Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday May 9, 2019

May 9, 2019

Credit Andrew Robins / WMUK-FM

Another auto insurance reform bill is passed in the state Legislature. Perrigo sells its animal health business. A settlement allows posting some ballot pictures on social media. 

(Gongwer News Service) The state House has approved changes to Michigan’s auto insurance system. The bill passed early Thursday morning differs from the legislation that passed the Senate on Tuesday. The Gongwer News Service says the House bill would include five tiers of coverage that consumers could choose. Three Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for the measure. Supporters say it will reduce auto insurance rates by giving people options. But critics say the legislation doesn’t include any guarantee that rates will remain low. The Senate could take up the House bill next week. Governor Gretchen Whitmer indicated that she would veto the Senate bill approved on Tuesday.

(MPRN) The state of Michigan has reached a court settlement that allows voters to take pictures of their ballots and post them on social media. The deal says voters can snap and share pictures of their ballots as long as it’s done in the privacy of the voting booth. The settlement allows voters to take pictures of their ballots. But the Secretary of State’s office says that voters still cannot take selfies of themselves with their ballots.

Perrigo has announced its selling its animal health business. The company, which is run from Allegan although it’s domiciled in Dublin, announced the sale Wednesday to PetIQ. The deal is worth $185-million. Perrigo CEO Murray Kessler says the sale of the animal health business will allow the company to focus on the consumer self-care market.

(Interlochen Public Radio) A tax policy group says 60 Fortune 500 companies across the county did not pay federal income taxes in 2018. That includes DTE Energy, which says it used deductions to eliminate their taxable income. A spokesperson says DTE has been passing on those savings to customers, reducing their electric bills annually by more than $20-million. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says three other Michigan companies did not pay taxes last year – Benton Harbor based Whirlpool, General Motors and Penske Automotive Group.

(WCMU) New legislation in the state senate is aimed at reducing violence against health care workers. Health care workers are nearly five times as likely to experience injuries from workplace violence than the average U.S. worker, that’s according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Democratic State Senator Jeff Irwin introduced the measure. The bill would require health departments develop workplace violence prevention plans with employees which would include training for staff about how to de-escalate violent situations. Irwin said the legislation has bipartisan support.

(Michigan Radio) Michigan’s attorney general is joining three dozen of her counterparts to support a bill that would allow banks to do business with legal marijuana companies. Current federal law is effectively keeping legal medical and recreational marijuana businesses “cash only.” The U.S. House may vote soon on the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act. It would allow legal marijuana-related businesses to use the federal banking system.

Western Michigan has lost in the first round of the Mid-American Conference softball tournament. The Broncos fell to Miami Wednesday 2-0 in Akron, Ohio in their first game of the double-elimination tournament. Western faces Northern Illinois in an elimination game Thursday morning.