State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year’s budget first.
One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state’s Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.
The debate over reviving medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan starts up again in Lansing this week.
A state Senate panel will hear public testimony on House Bill 4271, which would let communities decide whether to allow dispensaries and how to regulate them. It is also expected to take up House Bill 5104, which would allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of cannabis.
A decision on the legal challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage is expected in two weeks or less. The trial wrapped up Friday with closing arguments at the federal court in Detroit. A lesbian couple that brought the suit argues the same-sex marriage ban that was approved by voters in 2004 violates their children’s equal protection rights. An emotional April DeBoer says she and her partner want to get married so they can both adopt the special needs kids they’re raising together.
Dakota Serna served in the Marines during the Iraq War. He says memories of seeing friends and children killed left him suicidal after he came home. Serna says the only thing that has helped him get his life back on track is using marijuana.
But that puts him on the wrong side of the law as it is currently written.
“Somebody on paper can say that I’m a criminal,” said Serna. “Somebody can come to my house and try to put me in handcuffs. But I’m not a criminal.”
It could soon be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to children in Michigan. The state Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday meant to keep the smokeless devices out of the hands of minors (Senate Bills 667 & 668).
So-called “e-cigarettes” deliver a nicotine-laced vapor, but don’t contain tobacco. That means the state cannot currently regulate them along with regular cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Life without parole used to be the automatic sentence for juveniles who were tried as adults and convicted of first-degree murder. That was until June of 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that automatic life without parole for juveniles was unconstitutional. But a question here in Michigan remains – what happens to more than 350 juvenile lifers here who were sent to prison before the decision? Thursday the state Supreme Court hears arguments on that question.
It's no secret that Detroit schools have been failing their students for a long time.
In 2009 Detroit's public schools racked up the worst scores in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test, and the scores haven't really improved since then.
Charter schools were launched to offer Detroit parents a choice. But my next guest believes the unregulated environment for charter schools has wound up hurting the kids who most need help and a sound education.
Robin Lake is director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. She recently visited Detroit and came away with some unsettling views of the condition of Detroit's charter schools.
Let's continue our look at military veterans in Michigan. Yesterday on the show, we talked about the disconnect between saying that we want to help veterans and actually putting policy into place that does that.
Today, we turned our focus to mental health.
Data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates about 22 vets a day are committing suicide.
And it's estimated one in five veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The state’s defense of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban got off to a rocky start Monday.
Federal Judge Bernard Friedman tossed out the state’s first witness in the case. He said Yale law student Sherif Girgis did not qualify as an expert witness. The plaintiffs’ attorneys pointed to the fact that Girgis is still a student, and said he would only be expressing his opinion on gay marriage – not actual evidence.