Southwest Michigan Today: Wednesday March 13, 2019

Mar 13, 2019

State Capitol - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Hourly workers raise concerns about a bill that would save schools from making up snow days. The city of St. Joseph adds protection against discrimination for LGBT people. WMU Hockey Coach Andy Murray is picking up the tab to get a big student crowd for this weekend’s conference tournament games. 

(MPRN) Hourly workers at schools are concerned about a bill in the state House that saves schools from having to make up some snow days. Some labor groups are against the bills. That’s because they don’t get paid unless they work – and the bill doesn’t have any requirement that school districts reimburse those workers for the lost days. The bill passed out of the state House committee without including pay for hourly employees. The bills now go to the Ways and Means committee before they can head to the House for a full floor vote. Though if the bill makes it through the House, it will likely hit a roadblock. Senate Majority Leader, Senator Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), opposes snow day forgiveness.

(MPRN) The governor’s office and the Legislature could soon be covered by open records rules similar to those that must be followed by state agencies and local governments. Republicans and Democrats agree these changes are long overdue. But the challenge has been doing it in a way that ensures constituents’ privacy is protected when they seek help with a problem. The bills are expected to be approved by the House this week, and sent to the state Senate.

(MPRN) Michigan is a step closer to adding 10 million dollars to a fund to compensate people who are wrongfully convicted of a crime. The state House unanimously passed a bill Tuesday to do that. A state law says people who were wrongfully convicted and meet certain requirements are eligible to receive $50,000 for every year they were in prison. But the money is drying up. Lawmakers say this bill would ensure that the wrongfully convicted are compensated until the next spending year. The bill also contains some reporting requirements aimed at making sure the fund doesn’t get depleted.

(St. Jospeh Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium) The city of St. Joseph has approved an ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The St. Joseph Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium reports that the city commission approved the ordinance on a 4-0 vote Monday night. St. Joseph is the first city in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties to approve an ordinance that protects LGBT people from discrimination.

Students who buy a ticket for Friday night’s first game of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Tournament at Lawson Ice Arena will also get a ticket for Saturday night’s game. Western students normally get into Bronco hockey games free, but NCHC regulations require schools to charge for tickets to conference tournament games. Western head coach Andy Murray is buying tickets for Saturday night’s game, so students who purchase a ticket for Friday can redeem their ticket stub for Saturday night’s game. The Broncos host Colorado College in the best of three series. The two teams will play at 7:05 Friday and Saturday night, and if necessary Sunday night.