FRIDAY, April 29 — A roundup of news from around the state, provided by our partners at Capital News Service. Follow the links for the full stories.
Parents in prison add stress to children, family lives: One in 10 Michigan children have had a parent in jail or prison, the third highest rate in the nation. Experts say that’s a traumatic experience equivalent to domestic abuse and one that puts children at risk of depression and anxiety. We talk to officials with the League for Public Policy and the Department of Corrections, the Wexford County prosecutor and an MSU law professor.
Proposal would increase juror pay rates: Michigan jurors may soon receive their first raise since 2003, a move that’s part of an effort to get more of them to court. Other measures include offering them Uber rides to get them to the jury box and paying them immediately with debit cards so they don’t have to wait for a check.
New proposal would add deposit to water bottles: There’s a new bid to expand the state’s beverage container deposit law to cover water, juice, wine, liquor and other non-carbonated drinks, but prospects for legislative approval are dim. All similar efforts to expand the 40-year-old deposit law have failed. We hear from the lead sponsor, from Kalamazoo, MUCC, the Michigan Recycling Coalition, DEQ and the Michigan Retailers Association.
Private land finds home in Qualified Forest Program: Participation in a program encouraging private landowners to plan how to harvest their forests has more than tripled in three years, yielding a substantial increase in forest revenue primarily in northern Michigan and unusual agreement between environmentalists and the forest products industry.
More addicted babies born, go through withdrawal: Babies who are born addicted to drugs are a growing problem in Michigan. Some of the highest rates for what is called neonatal abstinence syndrome are in northern Michigan where health officials are calling for greater public awareness to fight what results in symptoms of drug withdrawal in infants.
Temporary seasonal workers face language, legal issues: The number of foreign seasonal farm workers coming to Michigan and the challenges they face are rapidly growing. They are coming in under a special kind of temporary visa and competing with other migrant workers for jobs.
Senate passes bill to replace Common Core standards: Some lawmakers want to change the standards for preparing students for college in hopes of raising Michigan’s education rankings. But critics say they are lowering them.