Associated Press

Jail cell
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The Michigan Supreme Court has cleared the way for prisoners to sue the Corrections Department in state court for alleged civil rights violations. The court declined to take an appeal from state officials. They're accused of failing to prevent prisoners from physically abusing inmates who were under 18 years old. The Michigan Constitution says "no person shall be denied the equal protection of laws" when receiving a public service. But in 1999, lawmakers carved out an exception, saying public service doesn't include prisons or jails.

Gasoline pump photo
Car Talk

A split Michigan House of Representatives is giving the okay to a plan that would shift the fuel sales tax to road funding.

Sales taxes collected at the pump would be shifted to road repairs under a budget plan approved by a divided Michigan House.

Majority Republicans on Thursday billed it as a key component of their counterproposal to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's call for higher fuel taxes to fix deteriorating infrastructure. Democrats in opposition say the spending bills would create new problems by diverting money from schools and municipalities.

Some of Michigan's trees are likely to suffer attacks from leaf-munching gypsy moths in the coming weeks. The Department of Natural Resources says the invasive pest caused widespread defoliation in the state from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The moth feasts on foliage during its caterpillar stage. Officials say lots of caterpillars are hatching this spring. Leaf loss has been reported in Barry, Ionia and Washtenaw counties. The problem is expected to spread.

Michigan officials are ordering a Flint hospital to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires' disease at the facility. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory on Wednesday ordered McLaren Flint Hospital to "immediately correct conditions."

United States Census 2020 logo
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order creating a committee aimed at encouraging an accurate federal census in the state next year.

The Democratic governor said Tuesday in a release the 2020 United States Census Complete Count Committee, which she leads, has roughly 60 members from numerous organizations and communities statewide. It includes business, academic, governmental and faith-based representatives.

Justin Amash U.S. House of Representatives photo
amash.house.gov

The lone Republican calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment has quit an influential caucus of House conservatives.

A spokeswoman for Michigan Rep. Justin Amash confirmed on Tuesday that he had resigned from the Freedom Caucus. Amash is one of the group's founders, but it is now controlled by Trump's allies.

A $28.8 million spending bill nearing legislative approval would allocate funding to combat lead in Michigan drinking water systems and investigate sexual assaults by clergy. The Senate is expected to send the supplemental budget measure to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday. It includes $3 million for public health services needed as a result of Michigan implementing the nation's toughest lead-in-water rules in the wake of Flint's water crisis.

gas prices
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Republicans who control Michigan's House are proposing to boost road spending by dedicating much of the state's 6 percent sales tax at the pump to the transportation budget.

Much of that money now goes to schools and municipalities. A House plan unveiled Thursday would earmark two-thirds of the sales tax to road construction.

Your Vote Counts button
wikipedia

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office will take steps to promote college-age voting to resolve a lawsuit in which young Democrats challenged two laws they say discourage them from participating in elections.

Ballot booth photo
flickr

Michigan's Republican-led House and Senate are suing to preserve a law that makes it harder to qualify proposals for the statewide ballot.

Two lawsuits filed Wednesday in the Court of Claims and state appeals court seek to force Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to follow the law enacted in December. Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel has said key parts are unconstitutional.

The law says no more than 15% of petition signatures can be counted from a single congressional district.

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