Audit: Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Failed to Limit Access to Sensitive Information

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency failed to perform employee background checks or sever timely ex-employee access to a system that processed more than $36 billion in claims, an auditor general report found.

Auditor General Doug Ringler said the UIA spent $60.8 million on the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System but didn’t take other safeguards to prevent unemployment fraud.

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Michigan Judge’s Abortion Interests Called into Question

Controversy is swirling around Michigan Second District Court of Appeals Chief Judge Elizabeth L. Gleicher issuing a preliminary injunction Tuesday afternoon against the state’s moribund 1931 law criminalizing abortions.

Anti-abortion advocates, including Right to Life Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference, assert Gleicher should have recused herself in the case, Planned Parenthood v. Attorney General Dana Nessel, because Gleicher donates regularly to the organization. Additionally, Gleicher offered free legal services to the American Civil Liberties Union and its client Planned Parenthood in a late 1990s abortion case, Mahaffey v. Attorney General.

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Policy Analysts: Claims of Impending Michigan Teacher Shortage Overstated

Amid calls from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to remedy a perceived teacher shortage in Michigan, some of the leading policy analysts in the state claim the governor’s “one-size-fits-all approach” is based on faulty premises.

Those premises are echoed in a Monday report in the education journal Chalkbeat Detroit.

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Michigan Audit: Long-Term Care Advocates Didn’t Visit Most Homes for 31 Months

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s Long-Term-Care Ombudsman Program failed to visit most facilities in person, an auditor general report found.

MLTCOP, housed within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, advocates for more than 100,000 long-term care residents statewide, investigates complaints and supports improved policies.

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Report: Michigan Gov. Whitmer Breaks COVID Pay Promise

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down most of Michigan’s economy in 2020, she promised to return 10% of her $159,300 annual salary to the state in solidarity with more than 1 million Michiganders either out of work or who were soon to be.

“I’m going to lead by example,” Whitmer said on April 20, 2020. “I know that times are tough and that we as a state are going to be confronting a tough budget as a result of the economic shutdown.”

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Map to Critical Incident Assistance in Michigan House Bill

A new House bill introduced by a Republican legislator aims to amend Michigan’s Revised School Code to grant school boards the authority to share critical incident mapping data to local law enforcement agencies for school safety purposes.

Government Operations Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Mueller, R-Linden, discussed House Bill 6042 before the House GOC on Thursday. Mueller stated his desire to use the state budget process to fund CMI. School safety spending budgeted by the House earlier this week includes $200 million for school safety grants, in addition to $50 million for school resource officers and $8.4 million for each intermediate school district to hire a mental health coordinator and an emergency and safety manager.

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As Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wants to Spend $60 Million on Electric Vehicles, Study Shows Recycling and Storing Their Batteries Will Be a ‘Huge Issue’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to spend $60 million on electric vehicles (EV), including electrifying the state’s fleet. However, the production of EVs is beset by a supply chain riddled with shortages in addition to environmental concerns.

Whitmer’s proposed 2023 budget aims to spend $50 million to subsidize new EV sales or a $500 rebate for at-home charging equipment for new or used EVs. Another $10 million would start converting Michigan’s roughly 13,637-vehicle fleet to EV.

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Michigan Food Exports Eclipse $2.5 Billion

Despite continued supply chain struggles, Michigan food, agriculture, and forest exports grew 19% year-over-year in 2021 to eclipse $2.5 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is thriving with 19% annual growth and $2.5 billion in exports. It continues to uplift Michigan’s economy and make a local, national and global impact,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Receives $14.3 Million, with Five Donors Giving $250,000

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is the number one fundraiser in state politics in the 2022 election cycle so far. According to the most recent campaign finance reports made to the Michigan Secretary of State, the governor received $14,281,061 in total contributions and spent $8,625,120 between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021. Whitmer is running for re-election in 2022.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer, Lawmakers Strike $4.8 Billion Spending Deal for Water, Broadband, Housing

Michigan lawmakers struck a $4.8 billion spending deal later than 10 p.m. on Wednesday with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“These are tough times for families, small businesses, and communities, and this bipartisan supplemental will help grow our economy, create jobs, and invest in every region of our state,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I look forward to signing this supplemental when it reaches my desk and continuing in this spirit of collaboration to pass another balanced, bipartisan budget that delivers on the kitchen-table issues.”

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Michigan Job Recovery Ranks Near Bottom of National List

Job recovery in Michigan continues to rank among the worst in the country, according to a recently released report.

Michigan had the sixth-largest number of claims filed last week compared to 2019. The report, published by the personal finance website WalletHub, also ranks Michigan 47th in biggest increase in number of unemployment insurance initial claims in the week of Feb. 28, 2022 compared to the week of March 1, 2020. Only Kentucky (48); New Jersey (49); Kansas (50); and District of Columbia (51) fared worse.

