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Michigan Capitol Building
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A bill moving forward in Michigan's Republican-led Legislature is designed to keep secret the identity of donors who give money to nonprofits, including organizations involved in elections.

Such groups running issue ads already do not have to disclose their donors. But the legislation approved Tuesday in a House committee would prohibit public agencies from trying to force disclosure or from releasing personal information without permission.

The proposed law would not preclude a lawful warrant being used to obtain information.

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A former aide to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is urging him to veto legislation that would make it harder to initiate Michigan ballot measures, should it reach his desk.

Bill Rustem, Snyder's ex-strategy director, issued an open letter to Snyder Tuesday. It was also signed by Doug Ross, a former gubernatorial candidate who worked in Democratic Gov. Jim Blanchard's administration.

Rustem led the 1976 ballot drive for Michigan's 10-cent bottle deposit law. Ross led a 1974 ballot initiative to repeal a sales tax on food and medicine.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has agreed to decide whether imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar got an unfair hearing from an outspoken judge who sentenced him to at least 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting young gymnasts.

Child Protective Services programs receive improvements

Dec 18, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration says improvements have been made to Child Protective Services after a state audit uncovered many deficiencies.

It’s the final stretch of the state Legislature’s lame duck session, and some bills won’t make it to the governor’s desk. Because of a procedural rule, some pieces of legislation are effectively dead.

Before a bill can move from one chamber to another, the Legislature has to wait 5 days. That means any bills in their original chamber that didn’t pass last Thursday, were effectively dead.

Some lawmakers had hoped to change regulations on recreational marijuana. But it was too heavy a lift since changes to measures passed during an election require a 3/4th majority.

A second member has resigned from a state panel recently established to oversee construction of a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan.
 
     Gov. Rick Snyder's office said Monday that Mike Zimmer had stepped down after being named last week to the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority.
 

SNN: KTC Core YMCA Cooking Matters

Dec 17, 2018
KTC YMCA Cooking Matters
School News Network

Using fresh ingredients and basic kitchen techniques, students with learning challenges are gaining skills for independence and potential. Like most young adults, students attending a “Cooking Matters” class at the Visser Family YMCA knew what snacks and treats could be found in their refrigerators and cupboards at home. But after the class, they now know how to stock those shelves with healthy food they can prepare themselves. The class was presented through Kent Transition Center’s CORE Program for students with disabilities.

A program designed to keep policymakers up to speed on threats to the Great Lakes has created online tools to support early detection of exotic species.  

Blue Accounting is an initiative led by the Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy, with help from other government agencies and private organizations.

    They've developed a "watch list" of species poised to invade the lakes, along with priority surveillance locations and guidelines for monitoring the waters for signs of unwanted fish, plants and invertebrates.

James Redford now serves as director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. He joined the Snyder administration in 2015 as chief legal counsel after losing a 2014 race for the state Supreme Court.

Redford was a Kent County judge for more than a decade. He's also a former federal prosecutor. Snyder says Redford has had a "distinguished career as a public servant."

The Snyder administration ends on Jan. 1 when Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, becomes governor.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law controversial changes to minimum wage and earned sick time measures.

In September, the Legislature adopted measures that were headed for the November ballot.

The Legislature’s bills significantly scaled back potential changes to the state’s minimum wage and earned sick time laws.

   Ari Adler is a spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder. He says the governor treated these like any other bills.

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