Lansing

10.31.14:  Michigan lawmakers consider STEM certification

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are considering approving a certification for high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 

The new legislation outlines the requirements for a possible certification on high school diplomas, including six credits of math and six credits of science.

 

Republican state Sen. John Proos of St. Joseph introduced the bills and says the certifications would help students succeed in competitive job markets.

 

Michigan STEM Partnership Board of Directors chairman Paul Agosta says state officials need to ensure students can apply practical learning to college study or the work place.

 

Republican state Rep. Amanda Price of Park Township plans to introduce matching bills in the House. She says certifications would send the message to employers that science and math education is a primary focus in Michigan.

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10.16.14:  Effort aims to improve driver education for youth

 

 

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan effort aims to improve driver education for young people and reduce the risk of crashes by offering scholarships for training courses.

 

The office of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Big Brothers Big Sisters are working together on the “Keys to Safe Driving” effort. An event Thursday where scholarships are being presented highlights the involvement of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.

 

Johnson’s office says less than half of young people in the Detroit area are licensed within one year of reaching Michigan’s minimum age for licensure, and a little more than half get a license before turning 18. Officials say young people can miss out on training opportunities.

 

The effort also involves All Star Driver Education and the T. Wall Foundation.

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10.16.14:  Officials encourage flu vaccinations in Michigan

 

OKEMOS, Mich. (AP) — Health officials are encouraging Michigan residents to get flu vaccinations.

 

The Michigan Department of Community Health, the Michigan Osteopathic Association and the Michigan State Medical Society are coming together Thursday at an event in Okemos with hopes of boosting vaccination across the state.

 

The peak of seasonal flu typically comes between January and April. Health officials warn that influenza is potentially life-threatening, especially for infants and the elderly. During the 2013-2014 flu season, officials say there were three influenza-associated deaths of children in the state.

 

Last month, the Michigan Department of Community Health announced it was partnering with colleges, universities and others to encourage young adults to get flu vaccinations.


10.16.14:  Gov. Snyder to sign anti-human trafficking bills

 

TROY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is planning to sign a number of bills that aim to crack down on human trafficking and help its victims.

 

The legislation being signed Tuesday in a Detroit suburb would let victims clear their criminal records. Minors suspected of prostitution would be presumed to be trafficking victims, and “johns” soliciting sex from minors would face stiffer criminal penalties.

 

The bills would eliminate the statute of limitations for exploiting children and extend it to 25 years to bring charges against suspected adult traffickers. Those soliciting sex from minors would be added to Michigan’s sex offender registry.

 

The legislation stem from recommendations made by a state human trafficking commission. The report says Michigan is thought to be a trafficking hot spot because of its international borders and waterways.


10.14.14:  Gov. Snyder signs legislation on overdose drugs

 

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation requiring emergency medical responders to be trained to administer medications to stop drug overdoses aboard ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

 

The governor’s office says the legislation signed Monday at the Women Strengthening Michigan forum in Macomb County’s Clinton Township aims to expand the availability of so-called opioid antagonists to help save the lives of those who have overdosed.

 

Before the event, Snyder signed the rest of the bill package.

 

Under the legislation, prescribers may dispense the medication under certain circumstances to friends or family of individuals who may be at risk of experiencing a heroin-related overdose. Also, Snyder’s office says first responders and civilians are exempt from criminal prosecution or professional sanctions for administering the medications in good faith to those with immediate need.


10.1.14:  Gov. Snyder signs career, technical education bill

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation requiring the state to provide information about career and technical education programs to school officials who ask for it.

 

The legislation requires that the Michigan Education Department post information on its website about best practices in career tech education. Legislators want to better publicize ways career tech classes can be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements.

 

The law requires that students be given information about meeting graduation requirements with career tech programs. It also strongly encourages schools to create programs whose completion counts toward getting a professional certificate, apprenticeship, training or college credit in a career and technical field.

 

Snyder says skilled trade jobs “are constantly in demand” and it’s important to ensure students know about them.

 


9.25.14:  Senate votes to ban use of drones to hunt animals

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bills in the Michigan Legislature would prohibit the use of a drone to hunt animals.

 

Legislation approved unanimously Wednesday by the Senate also would ban the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle to interfere with or harass hunters.

 

Violations of the proposed law would be a misdemeanor and could bring jail time and hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines.

 

The state Department of Natural Resources says drones haven’t been an issue related to hunting, but lawmakers want to deal with it given the increasing use of drone technology.

 

The bills now go to the House.


9.23.14:  Lawmakers to OK career, technical education bill

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Legislature is close to sending Gov. Rick Snyder legislation requiring the state to provide information about career and technical education programs to school officials who ask for it.

 

The legislation up for a final vote Tuesday in the Senate would also make the Education Department post on its website information about best practices in career tech education. Legislators want to better publicize ways career tech classes can be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements.

 

The bill would require that students be given information about meeting graduation requirements with career tech programs. Schools would be “strongly encouraged” to create programs whose completion would count toward getting a professional certificate, apprenticeship or college credit in a career and technical field.


9.16.14:  Michigan House to vote on forfeiture legislation

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers plan to proceed with a bill making it easier for the government to seize property linked to suspected illegal activity.

 

The legislation up for a vote Tuesday in the state House allows for the forfeiture of homes, cash and other assets in home invasion and rape cases. It’s designed to crack down on human trafficking.

 

The bill lets law enforcement take property and not give notice of forfeiture for 56 days. The current deadline is seven days.

 

Supporters say police are facing budget constraints and changes in the law would give them more time to investigate intricate human trafficking cases. Critics say innocent people could go a long time without the use of a car and house while wondering if police will return the items or seek forfeiture.


9.9.14:  Michigan lawmakers return for pre-election session

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are returning for a four-week session before the November election.

 

Legislators are waiting to see if the Michigan Supreme Court reconsiders a ruling that could cost the state more than $1 billion. If the court doesn’t change its mind, lawmakers are likely to introduce legislation designed to keep the decision from affecting 134 other cases.

 

The July ruling involves a dispute over how IBM had to calculate taxes in past years.

 

It’s unlikely that the Republican-led Senate will tackle the big issue of road funding before the election. A plan to significantly increase Michigan’s gasoline tax stalled in June.

 

Both the House and Senate will begin meeting Tuesday.