Michigan

Medicaid Work Requirements under Fire | 04-19-2019

The Trump administration is plunging ahead with waivers that will encourage states to impose controversial work requirements on Medicaid recipients despite a federal judge’s ruling striking down such requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky. ...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved in Nine States and Counting | 04-19-2019

Nine states have received federal approval for waivers allowing them to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. A federal judge has struck down the requirements in two of those states, Arkansas and Kentucky. But waivers are pending in another...

Governors in Brief - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

MI GOV SIGNS STREAMLINED MEDICAL WEED OVERSIGHT BILL MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation ( SB 203 ) that requires only those with 10 percent or more of an ownership stake in a medical marijuana business to undergo the state’s...

Governors in Brief - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

HOLCOMB SIGNS INDIANA HATE CRIME BILL Saying that his state has “made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence,” INDIANA Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a measure last week that for the first time gives the Hoosier State...

A Limited Victory for Pension Reform | 03-22-2019

Pension reformers won a narrow victory this month in the California Supreme Court, but the justices dodged a decision on the “California Rule,” a restrictive provision cherished by public employee unions. In a nationally watched case...

You Can’t Say She’s Not Loyal | 03-22-2019

Like millions of other Americans, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is good and ready for the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – a.k.a. March Madness – to get started. As MLive.com reports , Whitmer has her bracket all filled out...

Most 5G Laws Enacted in Red States | 03-15-2019

As of mid-February, 21 states had passed laws streamlining regulations for the deployment of 5G or small-cell technology. In 12 of those states, Republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office when the laws were...

Pendulum Swing on Voting Rights? | 03-15-2019

Over the past decade, many states, citing concerns about voter fraud, have enacted voting restrictions, such as photo ID requirements and early voting reductions. It looked as though voter purges would be the next phase of that movement, after the U.S...

Budgets in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

MN GOV PROPOSES $1.3B IN BORROWING MINNESOTA Gov. Tim Walz (D) has proposed borrowing nearly $1.3 billion to provide more affordable housing, fix buildings on college campuses and repair transportation infrastructure. Although parts of the governor’s...

States Claim Trump Violated U.S. Constitution | 02-22-2019

Sixteen states led by California sued President Donald Trump on President’s Day, alleging that his proclamation of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexican border was unconstitutional. Trump proclaimed the emergency a week earlier after expressing...

Coalition of Mostly Blue States Sues Trump Over Border Wall Action | 02-22-2019

The attorneys general of 16 states have filed a federal lawsuit to block the Trump administration from using a national emergency declaration to appropriate about $6.6 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. All 16 of the AGs are Democrats...

Challenges Ahead for AI Regulation | 02-15-2019

Artificial intelligence promises to revolutionize the way we live and work, as well as drive economic growth for at least the next decade. At the same time, it threatens to disrupt the job market, increase inequality, diminish privacy, and, as some see...

States Weighing Many Uses for Algorithms | 02-15-2019

At least 18 states have introduced bills this year mentioning the word “algorithm.” They include measures dealing with the use of algorithms to censure offensive, political or religious speech on social media (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi...

Whitmer Launches MI Clean Water Effort: | 02-08-2019

Saying “we need to be laser-focused on cleaning up water in our state,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced a reorganization of the Wolverine State’s Department of Environmental Quality, which drew intense criticism over its...

Federal Shutdown Impacting States and Cities | 01-11-2019

The partial shutdown of the federal government which began on Dec. 22 is already affecting state and local governments. And that impact could soon grow significantly. According to Governing , mandatory programs that receive federal funding, like...

Business - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

MI Governor Issues Executive Order 2019-10 MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issues Executive Order 2019-10 , which bars state agencies and departments from asking job applicants about previous salary history until a conditional offer of employment...

Govs Issue LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Protections | 01-11-2019

Four governors – two outgoing, two newly-sworn in – issued executive orders barring discrimination against LGBTQ state employees. Before leaving office in December, then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) issued an order barring discrimination...

Budgets in Brief - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

WILDFIRE CLEANUP COULD COST CA $3B Clearing away the debris from the 19,000 homes and businesses destroyed by last month’s wildfires could cost CALIFORNIA at least $3 billion, according to state and federal authorities. That sum is more than...

Governors in Brief - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

WALKER LIKELY TO SIGN WI GOP POWER GRAB BILLS Outgoing WISCONSIN Gov. Scott Walker (R) signaled his intention to sign a package of bills passed by lawmakers in the lame duck session that are widely interpreted as a move by majority Republicans to limit...

Education - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

DC Superior Court Blocks A WASHINGTON D.C . Superior Court blocks an effort to force a new referendum on a law that would overhaul how servers, bartenders and other tipped workers are paid. District voters approved the original measure, Initiative...

Environment - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

MI Legislature Approves HB 4205 The MICHIGAN Legislature approves HB 4205 , which would bar state agencies from adopting non-emergency rules more stringent than the applicable federal standard unless specifically authorized by state law or unless the...

Social Policy - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

Supreme Court Rejects Petitions The Supreme Court of the United States declines to review whether states can block Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from their Medicaid programs. The Court’s decision rejects a pair of petitions...

Business - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

MI House and Senate Endorse SB 1171 and SB 1175 The MICHIGAN House and Senate endorse bills that would drastically change previously approved laws on paid sick leave and the state minimum wage: SB 1171 (2018) would slow the increase of the state’s...

