Thursday, November 29, 2012
Find out what the bills entail, where they are in the legislative process, the pros and cons, and when an informational meeting will be held near you.
State House and Senate committees were slated to consider this week portions of a proposed education reform package that has sparked howls of protest throughout Michigan. The bills' timing coincides with the waning terms of "lame duck" lawmakers who have only a few weeks left to serve and little to lose by potentially pushing through parts of the controversial legislation that would transform education in Michigan. Supporters argue underperforming schools and achievement gaps necessitate the reforms, which they say would make students more competitive when they enter college or the work force. But opponents say the measures are moving too quickly, do not provide proper regulations for new schools and would strip communities of control over…
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Michigan Senate joins the House in voting to lift the safety requirement for riders older than 21.
Michigan will become the 31st state to give motorcyclists the option of wearing a helmet since Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation, his office announced today. Motorcyclists who are 21 or older can ride without a helmet if they have at least an additional $20,000 in medical insurance and passed a motorcycle safety course or had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Opponents of state mandates feel use should be a personal choice. They say helmets can limit peripheral vision, muffle traffic awareness sounds and create additional injury risk because of their weight. Arguments in favor of crash helmets cite safety studies, lower public medical costs, eye protection if face shields are used and reduced fatigue by improving …
Friday, March 16, 2012
Senate-passed bill would affect new motorists with graduated licenses.
Cellphones and the youngest drivers don't go together safely, a majority of Michigan senators believe. Under a proposal that passed the Senate by a 28-10 vote Thursday, teens with Level 1 or 2 graduated licenses could be ticketed and fined for driving while chatting on a phone – even in hands-free mode. The bill now goes to the state House. Backers want to reduce risky distractions among newcomers behind the wheel. Some senators voted against the measure because they favor a broader crackdown, the Associated Press reports. The legislation is called "Kelsey's Law" in memory of a Sault Ste. Marie 17-year-old who had a fatal crash while talking on her phone in 2010. Teens with Level 3 licenses, typically issued to 17-year-olds, would be …
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Senate panel approves anti-abortion plates with 7-0 bipartisan vote.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Under legislation sponsored by Sen. Pat Colbeck (R-Canton), anti-abortion messages soon could be an option for state-issued specialty license plates. Senate Bill 600, approved unanimously today by a senate panel and facing consideration by the entire Michigan senate, would create a "Choose Life" specialty vehicle license plate, according to a news release from Colbeck's office. Funds raised from the sale of the plates would go to support anti-abortion organizations and projects. “Michigan residents have long supported policies that encourage alternatives to abortion and our Choose Life license plate program echoes that sentiment,” Colbeck said in a news release. “It will provide drivers a way to promote abortion alternatives and protect …
Thursday, November 3, 2011
State Democrats and the father of the victim after whom the bill was named have denounced the bill because of the exception for religious beliefs or moral convictions. One senator gave an impassioned speech against the bill. What do you think?
The state Senate yesterday passed a new bill that would require school districts to implement anti-bullying policies. But the bill is drawing criticism from Democrats and the father of the victim after whom the bill was named. The critics say the bill creates a special exception for bullies who have "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction," as well as neglecting to protect against bullying by students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a story by the Huffington Post. Known as Matt's Safe School Law, the bill effectively bans harassment in schools and requires every district to have an anti-bullying policy. The law was inspired by Matt Epling, a Michigan teen who committed suicide shortly after an …