LANSING, MI –
A repeal of the state's unpopular Driver Responsibility Fee is back up for discussion at the state Capitol.

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A repeal of the annual assessment on drivers with seven or more points on their license was approved by the House last year, but stalled in the Senate. Most lawmakers agreed the fee is unfair and bad public policy, but struggled to find a way to supplant the estimated $100 million it brings in every year.

LANSING, MI –

A Congressman from Maryland is the featured speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Junior luncheon today in Lansing.

Baltimore Democrat Elijah Cummings has represented Maryland's 7th Congressional district since 1996.

LANSING, MI –

The annual Martin Luther King Junior holiday luncheon in Lansing will feature Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings today.

The Democrat from Baltimore says people continue to be influenced by the example of Doctor King. He says they know that if it wasn't for him, they wouldn't have the lives they enjoy today.

COLUMBUS, OH – Jantel Lavender had 24 points and No. 24 Ohio State broke out of a slump to beat No. 9 Michigan State 67-53 Sunday, ending the ninth-ranked Spartans' 14-game winning streak.

The teams had been going in opposite directions. The Spartans (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) had not lost since their third game of the season on Nov. 19 at No. 2 Baylor. The Buckeyes (11-6, 2-3), the six-time defending conference champs, had dropped six of nine since a 7-0 start.

EAST LANSING, MI – A rising demand for teachers of Arabic in the state considered the capital of Arab America has led Michigan State University to launch new undergraduate and graduate
programs.

The East Lansing school says the moves will help fill the shortage of those who can teach the language. About 300,000 people in southeastern Michigan Detroit trace their roots to the Arab world.

The school says it's launching two new Arab language programs this fall.

DETROIT – As American carmakers emerge from their deep slump and a more Republican-leaning Congress takes office, the United Auto Workers union is opening a legislative meeting in Washington this week.

The Detroit-based union says 1,000 working and retired members will be hitting Capitol Hill.

They'll be hearing from UAW President Bob King today on the start of the four-day conference.

The Detroit News says King plans to talk about efforts to persuade non-U.S. automakers to make it easier to unionize their U.S. plants.

LANSING, MI –
Top state economic officials agree Michigan is beginning to show signs of slow economic growth. But they also agree the state will still be in a deep financial hole in the coming fiscal year. They just don't know yet how big that hole will be.

Andy Dillon is the new state treasurer. He says he is encouraged that economists inside and outside state government agree the worst is over.

LANSING, MI –
John Nixon is making $250,000 as Michigan's new state budget director, but he's taking on two jobs.

Nixon also will be heading the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. His salary is less than the combined salaries of the former budget and TMB directors.

According to salary figures released Friday by Gov. Rick Snyder's press office, few department directors are making more than their predecessors under Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

DETROIT –
U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios on Friday announced the first funding of the program in Detroit with Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Michigan is getting $79.1 million under the program and North Carolina is getting $46.1 million.

Funding for other states is expected to be announced later.

They were joined by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Gary Peters, both Michigan Democrats, at United Metal Products, a metal stamping facility.

LANSING, MI –
Michigan Appeals Court Judge Brian Zahra has officially joined the Michigan Supreme Court.

Justice Maura Corrigan left Friday to become director of the state Department of Human Services. Zahra's appointment took effect Friday.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday named Zahra to the state Supreme Court, maintaining Republicans' one-vote advantage and putting his mark on the seven-member court shortly after taking office.

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