Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State employees are questioning the legitimacy of a new effort to expand Michigan's right-to-work laws, but the Midland Republican behind the plan said he's confident the legislation can stand.
State Rep. Gary Glenn said he's drafting legislation that would expand the state's right-to-work laws to include Michigan State Police troopers and other public safety employees and would explicitly allow public sector unions — including teacher, municipal and state-worker groups — to stop representing those who don't pay union dues.
Glenn said he plans to introduce bills next week or the week after, hoping to capitalize on the national attention focused on Wisconsin as it's poised to join Michigan in becoming a former union stronghold turned right-to-work state.
But Glenn's plan raises questions, in the minds of state employee union officials and others, about whether his bills conflict with federal law or the state constitution or could be scrapped by the outcome of a pending Michigan Supreme Court decision. And whether the plan could cause logistical headaches for the Office of State Employer, which negotiates employee contracts.
For the full article, see Justin A. Hinkley, "State workers question new right-to-work plan", Lansing State Journal, February 27, 2015.
A Supreme Court brief filed Friday by lawyers for a Michigan couple challenging the state's gay marriage ban focuses on children, arguing that preventing same-sex parents from marrying leaves kids vulnerable to economic and psychological harm.
Ann Arbor attorney Carol Stanyar said the brief was filed Friday along with documents from plaintiffs in similar cases out of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
"Injury to children is certainly one of the things we're going to emphasize and have emphasized in our brief," said Stanyar.
"... These laws cause serious, persistent, wide-ranging injury to children in particular. The most important thing for our petitioners: The bans make children legal strangers to a mother who has raised them from birth. In Michigan, the law is clear, a child has no right of custody or even visitation with the non-legal parent. Children lose important economic protections. Health insurance, social security, disability benefits, survivors' benefits... The bans also bring psychological injury to children. Many of them feel non-permanence in their relationship with that second parent."
For the full article, see Khalil AlHajal, "Michigan couple's Supreme Court brief in gay marriage case focuses on 'injury to children'", MLive, February 27, 2015.
While a debate rages in Lansing over millions spent on idle railcars for yet-to-happen commuter rail services between Ann Arbor and Howell and Ann Arbor and Detroit, talks of a new Michigan coast-to-coast passenger rail line are picking up.
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's governing board voted Thursday night to authorize entering into a $100,000 contract with Transportation Economics and Management Systems for a rail ridership and cost estimate study for potential passenger rail service along the Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids corridor.
The study will seek to determine the demand and feasibility for new intercity passenger rail between Michigan's east and west coasts, intersecting major population centers including Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Holland.
The study will involve looking at the economic and financial impacts of establishing such a service, which may or may not include a stop in Ann Arbor.
For the full article, see Ryan Stanton, "Michigan coast to coast: Passenger train service from Detroit to Grand Rapids being studied", MLive, February 27, 2015.
Jack Lessenberry, "Michigan’s Mental Health Failure" : Lawmakers haven’t been willing to do what needs to be done.
Ken Winter, "Dire Straits: Great Lakes Pipeline and Policy Options" : The stage is set for a potential environmental calamity unless something changes.
The "small, quiet woman" from Detroit is getting a big honor.
U.S. Capitol architect Stephen T. Ayers disclosed Thursday the statue of Rosa Parks that will be unveiled Wednesday — the first full-size statue to honor an African-American woman at the Capitol — will be nearly nine feet tall. A bust of Sojourner Truth is at the Capitol.
Cast in bronze, the sculpture and its black granite pedestal weigh about 2,700 pounds.
President Barack Obama on Thursday told radio interviewer Al Sharpton the dedication will be a "powerful moment where a seamstress joins some of the titans of our government in her rightful place as somebody who helped to bring about a more just America."
Rosa Louise McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913. She was raised on a farm, attended rural schools, and then took some vocational and academic courses at the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery before leaving to care for her grandmother and mother during their illnesses. In 1932 she married barber Raymond Parks, who was working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1933 she completed her high school studies; 10 years later, she joined the NAACP and was elected secretary. Her involvement with the organization heightened her awareness of the injustices imposed by Jim Crow laws in the former Confederate states, which mandated racial segregation in public facilities and retail establishments.
On December 1, 1955, while riding a bus home from her job as a department-store seamstress, she refused to obey the driver’s direction to move from her seat to make room for a newly boarded white passenger. She was arrested. On December 5, at her trial, she was found guilty of disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. That day was also the start of a bus boycott that would last more than a year and increase the prominence of many figures in the civil rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The boycott ended only after a separate Supreme Court decision held that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.
After her conviction, Parks was fired from her job and she and her husband sought work, first in Virginia and then in Michigan. She worked as a seamstress until 1965, and then served as secretary and receptionist to U.S. Representative John Conyers until her retirement in 1988. She co-founded the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation in 1980 and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development in 1987. She published her autobiography in 1992 and her memoirs in 1995.
Rosa Parks remained an icon of the civil rights movement to the end of her life. In 1999, the United States Congress honored her with a Congressional Gold Medal. Following her death on October 24, 2005, she was accorded the rare tribute of having her remains lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in recognition of her contribution to advancing civil and human rights.
For the full article, see David Shepardson, "Bronze Rosa Parks statue at U.S. Capitol will be 9 feet tall", Detroit News, February 21, 2013.
Rosa Parks statue at U.S. Capitol.
YouTube Video about Rosa Parks
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