Rick Pluta

Michael Buck / WOODTV.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (MPRN)--   The four Republicans running for governor all met for the first time Wednesday night on a debate stage, and sparred on Flint, marijuana, and President Trump. 

The candidates jockeyed to show who is the biggest supporter of President Trump, who has endorsed state Attorney General Bill Schuette. Schuette also defended his prosecution of state officials over the Flint water crisis as not political.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state board is starting to move faster to finalize business licenses to grow, transport, test, and sell medical marijuana. 

The marijuana board has added three meetings to its schedule between now and the end of the year. It has dealt with the just a handful of the hundreds of applications that have been submitted, and has yet to issue a finalized business license.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A study commissioned by an independent research group says term limits in Michigan have not met many of the expectations set when voters adopted them 25 years ago. 

The study relies in part on interviews since 1992 with 460 legislators. The interviews were conducted by two researchers from Wayne State University.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state House opened hearings Wednesday on a bill that would require able-bodied people on Medicaid to have a job, be looking for work, or be enrolled in school, but the bill faces obstacles. 

Medicaid work requirements got a lot of attention when the Trump administration seemed to invite states to ask for permission to try it out. Three states have already done so and others are getting in line.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Two Democrats running for governor are challenging the other’s eligibility to appear on the August primary ballot. 

Shri Thanedar says he is not trying to get Abdul El-Sayed booted from the ballot. Thanedar says he’s trying to settle the issue of whether El-Sayed invalidated his Michigan voter registration when he voted in New York in 2012.

“It really doesn’t matter what that decision is as long as it’s based on legal and constitutional inputs.”


LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A legal challenge has been filed against the ballot campaign to overhaul how Michigan draws political boundaries. 

The lawsuit says the proposal to create an independent redistricting commission should be kept off the November ballot. It was filed by Citizens to Protect Michigan’s Constitution, which is backed by business groups and Republican Party interests. The complaint says the Voters Not Politicians proposal would make sweeping changes across Michigan government – so many the proposal cannot be summed up in 100 words as required by law.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   It appears the question of legalizing marijuana in Michigan is headed to the November ballot.

A state elections board has certified the campaign has enough petition signatures to take the next step. That next step is to put the question to the Legislature, which has 40 days to approve it or it goes on the ballot.

But the state House leader says Republicans don’t like the measure, and a vote in the Legislature isn’t likely.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A partisan split on a state election board has stalled a petition drive to outlaw prevailing wage rules in Michigan. 

Non-union builders and some prominent business groups, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, want to outlaw prevailing wage. They launched a petition drive that takes aim at rules adopted by the state and many local governments. Those rules require contractors to pay union-scale wages on publicly funded projects.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Millionaire businessman Shri Thanedar has filed petition signatures with the state to appear on the August primary ballot as a Democratic candidate for governor. 

Thanedar reported turning in 30,000 signatures a day before the filing deadline.

Thanedar enjoys high name recognition as a result of a self-funded million-dollar TV ad campaign. He says that’s also starting to yield more individual campaign donations.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state is trying to find ways to help medical marijuana businesses that are having trouble finding a bank or a credit union.

It’s in the process of licensing growers, transporters and retailers that want to join the medical marijuana business.

Rick Johnson chairs the state medical marijuana licensing board. He says most financial institutions won’t work with marijuana-related businesses because the drug remains illegal under federal law.