politics

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Republican legislative leaders remain committed to closing the pension system to new teachers and instead giving them a 401(k) after getting mixed news about tax revenues.

Legislative fiscal agencies say school aid collections will be between $286 million and $364 million higher this fiscal year and next than was projected in January.

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Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has secured the endorsement of a 14,000-member labor union days after U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee decided not to run for governor in 2018.

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights backed Whitmer Thursday - a positive sign for her campaign as it seeks to coalesce support.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Jackson calls Whitmer, a former legislative leader from East Lansing, a "proven fighter" who "has been in the trenches on the side of skilled trades workers countless times."

The Peninsula

Bills that would give tax incentives to developers for cleaning up brownfield sites are going to the Michigan governor's desk.

The Senate voted 32-6 Tuesday to approve House changes. One change calls for 35 percent of redevelopment projects to be located in cities with under 100,000 people.

The legislation would let developers keep $40 million of taxes generated annually from jobs and residents at the sites and $200 million in construction taxes over the program's life.

The money would help cover the cost of cleaning up brownfield sites.

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Gov. Rick Snyder is set to name a new justice to the Michigan Supreme Court. The Republican governor has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference to announce his pick.

Former Justice Robert Young Jr. resigned last month to return to a law firm.

Republicans have a 5-2 majority on the Supreme Court.

Young's successor will be able to seek election for a full eight-year term in 2018.

With this choice, Snyder will have appointed four of the justices on the seven-member court who have since won election.

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A Michigan congressman has decided against running for governor in 2018 and instead will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township made the announcement Tuesday in an email to supporters.

His decision leaves former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer as the highest-profile candidate in the Democratic field.

Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of Detroit's health department, has been aggressively seeking to raise his profile with Democrats.

Three other lesser-known candidates also are running.

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A Michigan lawmaker has drafted legislation that aims to eliminate the state's pistol registration mandate.

Under current state law, a person cannot purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in Michigan without first obtaining a license for it. But MLive.com reports that a bill introduced by Republican state Rep. Lee Chatfield of Levering would make those registrations optional, and eliminate the $250 fine for not registering.

The former chief federal prosecutor in western Michigan has landed at a law firm in Grand Rapids. Patrick Miles Jr. resigned as U.S. attorney on the day President Donald Trump took office.

He's now joined the Barnes & Thornburg firm. Miles will focus on corporate compliance, investigations and business transactions.

He's a Grand Rapids native who was in private law practice before President Barack Obama selected him in 2012 to be U.S. attorney in 49 counties. I

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Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates are travelling the state seeking support. With the election more than a year away democrat Gretchen Whitmer is visiting Allegan and Grand Rapids Saturday. WGVU spoke with Whitmer about her message.

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The Michigan Municipal League is hosting public forums talking about the state’s system for funding municipalities that it believes is broken. The MML says mayors have consolidated services saving taxpayer dollars but more needs to be done.

During its Save MI City stop in Grand Rapids, WGVU spoke with Matt Bach, director of media relations with the Michigan Municipal League about the fallout from the Great Recession and how decreases in revenue sharing are impacting cities across the state.

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Two pivotal Republican lawmakers who had opposed GOP health care legislation are now prepared to support it after meeting with President Donald Trump.

Congressmen Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri made their announcement to reporters at the White House after meeting with Trump Wednesday.

They said they will back the bill with inclusion of a new amendment Upton authored adding more money to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Upton and Long both had announced their opposition earlier this week over the pre-existing conditions issue.

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