Government

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder’s administration is looking at making changes to state tax laws early in 2018. That’s after it discovered the new federal tax law could have an impact on Michigan resident’s wallets.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   In the capital of the U.S. auto industry, drivers have been slow to accept that more Americans are choosing bicycles over cars for commuting or for fun and exercise. 

Now Michigan is trying to make up for lost time by passing some of the nation's strictest bike-safety regulations, including tough penalties on distracted motorists.

While other states adopted bike-friendly safety laws in recent years, Michigan steered clear of the trend and more riders got killed by cars.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Marquette Mayor Tom Baldini died Tuesday, after he suffered a major stroke December 23.

Sources say Baldini was having dinner with friends Saturday night when he collapsed. He was being treated in the UPHS-Marquette ICU when the decision was made to take him off life support around 4 pm Tuesday.

Baldini was elected to the City Charter Commission in 2011 and the City Commission in 2014. He was re-elected in November 2016 to the Commission and voted mayor by its members.

Mayoral duties now fall to Mayor Pro Tempore Dave Campana. 

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Doctors will be required to check a prescription database before prescribing painkillers and other powerful drugs under legislation that has won final approval in Michigan's Legislature. 

The bill was passed Wednesday. Other bills winning passage would limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed and require a "bona fide" physician-patient relationship to dispense drugs.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Legislature has unanimously voted to cut high financial penalties for collecting excessive unemployment benefits while easing the ability for employers and claimants to report cases of identity theft.

The legislation was approved Wednesday and will soon reach Gov. Rick Snyder. The bills are a response to thousands of people being wrongly accused of fraudulently receiving benefits.

In many cases between 2013 and 2015, claimants did not commit fraud and were hit with interest along with penalties above the overpayment.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Bills designed to get a handle on municipalities' underfunded employee retirement benefits are going to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for his expected signature. 

The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the legislation Tuesday, after removing contentious provisions last week.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to require that the Michigan Dept. of Corrections have a policy allowing for the hiring of felons. State law prohibits people convicted of felonies from being employed in the prison agency. It apparently was a reaction to fears over the state hiring felons as corrections officers.

     The legislation, signed yesterday, makes an exception if the job doesn’t risk public safety or the operation of the department. An extensive background check and written approval from the department director will be required.           

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.

DETROIT, MI (AP)--   Prominent clergy, Detroit elected leaders and community activists are calling for due process in support of U.S. Rep. John Conyers who faces allegations of sexual harassment from several women who once worked for him. 

Detroit NAACP President the Rev. Wendell Anthony, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and county Clerk Cathy Garrett were among dozens of people attending Monday's rally at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Northwest Detroit.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A new report by a Michigan task force says the state Legislature should limit the operation of drones around areas such as correctional facilities, tourist destinations and prominent bridges. 

The 27-member Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force was created earlier this year to form statewide policy on the operation and regulation of unmanned aircraft systems.

The panel said in a report released last month that it worked to balance safety needs while respecting the Federal Aviation Administration's authority over airspace.

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