state capitol

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week’s attack on the Canadian Parliament building raises questions about security at all government buildings.

On Wednesday, a lone gunman shot and killed a soldier standing guard at the national war memorial in Ottawa. The gunman was later shot and killed inside the parliament building.  

The Michigan Governor's mansion in Lansing.
State of Michigan

LANSING – Yearly funding for building maintenance on the Michigan Capitol and the governor's Lansing residence has passed the state Senate.

The legislation unanimously approved Wednesday would redistribute revenue from taxes on cigarettes. It allocates $3 million to the Capitol fund and between $50,000 and $200,000 to the official residence.

The money comes from the state's general fund and would be adjusted for inflation each year.

More state Capitol security, no metal detectors

Mar 16, 2014
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING – Policing will increase this spring at the Michigan Capitol, but officials say they have no plans to add metal detectors. The Detroit Free Press says state police will bring more personnel to the Capitol area and will enhance its technology as well. That includes making better use of video camera monitoring and introducing thermal imaging to spot intruders in parking lots and outside the Capitol after dark.  Capt.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan lawmakers are pushing to create a lasting fund for maintenance of the 135-year-old state Capitol.

Bills that could win approval in December would overhaul the building's oversight, make it a state historic site and create a permanent maintenance fund.

It's been 21 years since a major restoration of the Capitol was finished. Keeping the building in good shape, though, has been tougher than expected.

State Senator Bruce Caswell of Hillsdale is a military buff – he attended West Point for a couple years, before transferring to Michigan State – and he’s a former high school history teacher.

Now, he has a new project he would like people to donate money for. If you are about ninety, and spent a lot of time at the State Capitol when you were young, you may remember there used to be two old Civil War cannons out front.

Otherwise, I suspect you never heard of the so-called Loomis cannons. They weren’t especially famous cannons; they didn’t batter down the defenses of Richmond, and people in the 1940s thought so little of their importance that they were apparently melted down during a World War II scrap metal drive.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Detroit News’s Daniel Howes discussed the implications of right-to-work in Michigan.

According to Howes, the right-to-work legislation is representative of the country’s current political divide.

“I view this in the context of the reckoning that is going on in Michigan in terms of its trying to come to terms with its post-war industrial past. The UAW has become dramatically weaker, dramatically smaller. This is indicative of the political divide we’re seeing in our country,” said Howes.

Kevin H. / flickr

Right-to-work may have been the star of the legislative circus that took place at the Capitol yesterday, but it was just one of many passed by the House and Senate.

Here is a recap of some other bills that you might have missed:

The Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act

The bill, passed by the state Senate yesterday, would allow health care providers, facilities, or insurers to deny care base on religious, moral, or ethical objections.

The Capitol was vandalized early Thursday morning
user mattileo / flickr

The Michigan State Police say there is a single suspect in a vandalism spree last week that included the state Capitol building in Lansing. Officers also found graffiti early Thursday morning in downtown Lansing and at Lansing Community College.

State Police Lieutenant Kyle Bowman says there is still no arrest, but that should come soon.

“We’ll be submitting our portion of the report for our investigation to the Ingham County prosecutor’s office sometime this week," Bowman says.

Investigators aren’t releasing any information about the suspect yet.

Officers last week found two stick figures spray-painted on the Capitol’s front columns and a message reading “Give art a chance” on a war memorial on the Capitol lawn.

Police say the suspect could face felony charges for malicious destruction of property.

Workers at the Capitol are still trying to remove the spray paint. They say damages could range between a thousand and several thousand dollars.

State Bar of Michigan

Michigan’s landmark civil rights law was celebrated today as a legal milestone in a ceremony at the state Capitol that re-united the two main sponsors of the legislation.

State Representative Daisy Elliott was a Democrat from Detroit. State Representative Mel Larsen was a Republican from Oakland County.

The 36-year-old Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination based on race, religion, gender; national origin, or marital status.

Michigan State Capitol Building
Nikopoley / Wikimedia Commons

Several rallies at the state Capitol were timed to coincide with the Legislature’s only session day this month.

The largest was a group of about 150 abortion rights advocates protesting a package of bills before the state Senate.

The bills call for strict regulations on abortion providers.

One of the speakers was Renee Chelian. She works for a group of family planning clinics in metro Detroit. Chelian says protests have slowed down the bills after they cleared the state House last month.

 A few hundred people, many wearing hoodie sweatshirts, gathered on the steps of the state capitol in Lansing  Tuesday to demand justice for a teenager shot and killed in Florida last month.

A month ago, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.   The Florida teen’s death has spurred a national debate over what constitutes self-defense and concerns for the safety of young black men.      

aflyingpsychofly / flickr

Every Wednesday, we speak with Michigan Radio's Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry about the state's political happenings during the week. On tap for this morning: Detroit's financial crisis, a $60 million budget hole facing state lawmakers when they return back to the Capitol next week, and the 'failure' of the so-called Congressional super-committee.

Update:

We have uploaded a copy of the portrait to our website and Facebook page, and people are starting to weigh in with their thoughts.

Michigan Watch's Lester Graham asked, regarding the position of Governor Granholm's hand on the globe to her right, "Is she pointing to Michigan or Canada?"

Peinck Muslimah, a regular Facebook page commenter, said, "Check out the windmill and new-tech car on the desk - and her hand on the globe is also symbolic: Granholm travelled [sic] often to try to convince foreign companies to invest in Michigan."

What symbols do you notice in the portrait?

 

Original article:

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm's portrait has been added to the portrait's featured in the State Capitol. She was the 47th governor of the state.

From the Associated Press:

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm's portrait has joined those of other governors at the Capitol. A portrait unveiling ceremony was held Friday morning. Granholm participated in the program.

Ferndale artist Charles Pompilius painted the portrait of Granholm, which includes a wind turbine and a mortar board. Those elements are meant to symbolize the ex-governor's work in the areas
of energy and education.

The Democrat was Michigan's first elected female governor, serving from 2003 through 2010.

The unveiling ceremony is to be followed by an invitation-only luncheon.

A bipartisan nonprofit foundation has been raising the money for the portrait, the frame and the Capitol ceremony.

The portrait is shown above.

There was another protest today at the state Capitol – the third rally this week.  Hundreds of Lansing high school students walked out of class to march on the Capitol. 

Some of the students sunned themselves on the Capitol steps, took pictures, laughed, and chatted on their phones, while others stood by the road and waved signs. They called out to passing drivers to honk if they opposed budget cuts called for by Governor Rick Snyder.