Capitol Connection

From the State Capitol in Lansing to the US Capitol in Washington, WKAR is committed to explaining how decisions made by lawmakers affect Michiganders. With Michigan a key focus in the 2020 presidential campaign, look here for conversations with people across the Great Lakes about the race for the White House.

Our coverage is headed up by veteran politics and government reporter Abigail Censky. You will also see stories in this section from MPRN Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta, MPRN Capitol Correspondent Cheyna Roth and the Associated Press.

Elissa Slotkin
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

US Senator Debbie Stabenow will swear-in Lansing's new congresswoman on Sunday. Rep. Elissa Slotkin has also chosen a Lansing office location.

Protestors gather outside of the Capitol during December's lame duck legislative session.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

Lawmakers arrived in Lansing this week for Michigan’s 100th legislative session following a turbulent lame duck session.

Protestors crowded the steps and rotunda of the Statehouse for several days of the lame duck session and national media attention.  It was the busiest in Michigan’s history with lawmakers passing nearly four hundred bills in a three week period.

Gretchen Whitmer, Andy Schor
WKAR-MSU

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her first State of the State address on Feb. 5. Meanwhile, Lansing mayor Andy Schor will deliver his second State of the City address on Feb. 6.

Michigan Capitol
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Republicans opened the term Wednesday with smaller majorities in both chambers following the November election.


Jocelyn Benson, Michigan's first Democratic secretary of state in more than 20 years gives her inaugural remarks.
Reginald Hardwick, WKAR

Jocelyn Benson is Michigan’s first Democratic secretary of state in over 20 years. She’s taking office after  voters made sweeping changes in the 2018 midterms to how Michiganders will vote and how their districts will be drawn.


Elissa Slotkin
Amanda Barberena / WKAR-MSU

Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced Friday that she will donate her salary during the federal government shutdown.

Dana Nessel, Kym Worthy
WKAR, Governing.com

A Detroit-area prosecutor will review a criminal investigation of the Flint water crisis and decide whether to take over the cases, Michigan's new attorney general announced Friday.

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Amanda Pinckney / WKAR

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive directive that's designed to help expand opportunities for certain small businesses and those businesses facing economic challenges.

Elissa Slotkin
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR Public Media

On the opening of the 116th congress, new representative-elect Elissa Slotkin talked about being sworn in during the federal government, President Donald Trump's wall along the southern border and her opposition to Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.


capitol photo
WKAR File Photo

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed six new executive directives Thursday. The new rules are focused on ethics in state government.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued her first executive directive as Michigan’s governor. It requires state department employees to report threats to public health, safety or welfare up the chain of command. And it requires those threats to be investigated.


US Capitol Building
Liam James Doyle / NPR

The 116th Congress is beginning its first session today, and Democrats are now in control of the House of Representatives. Watch the first day of actions live, including the election for House Speaker, which Nancy Pelosi is expected to win, and a vote on new House rules.

Mackinac Bridge
Amanda Barberena / WKAR-MSU

Michigan's new governor and attorney general moved quickly Wednesday to review the legality of a contentious state deal to run an oil pipeline beneath a crucial section of the Great Lakes.

UPDATED at 4:30 p.m.: Crowds braved overcast and wintry weather to see Gretchen Whitmer inaugurated as Michigan’s forty-ninth Governor.


Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson vowed to protect all Michiganders during her inauguration speech on January 1, 2019. 


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