Rick Pluta

The number of people in Michigan who have filed for unemployment benefits without getting paid has grown. That’s according to the agency responsible for processing the claims.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency says that’s because there are so many instances of fraud and suspected fraud.

The agency says it’s trying to get payments out to people who have filed legitimate unemployment claims. But it says that effort is hampered by an increase in what appear to be fraudulent claims – mostly possible identity fraud.


The Michigan Court of Appeals has dealt a blow to the owners of the Ambassador Bridge and their efforts to stop construction on a new bridge to connect Detroit and Canada.


A petition campaign to outlaw an abortion procedure has been given another chance to prove it’s gathered enough signatures to accomplish its goal.

Right to Life of Michigan wants the Legislature to adopt a veto-proof initiative to ban the dilation-and-extraction procedure. It turned in its petitions to the state Bureau of Elections. But a random sample of signatures showed the campaign fell short. Right to Life appealed to the Board of State Canvassers, which took the unusual step of telling the bureau to go back and draw a bigger sample.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will issue an executive order soon that would allow schools to re-open classrooms this fall.

Governor Whitmer says she’s asked often about plans for the coming school year after classroom instruction was abruptly cancelled this past spring due to the COVID-19 crisis. She says schools will be allowed to re-open with additional precautions and an understanding that in-person learning could be again shut down if a region sees a spike in cases.


The state may give itself a reprieve from the July first deadline to wrap up the budget. The state Senate adopted a bill today  to lift the deadline this year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The state’s General Fund faces a deficit of two-point-seven billion dollars this year. The School Aid Fund is short one-point-one (b) billion dollars. A deficit is also projected for the next fiscal year which begins in October.

Kurt Weiss is with the state budget office.

Michigan civil rights groups are cheering today’s US Supreme Court ruling that says LGBTQ protections are enshrined in federal law. A petition campaign to add similar protections to Michigan’s civil rights law is deciding what to do next.

The Fair and Equal Michigan signature-gathering campaign faces hurdles created by COVID-19 restrictions. The task of collecting 340-thousand-42 signatures is proving to be difficult and expensive.


The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a law that allows Enbridge Energy to build a tunnel so it can continue to move oil and natural gas liquids through a controversial Great Lakes pipeline.

Line Five runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

A judge has struck down part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order that sanctions employers who don’t follow directions on protecting their workers from the risk of COVID-19 infection.


A new order signed today by Governor Gretchen Whitmer Michiganders will soon allow people to get their hair cut or styled – as well as head to the gym or a movie theater – with certain precations.

Whitmer will first lift restrictions in the northern Lower Peninsula and the U-P Wednesday --- followed by southern Michigan starting June 15th.

       Social distancing and limits on the number of people gathered indoors will still be required.

       “But this will look a lot more like normal once we get past the 15th.


The Michigan Senate has adopted a bill to require training for all law enforcement officers in recognizing bias and de-escalating conflicts.

The bill moved unusually fast from a Senate committee to a floor vote as protests continue across the state against police brutality. The training and continuing education for officers would have to include developing skills to recognize bias and de-escalate conflicts.

State Senator Erica Geiss said the protests show there’s an urgent need to move policing into a new era…