Business group opposes Michigan sales tax hike

At least one major business organization in Michigan is opposing the May statewide ballot proposal to raise the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. The National Federation of Independent Business in Michigan reports that in a survey, 75 percent of its members have said no to the proposal. Governor Rick Snyder had hoped to get full business support for the ballot proposal, but so far he's gotten a "thumbs down" from the NFIB, and the Michigan Manufacturers Association -- while it doesn't oppose the proposition -- has said it cannot provide financial help for the campaign.

Medical marijuana use down

The number of patients in Michigan's medical marijuana program has fallen for the second year in a row according to an analysis by the Detroit News. Under the law, Michigan residents can apply for and obtain licenses to use and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana Policy Project spokesperson Morgan Fox says many people feel state law doesn't protect them from prosecution. Michigan allows licensed people to use, grow and sell marijuana for medicinal purposes, but it is still an illegal drug under federal law, and patients with state-issued cards have been prosecuted.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Michigan same-sex marriage case

The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing the challenge to Michigan's 2004 same-sex marriage ban. The court announced on Friday afternoon that it will hear the case brought by two Hazel Park nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who sued to challenge Michigan's law allowing only single individuals or married couples to adopt. The case will be heard along with same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Arguments before the court are expected this spring with a ruling in the months after.

Concealed weapons law under scrutiny

Governor Rick Snyder is facing increased pressure to veto legislation that would let some people, who have personal protection orders against them, carry a concealed gun. U.S. representative Debbie Dingell of Dearborn says allowing domestic abusers to have firearms is a "formula for disaster." The bill's sponsor says critics are spreading "misinformation" and it would merely make various state laws uniform.

Binge drinking not just for the young in Michigan

A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that alcohol poisoning kills an average of 77 people in Michigan each year, and three in four of those deaths involve adults ages 35 - 64 years. Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Community Health says the study dispels the common notion that youth and young adults have the biggest problem with binge drinking.

Concealed weapons law on governor's desk

A measure that would allow even those Michiganders subject to Personal Protection Order for domestic violence or stalking to obtain concealed weapons permits is now in the hands of Governor Rick Snyder. The bill passed both the House and Senate late last year. Proponents say it will streamline the process of receiving a concealed weapons permit while opponents say it could put many Michigan residents in danger.

Ice fishing for free

If you've never been ice fishing, state wildlife officials want you to give it a try next month - for free. The Department of Natural Resources says everyone in Michigan - residents and non-residents - can fish without a license February 14-15, though all other fishing regulations still apply. The two days make up the Winter Free Fishing Weekend - an annual effort to promote Michigan's fishing opportunities. A list of organized events and other information is available at the DNR website.

E-cigarette sales to minors could be prohibited

A package of bills that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors was formally presented Friday to Governor Rick Snyder, but Snyder's office is giving no indication of whether those bills will be vetoed as he had previously hinted. The governor has previously sided with health care groups who opposed the bills on the premise that e-cigarettes ought to be regulated the same as tobacco products. If Snyder vetoes the bill, the new Legislature could not override him. Under the Constitution, only the Legislature that passed the bill could do so.

Michigan elk hunt a success

Michigan's 2014 elk hunting season is being called a success. The Department of Natural Resources says just less than 30,000 eligible Michigan hunters applied for 100 elk licenses. Hunter harvested 75 elk meaning there will not be a January hunt because management objectives were achieved.

Michigan cities in trouble

The non-profit group Truth in Accounting says ten Michigan cities are in bad financial shape with "hidden debt." The group say the cities have debts ranging from $7 billion for Detroit to $14 million for Kalamazoo because of unfunded pension and other liabilities they can't pay for. But, according to the the group, accounting practices let governments hide their true financial condition. Other cities on the list include Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Midlan, Battle Creek, Jackson and Holland.

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