Rick Pluta

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has asked for five million dollars to ban hire personnel and install metal detectors to enforce a ban on guns in the state Capitol. That’s after the Michigan State Capitol Commission adopted a ban on openly carrying gun into the building.

The open carry ban won’t apply to law enforcement or people with concealed pistol licenses. But there’s still no way to know whether people are carrying a concealed gun legally or illegally into the Capitol.

There will be a new Republican serving on the bipartisan state board that certifies election results – most recently President-elect Joe Biden’s Michigan victory last November. Governor Gretchen Whitmer -- a Democrat -- selected Tony Daunt from a list submitted by the Michigan Republican Party.

The decisions of the Board of State Canvassers typically require a vote from at least one person from each party.

That got a lot of attention last year as Republicans on the board faced pressure from President Donald Trump and other Republicans to ignore Michigan’s popular vote. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated National Guard units ahead of protests expected Sunday at the state Capitol. 

The coordinated law enforcement effort also includes the FBI and local police departments.

Police agencies have ramped up intelligence gathering and a visible presence following the insurrection at the US Capitol that turned violent and out of control. The plans include boarding up windows and putting up a fence around the state Capitol. 

Michigan State Police Colonel Joe Gasper.

Gyms and non-contact sports in Michigan can resume soon. Indoor dining at restaurants will have to wait. That’s under the state’s new COVID-19 safety order.

   The new order takes effect Saturday. It says indoor group fitness activities at gyms will be allowed with health precautions. But Governor Gretchen Whitmer says more things need to fall into place before indoor dining can resume.

“We’re working on a path to allow indoor dining with safety measures such as mask requirements, capacity limits and a curfew starting on February 1.”

There will be heightened security at the state Capitol as the Michigan Legislature opens its 2021-2022 session tomorrow.    

The first session day will address formalities such as swearing in lawmakers. But it will occur in the shadow of violence and attempted insurrections in Lansing and at the US Capitol. Michigan has been at the center of plots and protests and an FBI alert warns that will likely continue.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The Michigan Capitol re-opened this morning after being closed for a little more than two and a half hours due to a bomb threat. The threat was phoned in around 6:40 a-m, said Michigan Capitol operations director Rob Blackshaw.

“We immediately turned it over to the Michigan State Police. Unfortunately, working in this building, this isn’t the first time we’ve received a bomb threat and, unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s looking forward to a better relationship with the White House once President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Governor Whitmer says she expects help from the Biden administration on some critical initiatives in its first federal budget proposal. That includes money for the Great Lakes and other environmental projects; funding for dams, bridges, and roads; getting more doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and protective equipment for front-line workers.  

There are 20 bills awaiting Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s signature that would constitute the state’s biggest criminal justice overhaul in decades.

Traffic offenses, mostly driving without a valid license, are the most common transgressions that send people to jail.  

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack co-chaired the task force that recommended these changes. She says automatic jail time can disrupt lives, family time, and the ability to hold a job. 

GVSU

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has said “no” to a request to appear before the Michigan House Oversight Committee. Benson said it’s because the Republican-controlled committee has helped spread disinformation about the integrity of the November election.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican and Democratic leaders spoke again today about year-end priorities. The governor is still trying to strike a bargain with GOP leaders on plans to address the COVID-19 crisis.

The governor’s budget office says there’s money waiting in the bank that could be used to help set up a vaccine distribution system, provide safety gear to health care workers, and help struggling workers and businesses. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today the next round of actions to help people facing hardships due to the COVID-19 crisis. They include a tax respite for businesses hurt by the COVID-19 restrictions and making plans for vaccines once they’re approved.

Democratic state Representative Cynthia Johnson has been punished by House Republican leaders for a Facebook video. They say the Detroit Democrat appears to threaten supporters of President Donald Trump.

A group of Christian high schools has sued the state over continued COVID-19 restrictions, including the ban on in-person learning.
The lawsuit claims the restrictions violate religious freedom rights.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today that restrictions on schools, businesses and public gatherings will continue for at least another 12 days.

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