An Auditor General’s recently released report answered questions about a canceled no-bid contact-tracing contract tied to a Democratic political consultant, but the person “primarily in charge of contact tracing” refused to cooperate.
Contact tracing is a method of gathering information to discover who might have been infected with COVID-19 by following an infected person’s interactions.
For example, one event at an Ingham County bar resulted in 187 COVID-19 infections across the state. Read More
Hillsdale College hosted a three-day commencement event despite coronavirus restrictions. The private Michigan college hosted a dinner for graduates Thursday night, a party for seniors Friday night, and an outdoor graduation ceremony on Saturday.
In a statement released in April, Hillsdale College Provost Christopher VanOrman said, “We could not say goodbye to our graduating seniors without celebrating their accomplishments. We look forward to having them return to us for a three-day-long celebration.” Read More
President Trump on Monday threatened to send federal law enforcement into several cities, including Detroit, in order to quell continuing unrest there.
Trump recently sent federal law enforcement to Portland to break up protesters, who had approached a federal courthouse and set a fire outside of it, according to The Detroit News. He said that the federal officers had done “a fantastic job in a very short time.” Read More
The State of Michigan is investigating whether new employees of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) are stealing funds from jobless residents, multiple media outlets report.
The workers are accused of stealing and charging clients to receive their benefits more quickly, WDIV reported. This is happening even as Michigan is among several states experiencing fraudulent claims being submitted, and they temporarily stopped payments. Read More
Every U.S. state taxes fuel sales to fund road repairs.
Fully half of them, however, divert a portion of those taxes for other purposes. And Michigan, with a gas-tax diversion rate (GTDR) of 33.9 percent, is ranked with New Jersey as the third highest GTDR in the nation. Only New York (37.5 percent) and Rhode Island (37.1 percent) have higher GTDRs. Read More
Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.
They also sought investigations into four other state governors who set similar policies. Read More
A federal judge asked the Michigan Supreme Court to settle questions regarding whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to issue executive orders under two state laws.
U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney certified two questions to the Michigan Supreme Court. Read More
The Michigan Civil Service Commission last Friday issued a notice of proposed changes in the how unions collect money from state employees.
The two proposed changes pertain to payroll deduction of union dues, discontinuing of union service fees, and authorization to collect union dues from employees. Read More
The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday ruled overturned a lower court’s order that directed 77-year-old Owosso barber Karl Manke to close his shop.
The top court said the Court of Appeals erred in its 2-1 decision.
Justice David Viviano said a split decision couldn’t grant peremptory relief. He said the court should have held a full briefing and oral arguments. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted Michigan’s stay-at-home order on Wednesday, moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan.
Under the new phase, retail will be allowed to open on June 4 and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on June 8, both with capacity limits. Day camps, office work, outdoor pools and in-home services such as housecleaning will also reopen. Read More
by Mary Margaret Olohan Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she censors her criticisms of President Donald Trump to ensure that Michigan continues to receive aid from the federal government. Asked in an Axios interview if she censors her comments about POTUS “for the sake of continuing to receive federal assistance,”… Read More
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that she will not change the way she runs Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Michigan governor discussed her coronavirus restrictions and the protests that have erupted against her executive orders during an interview with Fox News. Read More
Michigan is facing a grim outlook for the state’s economic future.
Legislators are divided over whether the crisis requires severe budget cuts or a federal bailout to fix.
Lawmakers are facing a projected $6.2 billion drop in revenue over the next two fiscal years. Read More
Michigan business leaders are concerned some businesses won’t survive Michigan’s mandated closures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which she extended yesterday through at least May 28.
Whitmer announced a plan to reopen the economy Thursday but provided no dates, other than for manufacturing, for when additional businesses could reopen.
Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the order “may be a foreclosure notice” for many small and seasonal businesses. Read More
Hundreds gathered outside and inside Michigan’s Capitol building Thursday to protest government overreach in the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown.
There were no reports of arrests, though some media outlets styled the event with armed protestors as “storming” the Capitol Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that bankruptcy is not an option for Michigan in response to comments last week from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Whitmer appeared on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. Stephanopoulos asked her if default was on the table for Michigan.
