Rick Pluta


Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new law that says police departments cannot keep assets seized as part of an investigation unless the owner is convicted of a crime.

Prosecutors have used civil actions to seize assets as part of a strategy to combat drug dealing. But critics says the seizures violate due process rights. 

   Governor Whitmer is a former county prosecutor who says it was a solution that became a problem.

 “I know that many of our citizens have not been treated fairly, or offered the protections that they deserve, and that changes today.”


The state of Michigan has reached a court settlement that allows voters to take pictures of their ballots and post them on social media.

   The deal says voters can snap and share pictures of their ballots as long as it’s done in the privacy of the voting booth.

Patrick Jaicomo  is the attorney representing the voter who sued in federal court to overturn the ban. He says this a victory for political free speech.


The state Senate today approved a bill to change the rules governing how auto insurance is sold in Michigan.

The bill would place new caps on medical benefits for people who don’t buy additional coverage.

Critics say this Republican plan would leave drivers who would be hurt the most by high medical bills with the least protection.

Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit agrees, but was still one of only two Democrats to vote for the bill. He says his city has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and it’s past time to do something.


Republicans in the Legislature will challenge to a federal court decision that struck down Michigan’s congressional and legislative district lines.

   The court says Republicans went too far in drawing districts to the benefit of Republican candidates.

The decision says the Legislature has until August to come up with new, fairer district lines.       

   The lines were approved a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican governor. GOP leaders say, yes, they were in control, but they followed the rules.


The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. A state House committee opened hearings today (Wed.) on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure. Similar bills are up for a hearing tomorrow before a state Senate committee.

Republicans say this would be allowed under the Roe-versus-Wade US Supreme Court decision, although similar laws have been blocked by federal courts in other states.

   Opponents say the bills would violate medical best practices and intrude into the doctor-patient relationship.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says a new unit in her office will focus on businesses that illegally classify their workers as independent contractors to reduce their costs.

   The Democratic attorney general says it’s a growing trend around the country – employers who classify their workers as independent contractors. Nessel says that’s used to avoid paying workers the minimum wage as well as health and unemployment benefits they’re entitled to.  And she says it cheats other employers who play by the rules and shoulder those costs.

A state lawmaker wants to make sure consent is taught as part of sex education classes. 

At least four other states have adopted similar laws.

State Senator Curtis Hertel is a Democrat whose district includes Michigan State University. He says students need to learn about sexual assault and consent before they graduate from high school and go to college.

“College students are most likely to experience sexual assault within their first six months on campus.”

The state House Transportation Committee meets tomorrow to continue hearings on fixing roads.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer – a Democrat -- has called for phasing in fuel tax increases totaling 45-cents-per gallon. Republicans control the Legislature – and say they will propose their own plan.

       State Representative Jack O’Malley chairs the House Transportation Committee, and says he will hold can accelerated schedule of hearings.

       “What we’re going to do with roads is being talked about and decided now.”

A couple says they should not lose their children because they made a fatal decision to not seek medical treatment for a newborn baby with jaundice.

The couple says they made the decision not to seek treatment based on their religious beliefs. They say their right to do that without losing their other children is protected by a state law. And they say a jury should be told that if their child custody case goes to trial.

   Kayla Crino with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office says the law does not protect parents who make reckless decisions regarding a child’s welfare.

A state House committee is considering changes to the law that requires juveniles charged with serious crimes in Michigan to be tried and sentenced as adults.

Experts told the committee that adult-time-for-adult-crime sentencing has not worked. Instead jails and prisons have been filled with teens and young adults not ready for life outside.

Jason Smith of the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency says the last few states that still automatically charge and sentences teen as adults are changing their policies.