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Tired of watching women's issues pushed off the agenda of the past legislatures, 30 different organizations have banded together to form a single coalition to push gender equality legislation and various other pro-family initiatives.
ACLU, Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, Michigan League for Public Policy, the Business and Professional Women of Michigan, League of Women Voters and NOW have created the loose coalition called MI Lead, its leaders announced today.
And its origins can be traced directly to the passage of the 2013 citizens initiative -- spearheaded by Right to Life -- that required women who wanted optional abortion coverage in their health insurance policies to buy a separate rider, said MI Lead Co-Chair Merissa Kovach, a field organizer for the ACLU.
The immediate goals are to be a resource to the Legislature, as opposed to trying to push their own ballot proposal, said MI Lead Co-Chair Lara Chelian, director for advocacy and development for Northland Family Planning Centers.
Among the legislation the coalition would like to see is "fair maternity policy," gender pay equity and greater access for women to get health care, Chelian said.
For the full article, see "30 Organizations Form Women's Coalition", Inside MIRS Today, January 27, 2015.
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In the first 90 days of the 2015 legislative year, the state Senate will focus on issues of job creation, efficiency and transparency in government, improving achievement in Michigan schools and managing the state’s natural resources more effectively.
In a briefing with reporters Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, laid out a short term agenda that won’t dwell on the more controversial issues that have surfaced in the early weeks of this Legislature.
For the full article, see Kathleen Gray, "Senate Republicans lay out agenda for first 90 days", Lansing State Journal, January 27, 2015.
Ron French, "A Great Start to preschool expansion" : 21,000 more four-year-olds are benefitting from free, high-quality preschool in in just two years thanks to extra state funding.
Ron French, "How one Michigan community is benefiting from preschool expansion" : Tripling preschool slots, and still a waiting list in Vicksburg.
Phil Power, "Gov. Snyder goes big, bold in reimagining government programs" : Governor cuts through the clutter and inefficiency of government operations to envision a more ‘human-focused” future for Michigan residents.
Daniel Cherrin and Brian Pappas, "Conflict is inevitable in policy debates. An outside facilitator can help forge agreement" : A neutral, third-party can help public officials get beyond ideology, ensure all sides are heard and help opposing parties focus on the policy implications of critical issues.
Michigan law enforcement agencies would be able to obtain location information from the cellphones of private citizens without a warrant during emergency situations if a bill discussed Tuesday passes the Legislature.
House Bill 4006, named the Kelsey Smith Bill, would allow police agencies to ask cellphone companies for the last known location of wireless devices during emergency situations. Police would not have to ask for a warrant from a judge in order to get that information.
The bill is named for a Kansas girl who was abducted. Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee Chair Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Northville, said police in Kansas waited for four days to get a warrant and then get location information on Kelsey’s cellphone form Verizon Wireless. She was found — raped and murdered — an hour after Verizon gave police the location information.
“In an emergency situation, it is not always possible to find a judge to issue a search warrant or issue an order to obtain this information,” Heise said.
For the full article, see Kyle Feldscher, "New Michigan bill would let police obtain location data from cellphones without a warrant in emergencies", MLive, January 27, 2015.
A revised plan to speed up the process for obtaining a concealed pistol permit in Michigan could speed through the state Senate in coming weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said Tuesday that the chamber plans to “move pretty quickly” on revised legislation after Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a previous version earlier this month.
Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, introduced a new bill on Tuesday morning and the measure was quickly added to the agenda for an afternoon meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The original legislation was designed to make Michigan a true “shall issue” state for CPLs by eliminating county gun boards that could move slowly, shifting responsibilities to county clerks, sheriffs and state police.
For the full article, see Jonathan Oosting, "Michigan Senate to move quickly on revised concealed gun bill after Snyder veto", MLive, January 27, 2015.
For an update, see Jonathan Oosting, "Opposition to vetoed concealed carry bill driven by 'folks that want less guns,' says Michigan senator", MLive, January 27, 2015.
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