Michigan

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...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

Voting Rights Effort Shifting to Ballot Box | 07-13-2018

A number of voting-rights measures are bound for states’ ballots this year. In Florida, for example, voters will weigh whether ex-felons should be allowed to vote. In Maryland, voters will decide whether people should be allowed to register to vote...

Unclear on the Concept | 07-06-2018

Warren, Michigan Mayor Jim Fouts likes to say he is available to the constituents of his Detroit suburb around the clock. Well, maybe not so much. As the AP reports , Fouts recently came under some heat for blowing off a constituent who tried to talk...

SCOTUS Ruling Against Public Unions May Not Lower States’ Labor Costs | 07-06-2018

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that public-sector workers who aren’t union members don’t have to contribute to unions’ collective bargaining efforts. The 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME will likely further erode union membership...

Education - July 9 2018 | 07-06-2018

Federal Court Rules In MI A federal court rules that children in MICHIGAN do not have a fundamental right to being taught to read and write. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III came in a suit against Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and a number...

Environment - July 9 2018 | 07-06-2018

MI Governor Signs HB 5638 MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signs HB 5638 , which streamlines the process for obtaining approval for large groundwater withdrawals. The new process gives the state Department of Environmental Quality 20 days to review submitted...

Governors in Brief - July 9 2018 | 07-06-2018

WALKER SIGNS AK RAPE KIT BILL Saying the Last Frontier has over 3,500 untested rape kits awaiting processing, ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) signed a bill that requires local police to report to the state annually the number of untested sexual assault...

Health & Science - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

MA House Approves HB 4664 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4664 , a bill that would ban the use of so-called conversion therapy, a controversial practice aimed at changing the sexual orientation and gender identity of minors. It moves to the Senate...

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

State Legislative Chambers Vulnerable to Democratic Wave Election | 06-15-2018

In a normal wave election - which is typical of the first midterm election of a new president - the party out of power picks up six to eight state legislative chambers. A normal wave in November could give Democrats control of both chambers in Arizona...

Business - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

MI House Approves HB 4926, HB 4927, and HB 4928 The MICHIGAN House approves a trio of bills (HBs 4926 , 4927 and 4928 ) that collectively would legalize online gambling, including sports wagering, in the Wolverine State. The measures move to the Senate...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Business - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

CA Department of Insurance Approves The CALIFORNIA Department of Insurance approves the state’s first-ever insurance coverage for legal cannabis businesses. The new policies will cover both property and liability coverage (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT...

Education - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MI Senate Approves Seven-Bill Package The MICHIGAN Senate approves a seven-bill package that would, among several things, require all school districts to develop an emergency operations plan and consult with law enforcement before the construction...

Health & Science - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MA Senate Approves HB 4539 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves HB 4539 , so-called “red flag” legislation that would allow the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. The measure returns to the...

Sports Wagering Not a Sure Bet for States | 06-01-2018

The Supreme Court’s May 14 decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling may well turn out to be the financial boon many observers believe it can be. But getting there is going to be easier in some states than in others, and state...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

Business - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 969 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 969 , which would ban the production and sale of marijuana-infused beer and wine. It moves to the House (DETROIT NEWS). CT Governor Signs HB 5386 CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D)...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Social Policy - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 741 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 741 , which would bar local governments from banning the ownership of certain dog breeds. The bill, which would nullify all current bans and bar municipalities from imposing new ones, moves...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Detroit Regains Self-Government | 05-04-2018

Less than four years after emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit has regained full control over its government operations. Last Monday the nine-member state commission that has had the final say on all of the city’s...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Most States Not Doing Enough to End Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Only 13 states are currently taking five or all six of the key actions needed to end the opioid crisis, according to a report from the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate preventable deaths. The six actions are: educating...

Politics in Brief - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

SC GOP PROPOSES CLOSING STATE’S PRIMARIES: The Republican Party of SOUTH CAROLINA announced last week that it will conduct an advisory referendum in the state’s June primaries asking voters if they want the option of affiliating with a...

The Local Front - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

Going On In MI The MICHIGAN Department of Environmental Quality closes the final four bottled water distribution centers in the city of FLINT . State officials said testing showed Flint's water quality had remained below federal action levels for...

Budgets in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

AZ BANS LOCAL SODA TAXES: ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed HB 2484 , prohibiting local governments in the state from imposing extra taxes on sodas or other sugary beverages, as some left-leaning cities in other states, including San Francisco and...