Cheyna Roth

Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to stop President Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall between the U-S and Mexico.

   Nessel joined a lawsuit to stop Trump’s declaration of a national emergency along the southern border.

President Trump declared the emergency last week. He hasn’t been able to get Congress to pass a spending bill to build a wall along the southern border – a major 20-16 campaign promise.

   Attorney General Dana Nessel says this is a quote – “manufactured emergency.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will issue its March and April food assistance benefits early. This is because of the previous government shutdown

For the first time in years, the state Legislature has overturned a governor’s executive order.

The state Senate made the final step today to get rid of an order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It would have restructured the Department of Environmental Quality.

The major dispute behind the order is that it would have eliminated environmental panels that had the ability to override the D-E-Q’s permitting decisions.

       Senate Minority Leader, democrat Jim Ananich  says those panels open the door for special interests having the final say on pollution.

Republican leaders in the state Legislature want to know how Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to pay for several areas she wants to improve.

During her address, Governor Whitmer said Michigan has a funding crisis for education and she discussed Michigan’s crumbling roads and infrastructure problems. But she didn’t say how the state could pay for improvements.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield:

“I think many of the issues were identified of challenges that our state is facing, but I do believe there were still some campaign trail rhetoric in that speech.”

Tonight Governor Gretchen Whitmer will give her first State of the State speech.

The State of the State is a chance for the governor to lay out her agenda and goals for the upcoming year. And the Democratic governor will be giving her speech to a majority Republican Legislature.

   Charles Ballard is an economist at Michigan State University. He says Michigan’s economy is currently a quote “mixed picture.” He says too many tax cuts over the years have resulted in crumbling infrastructure and other problems in the public sector.

Several of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s picks for major departments likely won’t be ousted by the state Senate. The Senate can choose to reject those appointees.

       The Senate Advice and Consent committee began hearings this week on some of Whitmer’s picks.

The committee heard from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s appointees to lead departments like the Michigan State Police and state Treasury.

       Republican Senator Peter Lucido chairs the committee that held the hearings this week.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plans to restructure the state Department of Environmental Quality could be over.

The state House passed a measure to eliminate the order yesterday. And now the Senate is considering a similar move – which would mean the end of Whitmer’s order.

The Senate oversight committee met to review Whitmer’s order. Some Republicans don’t like that in overhauling the DEQ, the order gets rid of several oversight committees that were created by statute last year.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to restructure the Department of Environmental Quality could be overturned before any changes are made.

Some Republicans don’t like that Whitmer’s executive order gets rid of several environmental rule making panels that were put in place by state law last year.

   The Senate decided to hold off for now on any measures to block the order.

Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon was in court today. Simon is charged with lying to law enforcement.

Prosecutors say Simon lied about what she knew and when about Larry Nassar. He’s the former university sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for decades.

       Only one witness testified during the first day of Simon’s preliminary hearing. Nassar survivor, Amanda Thomashow:

Governor Getchen Whitmer is restructuring the state's Department of Environmental Quality.  The DEQ has been under scrutiny and criticism following its handling of the Flint Water Crisis

Whitmer says Michigan needs to be laser focused on ensuring Michigan has clean drinking water.  The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy creates new offices.  Those offices will be focused on environmental justice and water.

Sean Hammond is with the Michigan Environmental Council.  He says this is a first step.