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Video Series Highlights Push for Stricter Michigan Voting Laws

A new video series has launched in Michigan with the aim to highlight the absurdity of the current Michigan Voter ID law. Restoration Action, a group helping to advance a ballot initiative in Michigan that would require a photo ID to cast a vote, is sponsoring the video series. The second video was released today.

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Trump Blasts Pence’s Claims About January 6: Vice Presidency Not an ‘Automatic Conveyor Belt for Old Crow Mitch McConnell to Get Biden Elected President’

Former President Donald Trump released a blistering attack Friday afternoon on former Vice President Mike Pence’s claims earlier in the day about the January 6, 2021 Joint Session of Congress over which Pence presided at which Electoral College votes submitted by the states were counted.

In a speech before the Florida Chapter of the Federalist Society in Orlando on Friday, Pence asserted, “There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes. And I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election.’ President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election.” (emphasis added)

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Reports on 21 Day Equity Challenge CRT Curriculum in Michigan and Build Back Better Agenda

Wednesday morning on the The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe live from Michigan to report on the 21 Day Equity Challenge curriculum instituted by school board members and his take on the status of the Build Back Better agenda.

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Analysis: The Top Governor’s Races to Watch This Year

Democrats four years ago rode a blue wave to governors’ mansions across the country, flipping Republican-held seats in the Midwest, Northeast and West alike.

Now, however, many of those governors face Republican challengers amid a political environment that looks potentially promising for the GOP, meaning that contentious races may lie ahead in some of the nation’s most pivotal battleground states. Republicans have already had two strong showings in states that lean Democratic, flipping the governor’s seat in Virginia and coming surprisingly close in New Jersey, a state that voted for President Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020.

Governors in less competitive states are also facing primary challengers from the left and right, making for multiple bitter, closely-followed primaries between candidates from different wings of the same party.

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Trump Confidant Kerik Surrenders Memos to January 6 Panel, Vows to ‘Eviscerate’ Democrat Narrative

Then-President Donald Trump’s team assembled a 10-day pressure campaign in December 2020 hoping to shame governors and state legislators into officially investigating allegations of Election 2020 irregularities, according to memos newly turned over to Congress by former New York Police Commissioner and Trump confidant Bernard Kerik.

The strategy called for “protests” at governors’ mansions and the homes of politicians ranging from secretaries of states to “weak” congressional members in key battleground states, the memos show.

The documents, turned over Friday night under subpoena to the House’s Jan. 6 commission, are remarkable in part because they show the primary focus of the Trump team leading up to the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 vote – an event that turned violent when pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol – was to get “support for hearings” to probe allegations of voting irregularities Trump’s team had received but not vetted.

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Michigan School District’s Equity Summit Includes Privilege Checklist, Encourages Political Activism

A Michigan public school district held a “21 Day Equity Challenge” that encouraged student activism, along with a list of microaggressions and a privilege checklist, according to a report from the Young America’s Foundation (YAF).

Farmington Public Schools told students and their families to come up with a “personal action plan” on the 21st day of the challenge, according to the YAF report. Some suggestions including joining “a Black Lives Matter or an affiliated protest” and or donating to “bail efforts supporting people arrested for protesting against injustice.”

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Ohio Chamber Pressures Michigan to Keep Pipeline Open

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce recently joined the General Assembly and other groups in Ohio and Michigan in urging the Biden administration to keep open a Michigan pipeline that supplies crude oil to nearly half the region’s refineries.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week the administration is studying the impact of shutting down Enbridge’s Line 5, an oil pipeline that rests on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac and carries light crude oil, light synthetic crude and natural gas liquids. 

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Michigan OSHA Caves After Deposition Threat Over Coronavirus Lockdown Fine

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration construction worker

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration withdrew a fine it levied against the City of Port Huron after the municipality threatened to depose the agency director.

MIOSHA penalized the city $6,300 after the state department claimed the city violated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) executive orders imposing tight restrictions on residents.

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GOP Candidate for Governor Hopes Trump E-mail Will Spur Investigation into Zuckerberg Funding of 2020 Election in Michigan

Can President Trump move the ball in Michigan to get legislators to do a serious investigation into how outside money was spent in the 2020 election? No one else has been able to get legislators to pay attention to the $12 million that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shipped to an obscure supposedly “non-partisan” non-profit to influence voters in Michigan, but gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon hopes that a recent email by Donald Trump will spur action.

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All Sides Criticize Michigan Redistricting Group for Closed-Door Session

After a two-hour delay caused by an emailed death threat, the Michigan Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Committee (MICRC) shortened public comment to 30 seconds and entered a closed-door session for longer than an hour, which critics from both sides of the political spectrum say violated the Constitution.

