Rick Pluta

non-licensed

Democrats in the Legislature – with the backing of Governor Gretchen Whitmer – are renewing a push for tougher gun laws.

The CDC ranks Michigan 31st among the states in firearm-related deaths per capita.

State Senator Jeremy Moss says Michigan already requires some background checks – and that’s for people seeking concealed pistol licenses. One of the bills would require background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm.

pic of headband with mask attached
Kat Samardzija creator / Locker Lifestyle

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today the state is lifting mask and distancing requirements for people who are fully vaccinated. The new public health order will take effect at 9 AM tomorrow.

The new order follows new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a departure from Whitmer’s earlier plan. But in a Twitter post, she said the state will follow the guidance.

“It’s a huge step on our path back to normal.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
michiganhhs / michiganhhs

A state Senate committee has issued a subpoena to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for documents related to its COVID-19 response.

Specifically, the Senate Oversight Committee wants documents dealing with the management of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and other congregate care facilities.

Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) is the committee chair. McBroom said he’s frustrated with foot-dragging to get documents he requested two month ago.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine distribution photo
Jake May/The Flint Journal / Associated Press

The Michigan House Oversight Committee held its first hearing today on a bill that would pre-emptively outlaw government-issued COVID-19 vaccine passports.

The bill’s supporters expressed concern about privacy and government overreach. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s use of emergency orders was also brought up. But Democratic Representative Julie Brixie also called out misinformation about the vaccines peddled in much of the testimony.

Graduation cap cupcake photo
"Graduation Cap" by ccdinges101 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Michigan Senate adopted a bill today to allow in-person high school graduation ceremonies to take place regardless of state COVID-19 restrictions.

The bill would preempt health orders as graduation season approaches. Republican Senator Jim Runestad said it’s time as more people become vaccinated.

“Please permit our kids and families the opportunity to decide their own safe practices for their own local graduations.”

Pixabay

Michigan could lose more than half of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that are allocated to the state on a weekly basis. That’s because demand is slipping.

The new policy was announced to governors by President Joe Biden’s administration. It’s an effort to get the most vaccine doses to where they’ll be used. After an initial surge in vaccinations, people aren’t lining up in the same numbers. Part of that is because the people who were the most willing were the first in line.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s former cabinet-level health chief confirmed Thursday that he left over differences about the state’s response to COVID-19. That was part of former Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon’s testimony before the state House Oversight Committee.

Gordon said he was asked by Whitmer to quit because she wanted to “go in a different direction.” That was at the same time the administration was easing some COVID restrictions.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine distribution photo
Jake May/The Flint Journal / Associated Press

Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to get her second Pfizer COVID-19 Thursday at a vaccine clinic in Grand Rapids. This is as some counties in west Michigan are emerging as COVID hotspots. Whitmer is asking people who’ve had their shots to act as vaccine ambassadors to family, friends and others who might be skeptical.

Health care providers in Michigan have been given the go-ahead to administer the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. That’s as Michigan faces some of the worst coronavirus hotspots in the country.

Michigan health officials lifted a pause on the J-and-J vaccine based on advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC determined getting more people vaccinated outweighs the very remote risk of developing a blood clot.

The owner of a northern Michigan bar can be sued for failing to protect a customer from a racially motivated assault that took place in front of the business.

Edward James Tyson suffered brain damage from the assault that occurred in 2015 outside B-S and Company in the village of Wolverine in Cheboygan County. That’s according to the opinion from the Michigan Court of Appeals.

wikipedia.com

The state House Oversight Committee approved a subpoena today that calls on former state health department director Robert Gordon to testify.

   Republicans have questions on the use of confidentiality agreements when Governor Gretchen Whitmer and top administration officials parted ways. Also whether Gordon differed with Whitmer’s decisions on the state’s COVID-19 response.

   Representative Steve Johnson is the committee chair.

“And now we are to the point where I would like to move forward with issuing a subpoena.”

  

wikipedia.com

The Michigan Public Service Commission will consider the environmental impact of greenhouse gasses in its decision on the future of Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. That’s part of an order issued today.

The Public Service Commission decision is one of several administrative and legal challenges faced by Enbridge. The company wants approval for a plan to bury a section of the pipeline inside a tunnel, and continue to use it to convey petroleum products beneath the Great Lakes.

Masked Governor Whitmer
Michigan Office of the Governor

A new fight about voting rights in Lansing pits Republicans against Democrats. The bills include I-D requirements for in-person and absentee voting.

A 39-bill package sponsored by Republicans is up for a hearing and floor votes as soon as this week.

Republican majorities could adopt the bills over the objection of Democrats, but that’s not the end game.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer told The Washinton Post during an online interview that she’s waiting to see if the Legislature sends her the bills. 

“If and when that does happen, I will veto the package.”

Unlock Michigan

The Michigan Bureau of Elections says a petition campaign to initiate a law to curtail the governor’s use of emergency powers has gathered the signatures it needs.
 

The Unlock Michigan campaign wants the Legislature to vote on a veto-proof initiative. It would repeal one of the laws Governor Gretchen Whitmer used to enact emergency COVID-19 restrictions.

That law was struck down in court, but remains on the books. Also, most of the state’s COVID restrictions have been lifted.

Fred Wszolek of Unlock Michigan says that’s not enough.
 

MPRN

State Representative Jewell Jones has been released on a personal bond and ordered to submit to random drug and alcohol testing. That’s after a probable cause hearing today. A  magistrate determined there’s enough evidence for a case to proceed against the lawmaker – who is charged with drunk driving and resisting a police officer.

The 26-year-old Democrat from Inkster faces a charge of what’s sometimes called “super-drunk” driving. His blood alcohol content was measured at twice the legal limit.

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