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.

Gretchen Whitmer
WKAR-MSU

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has blocked the sale of a former Michigan prison that was proposed as the site of a privately operated federal immigration detention center.

Texting and Driving
Pixabay Creative Commons

Michigan could become a completely hands-free driving state.

Acting President Satish Udpa presides over his first MSU Board of Trustees meeting. He began with an apology to survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

Friday the Michigan State University Board of Trustees met for the first time since Interim President and former Governor, John Engler was ousted in early January.  Acting President Satish Udpa began his first official MSU board meeting with an apology.


Michigan Capitol
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

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


The civil asset forfeiture reform bill passed the Senate, receiving bipartisan support. The bill will now go to the state House of Representatives.
WKAR file photo

The Michigan Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would make major changes to civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture is when police are allowed to take property from people suspected of a crime without charging them.


Gretchen Whitmer
WKAR-MSU

During her first State of the State address, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer took past lawmakers to task for underfunding public education and touted a tuition-free plan that would help high school graduates attend college or get vocational training. 


Gretchen Whitmer
WKAR-MSU

UPDATED at 10:00 p.m.: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday identified two major crises facing Michigan — aging infrastructure and a lagging education system — while promising to soon propose a "real solution" to fix the roads and touting a tuition-free plan that would help high school graduates attend college or get vocational training.

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Amanda Pinckney / WKAR

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday that she will ask the Republican-led Legislature to change newly enacted work or job-related requirements to qualify for Michigan's Medicaid expansion program, saying that between 61,000 and 183,000 residents could lose coverage should the rules take effect in 2020, as scheduled.

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
CSPAN

A memorial service will be held next week in Dearborn for Rep. John Dingell. The nation's longest-serving congress member died Thursday at the age of 92. 

Several of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s picks for major departments likely will not be ousted by the state Senate. The Senate can choose to reject those appointees.


Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
CSPAN

UPDATED - Friday at 1:00 a.m.: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered on Friday in honor of former Rep. John Dingell. The longest-serving member of Congress in American history died Thursday. He was 92-years-old.


PBS News Hour

President Trump is delivering a State of the Union address after a delay due to the government shutdown. Watch his speech live, followed by a Democratic response delivered by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. 

Lee Chatfield
gophouse.org

New House Speaker Lee Chatfield said Michigan will always struggle to fund roadwork until it solves the root problem — drivers pay some of the country’s highest taxes at the pump, but not all of the revenue goes to the transportation budget.

Propane
Pixabay Creative Commons

If you think your propane provider is unfairly raising your rates during the cold snap, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants you to notify her office.


Gretchen Whitmer, Emergency Operations Center
Abigail Censky / WKAR-MSU

UPDATED Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is closing state government for the third day this week due to winter weather, saying the step is needed to keep people safe.


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