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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Gov. Whitmer’s Plans To Restructure DEQ Are Dead – For Now

Reginald Hardwick

For the first time in years, the state Legislature has overturned a governor’s executive order. 

Capitol Correspondent Cheyna Roth reports the state Senate made the final step Thursday to get rid of an order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It would have restructured the Department of Environmental Quality.

The major dispute behind the order is that it would have eliminated environmental panels that had the ability to override the DEQ’s permitting decisions. 

Senate Minority Leader, democrat Jim Ananich said those panels open the door for special interests having the final say on pollution.

“They just voted to allow polluters to have a free pass and the citizens of Michigan took it on the chin,” said Ananich.

But Republicans say the panels protect citizens from potential overreach by the department. 

A spokesperson for Governor Whitmer said the governor is undeterred. She said Whitmer is committed to reorganizing the department in order to protect public health.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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