LANSING, MI – Advocates seeking a statewide ban on smoking in workplaces are growing impatient with Senate inaction on the question. They are still hoping to enact a workplace smoking ban before the end of this year.
AUDIO: The Senate has been sitting on the ban for five and a half months. The measure would outlaw smoking in taverns, restaurants, offices, and factories with exceptions only for cigar bars and Detroit's three casinos.
SACRAMENTO, CA – A new study warns Michigan is one of ten states on the brink of economic disaster. A report from the Pew Center on the States says rising unemployment, high home foreclosure rates and big drops in tax collections could mean higher taxes, more layoffs of government workers and fewer services.
MASON, MI – Governor Granholm is continuing to push Senate Republicans to support new revenue to restore money for schools facing big cuts.
AUDIO: The governor's been meeting with parents and educators to try and get them to prod Republican lawmakers to support reducing business tax breaks, or new taxes on tobacco and beer to help reverse school cuts. School officials say they're already cutting programs and laying-off teachers.
About 800 parents, teachers, and school administrators were at the state Capitol Tuesday to demand more money for K-12 education. They are opposed to a new round of cuts to schools that are scheduled to begin later this month.
A Michigan Senate committee has voted to reject Gov. Jennifer Granholm's order letting her appoint two department directors now named by commissions.
The Republican-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee also voted Tuesday to reject the Democratic governor's plan to combine the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality.
The panel instead voted along party lines to make the Department of Environmental Quality an agency under the Department of Natural Resources.
LANSING, MI – State Senate Republican leaders say it is possible to freeze the tax credit for working poor families without risking the loss of federal funds.
The Senate's top financial advisor told lawmakers Tuesday that Governor Granholm is technically correct in her argument that freezing the credit makes the state ineligible for some matching funds from the federal government. But the Senate Fiscal Agency says there are ways around that.
MASON, MI – Gov. Jennifer Granholm says school officials and parents must persuade lawmakers more needs to be done to shore up education funding in Michigan.
The Democratic governor on Tuesday again called on the Republican-led Senate to immediately vote on proposals that would prevent some school funding cuts.
Granholm spoke with reporters Tuesday after meeting with school officials in Mason. She says lawmakers could pass short-term fixes now but a ballot proposal might be needed to make longer-term changes.
LANSING, MI – Republican state Senator Mike Nofs was sworn into the Michigan state Senate on Tuesday. Nofs was elected in a special election to fill the Senate seat left empty by Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer when he left for Washington in January.
Nofs thanked Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop for his support on the campaign trail.
LANSING, MI – State health officials say people with asthma need to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu as soon as possible.
Doctor Gregory Holzman is the state's chief medical executive. Holzman says it's particularly important for health workers, young children, senior citizens, and women in their child-bearing years to get vaccinated. He says more people with asthma also need to get flu shots because they are at risk of serious lung infections if they get sick.
LANSING, MI – Michigan voters could get to decide next year whether their home and automobile insurance premiums should drop 20%. The Board of State Canvassers has approved a petition from a group called Fair Affordable Insurance Rates. The group still must collect more than 300,000 valid voter signatures to get on the ballot.
East Lansing – After taking four points against tenth ranked Nebraska-Omaha over the weekend, MSU hockey coach Rick Comley is pleased with the growth of his young team early on this season. As the Spartans look ahead to crucial match ups against Michigan and Notre Dame on the horizon. Coach Comley feels confident his team will compete but is wary of the Spartans continued issues taking penalties during critical moments in games.
East Lansing, MI – The Michigan State hockey team is off to an impressive 6-2 start to the season. One of the many reasons why is freshman forward Derek Grant. The 6'3 185lb forward out of Abbotsford British Columbia, began the season on a six game scoring streak and currently ranks first amongst CCHA freshmen in points with 11 (5 goals and 6 assists)
LANSING, MI – A state audit says Michigan didn't complete about 10 percent of routine bridge inspections on time between 2006 and 2008.
There are more than 10,000 state-owned and locally owned bridges that must be inspected at least every two years.
The audit released Friday also says 59 percent of underwater bridge inspections either weren't done or weren't done on time. Auditors lay the blame on local bridge owners and the Michigan Department of Transportation.
State officials says they agree with the audit's recommendations.
DETROIT, MI – Police investigating the hit-and-run death of a Michigan State University student following a Detroit Red Wings hockey game plan to view surveillance video from downtown hotels and shops.
The Detroit Free Press reports Friday that the 19-year-old was leaving the game at Joe Louis Arena with friends late Thursday night when he was hit near Cobo Center.
EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan State women's basketball team jump started the 2009-10 season with a 79-47 exhibition win over Wayne State on Thursday night at the Breslin Center. The Spartans, ranked No. 10 preseason by The Associated Press and in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, had 12 different players score, led by 15 from senior Allyssa DeHaan.
EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State got a 31-save shutout from sophomore netminder Drew Palmisano and a goal and an assist from Corey Tropp in a 3-0 victory over tenth-ranked Nebraska-Omaha on Thursday night. MSU has won four straight games - all in conference - is now 7-2-0 overall and 4-1-0 in CCHA play. The two teams play again Friday night.