Rick Pluta

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s aware parents, students, and teachers are anxious for details on back-to-school plans. She says there’s still too much uncertainty about how the spread of COVID-19 might affect those plans.

The Michigan Supreme Court says a progressive group is allowed to seek e-mails sent from private accounts of aides to then-Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The decision will make it harder for public officials to drag out responses and use technicalities to deny requests.

Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan says the decision also makes clear that private accounts cannot be used to shield communications and activities from public view.

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan
wikimedia commons

  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued an order that toughens rules requiring people to wear protective masks in public. This in response to an increase in COVID-9 infections.

In the executive order, Whitmer says “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.” It applies to restaurants, retailers and any other indoor businesses open to the public.
                But Amy Drumm with the Michigan Retailers Association says the order is not fair to employees who will be the ones confronting customers.

Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Whimter's office

  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended a moratorium on water service shutoffs for non-payment through the end of the year.

The new executive order continues earlier protections against water shutoffs for non-payment. It also requires publicly owned water suppliers to try and find customers who’ve had their service stopped. Service has to be restored unless reconnecting to damaged pipes would cause a threat to public health or safety.

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Michigan and five other states are challenging how the U-S Department of Education is allocating COVID-19 relief money to public and private schools. The states have filed a lawsuit that names the department and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as defendants.

The lawsuit says the distribution of funds ignores the specific language of the federal CARES Act.

       Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says, instead, DeVos and the education department have put their own spin on the law…

A federal judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Michigan’s voter-approved independent redistricting commission. The commission will draw new congressional and legislative districts once the results of the 2020 census are finalized.
 

The state Department of Health and Human Services is urging people with symptoms of heart attacks or other health emergencies to seek help. That’s because it appears people are avoiding hospitals and emergency rooms during the COVID-19 crisis.

Lynn Sutfin  is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She says the state compared health emergency data between mid-March and mid-May of last year to this year.

She says between then and now, out-of-hospital cardiac arrests were up by 43 percent, while ambulance transports were down by 17 percent.

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Michigan voters will decide in November whether to amend the state constitution to include electronic privacy protections.

The Bill of Rights’ Fourth Amendment and the Michigan Constitution include protections against unreasonable searches and government officials seizing property without a warrant.

       State Senator Bill Runested says it should be made clear that right also covers electronic communications and information stored on computers and in databases. 

        

wikipedia.com

A judge has ordered Enbridge Energy to shut down a set of twin pipelines that run through the Straits of Mackinac.
                That’s in response to a request filed by state Attorney General Dana Nessel.

 

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State lawmakers heard today from the director of the state unemployment agency. He was there to answer questions about a backlog in resolving unemployment claims.

The wave of COVID-related layoffs led to the increase in claims. The increase in claims led to an increase in suspected fraud. Unemployment agency director Steve Gray told a joint House and Senate committee that created opportunities for people who’ve been collecting stolen identity information.

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