Cheyna Roth

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Republican state Representative Larry Inman was found not guilty of one federal charge yesterday  and the jury couldn’t decide on the other two charges.

   While Inman hopes to get some of his privileges back…that won’t be happening soon.

Inman is accused of trying to sell his vote on a controversial measure. The jury hung on two counts, but Inman is still under indictment.

   Inman has remained a state lawmaker, but he was kicked out of his party’s caucus and the Speaker of the House took away his office and staff.

State lawmakers and Governor Gretchen Whitmer say they have a deal to restore funding for multiple programs vetoed by the governor.

A part of the deal includes a new budget deadline for the state Legislature.

July 1st. That’s when the state Legislature would have to have a finished budget on the governor’s desk. But the bill doesn’t have an enforcement mechanism. 

Amber McCann is a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (SHUR’-key). She says for eight years the Legislature met an early summer budget deadline.

Water faucet photo
Public domain image / Wikimedia.org

New bills in the state House would put Michigan’s water – including groundwater – in a public trust. That means that the waters would have to be reserved for the public’s use, and the state would have to protect the water for that purpose.

Elaine Isley, Director of Water Programs for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, said during a press conference that the state has not protected the ground water as much as the Great Lakes – and that has caused issues with contaminated drinking water in the state.

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State Democrats continue to push for changes to Michigan’s gun laws.

Bills waiting to be introduced in the state House and Senate would require universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a firearm. It would include all firearm sales by any seller.

Democratic Senator Rosemary Bayer is a bill sponsor. She says she’s gotten pushback on the legislation from people worried their guns would be taken away. Bayer says, that’s not what this would do.

White Tail Deer photo
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A controversial bill to allow deer and elk baiting in the state is headed to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. Whitmer has promised to veto it. 

The state Natural Resources Commission recently banned bait and feed piles in the Lower Peninsula…and parts of the Upper Peninsula. A bill passed by the state Legislature would reverse the ban and allow for baiting under some restrictions – like how big the piles can be and what size bait can be used.

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Licensed shops in Michigan were able to sell recreational marijuana for the first time yesterday.

Hundreds of people waited in line on the first day of marijuana sales at three different Ann Arbor stores.

   Andrew Brisbo is the executive director of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. He says there were more than 200-thousand dollars in sales on Sunday. But Brisbo says there is still work to be done.

   “This is less reaching a finish line for us, so much as the start of our responsibilities in ensuring we’re fulfilling our mission.”

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Democrats in Lansing say they’re hoping to get a hearing on bills to regulate firearms before the end of the year.

The bills were introduced back in February. There are House and Senate versions – and so far neither chamber has given the bills a committee hearing. They would allow spouses, family members, and others to petition a court to remove a person’s firearms if they think the person is a danger to himself or others.

Democratic Senator Rosemary Bayer is a bill sponsor.

She says just getting a committee hearing would be a great first step.

housegop.gov

The Recall Inman Committee has filed almost 14-thousand signatures to kick state Representative Larry Inman out of office.

Representative Inman is accused of bribery, extortion, and lying to law enforcement.

       A committee of more than 150 volunteers has been gathering signatures to try and get Inman out of office. If enough of the signatures filed are deemed valid, there could be an election for Inman’s seat. His attorney is appealing the language of the petition.

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Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist signed his first bill today.  Gilchrist is the first African American lieutenant governor to sign a bill into law.

Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist signed the bill inside the Capitol rotunda. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is out of the country on a trade mission to Israel.

       Gilchrist says the bill signing is historic. And he hopes it opens the door for more diversity in state government.

American Civil Liberties Union logo
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A Michigan man who was detained by U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement is suing the federal agency.

ICE says Jilmar Ramos-Gomez repeatedly told agents that he was in the country illegally. But the ACLU says the Marine veteran suffers from PTSD and other mental health problems. The ACLU says ICE should have known he was a citizen because he had a passport on him, among other indicators.

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Some state lawmakers have introduced bills they say would prevent housing discrimination based on income.

Democratic Representative Yousef Rabhi is a bill sponsor. He says the lack of landlords willing to accept income like Section 8 vouchers and disability income contributes to homelessness in the state.

“It’s frankly an injustice that landlords are further creating this stigma that really shouldn’t exist for people that are on public assistance. Just because you have a Section 8 voucher doesn’t mean that you won’t be a good tenant.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is in Israel this week. This is Whitmer’s first international trip as governor.

Governor Whitmer’s week-long trip will focus on Michigan’s ties to Israel’s startups and mobility companies. The goal is to help Michigan compete for tech jobs that pay well.

As a result, Whitmer will travel between Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem to meet with government, business, and nonprofit leaders.

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Illegal robocalls are not welcome in Michigan.

       State Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a new initiative today to crack down on the annoying intrusion.

Attorney General Nessel is asking the Legislature to boost the penalties for illegal robocalls. And her office is setting up phone lines that are monitored by law enforcement to catch spam callers.

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has set a goal of cutting in half the number of opioid-overdose deaths in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer visited a clinic that provides addiction treatment services to make the announcement. She says the state’s made efforts to reverse the trend, but Michigan suffered two thousand known overdose deaths in 2017, an increase over the previous year.

       The governor says that shows the state needs to get more aggressive.

       “It’s an ambitious goal, 50 percent, but it’s absolutely do-able.”

      

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Any plans to reinstate funding for programs that were the victim of controversial vetoes will likely have to wait a few weeks.

   Today was the last scheduled session day for the state House and Senate until after Thanksgiving.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed almost a billion dollars in the state budget. That was after she said the Legislature did not work with her.

   There is one tentative session day scheduled next week. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says he hopes they will keep talking.

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