politics

Betsy DeVos is widely expected to push for expanding school choice programs if confirmed as education secretary.

Such a move is certain to bring pushback from teachers unions.

Democrats and civil rights activists also are raising concerns about how her conservative Christian beliefs might impact minority and LGBT students.

A Senate committee begins considering her nomination Tuesday. Her financial questionnaire shows DeVos has donated to the political campaigns of at least four committee members.

U.S. Government

With a new session of Congress come new appointments. U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga has been elected to lead the Capital Markets Subcommittee and he’s also been elected to Co-Chair the Great Lakes Task Force.

WGVU spoke with the Zeeland Republican about his new roles.

U.S. Government

U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga has been elected to Co-Chair the Great Lakes Task Force.

WGVU with Congressman Huizenga about his new role.

As Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga tells me he’s focused on Great Lakes protection including invasive species and proper economic and recreational usage.

“And that really boils down to, in a practical way, what are we doing with our harbors and our pier heads?”

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder has just a few bills from last session left to consider. Among them is a bill that would allow landlords to include a provision in their leases preventing tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana.

Bill sponsor Republican Senator Rick Jones said the legislation protects fellow tenants and landlords from smoke and damage to buildings. “No one needs to use medical marijuana in a smoking form,” he said. “If they have a prescription, they can use it in many other ways – edibles, creams, oils, and even vaporizers.”

Hilary Farrell

Gov. Rick Snyder says he has "no reason to be concerned" about being charged in the Flint water investigation.

Snyder's comments to the Detroit Free Press occurred as the bill for his legal fees reached $4.9 million - all paid by taxpayers.

The governor says much of the money has been spent on producing documents requested by Attorney General Bill Schuette's investigators.

Snyder says investigators "keep on asking" and his lawyers "keep on responding."

Schuette filed charges against four more people this week, raising the number to 13.

U.S. Government

A Republican congressman said he delayed treatment of his son's broken arm as an example of the kind of choices Americans will have to make when Republicans' repeal of the health care law shifts more out-of-pocket costs to consumers.

Rep. Bill Huizenga told Michigan news site MLive.com that he and his wife opted to place a splint on their son's arm and wait until the next morning to take him to the doctor rather than seek immediate but more costly treatment at an emergency room.

amash.house.gov

U.S. Representative Justin Amash is asking President Barrack Obama to provide Congress with evidence Russia interfered with the U.S. Presidential Election.

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository / Wikimedia.org

President-elect Donald Trump has selected a charter school advocate and GOP donor from Michigan to be education secretary.

Betsy DeVos becomes the second woman chosen to fill a spot in Trump's Cabinet. Earlier Wednesday, Trump named South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Both selections require Senate confirmation.

Trump calls DeVos "a brilliant and passionate education advocate."

Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
Michigan Legislature photos / michigan.gov

Two former legislative aides who were fired by their then-bosses Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat will get a settlement from the state.

The money will come from the current Appropriations’ budget. In July of 2015, two aides say they were wrongfully fired by former Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.

This was around the time Courser and Gamrat were involved in a sex scandal cover-up. The House of Representatives has agreed to pay $515,000 total to the two aides and their attorneys.

EpiPen
epipen.com

Lawmakers are working to help schools with the recent hike in the cost of EpiPens.

In 2013, a new law required schools to have two auto-injectors of epinephrine on site at all times. Epinephrine is the drug used to treat a variety of allergic reactions.

The newly introduced bill would allow schools to get a prescription for epinephrine and give out the drug with a syringe by a trained staff member.

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