'Red flag' legislation allows police to seize guns from those at risk to themselves

March 03, 2019

By Mark Cavitt, MediaNews Group (The Oakland Press)


Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods, has reintroduced 'red flag' legislation that seeks to temporarily take firearms away from those that pose a risk to themselves or others. 

Under House Bill 4283, called the "Extreme Risk Protection Order Act", immediate family members or a law enforcement officer would be able to petition a judge for a protection order by showing evidence that an individual shows signs of potential harm to themselves or others. If the protection order is granted, police would seize the weapons for one year, and a hearing would be held.  The bill would also prohibit those individuals from buying or possessing a gun, who are not otherwise restricted from doing so, for one year. 

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A bill with the exact same language, Senate Bill 156, was introduced by Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, on Thursday. Both legislators said the bills address public protection from gun violence and are modeled after similar legislation in 11 other states.

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‘Sanctuary cities,’ lobbyist ‘revolving door’ among 400+ new bills in Michigan Legislature

March 02, 2019

By Andrew Roth, Michigan Advance


Just two months into their term, members of the 100th Michigan Legislature have already introduced more than 400 bills, including those that seek to end the legislator-to-lobbyist “revolving door” and ban “sanctuary cities.” Almost 400 bills passed during last year’s Lame Duck action after the 2018 election — which is why it’s no surprise that legislation has been introduced taking aim at end-of-the-year sessions.

Some of the Legislature’s first actions have had a partisan flavor in checking the power of new Democratic executives: overturning Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order restructuring the Department of Environmental Quality; intervening in Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s proposed gerrymandering lawsuit settlement; and urging Attorney General Dana Nessel to drop a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.

But many legislative efforts this session are bipartisan, including big-ticket packages reforming auto insurance and civil asset forfeiture laws.

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Red-flag bills introduced in Lansing aim to keep guns away from people posing danger

February 28, 2019

By Mikenzie Frost, Sinclair Broadcast Group


Democratic lawmakers in the state House and Senate came together Thursday to introduce legislation that would create an option for extreme risk protection orders for people.

A Harvard study shows about 85 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm end in death, while drug overdoses, which are the most common method of suicide attempts, are fatal in less than 3 percent of cases.

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Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, said a childhood friend committed suicide by using a firearm and believes the legislation is the first step in protecting others.

“I grew up in a hunting family. When I was a teenager, I suddenly grew up a lot faster when my friend committed suicide with a gun,” she tearfully recalled. “I will never forget the devastation to my family, to his family, to the community. Saving lives is the purpose of this legislation.”

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Michigan senator seeks to end ‘revolving door’ of lawmakers turned lobbyists

February 18, 2019

By Lindsay VanHulle, Bridge Magazine


A Republican state senator is again trying to prevent Michigan lawmakers from taking new jobs lobbying their former colleagues in the Legislature immediately after leaving office.

Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, introduced a bill to prohibit former state legislators from working as registered lobbyists for two years after they leave office — three, if they ever served as chairman of a legislative committee. The fear, he said, is that, without a “cooling-off” period, lawmakers may be tempted to support policies that help them gain their next job, rather than focusing their votes on what’s best for Michigan.

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Sen. Rosemary Bayer, a freshman Democratic state senator from Beverly Hills, is a co-sponsor of Runestad’s latest bill. She said the relationship between lobbyists and legislators is “too tight” and a function of strict legislative term limits.

“It looks very suspicious, even if it’s not,” Bayer said. “If we put a boundary in there, a barrier in there, then it becomes obvious that we’re working above the board, right? It’s very clear that there’s no direct relationship between what I just did last December and what I’m doing now not that I’m in the Legislature.”

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Mayor Deirdre Waterman Hosts Historic Women Delegation of Federal, State and County Legislators

February 16, 2019

From the February 2019 'Spirit of Pontiac' newsletter
PONTIAC - The City of Pontiac is now represented by a clean sweep of 5 women elected officials who met at a recent luncheon hosted by Mayor Deirdre Waterman.

The meeting was held at Pontiac City Hall to address issues directly affecting Pontiac. State Senator Rosemary Bayer, State Representative Brenda Carter, and County Commissioner Angela Powell all were recently elected in November 2018 to their first terms in their respective positions. Representative Carter previously served in elected capacity on the Pontiac Board of Education. Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence is serving her third term in the United States House of Representatives.

“As elected officials, I felt it necessary that we come together to set priorities that continue to move Pontiac forward” said Waterman. “I am eager to work with these leading ladies and identify resources to enhance opportunities for all Pontiac residents.”
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Video: Lawmakers on gov. agenda of equal pay, auto insurance reform

February 15, 2019

By Nick Manes & Casey Hull, Michigan Advance


As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ramps up to reveal her first budget next month, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, not surprisingly, are hoping to hear different things. The Advance interviewed legislators following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address on Tuesday.

Democrats tended to praise her for highlighting long-term problems in state government like low morale and outdated technology, issues they see as having been ignored during the tenure of Republican former Gov. Rick Snyder.

Republicans, meanwhile, tended to say that her ambitious ideas for fixing infrastructure and improving workforce development lacked concrete details when it comes to cost. GOP lawmakers acknowledged that many of those specifics are expected next month when Whitmer unveils her first budget proposal.