MICRC spokesman Edward Woods III said in a statement released Wednesday: “At 1:06 p.m. today, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission received notification of a death threat received through email. We alerted law enforcement and they opened an investigation. As of now, the Commission meeting is suspended until further notice.”

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Agitators Tamper with High Pressure Gas Pipeline Following Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Public Calls to Shut It Down

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was silent after agitators tampered with an Enbridge pipeline following her public calls to shut it down.

Anti-energy activists appeared to trespass on Enbridge property in Tuscola County to use a pipe wrench on an emergency shutoff valve Tuesday:

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Commentary: America’s Students Deserve a History and Civics Education Free of Political Agendas

Across the political spectrum, Americans are recognizing the importance not just of school choice but of what students actually learn in schools. Elected representatives have finally taken notice as well. In Michigan, the state legislature has proposed two bills that seek to address how American history and civics are taught.

Unfortunately, some want teachers to tell students that they should understand American history primarily by looking for racism, injustice, and oppression. The phrase “critical race theory” (CRT) has been used mainly in academia to describe this filter on history and civic instruction.

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Gretchen Whitmer May Be Forced to Return Millions in Illegal Campaign Contributions

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) may be forced to return millions in campaign contributions that exceeded individual donation limits, a court filing hinted this week.

Whitmer recently collected some donations as high as $250,000 — blowing past the $7,150 individual limit — by claiming she was under threat of recall. No real recall threat ever materialized. In fact, the chief proponent, Chad Baase, recently revealed that he moved to California.

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Majority of Michigan Republican Legislators Oppose National Popular Vote Proposal

Rep. Matt Hall and Senator Aric Nesbitt

A proposal to force Michigan’s presidential electors to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner — regardless of the results in the state — is meeting opposition from a majority of Republican legislators.

State Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) and state Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) spearheaded the effort to collect 57 signatures from legislators opposed to the idea. According to the Detroit News, 17 of the 20 Republican senators and 40 of the 57 Republican representatives signed on in opposition.

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Gretchen Whitmer Scrambles to Contain Years-Long Benton Harbor Water Scandal

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is scrambling to contain a growing scandal after she promised to remove lead from drinking water in Benton Harbor within five years.

Benton Harbor, a depressed community of about 9,600 residents in southwest Michigan, has been struggling to deal with the poison in the water, and after negative national media attention, Whitmer this week vowed an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to dealing with the problem.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Shuffles Elderly Agencies as Auditor General Nursing Home Death Report Looms

hands of an elderly person

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is reorganizing agencies providing services to the elderly, as an auditor general report on coronavirus-related nursing home deaths looms.

The new Health and Aging Services Administration will reportedly provide better communication between agencies with the goal of increasing efficiency. 

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Michigan House Passes Voter ID Bill, Sends to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for Vowed Veto

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has vowed to veto an election integrity bill that would require a voter casting an absentee ballot to prove their identity.

Senate Bills 303 and 304, approved by the Michigan House of Representatives, would “require anyone who casts an absentee ballot or votes in person on Election Day to provide identification.” A related piece of legislation, House Bill 5007 removes the current $10 fee to obtain a state ID

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Three Michigan Residents Charged with Absentee Ballot Voter Fraud, Following Concerning Trend

Three Michigan residents have been charged with voter fraud involving absentee ballots by state officials, which follows a concerning trend over the past decade.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) alleges Trenae Myesha Rainey submitted two dozen absentee voter applications on behalf of an unknowing Father Murray Nursing Home resident in Macomb County. According to prosecutors, the Centerline clerk “noticed the application signatures didn’t match those in the Qualified Voter File,” WWMT reported.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Continues Acting as Betsy DeVos’s Victim in Latest Campaign Email

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) kept up the victim routine in her latest campaign fundraising email, claiming Betsy DeVos has it out for her.

This summer, Whitmer made false claims in another email, asserting DeVos was planning a run against her, forcing DeVos to deny such a plan.

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Michigan Group Pitches Plan to Spend $6 Billion of State’s Federal Aid Money

Michigan State Capitol

A statewide coalition is backing a spending schedule of $6 billion of federal government money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

The Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan represents businesses, government organizations, local elected leaders, and statewide associations. They aim to detail strategic ways to invest Michigan’s ARP funding for future growth and prosperity.

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Studies Detail Damaging Mental, Economic, Academic Impacts of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Coronavirus Lockdowns

Economic indicators continue to reveal the damaging impacts of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Internet gaming platform Spider-Solitaire Challenge found 54 percent of study respondents in Michigan reported suffering from “pandemic brain,” which it described as “a decline in your cognitive abilities” during the time in-person learning was banned, businesses were ordered closed, and religious services were restricted, according to the Daily Mining Gazette.

