Capitol Connection

Abigail Censky, WKAR politics & government reporter
Credit Lindsay Wilkinson Photography

From the Statehouse to Capitol Hill, WKAR is committed to explaining how lawmakers decisions affect Michiganders. Look, read, and listen here for conversations with people across Michigan about what drives their vote. Politics and Government Reporter Abigail Censky will be talking to politicians, Michiganders and 2020 hopefuls to bring you the people behind Michigan politics.

Stories in this section also come from the MPRN Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta, MPRN Capitol Correspondent Cheyna Roth and the Associated Press.

John Engler photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

John Engler's front-row interest in Michigan State University basketball has led to a war of words over the former school president's availability to speak to investigators about the Larry Nassar scandal.

Two Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in Michigan a year before the state's primary.

President Donald J. Trump
PBS NewsHour

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign has announced he's holding a rally in Michigan at the end of the month.

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

Michigan’s new secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, has released details of her personal finances. But, as Capital Correspondent Rick Pluta explains, she says this sort of disclosure should be required of all state elected officials.

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

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is voluntarily disclosing her personal financial information while calling on the Legislature to make such disclosures mandatory.

Satellite image of Great Lakes
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr Creative Commons

Governors of five states oppose President Donald Trump's call for a 90 percent spending cut for a Great Lakes cleanup program.

President Donald Trump is making another attempt to slash federal funding that goes toward cleaning up major U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, even though Congress has thwarted his previous attempts, according to budget documents released Monday.

portrait: Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Cabinet is now officially in place after Michigan lawmakers let her appointees stand confirmed.

state capitol building
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

Some Republican lawmakers in Lansing want to shorten the time period when a pregnant woman can get an abortion. A bill in the Senate would make it a felony to perform abortions after 20 weeks of the probable conception.

Elissa Slotkin
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

U.S. Congressional Democrats passed one of the first big pieces of legislation out of the U.S. House on Friday. Elissa Slotkin, the Democrat who represents Michigan’s eighth congressional district voted for the election and ethics reform bill. 

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Amanda Pinckney / WKAR

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to significantly increase fuel taxes to fix the roads is paired with another politically difficult plan — overhauling how Michigan divvies up what would be $2.1 billion in net new revenue.

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

New Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging lawmakers to let absentee ballots be counted before Election Day and to make other changes following the passage of a ballot initiative that expanded voting options in Michigan.

school classroom
Wokandapix / Pixabay

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to boost K-12 education spending by more than $500 million is getting a mixed reception in Michigan.  Educators welcome the idea of extra funding, but GOP lawmakers are wary of approving a big tax hike to pay for the increase. 


 Michigan capitol building at sunset
Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

A top Republican lawmaker on Wednesday strongly criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to raise taxes on some businesses to help ease the burden on retirees, calling it "stupid."

Gretchen Whitmer

Democratic  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Tuesday for nearly tripling Michigan’s per-gallon gas tax — and making the state home to the country’s highest fuel taxes — in order to improve aging roads that she warned would only get worse without a major influx of new spending.