politics

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A federal judge says some Michigan lawmakers must sit for interviews about a law that bans straight-party voting. The questions will be limited to what they might have said about their motives to people outside their offices.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub says communications between lawmakers and their staff are protected.

The depositions are part of a lawsuit. Straight-party voting means making a single mark on a ballot to pick candidates of one party.

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The Legislature officially returns next week, and a top priority in Lansing will likely be the state’s tax code.

The new federal tax law caused a stir in Michigan. That’s because it could mean residents will lose some state exemptions and have to pay higher state taxes.

Governor Snyder wants to make sure the federal law doesn’t hurt the wallets of Michiganders.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has been working on the issue. He says it doesn’t require a major fix, but it will have to be approved by the Legislature.

More than a year after her surprise election, the clerk in a Detroit-area county is defending herself against allegations that she didn't live at a house in Warren. In a court filing, Karen Spranger's attorney says she was poor in 2016 but still able to live at a house with no utilities. 

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Gov. Rick Snyder says the federal tax overhaul will cause residents' state income taxes to increase, and he's committed to ensuring taxpayers ultimately don't have to pay more.

The tax legislation, which President Donald Trump will sign, will eliminate the $4,050 personal exemption. That's an issue because Michigan lets people claim a $4,000 exemption for each exemption taken on their federal return.

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The U.S. House has passed the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in a re-vote. West Michigan Congressional leaders explained they’re “yes” votes through social media.

“Hey, everybody it’s Bill Huizenga coming live from my office in Washington D.C.”

Via Facebook Live the Zeeland Republican explained his vote for tax reform was the right thing to do for the country.

Water faucet
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Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a $52.8 million supplemental budget bill that includes money to respond to an emerging chemical contaminant found across Michigan.

The law enacted Wednesday allocates $23.2 million to address groundwater contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, at 28 sites in 14 communities. It's recently drawn scrutiny north of Grand Rapids, where footwear company Wolverine World Wild dumped waste sludge decades ago.

In an effort to abolish gerrymandering, an all-volunteer group of activists has collected hundreds of thousands of voter signatures to overhaul redistricting in Michigan. Voters Not Politicians, a ballot committee opposed to the partisan gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts, turned in over 400,000 signatures at the state Bureau of Elections Monday to force a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. 

Republican and Democrat logos
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In a December of poll, 37% of registered Michigan voters give President Donald Trump a positive job approval rating while 61% rate his performance as just fair or poor.

The numbers are revealed in Lansing-based EPIC-MRA’s most recent survey. The polling of 600 registered Michigan voters conducted in mid-December provides polar opposite views when it comes to the direction the country and the state are heading.

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Conservative gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck has enlisted former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz to help raise money for his campaign.

Colbeck announced Thursday that Lutz will be finance chairman, a month after Lutz endorsed his candidacy.

Lutz was GM's product guru and had a long career at all three Detroit automakers.

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Construction trade unions are launching a ballot drive to keep intact Michigan's law that requires better wages and benefits for workers on state-financed building projects.

The Republican-led Legislature could vote early next year to repeal the law, despite opposition from GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, who supports it as a way to promote in-demand jobs in the trades.

A group has turned in signatures for veto-proof initiated legislation.

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