LANSING, MI--   State Representative Beau LaFave has co-sponsored legislation that would speed up Freedom of Information Act requests. 

The Iron Mountain Republican says the bill would require state departments to fulfill FOIA requests within 60 days. He says the measure is in response to Attorney General Bill Schuette’s statement that Michigan’s FOIA law doesn’t specify a timeline in which information requests must be fulfilled.

The bill now moves to the House Oversight Committee for consideration.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   An effective food system in the state’s prisons should go beyond just feeding prisoners. That’s the message of some lawmakers in the state Senate.

The governor announced he wants to end privatized food service in the state’s prisons. Senator John Proos (R-St. Joseph) said this is an opportunity to go a step further. He’s put together a work group to explore training inmates in food services. Proos said there are thousands of available jobs across the state in the restaurant industry. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Bills to address campus sexual misconduct have stalled in the state Senate.

The bills are the Legislature’s response to Michigan State University’s handling of the sexual abuse allegations against disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar and complaints about sexual misconduct on college campuses.

LANSING, MI--   A House committee has approved legislation sponsored by Representative Beau LaFave that would give high school students credit for internships.

LaFave says many students start career development before they graduate. He says giving course credit for completion of an internship or work study program will encourage them to take advantage of opportunities in their own back yard.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan is looking to shore up its law that requires certain people to report suspected child sexual abuse to authorities to address gaps that were exposed after disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar admitted to sexually assaulting female athletes. 

Nassar's accusers are spearheading the initiative. They say he could have been stopped decades ago if coaches, athletic trainers or others at Michigan State University had listened.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities would be exempt from open-records requests under legislation approved by Michigan's Legislature. 

Legislators sent the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday on a 104-4 vote, paving the way for the state to block cybersecurity information shared with Michigan State Police and other public bodies. Supporters of the exclusion say under current law, companies may be reluctant to cooperate with officials in the event of a security breach due to fear of sensitive information being released under the Freedom of Information Act.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder is set to sign into law an increase in 911 fees to upgrade Michigan's emergency response system. 

The bill will boost the monthly surcharge on phone bills by 6 cents, from 19 cents to 25 cents. The surcharge on prepaid wireless plans will rise to 5 percent per retail transaction. It is currently under 2 percent.

The fee hikes will generate $20 million more a year.

Supporters say the 911 system is in dire need of upgrades. Technology is being used that hasn't been updated in nearly 60 years.

Trump picks Dow Chemical lawyer for key role at EPA

Mar 5, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--   President Donald Trump has picked a chemical industry insider to run the Environmental Protection Agency office that oversees emergency response to hazardous spills and cleanups of the nation's most toxic sites. 

The White House announced Friday that Trump has nominated Peter C. Wright to serve as EPA's assistant administrator for Land and Emergency Management.

Wright has worked as a corporate lawyer at Dow Chemical Co. since 1999.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Roads, flood damage repairs, and an investigation could get money sent their way soon. 

The Michigan Legislature sent a spending bill to the governor’s desk Thursday. Every lawmaker in the House and Senate voted in favor of the bill.

The big ticket item is roads – $175 million spread out to cities and villages, county road commissions, and state road preservation and projects.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard says the money is greatly needed.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan residents will get a $25 tax cut per individual within a few years under legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder. 

The Republican governor signed the bills Wednesday at his Capitol office in Lansing. GOP legislative leaders who pushed for the tax relief joined him for the bill-signing event.

The measure also clarifies that Michigan's personal tax exemption continues, after concerns were raised that the recent federal tax cuts could eliminate it due to how the state code is linked to the U.S. code.