Southwest Michigan Today: Monday May 13, 2019

May 13, 2019

Michigan’s Secretary of State calls for quickly drawing new maps for Congress and state Legislature. Signs of a potential economic slow down in West Michigan. WMU tries to secure a spot in the MAC baseball tournament. 

(MPRN) Michigan’s top elections official says the Legislature should act quickly to draw new maps for legislative and congressional districts. That’s after a federal court ruled Michigan’s lines provide an illegal advantage to Republicans in many districts. GOP leaders in the Legislature say they will appeal the ruling. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says that would prolong the process. Benson’s office is also working to set up a process for a new commission to handle the job of drawing new district lines. That was approved by voters last year.

(WGVU) The April Supply Management survey indicates the West Michigan economy continues its decades-long pattern of slow growth. However, there’s data suggesting a slowing economy. Grand Valley State University Economist Brian Long says his survey of area purchasing managers for the Institute for Supply Management Research shows a drop in optimism. Long says there are signs of a softening world economy and if the U.S.-China trade war becomes too severe Long says it would be the beginning of the next recession.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation that says Michigan schools don't have to make up as many as four snow days that occurred during an Arctic deep freeze in January and February. Whitmer signed the legislation on Friday. State law forgives districts from making up six days that have been canceled for emergencies, and schools can get a waiver from the state superintendent for three additional days. Many districts have already reached or exceeded nine snow days.

(WDET) Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is joining with others in Congress to press legislation that would require the Defense Department to clean-up hazardous chemicals known as PFAS’s. The chemicals are found in fire-fighting foam and have been used in training at some military bases and manufacturing sites. Stabenow says it is imperative that the military move aggressively in cleaning-up PFAS’s after recent reports found almost 200 sites in Michigan are contaminated with the chemicals. Stabenow is calling for new research to find where PFAS’s are present and how much of a health risk they pose. She also wants the federal government to guarantee that military veterans exposed to PFAS’s near a base will receive treatment from the V.A.

In baseball, Western Michigan lost at Miami Sunday 5-0. The Broncos hold a half game lead over Ohio for the final spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament. Western will host the Bobcats for a three game series beginning Thursday.