Governor Whitmer Enacts Legislation Protecting Minors’ Right to Consent in Marriage

In a historic move, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill, HB 4302, aimed at safeguarding the well-being of minors in Michigan by raising the minimum age of consent for marriage to 18. This action not only represents a continuation of Whitmer’s previous initiatives signed into law in early 2023, but also positions Michigan as a progressive leader, making it the tenth state in the United States to officially eliminate child marriage. Before the bill, the legal age to get married in Michigan was 16 with parental consent. The bill was first introduced on March 16, 2023, and passed on Sep. 26. 

The other nine states that have a ban on underage marriage with no exceptions are Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. 

“I am committed to keeping Michiganders – especially young women – safe and healthy, and today’s bipartisan bill fully implements Michigan’s ban on child marriage,” Whitmer said in a press release.

‘Local government is where the rubber hits the road:’ how local governments are responding to COVID-19

In Michigan, all eyes are on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to see how she responds to the COVID-19 outbreak. But when it comes to searching for an end to the pandemic, it’s local governments that are on the front lines, said Mason Mayor Russell Whipple.

“This problem will not be solved by the federal government, or the state government, or even the county government,” he said. “It’s going to be solved by local governments, because local governments are going to be the ones that have to actually deal with the day-to-day. We take directions from the state and county health departments. But we’re the ones that make it happen.”

Citizens’ views on voting

Once an American citizen turns 18, they gain the right to vote in elections. However, just because one has the right to vote does not mean they will exercise that right. Others are passionate about voting and believe that if the opportunity is available it should be taken advantage of. Howard Long is an East Lansing resident and an auditor in personal relations and healthcare. Long believes the attitude toward voting is always changing in our country.

What Will the Senate Tax Bill Do to Graduate Students?

In a series of shocking twists and turns, Senate Republicans were able to pass their tax bill, their first legislative victory of the year. The Senate Tax bill calls for a mass overhaul of the American tax code. Everything from tax brackets, health care to graduate student loan rates were touched upon.

Michigan educators react to DeVos nomination

DeVos Place hosted the Michigan Music Conference, an annual event bringing together the state’s music educators – many of whom have not rallied behind new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who’s namesake adorns the venue. The Michigan billionaire was confirmed in the Senate in a 51-50 decision, the win decided by a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. DeVos advocates for school-choice and using vouchers to pay for private schools. But her opponents dislike her lack of education experience. “You have to be working with the kids day by day to understand what it is we do,” said Farmington High School choir director, Angel Gippert.

County government upheaval likely

Capital News Service
LANSING — A lot of new faces will be in county boardrooms come January. More than 130 county commissioner seats statewide will be filled by people new to their jobs — a 21 percent turnover rate, according to the Michigan Association of Counties. And that’s just because of the August primary. In the November general election, 145 more seats remain in contention. If all of them get new commissioners, that would be a turnover rate of 44 percent, said John Amrhein, a public policy educator at Michigan State University Extension.