Governor Rick Snyder

The governor has a stack of bills aimed at combating the opioid crisis headed to his desk. Lawmakers in the House and Senate passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday. A major goal is limiting the amount of opioids available to people who don’t need them.

Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) sponsored a bill in the package. That bill is aimed at curbing “doctor shopping.” It would require patients have a bona-fide relationship with a doctor who prescribes an opiate.

Members of a pipeline advisory board are criticizing a deal Governor Snyder struck with the energy company, Enbridge. They are calling for the line to be temporarily shut down.
 

Enbridge Energy will be required to take steps to safeguard the Great Lakes under a binding agreement with the state of Michigan.

Enbridge and Governor Snyder signed the agreement Monday, which stipulates that the energy company must act immediately to increase environmental protections around Line 5, the controversial pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac.

Think for a moment of what a cyber-attack would mean for business, for government, for health care systems. Without the internet, it'd be incredibly difficult to function.

That's why Governor Snyder recently signed a law creating the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3). Think of it as a volunteer fire brigade that's ready to be called up in the event of a cyber-attack or other internet threat.

Michigan’s 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level is set to expire next year. But a bill is on its way to the governor’s desk to prevent that.

Once in a while the state’s BAC level essentially expires. The law has a built in sunset that requires the Legislature to look at the level and consider changing it. But bill sponsor Klint Kesto (R-Walled Lake) says the current level is good for Michigan and it needs to stay.

“I think it’s good for public safety, I think it’s good for road safety, and I think it’s good for the safety of all our Michigan families out there,” he said.

The ranking Democrat on the US House Oversight Committee wants to subpoena Governor Rick Snyder. Rep. Elijah Cummins (D-MD) says the governor has not been forthcoming about when he first knew about a fatal outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Genesee County.

From Cummins’ letter to committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC):

Michigan State Police Kriste Etue will work five days without pay after Governor Rick Snyder decided that will be the penalty for a controversial Facebook post.

Colonel Etue shared a Facebook meme that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem “anti-American degenerates” and “millionaire ingrates.” She quickly took it down, and apologized, but still came under a storm of criticism.

The governor continues to resist calls for her to step down. From a statement released by his office:  

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s concerned that President Trump’s decision to end subsidies that help low-income families pay for health insurance could make rates unaffordable.

Snyder says more study is needed to determine the state’s next move, but he hopes Congress will act quickly to settle things.

Michigan State Police

Governor Rick Snyder says there is no reason to fire State Police Colonel Kriste Etue over a controversial Facebook post. Etue has apologized for sharing a meme on her page that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem unpatriotic and “degenerates.”

Snyder says the post was “inappropriate,” but he considers the matter settled.

The number of things state employee unions can bargain for shrunk Wednesday. A state board voted to eliminate their collective bargaining powers on, among other things, seniority and provisions related to overtime and job transfers.

Ahead of the meeting, hundreds of union workers gathered to protest.

After wrongly accusing tens of thousands of people in Michigan of cheating on their unemployment benefits, the state is refunding $21 million to those Michiganders.

Attorney Jennifer Lord said that number is just “a drop in the bucket” of what the state has taken from those people, while Director of the Talent Investment Agency Wanda Stokes said the agency would do better in communicating with citizens and handling unemployment claims.

Amidst all of this, Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service has noted a conspicuous silence from one very important voice: Governor Rick Snyder.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law controversial changes to the state’s public school employee retirement system.

Starting in February of 2018, new teachers will get a new choice about their retirement savings. They’ll automatically be put into a straight 401(k) plan. But they can enroll in a hybrid plan if they want. That hybrid plan also includes a pension, but it’s more expensive for the teacher.

Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) says 401(k) plans are the way of the future.

State lawmakers passed legislation to give big tax incentives to a handful of large employers Wednesday.

The bills would let approved companies keep all or part of the state income taxes withheld from their employees’ paychecks. The companies would have to meet job-creation targets and pay their workers average or above-average wages.

Governor Rick Snyder advocated strongly for the bills, but some members of his own party were not on board. Representative Martin Howrylak (R-Troy) opposed the bills. He said the incentives take from taxpayers and give to wealthy businesses.

Today is the only day this month that Michigan's lawmakers are in session, and the House used it to vote on a major new tax incentive for businesses.

Months of lively debate ended when the tax incentive package passed with bipartisan support. It was a vote that defied House Republican leaders and Speaker Tom Leonard, and served up a big win for Governor Rick Snyder.

The state House meets Wednesday and Governor Rick Snyder hopes they will vote on a controversial set of business tax breaks.

Governor Snyder is trying to salvage a business tax incentive deal that he says could mean thousands of jobs for Michigan. He met Tuesday with state House Speaker Tom Leonard and several other Republican House members.

A doctor from Saginaw Township is the first candidate for governor to file petition signatures to appear on the ballot next year.

Jim Hines filed more than 22,000 signatures to appear on the August 2018 Republican primary ballot. It takes 15,000 signatures to qualify. The petitions must still be checked and certified by elections officials.        

Michigan's Attorney General made big headlines when he announced charges of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, as well as four others.

Charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer were leveled at the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells.

New charges in the Flint water crisis are connected to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Five current and former government officials are now facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the Flint water crisis. The charges are in connection with a Legionnaires' disease outbreak during the height of the crisis. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia caused by bacteria.

Andrea Bitely

Two high-ranking state officials in Michigan face serious charges for allegedly keeping an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Flint a secret.

Involuntary manslaughter is the most serious criminal charge filed yet related to the Flint water crisis.

Zero tolerance in Michigan schools is out. Now the State Board of Education is working on revising the Model Code of Student Conduct to reflect the change.

Last year Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation effectively getting rid of zero tolerance in schools. Schools now have to consider things like age, student’s disciplinary history, and seriousness of a violation before they can expel or suspend a student.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston said the revision is a good idea.

A deal for the state’s budget and teacher retirement has been made.

Top Republican lawmakers and Governor Rick Snyder have been in a stalemate over what to do with the teacher’s retirement plan, but now a deal is in place.

The current teacher retirement plan gives teachers the option between a straight 401(k) and a hybrid 401(k) and pension-type plan.

A group marched on Governor Rick Snyder’s office Tuesday to call for faster work fixing Flint’s water system.        

About 50 demonstrators delivered more than 1,100 empty water bottles with messages from Flint residents curled inside.

Governor Rick Snyder has chosen the newest member of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Judge Kurtis Wilder is the first of a couple appointments Governor Snyder has to make in the coming weeks. He will replace Justice Robert Young who retired from the court in April to return to his former law firm, Dickenson Wright.

Wilder is a former Chief Judge of the Washtenaw County Trial Court. He currently serves on the state Court of Appeals.

Governor Snyder said Wilder has already done great work to help the state.

How much do you trust state government and its ability to do its job?

Some parents may have to drive their children ten, 20, even 30 miles to school next year. But those parents still aren't sure if that's the case yet, or if any of their options will be much better than their current schools.

All the confusion is because last month, the state School Reform Office (SRO) announced that 38 schools could be closed at the end of this school year.

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