politics

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.

Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate is passing a budget that would spend or allocate $542 million less than what has been proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The $56 billion plan being approved Wednesday would spend $276 million less in general funds than Snyder proposed.

Republicans for now also are not adding about $266 million to savings as called for by the Republican governor.

GOP leaders are setting money aside to potentially cut taxes or address debt in the school employees' retirement system - issues that could become part of negotiations in coming weeks.

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President Donald Trump is pressuring the House to vote on the Republican health care bill this week. The chances of that happening dealt a significant blow with a respected Southwest Michigan congressman saying he does not support it.

Moderate U.S. Rep. Fred Upton from Saint Joseph, Michigan is a 16-term House veteran who until this year chaired the chamber's Energy and Commerce Committee.

He said Tuesday he can't back the health care legislation because it undermines insurance protections that current law gives people with pre-existing illnesses.

Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

Legislation advancing in Michigan aims to let residents legally leave a vehicle running unattended on private property.

The bill , approved 77-30 by the House Tuesday, was proposed after a Detroit-area man was ticketed $128 for leaving a car running in his driveway as the vehicle warmed up.

A state rules requires people to stop the engine and remove the ignition key before letting a vehicle stand unattended.

The bill would keep the prohibition in place only for vehicles parked on public streets.

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Names and logos of political parties no longer would be allowed on election ballots under two bills approved by Michigan's state House.

The legislation passed Thursday in Lansing and now heads to the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Opponents of the current bills say party logos are necessary to help some voters identify the political parties of candidates appearing on election ballots.

The two bills are sponsored by Republican Reps. Hank Vaupel of Fowlerville and Edward Canfield of Sebewaing.

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Michigan’s gubernatorial election is more than a year away, but the half-dozen or more candidates are traveling the state trying to earn your support. One of the democratic candidates visited Grand Rapids over the weekend.

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Would Michigan voters support a graduated income tax? A number of Democratic state lawmakers want to know. They commissioned a poll to find out how a graduated state income tax proposal might fare on a future election ballot WGVU breaks down some of the findings.

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