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Michigan Senate Approves More Election Bills to Increase ID Access

The Michigan Senate approved three election bills on Thursday that aim to alter election law and make it easier get a state ID.

The Senate voted 20-16 to approve Senate Bill (SB) 304 as amended. Under the bill, the election inspector must notify an elector issued a provisional ballot that it will only be tabulated if the voter verifies voter registration with the clerk within six days after the election. The inspector would also have to inform the individual that some individuals are eligible for a cost-free state ID.

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Gretchen Whitmer Hints Support for Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) hinted Tuesday she may follow President Joe Biden’s lead and support a coronavirus vaccine mandate in the state.

Whitmer was asked about the federal mandate for federal government employees and employers with 100 or more workers, and the Democrat incumbent did not indicate any concern. In fact, she said she would follow Biden’s lead.

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‘Totalitarian Tyranny’: Parents Groups Slam Attorney General Garland for Turning FBI on Their Activism

Parents who protest public school policies on race, gender and COVID-19 are crying foul after Attorney General Merrick Garland promised to “discourage” and prosecute “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school boards, administrators, teachers and staff.

His “mobilization of [the] FBI against parents is consistent with the complete weaponization of the federal government against ideological opponents,” Rhode Island mother Nicole Solas, who is waging a public records battle with her school district over race-related curriculum, told Just the News.

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Gretchen Whitmer Slams Justin Trudeau, Accuses Leftist Prime Minister of ‘Doing Bidding’ of Oil Companies

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) lashed out at fellow leftist Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after his government bypassed her to ensure an energy pipeline continues operating.

Whitmer has sought to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5, which runs from Canada through Michigan to refineries in the Midwest. If Whitmer is successful, energy disruptions and price increases would be inevitable, analysts say.

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Joe Biden Visits Michigan to Rally Support for Floundering Multi-Trillion ‘Infrastructure’ Plan

President Joe Biden (D) visited a union training center in Howell, Michigan on Tuesday to rally support for his “infrastructure” plan alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

Whitmer posted on Twitter her support for Biden’s multi-trillion spending behemoth shortly before the President’s visit:

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Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Four Election Integrity Bills, Pledges Similar Fate for 35 More

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday vetoed four election integrity bills the legislature passed to improve training for election clerks and increase database security.

Pandering to a “captive audience,” Whitmer rejected the bills during a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People dinner in Detroit. Democrats argue election integrity legislation discriminates against black people, though recent polling found some provisions, such as requiring an ID to vote, are popular with that voting bloc.

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Michigan Redistricting Committee Draws Fire for Canceled Meetings, Limiting Public Comments

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee (MICRC), charged with redrawing the state’s district boundaries based on 2020 U.S. Census data, has been riddled throughout its inaugural outing with blown deadlines and other missteps.

The most recent issue raising public concerns is the MICRC’s apparent lack of transparency, which was prompted by the committee eliminating four of its nine scheduled October public hearings. That means the committee will comply with the minimum number of five meetings called for in the state constitution, but canceling the four meetings will disappoint voters in Novi, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Warren. The five meetings not cancelled will be held in Detroit, Flint, Gaylord, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

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Michigan Senate Passes Election Integrity Bills, Head to Gretchen Whitmer for Predicted Veto

The Michigan Senate passed a series of election integrity bills on Thursday, sending them to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) desk for a predicted veto.

The bills, part of a 39-bill package making its way through the legislature, “would limit who can access Qualified Voter File, prohibit poll books from being connected to the internet, require specific training for poll challengers and change how municipalities decide where to hold polling locations,” Mlive reported.

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Michigan’s Second Largest City Declares Racism a ‘Public Health Crisis’

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city and the hub of the more conservative western side of the state, declared racism as a “public health crisis.”

The Grand Rapids city commission approved a resolution that read in part, “We know that racism is deep and pervasive throughout many systems and policies impacting health. Examples include health care, public education funding structures, criminal justice and sentencing, housing, and wealth-building opportunities.”

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Funds ‘Encouraging Adoptions as Alternative to Abortion’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Wednesday vetoed over $16 million in funds in the new state budget allocated to programs promoting adoption over abortion.

Whitmer, a staunch abortion proponent, nixed spending “that either prohibits pregnancy service programs from providing referrals for abortions or would be allocated to programs aimed at steering pregnant people toward abortion alternatives,” according to Mlive.

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Homicides Up 31 Percent in Michigan Amid Gretchen Whitmer 2020 Lockdowns

Homicides in Michigan rose a dramatic 31 percent in 2020, above the national average, amid Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) coronavirus lockdowns that forced residents out of work and children out of schools.

The numbers posted both statewide and in Detroit are above national averages. 

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