In this morning's news...

Nov 11, 2011

State Health Care Exchange

The state Senate has adopted a bill to create a statewide health coverage exchange where people and businesses could comparison shop for insurance, Rick Pluta reports. From Pluta:

Republicans were divided on the question, and whether a vote for it was an endorsement of the federal health reforms. Some Republicans argued they should take a principled stand against the federal law by refusing to enact any portion of it. Others argued the state should not risk being forced into a federal bureaucracy. Without action, the state would be forced into a federal exchange system. The measure now goes to the state House. 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.

Anti-Bullying Bill

A measure that would require all school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies has cleared the state House. “The proposal says there is no reason for kids to be allowed to bully each other. That sets it apart from legislation approved by the Senate last week. That bill exempted statements based on a student's deeply held religious or moral belief. Critics called the provision a license to bully,” Laura Weber reports.

Medical Marijuana

There’s a new challenge to the rights of Michigan’s medical marijuana patients. Steve Carmody reports:

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a legal opinion yesterday that said police can seize marijuana from medical marijuana patients. In the opinion, the attorney general also said it would be illegal for police to return the pot, even after they confirm that the patients possess a medical marijuana permit. Under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, a patient with a valid state issued identification card may possess up to two and a half ounces of usable marijuana. That same state law prohibits police from seizing marijuana or drug paraphernalia from authorized medical marijuana patients. But Schuette says the state law conflicts with federal law on the subject of marijuana forfeiture and that federal law preempts state law.