Rebekah Warren http://michiganradio.org en Michigan lawmaker proposes expanding LGBT protections http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmaker-proposes-expanding-lgbt-protections <p>At the state Capitol, a Democratic lawmaker has called for expending Michigan&rsquo;s civil rights law to protect people who are gay, lesbian or transgender from many&nbsp;types of discrimination.</p><p>State Senator Rebekah Warren says expanding the civil rights law would send a message that Michigan is trying to attract creative workers and entrepreneurs.</p> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 20:55:40 +0000 Rick Pluta 6747 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmaker proposes expanding LGBT protections Michigan Dems introduce ban on for-profit schools http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-dems-introduce-ban-profit-schools <p>Democrats at the state Capitol are calling for an amendment to the Michigan constitution that would outlaw for-profit schools. Four out of five charter schools in Michigan currently operate as for-profit schools.</p><p>Democratic state Senator Rebekah Warren said only 17 percent of charter schools out-perform traditional public schools. She said school aid money should not go toward profits for businesses.</p><p>Warren said her amendment would not ban charter schools, but it would reform how they operate.</p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:00:51 +0000 Chelsea Hagger 5175 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Dems introduce ban on for-profit schools Michigan State Senate adopts health care exchanges http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-state-senate-adopts-health-care-exchanges <p>The state Senate has adopted a bill to create a statewide health coverage exchange where people and businesses could comparison shop for insurance.</p><p>Republicans were divided on the question, and whether a vote for it was an endorsement of the federal health reforms.&nbsp;</p><p>Some Republicans argued they should take a principled stand against the federal law by refusing to enact any portion of it.</p><p>Others, such as Senator Bruce Caswell, argued the state should not risk being forced into a federal bureaucracy.</p><p>Without action, the state would be forced into a federal exchange system.</p><p>&ldquo;I do not support putting this state in the position of having the federal government come in and basically take over regulation of health care,&rdquo; said Caswell.</p><p>Caswell says Michigan can always shut down the exchange if the federal law is repealed or struck down.</p><p>Democrats, such as Senator Rebekah Warren, used the debate to defend the federal law.</p><p>&ldquo;The solution that we have in front of us today guarantees that constituents in every one of our districts will have access to more affordable healthcare, so I urge my colleagues to please support this bipartisan compromise that&rsquo;s in front of us now,&rdquo; said Warren.</p><p>The measure now goes to the state House.</p><p>Republican Governor Rick Snyder says the statewide coverage exchange is a good idea with or without the federal mandate. He has asked the Legislature to send the bill to his desk before the end of the year. Thu, 10 Nov 2011 22:03:47 +0000 Rick Pluta 4939 at http://michiganradio.org Senate approves measure to rein in environmental rules http://michiganradio.org/post/senate-approves-measure-rein-environmental-rules <p>The Republican controlled state Senate has approved a measure to rein in the authority of state regulators to enact environmental protection rules.</p><p>The bill says Michigan&rsquo;s environmental protection rules cannot be stricter than federal rules unless a law is passed to allow it.</p><p>Republican state Sen. John Proos says environmental policy should reflect the fact that Michigan competes with other states for jobs.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;We can&rsquo;t operate in a vacuum in Michigan,&quot; said Pross. &quot;If it&rsquo;s more difficult to do business in Michigan than it is in Indiana, businesses and industries who hire Michigan families could just as soon choose the less-expensive option or the more-efficient option. Every day, other states benchmark against us. We should do the same to make sure we put ourselves in the best position to compete.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Republicans and some Democrats have long complained that Michigan&rsquo;s environmental rules and the people who enforce them are too zealous.</p><p>Democrats, like State Senator Rebekah Warren, say the measure would make it harder for experts to address environmental crises that may be unique to the Great Lakes region.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Federal standards to protect water quality, in particular, are designed to be the floor below which states are not allowed to drop,&quot; said Warren. &quot;They are not written by people that feel the special stewardship like we do here in Michigan over one of the world&rsquo;s most-important freshwater resources.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Opponents of the bill say it would make it more difficult to respond to an environmental crisis and it would make the process of protecting air and water more political.</p><p>One Democrat crossed over to join the Republican majority to approve the measure. The bill now goes to the state House. Thu, 05 May 2011 21:57:26 +0000 Rick Pluta 2370 at http://michiganradio.org