Blockchain, Cybersecurity Will Challenge Lawmakers in 2019 | 11-30-2018

SNCJ devotes the last three issues of each year to a preview of the coming state legislative sessions. Here in part one of that three-part series we’ll take a look at a few of the issues that are likely to draw the attention of state lawmakers next...

Citizen-Initiated Legislation Altered by MI Senate | 11-30-2018

Last week the Michigan Senate voted largely along party lines to make significant changes to citizen-initiated measures raising the state’s minimum wage from $9.25 to $12 per hour ( SB 1171 ) and requiring paid sick leave ( SB 1175 ). The...

Business - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 1171 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 1171 , legislation that would delay the state’s planned minimum wage increase to $12 until 2030. The measure, which would also limit tipped workers’ minimum wage to $4 per hour...

Education - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 796 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 796 , a bill that would ban paid “release time” contract provisions that allow public school employees to conduct union business during their work day. The measure moves now to the...

Voters, Courts Slowly Taking Redistricting Power from Lawmakers | 11-16-2018

While Congressional and state legislative races drew most of the attention on Election Day, those races were hardly the only critical issues voters would decide. Missouri, Colorado and Michigan became the latest states to endorse independent commissions...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures | 11-09-2018

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures: As anticipated, given the record number of female candidates running for political office this year , women made significant gains in state legislatures on Election Day. Preliminary analysis by the...

Mixed Results for Closely Watched Ballot Measures | 11-09-2018

Marijuana legalization was one of the most prevalent issues on state ballots on Nov. 6. And with the approval of one of those measures, Proposal 1 , on a 54-46 vote, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Democrats Seem Poised for State Election Gains | 10-19-2018

The pendulum of politics that in many states has swung Republican for the last eight years appears to be heading in a Democratic direction in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Nonpartisan analysts and pollsters give Democrats a solid chance to win nine...

Sizable Statehouse Gains Possible for Dems in November | 10-19-2018

If the November election holds to the usual pattern for the first midterm election of a new presidency, Democrats could win control of nine legislative chambers in seven states, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures...

Recreational Marijuana Movement Heads Into New Territory | 10-19-2018

Recreational use of marijuana has been approved by voters in eight states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington - and by state lawmakers in Vermont. Recreational marijuana measures are on the ballot in two...

Business - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

US Supreme Court Rejects The U.S. Supreme Court rejects a plea to hear an appeal of rulings in two CALIFORNIA cases that require former makers of lead paint to pay $400 million or more to clean up old homes (LOS ANGELES TIMES). MI Governor Signs...

Banner Year for Voting Rights Ballot Measures | 10-12-2018

In November voters in Arkansas and North Carolina, two states where voter ID laws have been struck down by the courts, will decide whether such requirements will be enshrined into their respective constitutions. And voters in Montana will decide whether...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

Governors in Brief - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

Baker Opposes MA Nurse Staffing Mandates MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said a recent report by the state Health Policy Commission has convinced him to vote no on Question 1 , a ballot measure that would require strict nurse-to-patient ratios...

State Lawmakers Taking More Interest in Cryptocurrencies | 10-05-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy goods and services, pay bills, gamble online, transfer money internationally and as an investment vehicle, among other things. And that activity is drawing more attention...

More State Cryptocurrency Legislation in 2018 | 10-05-2018

At least 21 states have introduced bills or resolutions dealing with digital currencies in 2018, about double the number of states that did so last year, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net....

Lawsuits Forcing States to Spend Millions on Hep C Treatment | 09-28-2018

A federal judge in Indiana ruled this month that denying or delaying treatment of prison inmates infected with hepatitis C constituted cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. A similar ruling last...

Boom in Energy States May be Helping Drive National Economy | 09-14-2018

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, America’s GDP grew by 4.2 percent between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year, the highest quarterly rate since 2014. And an energy boom, fueled by higher oil and gas prices...

Governors in Brief - September 17 2018 | 09-14-2018

SNYDER SIGNS ‘BAN THE BOX’ ORDER MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed Executive Order 2018-4 , which directs some state agencies to no longer ask job applicants about any criminal history in the initial application process. The so-called...

Governors in Brief - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

ME, KY, MS GOVS FILE WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION BRIEF MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R), KENTUCKY Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and MISSISSIPPI Gov. Phil Bryant (R) join the attorneys general of 13 other states in an Aug. 23 brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule...

Budgets in Brief - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

SPORTS BETTING OFF AND RUNNING IN NJ Three casinos and two racetracks allowing sports betting in NEW JERSEY took in $40.6 million in such wagering in July, the first full month it has been legal. Since the state initially began allowing sports gambling...

Tip Credit Latest Front in Minimum Wage Battle | 08-10-2018

In June, Washington D.C. voters strongly endorsed Initiative 77 , a ballot referendum to require District eateries to pay workers that rely on tips the same minimum wage as other employees. But amidst furious pushback from the restaurant industry, a majority...

States Look at Eliminating Lower Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers | 08-10-2018

Forty-three states currently allow restaurant operators to pay employees who receive tips, such as waiters and bartenders, less than the state minimum wage, with the minimum hourly rate for such tipped workers set by the federal government at $2.13. This...

Redistricting Reform Movement Shifts to State Ballots | 08-03-2018

The nationwide movement to remove politics from the process of drawing political districts suffered a major setback this year when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected three cases dealing with partisan gerrymandering - the drawing of maps in a way that disproportionately...

Education - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

MI Supreme Court Rules The MICHIGAN Supreme Court rules that Wolverine State schools may legally ban guns from their campuses. The decision upholds a 2016 ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals, which came to the same conclusion (DETROIT FREE PRESS...