Michigan child welfare

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report is raising questions about how Michigan's child welfare system treats minorities.

The report finds African-Americans, Latinos, and Native American children are more likely than white children to be removed from their homes.  

Minorities are also twice as likely to age out of the foster care system as whites.

Former State Rep. Lynn Jondahl is one of the co-chairs of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.  

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It seems hard to believe in 2013, but it's true -- Michigan is one of only five states without a law protecting breastfeeding moms, allowing them to breastfeed their babies in any public or private location.

But that might change soon. The State Senate recently passed a bill that would protect breastfeeding Moms. The bill now goes to the State House for lawmakers to discuss in the new session, starting January 8.  Joining me is a lawmaker who has been working on the bill, State Senator Rebekah Warren.

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Supreme Court Justice Hathaway resigns

"Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway announced Monday she will retire from the bench Jan. 21 after the Judicial Tenure Commission filed a formal complaint calling for her immediate suspension from the bench for alleged “blatant and brazen violations” of judicial conduct rules the commission said were “unprecedented in Michigan judicial disciplinary history.” Among the charges in the complaint is that Hathaway submitted false answers to the Judicial Tenure Commission during its recent investigation of private real estate transactions by Hathaway which are the subject of an FBI investigation," the Lansing State Journal reports.

Electric cars required to make more noise

The federal government is planning to issue new rules regulating car noise for electric vehicles. Electric and hybrid cars are sometimes too quiet. That could increase pedestrian and vehicle accidents, especially when it comes to visually impaired pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants all electric and hybrid vehicles to make some noise when traveling under 18 miles per hour to deal with the problem, Tracy Samilton reports.

Child welfare workers protected under new Michigan law

"A new law signed by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson gives private child welfare agencies and their workers in Michigan extra protection from lawsuits if they're under contract with the state. They'll be immune from liability for personal injuries or property damages unless their conduct amounts to 'gross negligence or willful misconduct,'" the Associated Press reports.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Private child welfare agencies and their workers in Michigan will get extra protection from lawsuits if they're under contract with the state under a new law signed by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

They'll be immune from liability for personal injuries or property damages unless their conduct amounts to "gross negligence or willful misconduct."

The law's designed to mirror legal protections already given to state employees who provide services to private agencies. The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. David Hildenbrand of Lowell.

via Michigan State Housing Development Authority

A Detroit state representative says a child’s death this week raises serious questions about Michigan’s child welfare system.

Rashida Tlaib is calling for an investigation after a nine-year-old girl died Sunday at the Martin Luther King apartments on the city's east side.

The girl was stabbed in the chest. The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide, and police have sought an arrest warrant for her mother.

A court appointed monitor watching over Michigan’s child protective
services warns that system is “substantially non-compliant” with a court agreement. 
The state agreed to make measurable improvements to its child welfare system when it settled a lawsuit with New York-based Children’s Rights group in 2008.
But two years later, a monitor says the state Department of Human Services has shown a “frustrating lack of progress” in implementing reforms.
Sarah Bartosz, a senior attorney for Children’s Rights, says the state is about a year behind where it should be.