politics

Michigan is asking a federal appeals court to restore the state’s ban on people taking “selfies” with their ballots on Election Day.

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that Michigan’s “ballot selfies” ban violates First Amendment free speech rights.

Fred Woodhams is a spokesman for the state Bureau of Elections. He says the law that says no one can show their filled-out ballot to another person protects voters. “We believe the law ensures Michigan residents can cast a ballot free of outside influence.

gavel and law book
SalFalko via Flickr | CC BY 3.0 / flickr.com

A Michigan court has rejected a request for a one-judge grand jury investigation of Gov. Rick Snyder's decision to use at least $2 million in state funds for his legal representation related to criminal probes of Flint's water crisis.

A city resident and her attorney said Tuesday that the Ingham County Circuit Court denied their petition.

U.S. Government / Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog says the EPA had the authority and enough information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 - seven months before it declared an emergency.

Inspector General Arthur Elkins says the Flint crisis should have generated "a greater sense of urgency" at the EPA to "intervene when the safety of drinking water is compromised."

Flint's drinking water became tainted when the city began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money.

A popular candidate for a local office in western Michigan will remain on the ballot despite her death.

Sherry Yonkers was among six candidates to advance to the Nov. 8 election for Fruitport Township trustee. Four will get seats on the township board.

The 69-year-old Yonkers died Tuesday, weeks after finishing second in the August primary.

Township Clerk Carol Hulka tells The Muskegon Chronicle that ballots with her name already have been prepared.

Hulka says workers on election day can't tell voters that Yonkers is dead.

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The Michigan Legislature's approval of a change in how health insurers are taxed to help fund Medicaid sets up a showdown with Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Republican-led Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to continue a tax on Medicaid managed care organizations, shift funding around and more quickly end a tax on health insurance claims.

It's the latest in Michigan's long-running attempts to not run afoul of the federal government, which has indicated the Medicaid managed care tax should expire.

The legislation is headed to Snyder.

Michigan’s jobless rate has edged upward to four-point-six percent. The uptick was caused by a surge in the number of people looking for work.

This is the first jump in the jobless rate in months. Hiring was up last month by 11 thousand people. But 14 thousand people were counted as unemployed as more jobseekers joined the workforce.

Blueskiesfalling via Wikimedia | Public domain image / Wikimedia.org

Lawmakers have ideas for how to ensure there is not a repeat of the Flint water crisis.

A report released Wednesday by Republican Senator Jim Stamas (Midland) makes 36 recommendations.

The recommendations include smaller, quicker fixes like increasing the criminal penalty for misconduct by public officials if someone experiences bodily harm as a result and reestablishing the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Commission.

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Incumbent - Rep. Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville)    

Q: Why politics?

A: “Well, when I came into politics because I was active in the agricultural community I realized the impact it had on me specifically, but also industry-wide, and also I became more involved in the community and seen the impact a good, solid policy can have on the community and also on the district. As I got more involved I felt my voice should be heard and serving the 88th District.”

Q: Under what dire circumstance or government necessity would you be willing to support a tax increase?

File photo of Tim Kaine
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine was in Michigan Tuesday. He spoke at a Detroit non-profit about eliminating poverty. Focus:HOPE provides services like job training and education in an effort to overcome racial injustice. During his speech, Senator Kaine emphasized the importance of fixing crumbling infrastructure. He says fixing Flint’s water system should be at the top of the list. “A safe home means being able to drink the water. I mean, it means being able to drink the water.

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Steve Shoemaker (D-Caledonia)

Q: Why politics?

A: “Why not? Everything that takes place around us for the most part is impacted by political decisions whether it’s the condition of the roads, safety of our medications, the safety of our food, the public schools, housing, just everything almost is impacted by political decisions. I’ve sat on the sidelines far too long and watched things take place that I think were wrong coming out of Lansing. I don’t think they appreciate the will of the voters and I think they’re circumventing that most, most times, or a lot of times.”

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