“No, and it’s outrageous for Senator McConnell to even suggest that,” Whitmer said. “But that’s what the matter is. Our general fund budget when adjusted for the inflation is the same size it was during – when Richard Nixon was our president. We have been incredibly smart stewards and we have not made some of the investments I think we should have as a state because of this artificially low number that we’ve been working with.” Read More
Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast live from Music Row on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities on Monday in an effort to study how the coronavirus pandemic has “disproportionately impacted communities of color” throughout Michigan.
Although African Americans represent just 13.6 percent of Michigan’s population, they make up 40 percent of deaths from the coronavirus. Nearly 80 percent of residents of the City of Detroit, the area most impacted by the coronavirus, are African American, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Read More
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order “goes too far and will erode confidence in her leadership.”
The libertarian is referencing Whitmer’s extended and expanded executive order that banned Michiganders from traveling to a second residence inside the state through April 30, operating a motorized boat and buying furniture, paint and plants from stores larger than 50,000 square feet.
That includes the “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” pillows in one Lansing Walmart. Read More
As Michigan adopts a new phase of government-imposed restrictions on businesses and personal behavior to stem the spread of COVID-19, residents and politicians are registering increased opposition.
Negative reactions stem from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders, which declared many businesses “nonessential” and threatened $1,000 fines for people violating the six-foot social distancing rules.
Those edicts took effect on March 24, and were set to expire on April 13. On Thursday, however, the governor extended her executive orders to April 30 – and added tighter restrictions on personal travel and businesses previously declared essential. Read More
State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow some nonessential businesses to reopen if they follow social distancing guidelines.
Cole sent a letter to Whitmer on Monday, claiming her stay-at-home order hurt small businesses, including those in the construction and landscaping industry. Both of those industries, said Cole, allowed workers to work safely while staying apart from each other.
“I certainly understand where our governor is coming from. Public safety must always be the main priority,” Cole said in a statement. “However, keeping people employed and businesses operating must also be a priority.” Read More
The state and the U.S. Department of Labor agreed to expand unemployment benefits to Michigan workers who previously didn’t qualify.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the agreement Monday. The benefits extension will be funded by the $2 trillion federal CARES Act President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday.
The extension includes self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of temporary business closures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to reconnect residents’ water services that had been shut off.
The governor signed the $2 million Water Restart Grant Program on Saturday. The suspension of the public utility shut-offs were mandated effective immediately.
“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.” Read More
More than 55,000 Michiganders filed unemployment claims between Monday and Wednesday, according to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order temporarily suspending parts of the Open Meetings Act (OMA), so public groups can meet electronically through April 15.
“We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families, but recognize that public bodies still have an obligation to conduct business as usual,” Whitmer said in a news release. Read More
A House bill package seeks to put about $800 million annually into local roads without a 45-cent gas tax hike or increasing future debt.
The six-bill package, if enacted, would eliminate the six percent sales tax on fuel over three years and replace it with another excise tax that would fund the 92 percent of local roads that aren’t touched by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $3.5 billion bonding plan.
Much of that bonding money would go to repair roads in Metro Detroit. Read More
by Tyler Arnold Michigan House Republicans unveiled an infrastructure funding plan that would divert all revenue generated from sales taxes paid on gasoline purchases to fund road improvements, rejecting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to increase road funding through a 45-cent gas tax hike. The Republican plan would provide about $800… Read More
by Tyler Arnold Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan auto insurance reform into law Thursday that will guarantee lower rates for all drivers in the state with the highest premiums in the country. “By signing this legislation, we are providing relief to millions of drivers across the state and guaranteeing… Read More
by Tyler Arnold The Michigan House and Senate passed auto insurance reform Friday with substantial bipartisan support after the House Republicans, Senate Republicans and Democratic governor struck a deal. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the bill into law. The legislation will eliminate a mandate that required all… Read More
by Chris White Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing what some opponents are calling a draconian gas tax increase to fix the state’s crumbling road infrastructure. Whitmer’s budget proposal will include a 45-cent gas tax increase, which would be phased in over three separate intervals, the governor’s spokeswoman… Read More