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Legislature votes to reject Whitmer's environmental executive order

February 14, 2019

By Paul Egan & Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press


LANSING – Michigan lawmakers on Thursday rejected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order reorganizing the state's environmental agency, signaling an early power struggle between the GOP-controlled Legislature and the state's newly elected Democratic chief executive.

At the crux of the dispute is one aspect of Whitmer's much broader environmental order — the abolition of industry-dominated panels created by the Legislature last year to review environmental rules and permits.

The governor said Thursday she will issue a new and similar executive order soon, possibly as early as Tuesday. The Legislature's action “is not going to hamper my effort to get it done because people are counting on me," she told the Free Press.

The Senate voted 22-16 Thursday to reject Whitmer's executive order after the House took similar action on Feb. 6, in a 58-51 vote. It's the first time in 42 years the Michigan Legislature has voted to reject a governor's executive order, Gongwer News Service reported.

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Oakland County Electeds Respond to Governor’s State of the State Speech

February 13, 2019

By Crystal A. Proxmire, Oakland County Times


Lansing, MI- The Capitol was bustling as Senators and Representatives from around the state and their guests gathered to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address.

In the hour before the speech, guests mingled in the common areas, munching on food at receptions and posing for photos to remember the day. Afterwards officials shared their views on Whitmer’s address and the direction Michigan is moving in.

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State lawmakers make water their priority

February 11, 2019

By Tiffany Esshaki, C&G Newspapers (Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle)


LANSING — Michigan legislators can, for the most part, agree on a few things. Making sure residents have safe, accessible water is likely one of them.

But how to accomplish that goal in the midst of a decaying infrastructure and a constant struggle for funding makes the task a bit more complicated than some nicely worded legislation.

State Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-District 14, proposed efforts last month that they said would provide clean water for residents and students. They addressed different issues, including clean water as a state constitutional right and guaranteed clean water in Michigan schools, but the goal is the same — keep chemicals out of water, and make sure even low-income communities can afford it.

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Village cops get tribute from state

February 06, 2019

By CJ Carnacchio, The Oxford Leader


State Rep. John Reilly (R-Oakland Twp.) was spotted at the Oxford Village Police Station Monday morning. But he wasn’t in any sort of trouble. He was there to honor the department as part of National Law Enforcement Recognition Day, which was Jan. 9.

Reilly presented Police Chief Mike Solwold with a special tribute signed by himself, State Sen. Rosemary Bayer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Bayer on Whitmer decision to enter climate alliance, reorganize to protect water

February 04, 2019

Press Release from Senator Bayer's office - Contact: Katie Reiter, (517) 373-2417, kreiter@senate.michigan.gov


LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) issued the following statement on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to enter the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance, and her administration’s focus on protecting Michigan’s water resources through the creation of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and expansion of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team:

“We must safeguard our drinking water, air and other resources now and for generations to come. Access to clean, affordable drinking water and bipartisan solutions to address the impacts of climate change are critical to the future of our state and the well-being of our families. I look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer and her administration to move these issues forward.”

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Bayer’s first bill aims to make clean water access a human right

January 24, 2019

Press Release from Senator Bayer's office - Contact: Katie Reiter, (517) 373-2417, kreiter@senate.michigan.gov


LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D–Beverly Hills) made access to safe, affordable water her first priority in Michigan’s 100th legislative session with the introduction of a bill that would establish water as a basic human right. 

Senate Bill 49, the “Human Right to Water Act,” also would require state departments establish affordable water criteria that could be applied throughout Michigan. If adopted, the legislation would safeguard critical water resources used for drinking, cooking and sanitary purposes.

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Michigan cut school funding and school performance plummeted. Coincidence?

January 23, 2019

By Ron French, Bridge Magazine


Michigan ranks dead last in the nation in school funding growth in the quarter century since Michigan radically changed how it funded public education system, according to a new Michigan State University study.

From 2003 to 2015, Michigan also ranked 50th in growth in school performance on the National Assessment of Educational Performance, often called “the nation’s report card, according to the study.

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Senator Bayer on $1.59 million grant to expand Oakland County business

January 22, 2019

Press Release from Senator Bayer's office - Contact: Katie Reiter, (517) 373-2417, kreiter@senate.michigan.gov


LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D–Beverly Hills) issued the following statement on the Michigan Strategic Fund’s decision to award a $1.59 million Michigan Business Development Program grant in support of Magneti Marelli Holding USA LLC’s Auburn Hills expansion:

“Thank you to the Michigan Strategic Fund and to Magneti Marelli Holding USA LLC for choosing to expand business in Oakland County. High-tech job opportunities in design and engineering keep college graduates in Michigan, grow the local economy and make communities a better place for our families. As a former technology entrepreneur, I support our state’s efforts to invest in infrastructure, education and training that makes Michigan an ideal place for these types of good-paying jobs.”

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Lt. Governor Addresses Groves Students at MLK Assembly

January 19, 2019

From the Oakland County Times


Wylie E. Groves High School is proud to have welcomed Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II on Jan. 16, 2019 as he addressed the student body as keynote speaker at the school’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assembly. The Lieutenant Governor spoke on the topic of “What Would Martin Tweet?”

This year’s assembly included:
~A meet-and-greet with State Senators Jeremy Moss and Rosemary Bayer, State Representative Kyra Harris Bolden, the Birmingham Public Schools new superintendent, Mr. Mark Dziatczak,  several Birmingham Board of Education members, and numerous Birmingham Public Schools administrators.

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