Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature are all calling for the removal of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon.  

Lawmakers say they’ve lost confidence in her leadership because of the handling of the Larry Nassar scandal. Support for Simon in the Legislature collapsed as, Nassar, the former MSU sports doctor faces sentencing for abusing athletes. For many hours this week in open court, women directed emotional statements to the man who abused them as children, and toward MSU officials who they say ignored the problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state treasurer says caution should be the watchword as the Legislature develops plans to deal with a glitch in the federal tax overhaul. If they don’t, that glitch could cost Michigan taxpayers more in state income taxes. 

There are differences among Republicans on what should happen next. Governor Rick Snyder has proposed guaranteeing taxpayers can continue to claim the personal exemption. He even wants a modest increase, so it amounts to a small tax cut. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There’s been a shakeup at the agency responsible for Michigan energy policy. 

People are being re-assigned as the agency’s leader leaves state government for the private sector. Sources inside and outside the Snyder administration say the departure of Valerie Brader makes the timing right for a re-organization.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed an executive order re-assigning staff to the state Public Service Commission. That’s the agency that regulates utilities in Michigan.

Nicholas Assendfelt is with the energy agency.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A union-led petition drive will launch Tuesday to protect the state’s prevailing wage law from a different petition drive. 

That could lead to dueling ballot questions next November.

The skilled trade unions are trying to make sure contractors continue to pay union-level wages on state-funded construction projects. A petition drive to ban prevailing wage turned in its signatures last month to put the question to the Legislature.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Legislature met into the night to adopt some changes in how local 

government pensions are managed, but the deal was not everything Governor Rick Snyder was hoping for.

Snyder is a CPA/investor turned politician, and he’s had his eye for a while on making sure local retirement plans are better funded. These bills were not as far as he wanted to go, but the governor badly wanted something done before the Legislature leaves for its winter break.  

“…because this is an issue that doesn’t get better with time,” he said.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state of Michigan is imposing some new conditions on the operation of a controversial oil and gas pipeline. 

Enbridge Energy will replace a section of the pipeline that runs beneath the Saint Clair River with a tunnel. It will also examine similar treatment for a section of Line Five that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has named his legal advisor to the Michigan Supreme Court.

But the state’s newest Supreme Court justice says she may have to sit out some cases.

As the governor’s legal counsel, Beth Clement has played a role in some decisions that are now being litigated. That would include cases related to the Flint water crisis. 

“I’m aware of those potentials and prepared to look at each one individually,” she says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State officials say they’re growing increasingly frustrated as Enbridge Energy reports new spots where Line Five has exposed metal. 

Line Five runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Governor Rick Snyder released a statement following Enbridge’s latest report. He says there’s no imminent threat to the Great Lakes, but he says there are “significant concerns” for the long term. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed a spending bill that includes more money to prosecute members of his administration for their roles in the Flint water crisis. 

The $600,000 will go to state Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office.

State Health and Human Services Department Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells are among those charged. They face manslaughter charges related to a fatal outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The ACLU has asked a federal judge to release hundreds of Iraqis who are being detained by immigration authorities. 

The Iraqis are fighting deportation orders for crimes, many committed years ago. They’ve lived in the country lawfully since their convictions, and reported regularly to immigration officials before they were detained.

Miriam Aukerman is an ACLU attorney. She says the detainees have been held for as long as five months without ever seeing a judge.

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