Cheyna Roth

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to stop using school aid fund dollars for higher education could hit a roadblock.

The state has been using money from the School Aid Fund toward higher education for years now.

And Governor Whitmer says that needs to stop. That’s because the School Aid Fund, historically, is meant to be for kindergarten through twelfth grade.

But Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey is not on board. Here’s his spokeswoman Amber McCann:

Lawmakers at the state Capitol say people shouldn’t be in jail just because they’re too poor to pay their bail.

Bipartisan bills were introduced today in the state House and Senate.

Cash-bail would not be outlawed. But the bills would require that judges first consider a non-cash bail.

Judges would have to release a defendant on a so-called personal recognizance bond unless the person is a danger or a flight risk. If that’s the case, the judge would have to look at multiple factors when deciding the cash bail amount.

       A bill in the state Legislature would save schools from having to make up some snow days. The bill passed out of a state House committee today.

This past winter saw days so cold that Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency. In some districts, kids missed so many days that they’re supposed to make some up.

       A new bill would exempt snow days due to a state of emergency from the required minimum number of instruction days.

       Republican Representative Ben Frederick is a bill sponsor. He says this year was unusual BUT –

Top appointees in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration are officially in their jobs to stay.

The time limit for the state Senate to block many appointees by Whitmer has passed.

The state Senate has 60 days to oppose an appointment by governor Whitmer. The oversight process has not been used much in the past with a Republican in the governor’s seat and a Republican-controlled Legislature. But now with a Democrat in the governor’s office, Republicans are using the oversight powers more.

     

       The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority is legal. The authority will oversee a controversial tunnel to house a new section of the Line 5 pipeline.

       A Court of Claims judge ruled the law that created the authority stands.  

Line 5 carries crude oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac.

At the center of the dispute is a part of the law that says the members of the Authority are to serve 6-year terms. 

Democratic lawmakers are trying to once again make the state’s minimum wage 12-dollars-an-hour by 20-22.

Last year there was a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage to 12 dollars an hour. The Legislature passed the measure without it going to the voters….and then quickly made major changes. So now the minimum wage won’t get to 12 dollars an hour until 20-30.

Lesia [lee-SEE’yuh] VanArsdale is a teacher’s aide in Detroit. She says when the Legislature extended how long it would take the state to get to 12-dollars an hour, it felt like a pay cut.

Some lawmakers in rural Michigan say their residents would get shortchanged under a new road funding plan by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Governor Whitmer wants to raise the state’s fuel tax by 45 cents per gallon. The increase would be phased in over time. She wants that money to be distributed based on a new formula that’s focused on how much the roads are used. Whitmer says this is a fair way to fix the roads.

       When Republican Representative Triston Cole was asked if he had any thoughts on the proposa

       “I got one. No.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to increase the state’s fuel tax to around 70 cents per gallon by October of 20-20.

       Whitmer presented the idea as part of her first budget proposal.

Governor Whitmer says this plan would raise the amount of money necessary to maintain and improve Michigan’s roads. Along with her fuel tax proposal, Whitmer says the state should also get rid of the pension tax and double the earned income tax credit to help low income people offset the financial strain.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is slated to include an increase in spending for kindergarten through 12th grade education.

Whitmer will present the plan as part of her budget proposal tomorrow.

Governor Whitmer wants to put more money toward students with additional educational needs. That includes special education, low-income, and career and technical education students. A part of Whitmer’s education spending plan includes a so-called “weighted funding formula.” This model includes an increased across the board per-student payment.

Money spent on lobbying in Michigan reached an all time high last year. That’s according to data collected by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

More than 40 (m) million dollars was spent on lobbying lawmakers in 20-18, according to the Network. That’s up from last year…and part of an increased spending trend in the state over the last couple decades. Craig Mauger is the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says lobbying went up during the second half of the year. And Mauger thinks this may be because of an unusually busy lame duck session.

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