politics

Charter schools could receive the same designation as public schools in a district's millage ballot under a bill narrowly approved by the Michigan House.

Legislators on Thursday voted 56-53 to pass an amendment to the General Property Tax Act allowing districts to describe charter schools as "public schools" when disbursing millage.

The initiative now heads to the Senate and follows a January law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder to let charter schools receive revenue from certain voter-approved property tax hikes.

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A bill advancing in Michigan's Legislature would require drivers to allow 3 feet (0.9 meters) of clearance while passing a bike, unless it's impracticable.

Wednesday's 98-10 vote in the House comes after months of hearings and behind-the-scenes work. Michigan is among 11 states with no "safe passing" law, and bicyclists have been pushing lawmakers to act as more riders are killed by motorists.

As introduced, the legislation would have required 5 feet (1.5 meters) of clearance. But the House settled on a 3-foot distance.

michigan.gov

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Calley has officially been endorsed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Snyder made the announcement with the lieutenant governor Wednesday at a construction company in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

Snyder says he wants to pass the baton to someone who can take Michigan "to an even higher level." He says he has looked forward to endorsing Calley ever since he asked him to be his running mate eight years ago.

Snyder cannot run a third time because of term limits.

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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.

Michigan lawmakers are comfortable with the state’s current driverless vehicle laws.

In 2016, the governor signed into law regulations on autonomous vehicles. Those also allow for testing of self-driving cars on state roads. But this week an autonomous vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

Governor Rick Snyder has championed autonomous vehicles for a while. He said they need to find out all the issues associated with the death, but he’s not sure it will stall development of autonomous vehicles.

Rapid Silver Line bus
ridetherapid.org

Members of the American Public Transportation Association are in Washington this week. That includes the CEO of Grand Rapids’ Interurban Transit Partnership. Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid is speaking to Congress on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association.

APTA says the Trump Administration is proposing deep cuts to public transportation funding to help fund its proposed $200 billion infrastructure initiative. Varga is making the case investing in public transit supports economic growth and creates jobs.

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Michigan's largest labor union is endorsing Gretchen Whitmer for governor. The United Auto Workers, which represents 385,000 active members and retirees in the state, announced the endorsement Monday at its international headquarters in Detroit.

Whitmer, a former legislative leader, is among four main Democrats seeking the nomination in August's primary election. She previously won the backing of the Michigan Education Association, the state's second-biggest union.

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Gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer is being endorsed by Michigan's four Democrats in the U.S. House. Reps. Sander Levin, Dan Kildee, Brenda Lawrence and Debbie Dingell announced their endorsements Monday in Taylor, a Detroit suburb.

They say they need a partner in Lansing, and Whitmer - a former legislative leader - would help to fix crumbling roads, create good-paying jobs, protect people's health coverage and safeguard the Great Lakes.

Michigan's 15 public universities are asking the state Legislature to delay voting on bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, expressing concern about measures that would retroactively extend the time victims would have to file lawsuits and remove an immunity defense for governmental agencies.

The Senate may vote this week on the legislation backed by victims of the imprisoned former doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.

The special election to replace a Michigan state senator convicted of theft has been set.

Gov. Rick Snyder says residents of the 2nd district of Michigan can vote for in the race during a special primary election on Aug. 7 and a general election on Nov. 6. The deadline to file for candidacy is April 24.

Earlier this month former Sen. Bert Johnson resigned after pleading guilty in federal court to conspiring to steal money. The Democrat from Highland Park was convicted of funneling $23,000 to a no-show employee on the state payroll.

He will be sentenced in August.

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