.org

Teachers can leave their union whenever they want. That ruling just came down from the state Court of Appeals.

The appeals court upheld rulings dating back to September of 2015 that the Michigan Education Association can’t make members wait for an August “opt-out” period if they want to leave the leave union. The court ruled that violates Michigan’s right-to-work law.

   Doug Pratt is with the MEA. He says the union has complied with the decisions.

  

Michigan State University is asking a judge to decide whether it has to release police and arrest records to a news outlet after a prosecutor asked they remain confidential.

The records are related to the criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault that may involve members of the Spartan football team.

 The sports network ESPN filed a request for the records under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. But the Ingham  County Prosecutor’s office says releasing the records could interfere with the criminal investigation.

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