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Gongwer News Highlights, January 12, 2018

Jon Harrison
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Fewer Fatalities, More Complaints to MIOSHA

Efforts to further reduce workplace fatalities and have staff efficiently investigate a growing number of complaints filed about conditions at places of business are among the top priorities this year of the head of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said in a recent interview with Gongwer News Service there were 38 reported workplace deaths in Michigan last year, a decrease from 43 in 2016. While the goal is to not have any, the numbers are trending in the right direction, and have improved due to programs the agency has put in place, he said.

Pscholka Hesitant On Senate Bid

Budget Director Al Pscholka's decision to leave his post February 28 should not be interpreted as signaling he plans to run for the 21st Senate District, Mr. Pscholka said Friday.

Miles Blasts Blog Post Saying He Is Suspect On LGBT Issues

Democratic attorney general candidate Pat Miles said a blog post on Michigan Progressive was lying about his support on gay, lesbian and transgender issues, saying he takes "being a strong, reliable ally very seriously."

Lasinski Talks Problems Dems Have Connecting To Rural Voters

In a report conducted by a congressional Democrat on how the party can better connect to working class voters in the Midwest, Rep. Donna Lasinski said Democrats need to stop questioning people's values and focus on key issues like jobs and education.  And Ms. Lasinski (D-Scio Township) will help House Democrats do that as she leads the messaging effort leading up to the 2018 elections. Ms. Lasinski was interviewed as part of a report "Hope from the Heartland: How Democrats Can Better Serve the Midwest by Bringing Rural, Working Class Wisdom to Washington."

Dems Denounce Trump For ‘Shithole Countries' Slur

Several Michigan Democrats, and one prominent Michigan Republican, condemned President Donald Trump on Friday after the revelation he derided nations in Africa, Haiti and El Salvador as "shithole countries."

Line 5 Risk Analysis Study Started

State officials announced Friday that they had signed a contract with Michigan Technological University to begin the risk assessment on the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

August, November Special Election Called In 68th House

Governor Rick Snyder on Friday announced the dates for the special election to fill the vacancy in the 68th House District after former Rep. Andy Schor resigned to take his post as Lansing mayor.  Mr. Snyder said the special elections will coincide with the regular election dates in 2018, with the special election primary on August 7 and the special general on November 6.

Supreme Court Upholds Decision On Filing Medical Malpractice Case

In a 4-3 order, the Supreme Court on Friday held that an individual could file a medical malpractice case against a physician more than a year after when the trial court held he should have, since it was within the timeframe of when a second physician told the patient his doctor should have referred him for treatment earlier.

State Sees Sharp Increase In Flu Cases

Influenza cases in Michigan were dramatically higher in 2017 and started the New Year with a large number of new-reported cases, according to figures from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Snyder Names New Hearings Director

Governor Rick Snyder has tapped Julie McMurtry of Madison Heights as executive director of the Michigan Administrative Hearing System.  
Ms. McMurtry has been interim director of the program since July.

Publication Note

Gongwer News Service/Michigan Report will not publish on Monday, January 15, 2018. State government offices will be closed for Martin Luther King Day.

Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #57, Report 9, January 12, 2018.

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