Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. EDT
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for Michigan to become “carbon neutral” by 2050 in the fight against climate change. The Democratic governor issued a directive Wednesday pledging “comprehensive and aggressive” efforts but provided few details on how the goal would be achieved. A separate order established a council of government officials and citizens to develop a strategy. Michigan is the ninth state to pledge carbon neutrality, which generally means sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions and stepping up efficiency. Carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere and boosts global warming, which contributes to extreme weather such as floods and droughts.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A divided Michigan House has voted to shield health providers and businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits filed by patients, employees or customers, advancing bills that majority Republicans say would give businesses more comfort to reopen and block frivolous complaints. Opponents counter that the measures would make it too tough for negligence victims to sue. Many Democrats voted against the legislation, which was sent to the GOP-led Senate. The measures, passed Wednesday, would protect employers from liability if a worker is exposed to he coronavirus during Michigan’s emergency despite the employer having substantially complied with health rules. Immunity wouldn’t apply if an employer willfully disregarded regulations.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have passed a $62.7 billion spending plan about a week before the deadline to enact the next budget. Bills were made public Wednesday and quickly won final approval before going to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Thanks to a federal coronavirus bailout, spending will generally stay flat. Schools will see a slight boost in funding. The governor and lawmakers also agreed to fund tuition assistance for adults to go to community college, give school support staff a $250 payment for working in the pandemic and make nearly 6,000 more children eligible for child care subsidies.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate passed bills that would allow hundreds of thousands of people to clear criminal records. The state estimates the expungement measures would affect hundreds of thousands people, including those with marijuana convictions before it was legalized for recreational use in 2018. The legislation passed the state Senate Wednesday. If signed into law, Michigan would have an automated system for expungements of certain felonies after 10 years and misdemeanors after seven years. According to the Chicago-based Alliance for Safety and Justice, the legislation aims to help more people to successfully navigate the expungement process in Michigan where only a few thousand people each year now receive expungements.