Southwest Michigan Today: Friday May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019

Kalamazoo Public Safety Headquarters - file photo
Credit WMUK

GOP leaders will wait to send auto insurance bills to Governor Whitmer. Kalamazoo officials scrap plans to bring the TV show Cops to the city. A state Representative facing criminal charges says he will fight the charges and won’t resign. 

(MPRN) The state Legislature’s GOP leaders say they will delay sending bills to Governor Gretchen Whitmer to change Michigan’s auto insurance system. Republicans were poised to send the bills to Whitmer’s desk despite her vow to veto them. But GOP leaders say they’re still hopeful a deal can be reached that’s acceptable to all sides. Whitmer says she’s willing to bargain with Republicans on a plan to reduce auto insurance premiums. But she says allowing people to opt out is not the answer. Republicans say consumers should be allowed to choose plans they can afford by picking their level of coverage. The Legislature is adjourned for the week and will return to Lansing on Tuesday.

Kalamazoo City officials say they have scrapped plans for the TV show Cops to bring their program to the city. In a statement, Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema says an agreement had been reached to allow Cops producers to film alongside Kalamazoo Public Safety officers this summer. Ritsema says he decided to cancel the agreement after concerns were raised about how people in Kalamazoo would be portrayed in the program. In his statement, the city manager acknowledges that when people interact with law enforcement they are often in distress or extreme circumstances. Ritsema says although the city would have retained approval for all content that would be aired, city officials respect the concerns that have been raised and decided not to allow Cops producers to film in Kalamazoo this summer.

(MPRN) State Representative Larry Inman says he will not resign his seat as he faces federal charges of soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for votes by fellow lawmakers. Inman, a Republican from Willamsburg just outside Traverse City, is accused of soliciting campaign donations in a failed effort to get money for Republicans who agreed to vote against repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage laws. Inman is also accused of lying to the FBI. In an interview on a syndicated radio talk show, Inman says he is innocent and intends to fight the charges. State House Speaker Lee Chatfield has called on Inman to step down, saying it would be in the best interests of the lawmaker, his constituents, and the Legislature.

(WKAR) There’s a new resource in Michigan to support veterans who enter the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenses. In 2013, Michigan created a network of treatment courts as an alternative for veterans who commit low-level crimes. Many suffer from addiction or mental illness. Veterans are paired with their peers who serve as mentors along their road to rehabilitation. Now, a new guidebook is available for mentors to help them develop best practices. Michigan currently operates 27 veterans treatment courts…one of the largest such systems in the U.S.

(Michigan Radio) Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin has introduced a bill that would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act. It would require public water systems to test for at least 30 chemicals in the PFAS family. The legislation introduced yesterday would also require the EPA to oversee the testing and to post the results online.

Western Michigan started the final series of the baseball regular season with an 8-6 loss to Ohio Thursday. The Broncos need to win their final two games against the Bobcats scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Robert J. Bobb Stadium to secure a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.