9:54 am
Mon November 17, 2014

MI House and Senate budget officials chosen

Senator Dave Hildenbrand

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's next legislative leaders have named two western Michigan lawmakers to lead the powerful House and Senate budget committees. 

Republican Sen. Dave Hildenbrand of Lowell will serve as Senate Appropriations chairman in the two-year session that starts in January.

The next Senate majority leader, Arlan Meekhof, says Hildenbrand has the "experience, leadership and common sense" for the job.

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9:38 am
Mon November 17, 2014

State House panel to take up Electoral College overhaul

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state House panel is scheduled to meet Monday to consider changing the way Michigan awards its Electoral College votes for president.

Right now, the state assigns all of its 16 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. A new Republican proposal would allow the runner-up to get up to seven of those votes – depending on how close the vote is.

“What this does is it says, if you want to do well in Michigan, you got to actually come here and talk about our issues,” said bill sponsor state Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Twp.

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9:28 am
Wed November 12, 2014

New Senate majority leader hopes to set 'aggressive' agenda

New Senate majority leader Arlan Meekhof

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Senator Arlan Meekhof helped usher in Michigan's landmark law making union fees voluntary for workers, a feat he'd thought was probably impossible until at least 2015. 

But passing the "freedom-to-work" measure ranks just second on the next state Senate majority leader's list of legislative highlights.

He says he was most proud when the Senate approved his bill prohibiting late-term abortions. Meekhof says he was adopted as an infant and his anti-abortion stance is who he is.

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10:23 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Cotter, Meekhof to lead state Legislature beginning in 2015

Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, will be Michigan’s next state House speaker.
Credit Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the state House and Senate have chosen new legislative leaders to take the reins in January. 

GOP representatives introduced the new state House speaker with loud cheers on Thursday.  

Kevin Cotter, an attorney from Mt. Pleasant, currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have credited him with carefully reviewing legislation before taking it up.

Cotter says he plans to take that approach in his new job as speaker.

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7:55 am
Tue November 4, 2014

State gas card purchases under scrutiny

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State auditors are raising questions about thousands of dollars of purchases charged to gas cards. 

The audit released Friday found people driving state vehicles spent $372,000 on things besides gas during a recent two-year period. About 40 percent of that amount was charged to a category called "other."

The state of Michigan's vehicle policy has many restrictions on the use of gas cards. Food, beverages, maps and towing are among the prohibited items.

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